Professor Mark Howden

ANU Institute for Climate, Energy & Disaster Solutions

Professor Mark Howden is the Director of the Institute for Climate, Energy & Disaster Solutions at The Australian National University.

He is also an Honorary Professor at Melbourne University, a Vice Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and is the Chair of the ACT Climate Change Council. He was on the US Federal Advisory Committee for the 3rd National Climate Assessment, was a member of the Australian National Climate Science Advisory Committee and contributes to several major national and international science and policy advisory bodies.

Mark has worked on climate variability, climate change, innovation and adoption issues for over 36 years in partnership with many industry, community and policy groups via both research and science-policy roles. Issues he has addressed include agriculture and food security, the natural resource base, ecosystems and biodiversity, energy, water and urban systems.

Mark has over 440 publications of different types. He helped develop both the national and international greenhouse gas inventories that are a fundamental part of the Paris Agreement and has assessed sustainable ways to reduce emissions. He has been a major contributor to the IPCC since 1991, with roles in the Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and now Seventh Assessment Reports, sharing the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with other IPCC participants and Al Gore.

Research interests

  • Climate science
  • Climate risk management
  • Climate adaptation
  • Agriculture and food security
  • Quantifying GHG emissions and their reduction
  • Science-policy
  • Research ethics


  • Colvin, R. M., Kemp, L., Talberg, A., De Castella, C., Downie, C., Friel, S., Grant, W. J., Howden, S. M., Jotzo, F., Markham, F. & Platow, M. J. 2020, 'Learning from the Climate Change Debate to Avoid Polarisation on Negative Emissions', Environmental Communication 14:1, 23-35, DOI:10.1080/17524032.2019.1630463.
  • Swinburn, B, Kraak, V, Allender, S et al. 2019, 'The Global Syndemic of Obesity, Undernutrition, and Climate Change: The Lancet Commission report', Lancet, The (UK edition), vol. 393, no. 10173, pp. 791-846.
  • Cvitanovic, C, Howden, M, Colvin, B et al. 2019, 'Maximising the benefits of participatory climate adaptation research by understanding and managing the associated challenges and risks', Environmental Science and Policy, vol. 94, pp. 20-31.
  • Fazey, I, Schaopke, N, Caniglia, G et al. 2018, 'Ten essentials for action-oriented and second order energy transitions, transformations and climate change research', Energy Research & Social Science, vol. 40, pp. 54-70pp.
  • Lacey, J, Howden, M, Cvitanovic, C, Colvin RM 2018, 'Understanding and managing trust at the climate science/policy interface', Nature Climate Change, vol. 8, no. 1, pp. 22-28.
  • Jakku, E, Thorburn, P, Marshall, N et al. 2016, 'Learning the hard way: a case study of an attempt at agricultural transformation in response to climate change', Climatic Change, vol. 137, no. 3-4, pp. 557-574.
  • Rippke, U, Ramirez-Villegas, J, Jarvis, A et al. 2016, 'Timescales of transformational climate change adaptation in sub-Saharan African agriculture', Nature Climate Change, vol. 6, no. 6, pp. 605-609.
  • Aldunce, P, Beilin, R, Handmer, J et al. 2016, 'Stakeholder participation in building resilience to disasters in a changing climate', Environmental Hazards, vol. 15, no. 1, pp. 58-73.
  • Fleming, A & Howden, M 2016, 'Ambiguity: A new way of thinldng about responses to climate change', Science of the Total Environment, vol. 571, pp. 1271-1274.
  • Lacey, J, Howden, M, Cvitanovic, C et al. 2015, 'Informed adaptation: Ethical considerations for adaptation researchers and decision-makers', Global Environmental Change - Human and Policy Dimensions, vol. 32, pp. 200-210.
  • Challinor, A, Watson, J, Lobell, D et al. 2014, 'A meta-analysis of crop yield under climate change and adaptation', Nature Climate Change, vol. 4, no. 4, pp. 287-291.
  • Kokic, P, Crimp, S & Howden, M 2014, 'A probabilistic analysis of human influence on recent record global mean temperature changes', Climate Risk Management, vol. 3, pp. 1-12.
  • Curtis, D, Howden, M, Curtis, F et al. 2013, 'Drama and environment: Joining forces to engage children and young people in environmental education', Australian Journal of Environmental Education, vol. 29, no. 2, pp. 182-201.
  • Nelson, R, Howden, M & Hayman, P 2013, 'Placing the power of real options analysis into the hands of natural resource managers - Taking the next step', Journal of Environmental Management, vol. 124, pp. 128-136.
  • Rickards, L & Howden, M 2012, 'Transformational adaptation: Agriculture and climate change', Crop and Pasture Science, vol. 63, no. 3, pp. 240-250.
  • Park, S, Marshall, N, Jakku, E et al. 2012, 'Informing adaptation responses to climate change through theories of transformation', Global Environmental Change - Human and Policy Dimensions, vol. 22, no. 1, pp. 115-126.
  • Nelson, R, Kokic, P, Crimp, S et al. 2010, 'The vulnerability of Australian rural communities to climate variability and change: Part I-Conceptualising and measuring vulnerability', Environmental Science and Policy, vol. 13, no. 1, pp. 8-17.
  • Stokes, C & Howden, M, eds, 2010, Adapting agriculture to climate change: Preparing Australian agriculture, forestry and fisheries for the future, CSIRO Publishing, Australia.
  • Nelson, R, Howden, M & Stafford Smith, M 2008, 'Using adaptive governance to rethink the way science supports Australian drought policy', Environmental Science and Policy, vol. 11, no. 7, pp. 588-601.
  • Smith, P, Martino, D, Cai, Z et al. 2008, 'Greenhouse gas mitigation in agriculture', Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences, vol. 363, no. 1492, pp. 789-813.
  • Howden, M, Soussana, J, Tubiello, F et al. 2007, 'Adapting agriculture to climate change', PNAS - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 104, no. 50, pp. 19691-19696.
  • Tubiello, F, Soussana, J & Howden, M 2007, 'Crop and pasture response to climate change', PNAS - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 104, no. 50, pp. 19686-19690.
  • Gifford, R & Howden, M 2001, 'Vegetation thickening in an ecological perspective: Significance to national greenhouse gas inventories', Environmental Science and Policy, vol. 4, no. 2-3, pp. 59-72.
  • Moore, J, Howden, M, McKeon, G et al. 2001, 'The dynamics of grazed woodlands in southwest Queensland, Australia and their effect on greenhouse gas emissions', Environment International, vol. 27, no. 2-3, pp. 147-153.
  • Howden, M & Reyenga, P 1999, 'Methane emissions from Australian livestock: Implications of the Kyoto Protocol', Australian Journal of Agricultural Research, vol. 50, no. 8, pp. 1285-1291.
  • Howden, M, White, D, McKeon, G et al. 1994, 'Methods for exploring management options to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from tropical grazing systems', Climatic Change, vol. 30, pp. 49-70.
  • McKeon, G, Day, K, Howden, M et al. 1990, 'Northern Australian savannas: management for pastoral production', Journal of Biogeography, vol. 17, pp. 355-372.