Earth Scientist
Earth Scientist


Tirthankar Chakraborty (goes by TC) is a staff scientist in the Earth System Modeling group under the Atmospheric Sciences and Global Change Division of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). His broad research interest is in biosphere-atmosphere interactions, and he has worked on this topic across scales using both models and observations. He completed his PhD at the Yale School of the Environment in 2021 with a focus on Earth and environmental science. For his dissertation, he developed a surface energy budget perspective to aerosol-climate interactions by combining theory and global climate modeling. As a follow-up to this research, he has worked on the role of diffuse radiation and the variability of its representation across models on the terrestrial carbon, water, and energy budgets. His master's thesis was on urban climate, particularly the urban heat island effect, which he has also continued to work on using satellite measurements, crowdsourced weather station data, and conceptual modeling frameworks.

At PNNL, he is currently contributing to two multi-institutional projects, namely the Coastal Observations, Mechanisms, and Predictions Across Systems and Scales - Great Lakes Modeling (COMPASS-GLM) and the Integrated Coastal Modeling (ICoM) projects, where his role is examining the impact of urbanization on climate and extreme weather in coastal regions. He is also involved in several efforts to map heat exposure and its disparities within urban environments using various methodsfrom process-based models to machine learning algorithmsand global assessments of urban climate using satellite remote sensing.

Research Interest

  • Biosphere-atmosphere interactions
  • Urban climate
  • Impacts of aerosols on surface climate
  • Satellite remote sensing of urban areas
  • Machine learning applications in the Earth and environmental sciences
  • Terrestrial carbon budget


  • PhD in Earth & environmental Science, Yale University
  • MPh in Earth & environmental Science, Yale University
  • M.Tech in environmental engineering and management, Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur
  • B.Tech in civil engineering, West Bengal University of Technology

Affiliations and Professional Service


Session convener roles in FY23:

  • Integrated assessments of urban climate: Urban climate vulnerability in developing countries, 11th International Conference on Urban Climate, Session convener.
  • Biosphere under ozone, changing aerosols, clouds, and solar radiation modification, European Geophysical Union General Assembly, Session convener.
    Urban Areas and Global Change, American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, Session convener.
  • Will be chairing or co-chairing three session at AGU23 (“Urban Areas and Global Change”, “Representing Urban Processes and Dynamics in Models Across Scales”, and “Compound Climate Hazards, Urbanization, and Public Health”), two sessions at AMS24 (“Analysis and Modeling of Coastal Urban Environments” and “Coupled Dynamics of Urbanization and Climate Hazards”), and two sessions at EGU24 (“Biosphere under changing clouds, aerosols, and solar radiation modification”, and “Enhancing Geospatial Analysis with Google Earth Engine: Innovations, Applications, and Extensions”)

Other Professional Service

  • Guest edited three special issues for the following journals: Environmental Research Letters, International Journal of Geoinformation and Applied Earth Observation, and Sustainability
  • Convened sessions on “Urban Areas and Global Change” (since 2021), “Representing Urban Processes and Dynamics in Models Across Scales” (in 2023), and “Coupled Dynamics of Urbanization and Climate Hazards” (in 2023) during the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting
  • Convened session on “Biosphere under ozone, changing aerosols, clouds, and solar radiation modification” during the European Geosciences Union General Assembly, 2023
  • Convened session on “Blending Artificial Intelligence with Numerical Weather and Climate Models” during the American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting, 2021
  • Proposal reviewer for Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
  • Over 230 journal peer-review contributions (considering revisions), including for journals like Nature Communications, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Remote Sensing of Environment, Earth System Science Data, Sustainable Cities and Society, ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems, Earth’s Future, AGU Advances, Journal of Climate, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Nexus, Communications Earth & Environment, Agriculture and Forest Meteorology, Urban Climate, Environmental Research Letters, Geophysical Research Letters, Journal of Hydrometeorology, Remote Sensing, npj Urban Sustainability, etc.
  • Led workshops on machine learning for the American Meteorological Society's Short Courses series (2021 and 2022) and a machine learning bootcamp series (2022)
  • Led workshops and wrote community tutorials on using the Google Earth Engine platform
  • Member of the bibliography committee of the International Association for Urban Climate
  • Member of International Association for Urban Climate
  • Member of American Meteorological Society
  • Member of American Geophysical Union

