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Brian O'Neill

Earth Scientist


Brian O’Neill is a Chief Scientist and Lab Fellow at the Joint Global Change Research Institute, a collaboration between Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and the University of Maryland in College Park. His research interests are in human-earth system interactions, in particular the human dimensions of global environmental change. Previously he was a Professor at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver and also served as Director of Research at the Korbel School’s Pardee Center for International Futures. He led research groups on Integrated Assessment Modeling and on Climate and Human Systems at the US National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), and on Population and Climate Change at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA). Early in his career he was on the science staff of the Environmental Defense Fund in New York, and an Assistant and Associate Professor (Research) at Brown University's Watson Institute for International Studies. Brian is a Convening Lead Author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s ongoing Sixth Assessment Report and was an author on the US Fourth National Climate Assessment. He holds a Ph.D. in Earth Systems Science and an M.S. in Applied Science, both from New York University.

PNNL Publications


  • O'Neill B., J.F. Morris, J.R. Lamontagne, J. Weyant, and M.A. Wise. 2024. "A Framework for Multisector Scenarios of Outcomes for Well-Being and Resilience." Earth's Future 12, no. 5:Art. No. e2023EF004343. PNNL-SA-192000. doi:10.1029/2023EF004343
  • Pirani A., J. Fuglevstedt, E. Byers, B. O'Neill, K. Riahi, J. Lee, and J. Marotzke, et al. 2024. "Scenarios in IPCC assessments: Lessons from AR6 and opportunities for AR7." npj Climate Action 3. PNNL-SA-185627. doi:10.1038/s44168-023-00082-1


  • Casper K.C., K. Narayan, B. O'Neill, S.T. Waldhoff, Y. Zhang, and C.P. Wejnert-Depue. 2023. "Non-parametric projections of the net-income distribution for all U.S. states for the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways." Environmental Research Letters 18, no. 11:Art No. 114001. PNNL-SA-185706. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/acf9b8
  • Magnan A., B. O'Neill, and M. Garschagen. 2023. "Further understanding "severe" climate risk." Climate Risk Management 42. PNNL-SA-186349. doi:10.1016/j.crm.2023.100538
  • O'Neill B. 2023. "Envisioning a future with climate change." Nature Climate Change 13, no. 9:874 - 876. PNNL-SA-181381. doi:10.1038/s41558-023-01784-4

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