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Allison Thomson

Joint Global Change Research Institute


Allison M. Thomson is a Research Scientist and Group Leader at the Joint Global Change Research Institute, a partnership of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and the University of Maryland, College Park. Her primary research interests are in the field of climate change and land use, using computer modeling to understand the interactions between global climate change and agricultural, soil and water resources. In addition, her research explores alternative future scenarios of land management and the implications for the carbon cycle and food security in Integrated Assessment models. She is involved in several large scale projects to couple human systems models with climate system models for integrative future scenarios of climate mitigation and adaptation.

She is also the Group Leader and manager for the Terrestrial Processes and Adaptation Group at JGCRI where she manages scientific staff conducting research on agriculture, forestry, terrestrial carbon cycling, bioenergy resource management and societal vulnerability to climate change and other stress.

Research Interests

  • Land use and climate change mitigation
  • Impacts of global change on agricultural and water resources
  • Human activity feedbacks to climate systems

Education and Credentials

  • M.A., Environmental Management, Duke University
  • B.A., Carleton College

Affiliations and Professional Service

  • American Geophysical Union
  • Soil Science Society of America
  • Agronomy Society of America
  • IPCC Task Group on Data and Scenario Support for Impacts and Climate Analysis

PNNL Publications


  • Di Vittorio A, LM Chini, B Bond-Lamberty, J Mao, X Shi, JE Truesdale, AP Craig, KV Calvin, AD Jones, WD Collins, JA Edmonds, G Hurtt, PE Thornton, and AM Thomson. 2014. "From land use to land cover: Restoring the afforestation signal in a coupled integrated assessment - earth system model and the implications for CMIP5 RCP simulations." Biogeosciences 11(23):6435-6450.  doi:10.5194/bg-11-6435-2014
  • Kyle GP, C Mueller, KV Calvin, and AM Thomson. 2014. "Meeting the Radiative Forcing Targets of the Representative Concentration Pathways in a World with Agricultural Climate Impacts." Earths Future 2(2):83-98.  doi:10.1002/2013EF000199
  • Thomson AM, GP Kyle, X Zhang, V Bandaru, TO West, MA Wise, RC Izaurralde, and KV Calvin. 2014. "The contribution of future agricultural trends in the US Midwest to global climate change mitigation." Global Environmental Change 24:143-154.  doi:10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2013.11.019
  • West TO, YLB Le Page, M Huang, J Wolf, and AM Thomson. 2014. "Downscaling Global Land Cover Projections from an Integrated Assessment Model for Use in Regional Analyses: Results and Evaluation for the US from 2005 to 2095." Environmental Research Letters 9(6):Article No. 064004.  doi:10.1088/1748-9326/9/6/064004
  • Zhang X, R Sahajpal, D Manowitz, K Zhao, SD LeDuc, M Xu, W Xiong, A Zhang, RC Izaurralde, AM Thomson, TO West, and WM Post. 2014. "Multi-scale geospatial agroecosystem modeling: a case study on the influence of soil data resolution on carbon budget estimates." Science of the Total Environment 479:138-50.  doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2014.01.099
  • Zhou Y, SJ Smith, C Elvidge, K Zhao, AM Thomson, and ML Imhoff. 2014. "A Cluster-based Method to Map Urban Area from DMSP/OLS Nightlights." Remote Sensing of Environment 147:173-185.  doi:10.1016/j.rse.2014.03.004


