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 Svalbard in her 20s. Throughout her career, she has pioneered the use of satellite data to understand the dramatic changes taking place in the Arctic, and how disproportionate warming there is affecting temperate regions on Earth—where billions of people live. Her groundbreaking work suggests that rapid Arctic warming may be linked to shifting weather patterns in North America and Eurasia, driving more persistent weather regimes that can generate periods of extreme temperature and/or precipitation.

Dr. Jen Francis testifying to Congress.

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

Dr. Francis’ work has sparked scientific debate and drawn public attention. Dr. Francis is frequently quoted in major media outlets and has authored two articles in Scientific American. She testified to the U.S. House of Representatives Science Committee in 2019 and to the Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works in 2013.

Sailing has been an enduring source of inspiration for Dr. Francis’ work. She has circumnavigated the globe and currently lives aboard her sailboat, Saphira.

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

Selected Publications

Rough Weather Ahead

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


Meltdown (selected for best science stories of 2018)

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


Evidence Linking Arctic Amplification to Extreme Weather in Mid-Latitudes

Francis, J. A. and S. J. Vavrus (2012). Geophysical Research Letters.