Portrait of Christopher Bretherton

Atmospheric Sciences

Christopher Bretherton


Chris Bretherton is an atmospheric scientist who studies cloud formation and turbulence, and improves how they are simulated in global climate and weather forecast models. His research includes participating in field experiments and observational analyses, three-dimensional modeling of fluid flow in and around fields of clouds, and understanding how clouds will respond to and feed back on climate change. His research group developed novel computer codes for simulating cloud formation by atmospheric turbulence, which are used in the two leading U.S. climate models. He was a lead author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment Report in 2013, Chair of a 2012 National Academy report entitled A National Strategy for Advancing Climate Modeling, and a former director of the University of Washington Program on Climate Change. In 2012, he received the Jule G. Charney Award, one of the two highest career awards of the American Meteorological Society.