  • Calvin KV, MA Wise, LE Clarke, JA Edmonds, GP Kyle, PW Luckow, and AM Thomson. 2013. "Implications of simultaneously mitigating and adapting to climate change: Initial experiments using GCAM." Climatic Change 117(3):545-560.  doi:10.1007/s10584-012-0650-y
  • Eom J, RH Moss, JA Edmonds, KV Calvin, LE Clarke, JJ Dooley, SH Kim, R Kopp, GP Kyle, PW Luckow, PL Patel, AM Thomson, MA Wise, and Y Zhou. 2013. "Scenarios of Future Socio-Economics, Energy, Land Use, and Radiative Forcing." In Engineering Response to Climate Change, 2nd Ed., ed. RG Watts, pp. 81-138  CRC Press Inc, Boca Raton, FL. 
  • Izaurralde RC, CW Rice, L Wielopolski, MH Ebinger, JB Reeves, AM Thomson, R Harris, B Francis, S Mitra, A Rappaport, J Etchevers, KD Sayre, B Govaerts, and GW McCarty. 2013. "Evaluation of Three Field-Based Methods for Quantifying Soil Carbon." PLoS One 8(1):e55560.  doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0055560
  • Jones AD, WD Collins, JA Edmonds, MS Torn, AC Janetos, KV Calvin, AM Thomson, LM Chini, J Mao, X Shi, P Thornton, G Hurtt, and MA Wise. 2013. "Greenhouse gas policy influences climate via direct effects of land-use change." Journal of Climate 26(11):3657-3670.  doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00377.1
  • Le Page YLB, G Hurtt, AM Thomson, B Bond-Lamberty, PL Patel, MA Wise, KV Calvin, GP Kyle, LE Clarke, JA Edmonds, and AC Janetos. 2013. "Sensitivity of climate mitigation strategies to natural disturbances." Environmental Research Letters 8(1):Article No. 015018.  doi:10.1088/1748-9326/8/1/015018


  • Bond-Lamberty B, AG Bunn, and AM Thomson. 2012. "Multi-Year Lags between Forest Browning and Soil Respiration at High Northern Latitudes." PLoS One 7(11):Article No. e50441.  doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0050441
  • Van Vuuren D, K Riahi, RH Moss, JA Edmonds, AM Thomson, N Nakicenovic, T Kram, F Berkhout, R Swart, AC Janetos, SK Rose, and N Arnell. 2012. "A proposal for a new scenario framework to support research and assessment in different climate research communities." Global Environmental Change. Part A, Human and Policy Dimensions 22(1):21-35.  doi:10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2011.08.002


  • Garten, Jr CT, DJ Brice, HF Castro, RL Graham, MA Mayes, JR Phillips, WM Post, CW Schadt, SD Wullschleger, DD Tyler, PM Jardine, JD Jastrow, R Matamala, RM Miller, KK Moran, T Vugteveen, RC Izaurralde, AM Thomson, TO West, JE Amonette, VL Bailey, FB Metting, and JL Smith. 2011. "Response of "Alamo" switchgrass tissue chemistry and biomass to nitrogen fertilization in west Tennessee, USA." Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 140(1-2):289-297.  doi:10.1016/j.agee.2010.12.016
  • Granier C, B Bessagnet, TC Bond, A D'Angiola, H Denier van der Gon, GJ Frost, A Heil, JW Kaiser, S Kinne, Z Klimont, J Kloster, JF Lamarque, C Liousse, T Masui, F Meleux, A Mieville, T Ohara, JC Raut, K Riahi, M Schultz, SJ Smith, AM Thomson, J van Aardenne, GR van der Werf, and D Van Vuuren. 2011. "Evolution of anthropogenic and biomass burning emissions of air pollutants at global and regional scales during the 1980-2010 period." Climatic Change 109(1-2):163-190.  doi:10.1007/s10584-011-0154-1
  • Hatfield JL, KJ Boote, BA Kimball, LA Ziska, RC Izaurralde, D Ort, AM Thomson, and DW Wolfe. 2011. "Climate impacts on agriculture: Implications for crop production." Agronomy Journal 103(2):351-370. 
  • Hurtt G, LP Chini, S Frolking, R Betts, J Feddema, GM Fischer, JP Fisk, KA Hibbard, RA Houghton, AC Janetos, C Jones, G Kindermann, T Kinoshita, KK Goldeweijk, K Riahi, E Shevliakova, SJ Smith, E Stehfest, AM Thomson, P Thornton, D Van Vuuren, and Y Wang. 2011. "Harmonization of Land-Use Scenarios for the Period 1500-2100: 600 Years of Global Gridded Annual Land-Use Transitions, Wood Harvest, and Resulting Secondary Lands." Climatic Change 109(1-2):117-161.  doi:10.1007/s10584-011-0153-2
  • Izaurralde RC, AM Thomson, J Morgan, P Fay, W Polley, and JL Hatfield. 2011. "Climate impacts on agriculture: Implications for forage and rangeland production." Agronomy Journal 103(2):371-381. 
  • Meinshausen M, SJ Smith, KV Calvin, JS Daniel, M Kainuma, JF Lamarque, K Matsumoto, S Montzka, S Raper, K Riahi, AM Thomson, GJM Velders, and D Van Vuuren. 2011. "The RCP Greenhouse Gas Concentrations and their Extensions from 1765 to 2300." Climatic Change 109(1-2):213-241.  doi:10.1007/s10584-011-0156-z
  • Thomson AM, KV Calvin, SJ Smith, GP Kyle, AC Volke, PL Patel, S Delgado Arias, B Bond-Lamberty, MA Wise, LE Clarke, and JA Edmonds. 2011. "RCP4.5: A Pathway for Stabilization of Radiative Forcing by 2100." Climatic Change 109(1-2):77-94.  doi:10.1007/s10584-011-0151-4
  • Van Vuuren D, JA Edmonds, M Kainuma, K Riahi, AM Thomson, KA Hibbard, G Hurtt, T Kram, V Krey, JF Lamarque, T Masui, M Meinhausen, N Nakicenovic, SJ Smith, and SK Rose. 2011. "The Representative Concentration Pathways: An Overview." Climatic Change 109(1-2):5-31.  doi:10.1007/s10584-011-0148-z
  • Zhang X, RC Izaurralde, JG Arnold, NB Sammons, DH Manowitz, AM Thomson, and JR Williams. 2011. "Comment on "Modeling Miscanthus in the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) to Simulate Its Water Quality Effects As a Bioenergy Crop"." Environmental Science & Technology 45(14):6211-6212. 


