David Stainforth

Senior Research Fellow


David is a physicist by training and has many years' experience of climate modelling.

While a researcher at Oxford University, he co-founded and was chief scientist of the climateprediction.net project, the world's largest climate modelling experiment.

David has been both a NERC Research Fellow and a Tyndall Research Fellow at Oxford University.

Research programmes

Research interests

  • How we can extract robust and useful information about future climate, and climate related phenomena, from modelling experiments; 
  • Issues of how to design climate modelling experiments and how to link climate science to real-world decision making in such a way as to be of value to industry, policymakers and wider society.

Media articles


Policy: clarify the limits of climate models| (PDF)
David A Stainforth and Leonard A. Smith, Nature (correspondence), 13 September


Questions and answers with Dr David Stainforth
|David Stainforth, Royal Society, July


Climate science in the spotlight may not be such a bad thing
|Dave Stainforth, The Guardian, 12 February

Research articles


Calel, R. Stainforth, D.A., Dietz, S. September 2013. Tall tales and fat tails: the science and economics of extreme warming. Climatic Change. External link to full article|

Stainforth, D.A., et al. September 2013. Mapping climate change in European temperature distributions. Environmental Research Letters, v.8. External link to full article|

Daron, J.D., and Stainforth, D.A. August 2013. On predicting climate under climate change. Environmental Research Letters, v.8. External link to full article and video abstract|

Chapman, S.C., Stainforth, D.A., and Watkins, N.W. May 2013. On estimating local long-term climate trends. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society series A, v. 371. External link to full article|




Millner, A., Calel, R., Stainforth, D.A., and MacKerron, G. November 2012. Do probabilistic expert elicitations capture scientists’ uncertainty about climate change? Climatic Change. External link to full article|




Oreskes, N., Stainforth, D.A., and Smith, L.A. December 2010. Adaptation to global warming: do climate models tell us what we need to know? Philosophy of Science, v.77, pp.1012-1028.


Stainforth, D. August 2010. Probabilistic regional and seasonal predictions of twenty-first century temperature and precipitation. Working paper, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, London, UK. Download PDF of paper|  


Stainforth, D. January 2010. Estimating uncertainty in future climate projections. Workshop on Nonstationarity, Hydrologic Frequency Analysis, and Water Management (Colorado Water Institute Information Series, no.109) [O J Rolf, J Kiang and R Waskom (eds.)]. Colorado Water Institute, Colorado. External link to full article|




Harrison, S., and Stainforth, D.A. March 2009. Predicting climate change: lessons from reductionism, emergence, and the past. Eos, v.90, pp.111-112. External link to full article|




Sanderson, B.M., Knutti, R., Aina, T., Christensen, C., Faull, N., Frame, D.J., Ingram, W.J., Piani, C., Stainforth, D.A., Stone, D.A., and Allen, M.R. June 2008. Constraints on model response to greenhouse gas forcing and the role of subgrid-scale processes. Journal of Climate, v.21, pp.2384-2400. External link to full article| 

Policy articles


Fankhauser, S., Ranger, N., Colmer, J., Fisher, S., Surminski, S., Stainforth, D., and Williamson, A. March 2013. An Independent National Adaptation Programme for England. Policy brief, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change & Environment, London, UK.  External link to full report| (PDF, 624KB) | Appendices| (PDF, 700KB)

More information

Contact details

  • Email
  • Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7107 5438
Photograph of David Stainforth