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Atul Jain

Profile picture for Atul Jain

Contact Information

3058 Natural History Building
1301 West Green Street
Urbana, IL 61801


Dr. Atul Jain’s research focuses on understanding and predicting the behavior of Earth's climate system using advanced computational modeling. He leads a team that has developed a pioneering global model-data integration framework, ISAM, leveraging satellite and ground-based observations to examine the net fluxes of greenhouse gases, water, and energy. Dr. Jain's work has been recognized with several prestigious awards, including the National Science Foundation’s Faculty Early Career Development Award. He has played pivotal roles as a lead and contributing author for major Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessments. In 2021, Reuters has listed him as one of the “World’s Top Climate Scientists. With over 250 scientific articles, including seminal contributions in top-tier journals such as Nature and Science, Clarivate Analytics has consistently recognized him as one of the "Most Highly Cited” Researchers. His outstanding contributions led to his election as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the American Geophysical Union (AGU).

Research Interests

  • Climate-carbon cycle interactions
  • Impacts of changes in land cover and land management on climate
  • Climate impact on agriculture and food supply
  • Climate change in arctic and boreal ecosystems
  • N2O and CH4 emissions from terrestrial ecosystems

Research Description

Some recent research challenges on which my research lab members have focused on include (1) the impact of LULCC on biogeophysics (water, energy) and biogeochemistry (carbon and nitrogen), (2) climatic effect on permafrost soil carbon storage, (3) CH4 and N2O emissions from wetland and dryland, (4) synergistic effects of environmental ([CO2] and climate), management (irrigation and nitrogen input), and extreme climate events on agricultural crop production, and (5) spatially explicit production- and consumption-based GHG emissions worldwide from the plant- and animal-based human food.


Ph.D. Atmospheric Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology

Courses Taught

  • ATMS140: Climate and Global Change
  • ENVS 301: Environmental Issues Today
  • ATMS 307: Climate Processes
  • ATMS 323/ENSU 302: Air Pollution to Global Change
  • ATMS/CEE 445: Atmospheric Dispersion Modeling
  • ATMS 491: Integrated Assessment of Climate Change
  • ATMS 447: Climate Change Assessment
  • ATMS 449: Biogeochemical Cycles
  • ATMS 571: Professional Development
  • ATMS 591: Atmospheric Sciences Seminars
  • ATMS 599 Thesis Research

Additional Campus Affiliations

  • Faculty Affiliate, Program in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  • Faculty Affiliate, Illinois Informatics – Program Area: Spatial Informatics, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  • Faculty Affiliate, Discovery Partners Institute, University of Illinois System
  • Faculty Affiliate, Center for Global Studies, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  • Faculty Affiliate, Center for South Asian & Middle East Studies, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign


News and Research Highlights

– PBS interviewed Atul Jain for their broadcast and stream show “Energy Switch.” His interview topic was Food: Energy and GHG Emissions, and it was accessible online (04/1/2024)

– The story profiling Atul Jain about his research activities and successful career, Spring ’24 issue of The Quadrangle, a magazine published by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (3/1/2024)

– Atul Jain discusses the major findings of the annual Global Carbon Budget 2023 report with UIUC News Bureau physical sciences editor Lois Yoksoulian The report is published in the journal Earth System Science Data (12/5/2023)

 Atul Jain is among the Eight Illinois scientists that rank among the world's most influential  (11/15/2023)

Atul Jain is elected Fellow of the American Geophysical Union (AGU)

Atul Jain is elected  Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

 Atul Jain is among the Nine Illinois scientists that rank among the world's most influential  (11/15/2022)

 The annual Carbon Budget Project 2022 report found that global fossil carbon dioxide emissions in 2022 are set to rise again, says Illinois atmospheric sciences professor and report co-author Atul Jain. The report is published in the journal Earth System Science Data.