  • Calvin KV, and AM Thomson. 2010. Impact of Heavy Duty Vehicle Emissions Reductions on Global ClimatePNNL-19661, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA. 
  • Bond-Lamberty B, and AM Thomson. 2010. "A global database of soil respiration data." Biogeosciences 7(6):1915-1926. 
  • Bond-Lamberty B, and AM Thomson. 2010. "Temperature-associated increases in the global soil respiration record." Nature 464(7288):579-582.  doi:10.1038/nature08930
  • Garten, Jr CT, JL Smith, DD Tyler, JE Amonette, VL Bailey, DJ Brice, HF Castro, RL Graham, CA Gunderson, RC Izaurralde, PM Jardine, JD Jastrow, MK Kerley, R Matamala, MA Mayes, FB Metting, RM Miller, KK Moran, WM Post, RD Sands, CW Schadt, JR Phillips, AM Thomson, T Vugteveen, TO West, and SD Wullschleger. 2010. "Intra-annual changes in biomass, carbon, and nitrogen dynamics at 4-year old switchgrass field trials in West Tennessee, USA." Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 136(1-2):177-184. 
  • Izaurralde RC, AM Thomson, R Sands, and HM Pitcher. 2010. Bringing Water into an Integrated Assessment FrameworkPNNL-19320, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA. 
  • Moss RH, JA Edmonds, K Hibbard, M Manning, SK Rose, D Van Vuuren, T Carter, S Emori, M Kainuma, T Kram, G Meehl, J Mitchell, N Nakicenovic, K Riahi, SJ Smith, R Stouffer, AM Thomson, J Weyant, and T Wilbanks. 2010. "The Next Generation of Scenarios for Climate Change Research and Assessment." Nature 463(7282):747-756.  doi:10.1038/nature08823
  • Thomson AM, KV Calvin, LP Chini, G Hurtt, JA Edmonds, B Bond-Lamberty, S Frolking, MA Wise, and AC Janetos. 2010. "Climate mitigation and the future of tropical landscapes." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 107(46):19633-19638 . 
  • Van Vuuren D, JA Edmonds, SJ Smith, KV Calvin, JF Karas, M Kainuma, N Nakicenovic, K Riahi, B van Ruijven, R Swart, and AM Thomson. 2010. "What do near-term observations tell us about long-term developments in greenhouse gas emissions?" Climatic Change 103(3-4):635-642.  doi:10.1007/s10584-010-9940-4
  • Zhang X, RC Izaurralde, DH Manowitz, TO West, WM Post, AM Thomson, VP Bandaru, J Nichols, and JR Williams. 2010. "An Integrative Modeling Framework to Evaluate the Productivity and Sustainability of Biofuel Crop Production Systems." Global Change Biology Bioenergy 2(5):258-277.  doi:10.1111/j.1757-1707.2010.01046.x


