- B.A., A.M., Applied Mathematics, Queens University, Belfast
- Ph.D., Applied Mathematics, Queens University, Belfast
- Energy & Environmental Systems
- Atmospheric and Climate Modeling
- Engineering, Economic Development, and Resource Management
- Oceans and Geophysics
- Science, Technology, & Public Policy
- Energy, Environment, and Sustainability
Primary Teaching Area
The atmosphere is an important resource, an indispensable component of the global life support system. Human activity can change its composition, altering climate, air quality, and radiation reaching us from the sun.
Michael McElroy studies changes in the composition of the atmosphere with an emphasis on the impact of human activity. His research includes investigations of processes affecting the abundance of ozone in the stratosphere and factors influencing the chemical composition of the troposphere. It explores the manner in which changes in the composition of the atmosphere affect climate.
It seeks to place the impact of contemporary human activity in a larger context by studying large-scale changes in the environment that occurred in the past. His research addresses also challenges for public policy posed by the rapid pace of industrialization in developing countries such as China and India while exploring alternative strategies for more sustainable development in mature economies such as the United States.
Positions & Employment
Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Scineces
- 1996-Present: Gilbert Butler Professor of Environmental Studies
Harvard University Center for the Environment
- 2001-2004: Director
MEDEA, Task Force appointed by Vice-President Gore to advise on environmental aspects of U.S. Intelligence
- 1995: Chairman
- 1993: Chairman
Harvard University Committee on Environment
- 1991-2001: Chairman
- 1986-2000: Chairman
- 1977-2008: Director
- 1977: Co-founder and Chairman of the Board
- 1975-1978: Director
- 1970-1986: Member
- 1970-1996: Abbott Lawrence Rotch Professor of Atmospheric Sciences
- 1967-1970: Physicist
- 1965-1967: Associate Physicist
- 1963-1965: Assistant Physicist
- 1962-1963: Postdoctoral Appointment
- Fellow and former Councillor, American Academy of Arts and Sciences
- American Astronomical Society
- Fellow, American Geophysical Union
- Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science
- Fellow, International Academy of Astronautics
- Elected Honorary Fellow, Royal Irish Academy, 2008
- Honorary DSc., Queen's University of Belfast, N. Ireland, 1991
- Research and Development Award, National Energy Resources Organization, 1989
- George Ledlie Prize. For the person at Harvard University who "since the last awarding of said prize, has by research, discovery, or otherwise made the most valuable contribution to science, or in any way for the benefit of mankind," 1989
- Eire Society Gold Medal Award, 1987
- NASA Public Service Medal, 1978
- The American Association for the Advancement of Science Newcomb Cleveland Prize. Awarded collectively to all the participants in the Viking mission, 1977
- James B. Macelwane Award by the American Geophysical Union for "outstanding contributions in the field of planetary atmospheres," 1968
- Lin, Jin-Tai, Michael B. McElroy, and K. Folkert Boersma. 2010. Constraint of anthropogenic NOx emissions in China from different sectors: A new methodology using separate satellite retrievals. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 10(1): 63-78.
- Lin, Jin-Tai., and Michael B. McElroy. In press (2010). Impacts of boundary layer mixing on pollutant vertical profiles in the lower troposphere: Implications to satellite remote sensing. Atmospheric Environment.
- McElroy, Michael B. 2010. Challenge of global climate change: Prospects for a new energy paradigm. Frontiers of Environmental Science & Engineering in China, DOI 10.1007/s11783-010-0005-8.
- McElroy, Michael B., Xi Lu, Chris P. Nielsen, and Yuxuan Wang. 2009. Potential for wind generated electricity in China. Science 325(5946): 1378-1380.
- McElroy, Michael B. In press (October 2009). Energy: Perspectives, Problems and Prospects. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Wang, Y.X., J.M. Hao, M.B. McElroy, J.W. Munger, H. Ma, D. Chen, and C.P. Nielsen. 2009. Ozone air quality during the 2008 Beijing Olympics: Effectiveness of emission restrictions. Atmos. Chem. Phys. 9(14): 5237-5251.
- Lu, Xi, Michael B. McElroy, and Juha Kiviluoma. 2009. Global potential for wind generated electricity. P. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 106(27): 10933-10938s.
- Chen, D., Y.X. Wang, M.B. McElroy, K.B. He, R.M. Yantosca, and P. Le Sager. 2009. Regional CO pollution in China simulated by the high-resolution nested-grid GEOS-Chem model. Atmos. Chem. Phys. 9(11): 3825-3839.
- McElroy, M.B. 2008. Saving Money, Oil, and the Climate: Using Non-Fossil Energy Sources to Power Our Vehicles. Harvard Magazine, Volume 110, Number 4 (March-April).
- Wang, Y.X., M. B. McElroy, J. W. Munger, J. Hao, H. Ma, C. P. Nielsen, and Y. Chen. 2008. Variations of O3 and CO in summertime at a rural site near Beijing. Atmos. Chem. Phys. 8(21): 6355-6363.