Thin Ice

University of Chicago, United States of America

Ray is Louis Block Professor in Geophysical Sciences, University of Chicago. His central interest is in how climate works as a system. He enjoys developing idealized mathematical models for addressing the big questions for Earth's present past and future climates, as well as those for other planets of Solar System and beyond. These include the problem of a warm, wet early Mars, role of water vapor in global warming on Earth, and the global glaciations of Earth's distant past ("Snowball Earth").  His philosophy is to use simplified models that can be understood completely as a complement to insights that can be derived from comprehensive general circulation models. His textbook, Principles of Planetary Climate, is founded on the tenet that "Big Ideas come from Small Models."  Besides teaching and research Ray writes for – see also “Climate change: A catastrophe in slow-motion” (Chicago Journal of International Law, 2006).  Awards include Chevalier de l'Ordre des Palmes Academiques, and Fellowship of the American Geophysical Union.