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Kristopher Karnauskas Kristopher Karnauskas
Associate Scientist
Geology & Geophysics
Editor, JGR-Oceans

Office Phone: +1 508 289 3320

» CV

WHOI Mailing Address:
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
266 Woods Hole Rd.
MS# 23
Woods Hole, MA 02543-1050


B.S., University of Wisconsin–Madison, Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences, 2004
Ph.D., University of Maryland–College Park, Atmospheric & Oceanic Science, 2007
Postdoctoral Fellow, LDEO of Columbia University, Ocean & Climate Physics, 2008–2009

Research Interests

My research aims to understand the dynamics of the tropical ocean and atmosphere as a coupled system, its interaction with ecosystems and with higher latitude regions, how and why the climate system has changed in the past, and how climate will continue to change in the future–both naturally and as driven by human activities.


MIT 12.860 (Fmr. 12.756) Climate Variability and Diagnostics (WHOI–MIT Joint Program, Spring 2012 & 2014).
BC GE174 Climate Change and Society (Boston College, Fall 2010 & 2011).


(* student–led; ** postdoc–led)

     Manuscripts in preparation

Karnauskas, K. B., E. Mittelstaedt, R. Murtugudde, and D. Oppo (2015) The Plio–Pleistocene Transition: An Alternative View on Permanent El Niño.
Ummenhofer, C. C., and K. B. Karnauskas (2015) The regional Hadley circulation response to ENSO.
** Trusel, L. D., K. E. Frey, S. B. Das, K. B. Karnauskas, P. K. Munneke, E. van Meijgaard, and M. R. van den Broeke (2015) Divergent trajectories of Antarctic ice shelf surface melt under 21st century climate scenarios.
Karnauskas, K. B., A. L. Cohen, and J. M. Gove (2015) Mitigation of Coral Reef Warming Across the Central Pacific by a Strengthening Equatorial Undercurrent.
Karnauskas, K. B. (2015) A Robust Metric for ENSO Pattern Diversity Applied to Historical Observations and Coupled Models.

     Manuscripts submitted, in revision, or in press

** Li, L, R. W. Schmitt, C. C. Ummenhofer, and K. B. Karnauskas (2015) North Atlantic Salinity as a Predictor of Sahel Rainfall. Science, submitted.
Karnauskas, K. B., S. Jenouvrier, C. W. Brown, and R. Murtugudde (2015) Strong sea surface cooling in the eastern equatorial Pacific and implications for Galápagos Penguin conservation. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A., submitted.
Misra, V., C. Wang, Y. Serra, K. B. Karnauskas, E. Martin, J. Sheinbaum, P. Chang, S.–K. Lee, B. Rosenheim, B. Kirtman, D. Enfield, E. Maloney, A. Kumar, G. Poveda, R. Fu, J. Jouanno, S. Berthet, A. Mishra, M. Bourassa, J. Candela, J. Ochoa (2015) The Intra–Americas Seas: Challenges and Opportunities to Understand North American Climate Variability and Predictability. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., submitted.
Karnauskas, K. B., J. P. Donnelly, and K. J. Anchukaitis (2015) Future Freshwater Stress for Island Populations. Nature Climate Change, submitted.
Karnauskas, K. B., J. P. Donnelly, and K. J. Anchukaitis (2015) An intercomparison of monthly surface air temperature on islands and proximate moorings across the tropical Indo–Pacific. J. Geophys. Res.–Oceans, submitted.
Karnauskas, K. B. (2015) Halley’s Wind. American Scientist, submitted.
Karnauskas, K. B., G. C. Johnson, and R. Murtugudde (2015) On the climate impacts of equatorial atolls. Nature Geoscience, in revision.
Karnauskas, K. B., J. P. Donnelly, H. C. Barkley, and J. E. Martin (2015) The Interactive Relationship between Air Travel and Climate. Nature Climate Change, in revision.

