Dr Ben Matthews: more about meI am a climatologist, specialising (since 2000) in the climate science-policy interface, global stabilisation scenarios, equitable development pathways and integrated risk analysis.
My earlier work (for PhD during 1990s) was related to ocean-atmosphere carbon fluxes and biogeochemistry.
To enable more people to explore the options, uncertainties and implications of future climate projections
I created the interactive Java Climate Model (JCM).
This evolved over 20 years, much used for both research and education around the world,
focus gradually shifting from the carbon/climate end of the chain, towards socioeconomic drivers
(so it's a type of Integrated Assessment model).
Recently (2021-2), as websites no longer display interactive java, I rewrote the code in the new language Scala3 (with scala.js), developing as the
I moved to Belgium in 2002 to work at UCL-TECLIM (my page in TECLIM) - "Centre de recherche sur la Terre et le climat Georges Lemaitre", also assisting the work of the vice-chair of IPCC, and participating in many global climate conferences.
I have worked in eight countries, also at:
- IVIG (Virtual Institute of Global Change), COPPE, Federal Univ of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (2011)
- KUP (Klima und Umwelt Physik) Univ Bern, Switzerland (2002)
- UNEP-GRID Arendal, Norway (2001)
- DEA-CCAT and DTU, Copenhagen, Denmark (2000)
- QOU Qingdao Ocean University, China (1998)
- UEA-ENV, University of East Anglia , Norwich UK (1993-9) (see my doctoral thesis)
- and studied at University of Edinburgh (1990-3)
So, I'm a polymath and polyglot, a citizen of the world but without local roots, and particularly interested to investigate future migration options as adaptation to climate change and other factors.
On the other hand, climate scientists calculate that stabilising climate change at a reasonably safe level requires that people in developed countries make large reductions in emissions. So, to put this into practice, I also tried to live a low-emissions lifestyle. For 17 years I did not take any airplane (why not? see "Flying off to a warmer Climate") although traveling far by train (including twice to China - see Climate Train to Kyoto), attending many global conferences, and enjoying only quiet flying by paraglider. I relaxed this principle only during work for the Belgian presidency of the European Union in 2010, and for IVIG in Rio, Brazil in 2011.
With my partner Magdalena Pic and our two sons, we live in a village by the river Meuse, near Namur. We moved here to have space for the children to play and appreciate nature, but still try to live without oil / gas - traveling by train and bicycle, using only wood for heating - while gradually improving the insulation of this old house.
When I can escape from the computer and from looking after my two boys, I enjoy cultivating our garden, cycling, walking in mountains, and playing tunes and songs from around the world on my fiddle, guitar, accordion.
The web connects people to tackle global challenges, regardless of where we live - city or countryside, in any corner of the world. So, welcome to my website.