 Can A Change In Diet Counter Climate Change?  Roger Highfield, Science Director, Science Museum Group, talks to Atul Jain, lead author of a study that shows the huge impact of the global food system on climate change

 Tackle Climate Change to Bring Down Food Prices, Expert Says .  by Chloe Aiello, Senior Cheddar Reporter

 A team led by University of Illinois professor Atul Jain has created a new data-modeling framework that provides researchers and policymakers with a database to estimate location-specific emissions for all greenhouse gases related to the plant- and animal-based human food industries. The study findings are published in the journal Nature Food  One can follow all the news coverage of the article at the Alttmetric site 

– Atul Jain and his graduate student Tzu-Shun Lin co-authored a paper published in the journal Nature Food that shows that climate change may affect the production of maize (corn) and wheat as early as 2030. NASA developed an excellent video highlighting this work

Access all other news and research highlights at professor Atul Jain's Research Group Website


Recent Publications

Selected Research Articles Published in 2023-2024. View all publications on Google Scholar and  Web of Science

Ren Y, J Qiu, Z Zeng, X Liu, S Sitch, K Pilegaard, T Yang, S Wang, W Yuan, AK Jain (2024). Earlier spring greening in Northern Hemisphere terrestrial biomes enhanced net ecosystem productivity in summer, Communications Earth and Environment, 5, 122,

Rosan, TM, S Sitch, M O’Sullivan, ....AK Jain et al. (2024). Synthesis of the land carbon fluxes of the Amazon region between 2010 and 2020. Communications Earth and Environment, 5, 46.

Friedlingstein P, M O'Sullivan, ....AK Jain et al. (2023). Global Carbon Budget 2023. Earth System Science Data, 15, 5301–5369, 2023.

Jones CD, T Ziehn, ....AK Jain et al. (2023). RECCAP2 future component: Consistency and potential for regional assessment to constrain
global projections. AGU Advances, 4, e2023AV001024.

Molina Bacca EJ, M Stevanović,...AK Jain et al. (2023), Uncertainty in land-use adaptation persists despite crop model projections showing lower impacts under high warming, Nature Communications Earth and Environment, 284, 

Kou-Giesbrecht S, VK Arora,...AK Jain et al. (2023), Evaluating nitrogen cycling in terrestrial biosphere models: a disconnect between the carbon and nitrogen cycles, Earth System Dynamics, 14, 767–795,

Yan R, J Wang,...AK Jain et al. (2023), Interactive effects of the El Ni˜no-Southern Oscillation and Indian Ocean Dipole on the tropical net ecosystem productivity, Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 336,

Li J, E Bevacqua ..AK Jain et al. (2023), Hydroclimatic extremes contribute to asymmetric trends in ecosystem productivity loss, Nature Communications Earth and Environment, 197, 

Metz E-M, SN Vardag..AK Jain et al. (2023), Soil respiration-driven CO2 pulses dominate Australia’s flux variability, Science, 379, 1332-1335,

Fernández-Martínez M, J Peñuelas..AK Jain et al. (2023), Drivers of destabilisation in global land carbon sinks, Nature,

Kicklighter, DW, T-S Lin,...AK Jain, et al. (2023), Influence of forest infrastructure on the responses of ecosystem services to climate extremes in the Midwest and Northeast United States from 1980 to 2019, Frontiers in Environmental Science, https:/

Jain, AK (2023). Greenhouse gas emissions from nitrogen fertilizers, Nature Food,

Lin, T-S, HS Kheshgi, Yang Song, CJ Vörösmarty, AK Jain (2023), Which crop has the highest bioethanol yield in the United States? Frontiers in Energy Research,

Niu Z, H He, P Yu, S Sitch, Y Zhao, Y Wang, AK Jain, N Vuichard and B Si (2023), Climate change and CO2 fertilization have played important roles in the recent decadal vegetation greening trend on the Chinese loess plateau, Remote Sensing, 2023, 15, 1233.  

Vörösmarty, CJ , J Melillo,...AK Jain, et al. (2023), Applying a framework to study climate-induced extremes on food, energy, and water systems (C-FEWS): The role of engineered and natural infrastructures, technology, and environmental management in the U.S. Northeast and Midwest, Frontiers in Environmental Science,

Vörösmarty, CJ , J Melillo,...AK Jain, et al. (2023), The C-FEWS framework: Supporting studies of climate-induced extremes on food, energy, and water systems at the regional scale, Frontiers in Environmental Science,

Download publications from Professor Atul Jain's Research Group Website