     Published, peer–reviewed journal articles

Karnauskas, K. B., A. L. Cohen, and E. J. Drenkard, 2015: Comment on “Equatorial Pacific coral geochemical records show recent weakening of the Walker Circulation” by J. Carilli et al. Paleoceanography, doi: 10.1002/2014PA002753.
Capotondi, A., A. T. Wittenberg, M. Newman, E. Di Lorenzo, J.–Y. Yu, P. Braconnot, J. Cole, B. Dewitte, B. Giese, E. Guilyardi, F.–F. Jin, K. Karnauskas, B. Kirtman, T. Lee, N. Schneider, Y. Xue, and S.–W. Yeh, 2014: Understanding ENSO diversity. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., doi: 10.1175/BAMS-D-13-00117.1.
* DeCarlo, T. M., K. B. Karnauskas, K. A. Davis, and G. T. F. Wong, 2015: Climate modulates internal wave activity in the Northern South China Sea. Geophys. Res. Lett., 42(3), 831–838, doi: 10.1002/2014GL062522.
* Leslie, W. R., K. B. Karnauskas, and J. H. Witting, 2014: CORRIGENDUM. J. Atmos. Oceanic Technol., 31(12), 2871–2871, doi: 10.1175/JTECH-D-14-00187.1.
* Leslie, W. R., and K. B. Karnauskas, 2014: The Equatorial Undercurrent and TAO sampling bias from a decade at SEA. J. Atmos. Oceanic Technol., 31(9), 2015–2025, doi: 10.1175/JTECH-D-13-00262.1. Data doi: 10.1575/1912/6746.
* Newby, P. E., B. N. Shuman, J. P. Donnelly, K. B. Karnauskas, and J. Marsicek, 2014: Centennial–to–Millennial Hydrologic Trends and Variability along the North Atlantic Coast, U.S.A., during the Holocene. Geophys. Res. Lett., 41(12), 4300–4307, doi: 10.1002/2014GL060183.
Karnauskas, K. B. and C. C. Ummenhofer, 2014: On the dynamics of the Hadley circulation and subtropical drying. Clim. Dyn., 42(9–10), 2259–2269, doi: 10.1007/s00382-014-2129-1.
* Drenkard, E. J., and K. B. Karnauskas, 2014: Strengthening of the Pacific Equatorial Undercurrent in the SODA ocean reanalysis: Mechanisms, ocean dynamics, and implications. J. Climate27(6), 2405–2416, doi: 10.1175/JCLI-D-13-00359.1.
Maloney, E., and Coauthors, 2014: North American climate in CMIP5 experiments: Part III: Assessment of 21st century projections. J. Climate, 27(6), 2230–2270, doi: 10.1175/JCLI-D-13-00273.1.
* Criscitiello, A. S., S. B. Das, K. B. Karnauskas, M. J. Evans, K. E. Frey, I. Joughin, E. J. Steig, J. R. McConnell, and B. Medley, 2014: Tropical Pacific influence on source and transport of marine aerosols to West Antarctica. J. Climate, 27(3), 1343–1363, doi: 10.1175/JCLI-D-13-00148.1.
Karnauskas, K. B., 2014: Arctic forcing of decadal variability in the tropical Pacific Ocean in a high–resolution global coupled GCM. Clim. Dyn., 42(11–12), 3375–3388, doi: 10.1007/s00382-013-1836-3.
Gierach, M. M., M. Messié, T. Lee, K. B. Karnauskas, and M.–H. Radenac, 2013: Biophysical Responses near Equatorial Islands in the Western Pacific Ocean during El Niño/La Niña Transitions. Geophys. Res. Lett., 40(20), 5473–5479, doi: 10.1002/2013GL057828.
Sheffield, J., and Coauthors, 2013: North American climate in CMIP5 experiments. Part II: Evaluation of historical simulations of intraseasonal to decadal variability. J. Climate, 26(23), 9247–9290, doi: 10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00593.1.
Karnauskas, K. B., 2013: Can we distinguish canonical El Niño from Modoki? Geophys. Res. Lett., 40(19), 5246–5251, doi: 10.1002/grl.51007.
Karnauskas, K. B., A. Giannini, R. Seager, and A. J. Busalacchi, 2013: A simple mechanism for the climatological midsummer drought along the Pacific coast of Central America. Atmósfera, 26(2), 261–281.
Karnauskas, K. B., J. E. Smerdon, R. Seager, and J. F. Gonzalez–Rouco, 2012: A Pacific centennial oscillation predicted by coupled GCMs. J. Climate, 25(17), 5943–5961, doi: 10.1175/JCLI-D-11-00421.1.
Karnauskas, K. B., and A. L. Cohen, 2012: Equatorial refuge amid tropical warming. Nature Climate Change, 2(7), 530–534, doi: 10.1038/nclimate1499.
Karnauskas, K. B., G. C. Johnson, and R. Murtugudde, 2012: An equatorial ocean bottleneck in global climate models. J. Climate, 25(1), 343–349, doi: 10.1175/JCLI-D-11-00059.1.
Karnauskas, K. B., R. Murtugudde, and A. J. Busalacchi, 2010: Observing the Galápagos–EUC interaction: Insights and challenges. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 40(12), 2768–2777, doi: 10.1175/2010JPO4461.1.
** Cantin, N. E., A. L. Cohen, K. B. Karnauskas, A. M. Tarrant, and D. C. McCorkle, 2010: Ocean warming slows coral growth in the central Red Sea. Science, 329(5989), 322–325, doi: 10.1126/science.1190182.
Karnauskas, K. B., R. Seager, A. Kaplan, Y. Kushnir, and M. A. Cane, 2009: Observed strengthening of the zonal sea surface temperature gradient across the equatorial Pacific Ocean. J. Climate, 22(16), 4316–4321, doi: 10.1175/2009JCLI2936.1.
Karnauskas, K. B., and A. J. Busalacchi, 2009: The role of SST in the east Pacific warm pool in the interannual variability of Central American rainfall. J. Climate, 22(10), 2605–2623, doi: 10.1175/2008JCLI2468.1.
Karnauskas, K. B., and A. J. Busalacchi, 2009: Mechanisms for the interannual variability of SST in the east Pacific warm pool. J. Climate, 22(6), 1375–1392, doi: 10.1175/2008JCLI2467.1.
Karnauskas, K. B., R. Murtugudde, and A. J. Busalacchi, 2008: The effect of the Galápagos Islands on ENSO in forced ocean and hybrid coupled models. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 38(11), 2519–2534, doi: 10.1175/2008JPO3848.1.
Karnauskas, K. B., A. J. Busalacchi, and R. Murtugudde, 2008: Low–frequency variability and remote forcing of gap winds over the east Pacific warm pool. J. Climate, 21(19), 4901–4918, doi: 10.1175/2008JCLI1771.1.
Karnauskas, K. B., A. Ruiz–Barradas, S. Nigam, and A. J. Busalacchi, 2008: North American droughts in ERA–40 global and NCEP North American regional reanalyses: A Palmer Drought Severity Index perspective. J. Climate, 21(10), 2102–2123, doi: 10.1175/2007JCLI1837.1.
Karnauskas, K. B., R. Murtugudde, and A. J. Busalacchi, 2007: The effect of the Galápagos Islands on the equatorial Pacific cold tongue. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 37(5), 1266–1281, doi: 10.1175/JPO3048.1.
Karnauskas, K. B., 2006: The African meridional OLR contrast as a diagnostic for Atlantic tropical cyclone activity and implications for predictability. Geophys. Res. Lett., 33(6), L06809, doi: 10.1029/2005GL024865.