  • Calvin KV, JA Edmonds, B Bond-Lamberty, LE Clarke, SH Kim, GP Kyle, SJ Smith, AM Thomson, and MA Wise. 2009. "2.6: Limiting Climate Change to 450 ppm CO2 Equivalent in the 21st Century." Energy Economics 31(2):S107-S120. 
  • Calvin KV, JA Edmonds, LE Clarke, B Bond-Lamberty, SH Kim, MA Wise, AM Thomson, and GP Kyle. 2009. Land-use LeakagePNNL-18585, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA. 
  • Thomson AM, RC Izaurralde, TO West, DJ Parrish, DD Tyler, and JR Williams. 2009. Simulating Potential Switchgrass Production in the United StatesPNNL-19072, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA. 
  • Chavas DR, RC Izaurralde, AM Thomson, and X Gao. 2009. "Long-term climate change impacts on agricultural productivity in eastern China." Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 149(6-7):1118-1128. 
  • Hurtt G, LP Chini, S Frolking, R Betts, J Feddema, G Fischer, KK Goldeweijk, K Hibbard, AC Janetos, C Jones, G Kindermann, T Kinoshita, K Riahi, E Shevliakova, SJ Smith, E Stehfest, AM Thomson, P Thornton, D van Vuuren, and Y Wang. 2009. "Harmonisation of Global Land-Use Scenarios for the Period 1500-2100 for IPCC-AR5." iLEAPS Newsletter 7:6-8. 
  • Post WM, JE Amonette, RA Birdsey, CT Garten, Jr, RC Izaurralde, PM Jardine, JD Jastrow, R Lal, G Marland , BA McCarl, AM Thomson, TO West, SD Wullschleger, and FB Metting. 2009. "Terrestrial Biological Carbon Sequestration: Science for Enhancement and Implementation." Chapter Section 2:1 in Carbon Sequestration and Its Role in the Global Carbon Cycle, vol. 183, ed. Brian J. McPherson and Eric T. Sundquist, pp. 73-88.  American Geophysical Union, Washington, DC. 
  • Wise MA, KV Calvin, AM Thomson, LE Clarke, B Bond-Lamberty, RD Sands, SJ Smith, AC Janetos, and JA Edmonds. 2009. "Implications of Limiting CO2 Concentrations for Land Use and Energy." Science 324(5931):1183-1186 . 


  • Thomson AM, RC Izaurralde, SJ Smith, and LE Clarke. 2008. "Integrated Estimates of Global Terrestrial Carbon Sequestration." Global Environmental Change. Part A, Human and Policy Dimensions 18(1):192-203. 
  • Backlund P, AC Janetos, D Schimel, J Hatfield, KJ Boote, P Fay, L Hahn, RC Izaurralde, BA Kimball, T Mader, J Morgan, D Ort, W Polley, AM Thomson, D Wolfe, M Ryan, S Archer, RA Birdsey, C Dahm, L Heath, J Hicke, D Hollinger, T Huxman, G Okin, R Oren, J Randerson, W Schlesinger, DP Lettenmaier, D Major, L Poff, S Running, L Hansen, L Meyerson, B Peterson, and R Shaw. 2008. The Effects of Climate Change on Agriculture, Land Resources, Water Resources, and Biodiversity.  Climate Change Science Program, Washington, DC. 


