Abigail Lute Ph.D.

  • Postdoctoral Researcher
Abby Lute

Dr. Abigail Lute studies interactions between climate and water, with an emphasis on aspects of the cryosphere like snow and glaciers, including rock glaciers. She uses a combination of observational and modeled data to study the dynamics of frozen water across continents.

Dr. Lute supports the Risk team’s municipal risk assessments, assisting with downscaling large-scale climate models to make climate predictions at a local scale. She also runs a hydrological model to answer questions such as “how will water scarcity risk change in the coming decades across Chiapas State in Mexico?” and “how will changes in streamflow on the Rhine River impact shipping under various climate scenarios between now and 2050?”

During her PhD, Dr. Lute worked with temperature data to reduce the uncertainty in environmental and climate models, which is essential to accurate climate science. She also developed a snow and climate dataset for the western U.S. that provides the highest resolution climate data currently available for the entire region. The data depicts pre-industrial, present day, and future climate scenarios.

Dr. Lute spent three years in New Zealand during her undergraduate studies. While there, she spent most weekends backpacking, which is when she fell in love with mountain environments and wanted to better understand them. Her research on snow and glaciers made it clear to her what we have already lost—and how much more we stand to lose—as a result of climate change, inspiring her to apply her skills directly to combating the issue.

In her spare time she enjoys trail running with her two dogs and going on adventures big and small with her husband and toddler.


Above: Projected flood risk for Decorah, Iowa. / map by Carl Churchill

Woodwell & Wellington

Collaborating to integrate climate risk into financial decision making