Maria Rugenstein

I'm interested in how the ocean influences atmospheric feedbacks on large scales, and stores and redistributes heat. I like thinking about first-order controls on Earth’s climate and the concept of climate forcings. I'm also interested in deep time paleo climate, internal variability, and the theory and sociology of science.

Since 2020, I am an assistant professor for climate dynamics at the Department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University in Fort Collins. I studied at ETH Zürich, completed my Master's research at Princeton University/GFDL, and dived into paleoclimate research for two years in Utrecht, before completing my PhD in Zürich with extensive visits to Stanford University and the Carnegie Institute for Global Ecology and a PostDoc at MPI in Hamburg.

My growing group consists of Marc Alessi, Yiyu Zheng, and Dirk Olonscheck. I'm coordinating a model intercomparison of millennia long simulations of global coupled Atmosphere-Ocean Models, LongRunMIP, together with Jonah Bloch-Johnson. We also just started a Green's Function Model Intercomparison, which is still in its early stages. Check out this US-clivar workshop on the pattern effect I'm chairing together with Cristi Proistosescu.


Google scholar

  • Fredriksen, Rugenstein, Graversen, 2021: Estimating forcing with a nonconstant feedback parameter and linear response, JGR Atmospheres link
  • Rugenstein and Armour, 2021: Three flavors of radiative feedbacks and their implications for estimating Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity, GRL link pdf
  • Lu, He, Fuso, Rugenstein, 2021: Mechanisms of Fast Walker Circulation Responses to CO2 Forcing, GRL link pdf
  • King, and 9 others, 2021: Transient and quasi-equilibrium climate states at 1.5C and 2C global warming, Earth's Future link
  • Ricke, Ivanova, McKie, Rugenstein, 2021: Reversing Sahelian Droughts, GRL link pdf
  • Callahan, Chen, Rugenstein, Bloch-Johnson, Yang, Moyer, 2021: Robust decrease in ENSO amplitude under long-term warming, Nature Climate Change link
  • Schwarzwald, Poppick, Rugenstein, Bloch-Johnson, Wang, McInerney, Moyer, 2021: Changes in Future Precipitation Mean and Variability across Scales, J. Climate link
  • Bloch-Johnson, Rugenstein, Stolpe, Rohrschneider, Zheng, Gregory, 2020: Climate Sensitivity Increases Under Higher CO2 Levels Due to Feedback Temperature Dependence, GRL link
  • Sherwood, Webb and 22 others, 2020: A combined assessment of Earth's climate sensitivity, Rev. of Geophys. press coverage press coverage
  • Fiedler, and 24 others, 2020: Simulated Tropical Precipitation Assessed Across Three Major Phases of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP), MWR link
  • Olonscheck, Rugenstein, Marotzke, 2020: Broad consistency between observed and simulated trends in sea surface temperature patterns, GRL link pdf
  • Bloch-Johnson, Rugenstein, Abbot, 2020: Spatial radiative feedbacks from internal variability using multiple regression, J. Climate link pdf
  • Rugenstein, Bloch-Johnson, Gregory, and 13 others, 2020: Equilibrium climate sensitivity estimated by equilibrating climate models, GRL link pdf
  • Bellouin, Quaas, and 31 others, 2020: Bounding aerosol radiative forcing of climate, Rev. of Geophys. link pdf
  • Rugenstein, Bloch-Johnson, and 25 others, 2019: LongRunMIP - motivation and design for a large collection of millennial-length GCM simulations, BAMS link pdf
  • Praetorius, Rugenstein, Persad, Caldeira, 2018: Global and Arctic climate sensitivity enhanced by changes in North Pacific heat flux, Nature Comm. link pdf
  • Knutti, Rugenstein, Hegerl, 2017: Beyond climate sensitivity, Nature Geoscience link updated Figure
  • Rugenstein, Caldeira, Knutti, 2016: Dependence of global radiative feedbacks on evolving patterns of surface heat fluxes, GRL link pdf
  • He, Winton, Vecchi, Jia, Rugenstein, 2016: Transient Climate Sensitivity Depends on Base Climate Ocean Circulation, J. Climate link pdf
  • Rugenstein, Gregory, Schaller, Sedlacek, Knutti, 2016: Multi-annual ocean-atmosphere adjustments to radiative forcing, J. Climate link pdf
  • Rugenstein, Sedlacek, Knutti, 2016: Nonlinearities in patterns of long term ocean warming, GRL link pdf
  • Knutti and Rugenstein, 2015: Feedbacks, climate sensitivity and the limits of linear models, Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A link pdf
  • Rugenstein, Stocchi, von der Heydt, Dijkstra, Brinkhuis, 2014: Emplacement of Antarctic ice sheet mass affects circumpolar ocean flow, Global and Planetary Change link pdf
  • Rugenstein, Winton, Stouffer, Griffies, Hallberg, 2013: Northern high latitude heat budget decomposition and transient warming, J. Climate link pdf

Manuscripts in review or preparation

  • Bonan, Thompson, Newsom, Sun, Rugenstein Transient and equilibrium responses of the Atlantic overturning circulation to warming in coupled climate models: the role of temperature and salinity, subm.
  • Zheng, Rugenstein, Pieper, Beobide-Arsuaga, Baehr ENSO Predictability in a Warmer Climate, in rev.
  • Olonscheck and Rugenstein Coupled climate models systematically underestimate radiation response to surface forcing, in prep.
  • Rugenstein and Hakuba Evolution of hemispheric albedo asymmetry, in prep.
  • Alessi and Rugenstein Relevance of the pattern effect for near-future climate projections, in prep.
  • Rohrschneider, Bloch-Johnson, Rugenstein Does feedback temperature dependence influence the slow mode of the climate response?, subm.
  • Sanderson, Rugenstein,++ Potential for bias in effective climate sensitivity from state-dependent energetic balances, subm.
  • Bloch-Johnson, Alessi, Rugenstein, Proistosescu,++ Green's Function MIP, in prep. for GMD
  • Fredriksen, Smith, Rugenstein ++ Quantifying historical and future forcing in CMIP6 simulations, in prep.
  • King, Brown, Harrington, Perkins-Kirkpatrick, Rugenstein The recent climate in the context of of a Paris Agreement 1.5degree world, in prep.