  • Izaurralde RCC, JR Williams, WM Post, AM Thomson, WB Mcgill, L Owens, and R Lal. 2007. "Long-term modeling of soil C erosion and sequestration at the small watershed scale." Climatic Change 80:73-90.  doi:10.1007/s10584-006-9167-6


  • Thomson AM, RCC Izaurralde, NJ Rosenberg, and X He. 2006. "Climate change impacts on agriculture and soil carbon sequestration potential in the Huang-Hai Plain of China." Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 114(2-4):195-209. 
  • Clarke LE, MA Wise, M Placet, RC Izaurralde, JP Lurz, SH Kim, SJ Smith, and AM Thomson. 2006. Climate Change Mitigation: An Analysis of Advanced Technology ScenariosPNNL-16078, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA. 
  • He X, RCC Izaurralde, MB Vanotti, JR Williams, and AM Thomson. 2006. "Simulating Long-term and Residual Effects of Nitrogen Fertilization on Corn Yields, Soil Carbon Sequestration, and Soil Nitrogen Dynamics." Journal of Environmental Quality 35:1608-1619.  doi:10.2134/jeq2005.0259


  • Thomson AM, NJ Rosenberg, RC Izaurralde, and RA Brown, JR. 2005. "Climate Change Impacts for the Conterminous USA: An Integrated Assessment Part 5. Irrigated Agriculture and National Grain Crop Production." Climatic Change 69(1):89-105.  doi:10.1007/s10584-005-3611-x
  • Thomson AM, NJ Rosenberg, RCC Izaurralde, and RA Brown. 2005. "Climate Change Impacts for Conterminous USA: An Integrated Assessment Part 2. Models and Validation." Climatic Change (69):27-41. 
  • Thomson AM, RA Brown, JR, NJ Rosenberg, R Srinivasan, and RC Izaurralde. 2005. "Climate Change Impacts for the Conterminous USA: An Integrated Assessment Part 4. Water Resources." Climatic Change 69(1):67-88.  doi:10.1007/s10584-005-3610-y
  • Thomson AM, RA Brown, JR, NJ Rosenberg, RC Izaurralde, and VW Benson. 2005. "Climate Change Impacts for the Conterminous USA: An Integrated Assessment Part 3. Dryland Production of Grain and Forage Crops." Climatic Change 69:43-65. 
  • Fang H, S Liang, MP McClaran, WJD van Leeuwen, S Drake, SE Marsh, AM Thomson, RCC Izaurralde, and NJ Rosenberg. 2005. "Biophysical characterization and management effects on semiarid rangeland observed from Landsat ETM+ data." IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing 43(1):125-134. 
  • Izaurralde RC, AM Thomson, NJ Rosenberg, and RA Brown, JR. 2005. "Climate Change Impacts for the Conterminous USA: An Integrated Assessment Part 6. Distribution and Productivity of Unmanaged Ecosystems." Climatic Change 69(1):107-126.  doi:10.1007/s10584-005-3615-6
  • Smith SJ, AM Thomson, NJ Rosenberg, RCC Izaurralde, RA Brown, JR, and TM Wigley. 2005. "Climate Change Impacts for the Conterminous USA: An Integrated Assessment Part 1. Scenarios and Context." Climatic Change 69(1):7-25.  doi:10.1007/s10584-005-3614-7


  • Thomson AM, RA Brown, JR, NJ Rosenberg, RCC Izaurralde, D Legler, and R Srinivasan. 2003. "Simulated Impacts of El Nino/Southern Oscillation on United States Water Resources." Journal of the American Water Resources Association 39(1):137-148. 
  • Izaurralde RCC, NJ Rosenberg, RA Brown, JR, and AM Thomson. 2003. "Integrated Assessment of Hadley Centre (HadCM2) Climate-Change Impacts on Agricultural Productivity and Irrigation Water Supply in the Conterminous United States. Part II. Regional Agricultural Production in 2030 and 2095." Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 117(1-2):97-122. 
  • Rosenberg NJ, RA Brown, JR, RCC Izaurralde, and AM Thomson. 2003. "Integrated Assessment of Hadley Centre (HadCM2) Climate Change Projections on Agricultural Productivity and Irrigation Water Supply in the Conterminous United States.I. Climate change scenarios and impacts on irrigation water supply simulated with the HUMUS model. ." Agricultural and Forest Meteorology (117):73-96. 


  • Thomson AM, RA Brown, SJ Ghan, RCC Izaurralde, NJ Rosenberg, and LR Leung. 2002. "Elevation dependence of winter wheat production in eastern Washington state with climate change: A methodological study." Climatic Change 54:141-164. 

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