James Renwick

Prof James Renwick profile picture

Professor and Head of School School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences


Teaching in 2020

Research interests

Climate variability, climate change, weather and climate prediction

I am fascinated by the general circulation of the atmosphere – how the atmosphere transports energy and momentum and what it does to achieve this. In particular I am interested in how heating in the tropics is communicated to higher latitudes by the excitation of large-scale waves and how this affects the storm tracks and jet streams. In recent years I have developed an interest in Antarctic climate, especially the growth and decay of Antarctic sea ice. How does the atmospheric circulation (the wind) affect sea ice extent? How this can be tied back to tropical influences?

I am also involved with climate prediction work, from months to centuries. I have been involved with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change process for several years, and I speak regularly to the media on climate change issues.

I have a general background in atmospheric physics, plus mathematics and statistics and have broad interests most aspects of climate, from the distant past to the near future. This includes paleoclimate reconstruction, synoptic climatology, the climate of New Zealand, climate modelling, climate change, and the use of statistical and matrix techniques to analyse large data sets.

Prof James Renwick CV 2015pdf305KB


  • PhD in the Atmospheric Sciences - University of Washington, Seattle (1995)
  • MSc in Statistics - Victoria University of Wellington (1989)
  • BSc with Hons in Mathematics - University of Canterbury (1977)


Publications from 1995 - Now


Teaching in 2020