Awards and Recognitions

  • Three papers in Clarivate’s highly cited papers list (2022)
  • Recognized as one of 26 global Google Developer Experts for Earth Engine (2022)
  • Outstanding poster presentation, second place, Yale Climate Day (2021)
  • Esri Innovation Program Student of the Year, Yale University (2021)
  • Teaching Innovation Project Grant, Poorvu Center for Teaching and Learning, Yale University (2020)
  • Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Award, Yale Institute for Biospheric Studies (2020)
  • Honorable mention for excellent presentation, American Meteorological Society AI for Environmental Science Conference (2020)
  • Climate Change Innovation Seed Grant, Yale Center for Business and the Environment (2019)
  • Dean's Fund for Research Workshops, Seminars and Colloquia, Graduate School of Arts & Science, Yale University (2019)
  • AI for Earth Azure Compute Grant, Microsoft (2019)
  • ComSciCon-AIP workshop attendance funding, American Institute of Physics (2019)
  • Digital Education Innovation Grant, Poorvu Center for Teaching and Learning, Yale University (2019)
  • Outstanding Poster, Yale Climate Day (2019)
  • CESM tutorial attendance funding, U.S. Department of Energy (2018)
  • 5-year doctoral fellowship, Yale School of the Environment (2016)
  • Academic Excellence Award, Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur (2014)



  • Q. Yang, Y. Xu, X. Tong, T. Hu, Y. Liu, T. Chakraborty, R. Yao, C. Xiao, S. Chen, Z. Ma, "Influence of urban extent discrepancy on the estimation of surface urban heat island intensity: A global-scale assessment in 892 cities", Journal of Cleaner Production, 2023,
  • Q. Yang, Y. Xu, X. Tong, X. Huang, Y. Liu, T. Chakraborty, C. Xiao, T. Hu, "An adaptive synchronous extraction (ASE) method for estimating intensity and footprint of surface urban heat islands: A case study of 254 North American cities", Remote Sensing of Environment, 2023, 
  • X. Wang, A. Hsu, T. Chakraborty, "Citizen and Machine Learning-aided high-resolution mapping of urban heat exposure and stress", Environmental Research: Infrastructure and Sustainability, 2023, 
  • H. Du, W. Zhan, J. Voogt, B. Bechtel, T. Chakraborty, Z. Liu, L. Hu, Z. Wang, J. Li, P. Fu, W. Liao, M. Luo, L. Li, S. Wang, F. Huang, S. Miao, "Contrasting Trends and Drivers of Global Surface and Canopy Urban Heat Islands", Geophysical Research Letters, 2023, 
  • X. Li, T. Chakraborty, G. Wang, "Comparing land surface temperature and mean radiant temperature for urban heat mapping in Philadelphia", Urban Climate, 2023, 
  • M. Crowley, M. Stuhlmacher, E.D. Trochim, J.V.D. Hoek, V.J. Pasquarella, S.H. Szeto, J.T. Howarth, R. Platt, S. Roy, B. Tellman, T. Chakraborty, A. Ignatius, E. Cherrington, K. Markert, Q. Wu, M.D. Madhusudan, T. Mayer, J.A. Cardille, T. Erickson, R. Moore, N.E. Clinton, D. Saah, "Pillars of Cloud-Based Earth Observation Science Education", AGU Advances, 2023, 
  • P. Jiang, Z. Yang, J. Wang, C. Huang, P. Xue, T. Chakraborty, X. Chen, Y. Qian, "Efficient Super-Resolution of Near-Surface Climate Modeling Using the Fourier Neural Operator", Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems, 2023, 
  • M. Kayastha, C. Huang, J. Wang, W.J. Pringle, T. Chakraborty, Z. Yang, R.D. Hetland, Y. Qian, P. Xue, "Insights on Simulating Summer Warming of the Great Lakes: Understanding the Behavior of a Newly Developed Coupled Lake-Atmosphere Modeling System", Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems, 2023, 
  • H. Du, W. Zhan, Z. Liu, E.S. Krayenhoff, T. Chakraborty, L. Zhao, L. Jiang, P. Dong, L. Li, F. Huang, S. Wang, Y. Xu, "Global mapping of urban thermal anisotropy reveals substantial potential biases for remotely sensed urban climates", Science Bulletin, 2023, 
  • T. Chakraborty, A. Newman, Y. Qian, A. Hsu, G. Sheriff, "Residential segregation and outdoor urban moist heat stress disparities in the United States", One Earth, 2023, 
  • J. Li, W. Zhan, T. Chakraborty, Z. Liu, H. Du, W. Liao, M. Luo, L. Li, S. Miao, H. Fu, S. Wang, F. Huang, M. Li, "Satellite-based Ranking of the World’s Hottest and Coldest Cities Reveals Inequitable Distribution of Temperature Extremes", Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 2023, 
  • L. Li, W. Zhan, L. Hu, T. Chakraborty, Z. Wang, P. Fu, D. Wang, W. Liao, F. Huang, H. Fu, J. Li, Z. Liu, H. Du, S. Wang, "Divergent urbanization-induced impacts on global surface urban heat island trends since 1980s", Remote Sensing of Environment, 2023, 
  • Z. Yang, Y. Qian, P. Xue, J. Wang, T. Chakraborty, W. Pringle, J. Li, "Moisture Sources of Precipitation in the Great Lakes Region: Climatology and Recent Changes", Geophysical Research Letters, 2023, 
  • J. Wang, Y. Qian, W. Pringle, T. Chakraborty, R. Hetland, Z. Yang, P. Xue, "Contrasting effects of lake breeze and urbanization on heat stress in Chicago metropolitan area", Urban Climate, 2023, 
  • H. Tan, R. Kotamarthi, J. Wang, Y. Qian, T. Chakraborty, "Impact of different roofing mitigation strategies on near-surface temperature and energy consumption over the Chicago metropolitan area during a heatwave event", Science of the Total Environment, 2022,