     Invited articles, book chapters, etc.

Doney, S. C. and K. B. Karnauskas, 2014: Oxygen and Climate Dynamics. Nature Climate Change, 4(10), 862–863, doi: 10.1038/nclimate2386.
Karnauskas, K. B., R. Murtugudde, and W. B. Owens, 2014: Climate and the Global Reach of the Galápagos Archipelago: State of the Knowledge, in The Galápagos: A Natural Laboratory for the Earth Sciences (eds K. S. Harpp, E. Mittelstaedt, N. d'Ozouville and D. W. Graham), John Wiley & Sons, Inc, Hoboken, New Jersey, doi: 10.1002/9781118852538.ch11.
Karnauskas, K. B., Murtugudde, R., and A. J. Busalacchi, 2008: The effect of the Galápagos Islands on ENSO. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc.–Nowcast, 89(7), 966–967.
Karnauskas, K. B., Murtugudde, R., and A. J. Busalacchi, 2007: Impact of the Galápagos Islands on the equatorial Pacific. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc.–Nowcast, 88(3), 302–303.
Karnauskas, K. B., 2006: Improved modeling of SST in the Pacific cold tongue: Implications for the NCEP GODAS and CFS. NOAA/NWS Science and Technology Infusion Climate Bulletin. July, 2006.

