Jennifer A. Francis Ph.D.

  • Senior Scientist
Jennifer Francis

Dr. Jennifer Francis’ interest in Arctic weather and climate was sparked by a summer spent sailing near the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard while in her 20s. Through much of her career, she pioneered the use of satellite data to understand the dramatic changes taking place in the Arctic atmosphere and sea ice, and how amplified warming there is affecting temperate regions on Earth where billions of people live.

Dr. Jen Francis testifying to Congress.

Dr. Jennifer Francis testifies on climate change to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, & Technology, February 13, 2019.

Her groundbreaking work suggests that rapid Arctic warming is linked to shifting weather patterns in the Northern Hemisphere, driving more persistent weather regimes that can lead to periods of extreme temperature and/or precipitation.

Dr. Francis’ work has sparked scientific debate and drawn public attention. She authored three articles in Scientific American, and testified to the U.S. Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Security in 2020, the U.S. House of Representatives Science Committee in 2019, and to the Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works in 2013.

Dr. Francis’ excellence in climate communications was recognized by the American Geophysical Union when she received the union’s Climate Science Communication Prize in 2020, and she is frequently asked by major media outlets to provide expertise on various topics related to climate and extreme weather.

Sailing has been an enduring source of inspiration for Dr. Francis’ work. She circumnavigated the globe with her husband in the 1980s and currently lives aboard her sailboat, Saphira, eight months of the year.

The reaction to my ideas about how Arctic warming influences weather pushed me outside my comfort zone. I had to learn how to communicate my science to non-scientific audiences, and it has become a passion.


Climate Communications

Underscoring the urgency of climate change by improving public understanding
Black and white photo of clouds

Extreme Weather and Climate Change

Understanding how climate change is affecting extreme weather

Selected Publications

Weather whiplash events in Europe and North Atlantic assessed as continental-scale atmospheric regime shifts

Francis, J. A. N. Skific, & Z. Zobel. (2023). npj Climate and Atmospheric Science.


Rough Weather Ahead

Francis, J. A. (2019). Scientific American.


Meltdown (selected for best science stories of 2018)

Francis, J. A. (2018). Scientific American.