  • Botje D., A. Dewan, and T. Chakraborty. 2022. "Comparing coarse-resolution land surface temperature products over Western Australia." Remote Sensing 14, no. 10:Art. No. 2296. PNNL-SA-172774. doi:10.3390/rs14102296
  • Chakraborty T., X. Lee, and D.M. Lawrence. 2022. "Diffuse Radiation Forcing Constraints on Gross Primary Productivity and Global Terrestrial Evapotranspiration." Earth's Future 10, no. 8:Art. No. e2022EF002805. PNNL-SA-169503. doi:10.1029/2022EF002805
  • Chakraborty T., Z. Venter, Y. Qian, and X. Lee. 2022. "Lower Urban Humidity Moderates Outdoor Heat Stress." AGU Advances 3, no. 5:Art. No. e2022AV000729. PNNL-SA-167533. doi:10.1029/2022AV000729
  • Liu Z., W. Zhan, B. Bechtel, J. Voogt, J. Lai, T. Chakraborty, and Z. Wang, et al. 2022. "Surface warming in global cities is substantially more rapid than in rural background areas." Communications Earth & Environment 3. PNNL-SA-173819. doi:10.1038/s43247-022-00539-x
  • Qian Y., T. Chakraborty, J. Li, D. Li, C. He, C. Sarangi, and F. Chen, et al. 2022. "Urbanization impact on regional climate and extreme weather: Current understanding, uncertainties, and future research directions." Advances in Atmospheric Sciences 39, no. 6:819-860. PNNL-SA-167131. doi:10.1007/s00376-021-1371-9
  • Venter Z., D. Barton, T. Chakraborty, D. Simensen, and G. Singh. 2022. "Global 10 m land use land cover datasets: a comparison of Dynamic World, World Cover and Esri Land Cover." Remote Sensing 14, no. 16:Art. No. 4101. PNNL-SA-176888. doi:10.3390/rs14164101