     Technical reports, etc.

Sheffield, J., A. Barrett, D. Barrie, S. J. Camargo, E. K. M. Chang, B. Colle, D. N. Fernando, R. Fu, K. L. Geil, Q. Hu, X. Jiang, N. Johnson, K. B. Karnauskas, S. T. Kim, J. Kinter, S. Kumar, B. Langenbrunner, K. Lombardo, L. N. Long, E. Maloney, A. Mariotti, J. E. Meyerson, K. C. Mo, J. D. Neelin, S. Nigam, Z. Pan, T. Ren, A. Ruiz-Barradas, R. Seager, Y. L. Serra, A. Seth, D.-Z. Sun, J. M. Thibeault, J. C. Stroeve, C. Wang, S.-P. Xie, Z. Yang, L. Yin, J.-Y. Yu, T. Zhang, and M. Zhao, 2014: Regional climate processes and projections for North America: CMIP3/CMIP5 differences, attribution and outstanding issues. NOAA Technical Report OAR CPO-2, 47 pp.
Capotondi, A., B. Kirtman, A. Wittenberg, M. Newman, N. Schneider, Y. Xue, B. Giese, P. Braconnot, J. Cole, B. Dewitte, E. Guilyardi, F.-F. Jin, T. Lee, K. B. Karnauskas, S.-W. Yeh, J.-Y. Yu (U.S. CLIVAR ENSO Diversity Working Group), 2013: U.S. CLIVAR ENSO Diversity Workshop Report, U.S. CLIVAR: Climate Variability and Predictability, Report No. 2013-1, 23pp.
Hellmuth, M. E., D. E. Osgood, U. Hess, A. Moorhead, and H. Bhojwani (eds), 2009: Index insurance and climate risk: Prospects for development and disaster management. Climate and Society No. 2. International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI), Columbia University, New York, USA. (Contributing author)
Dinku, T., A. Giannini, J. Hansen, E. Holthaus, A. Ines, Y. Kaheil, K. Karnauskas, B. Lyon, M. Madajewicz, M. McLaurin, C. Mullally, M. Norton, D. Osgood, N. Peterson, A. Robertson, K. Shirley, C. Small, and M. Vicarelli, 2009: Designing Index–Based Weather Insurance for Farmers in Adi Ha, Ethiopia. Report to Oxfam America. IRI Technical Report 09–04, International Research Institute for Climate and Society, Palisades, NY, 81 pp.
Giannini, A., J. W. Hansen, E. Holthaus, A. Ines, Y. Kaheil, K. Karnauskas, M. McLaurin, D. E. Osgood, A. W. Robertson, K. Shirley, and M. Vicarelli, 2009: Designing Index–Based Weather Insurance for Farmers in Central America. Final Report to the World Bank Commodity Risk Management Group, ARD. IRI Technical Report 09–01, International Research Institute for Climate and Society, Palisades, NY, 78 pp.
Karnauskas, K. B., R. Seager, A. Kaplan, Y. Kushnir, and M. A. Cane, 2009: The response of the equatorial Pacific Ocean to global warming. Preprints, AMS 89th Annual Meeting, Phoenix, AZ, 8B.3.
Alfaro, E., and Coauthors, 2008: A Science and Implementation Plan for the Intra Americas Study of Climate Processes (IASCLIP). Prospectus prepared for the CLIVAR VAMOS Panel, 66 pp.
Karnauskas, K. B. and L. N. Murphy, 2005: A model based approach to understanding the phase locking of ENSO and the annual cycle. Citable URI:


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