Kristina Colbert

Research Fellow, Avoided Methane

Kristina Rolph Colbert, Ph.D. is a climate and atmospheric scientist whose interests lie in understanding how human actions might affect future changes in the Earth system, and what threats to society could result from those environmental changes.

The nature of her work uses climate models to simulate interactions between processes of the atmosphere, oceans, land surface, and ice cover. She hopes to make a positive impact on the environment and society by modeling climate solutions that could stabilize the global climate. In particular, Kristina works on solutions aimed at avoiding methane emissions. Prior to working with Project Drawdown, she assessed the capability of sustainable dairy practices and technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and limit future warming.

Kristina recently received her Ph.D. in Meteorology and Atmospheric Science from The Pennsylvania State University. Her doctoral research investigated how climate model structure and complexity influence model response to the methane cycle. Her work showed that incorporating methane-related feedbacks on atmospheric chemistry and carbon cycle processes will enhance predicted global warming. Economic damages resulting from temperature-driven impacts increase the social cost of methane, a measure often used by federal agencies to make regulatory decisions.

Her other experiences touch on technical analysis and science communication. As a crop modeling analyst for a private company, Prescient Weather, she used a statistical forecast system for predicting U.S. crop yield and production resulting from observed changes in weather patterns and satellite data. Providing a quantitative edge and delivering a supportive commentary, her crop forecasts served agribusiness clients.

Kristina is also passionate about educating future generations about climate science so that they can become the leaders to take us toward Drawdown.