Thomas J. Wilbanks

Scientist, Corporate Fellow, and Science Team Leader, MultiScale Energy-Environmental Systems
Thomas J. Wilbanks

Tom Wilbanks is active in ORNL programs related to climate change consequences: impacts and responses, especially adaptive risk management. He conducts research and publishes extensively on such issues as sustainable development, energy and environmental technology and policy, and responses to global climate change.   He is the author, co-author, or co-editor of nine books and more than 100 journal articles, book chapters, and other open-literature publications, including Global Change and Local Places (2003), Bridging Scales and Knowledge Systems:  Linking Global Science and Local Knowledge (2006), and Adapting to Impacts of Climate Change (2010).

Wilbanks played roles in the first US national energy plan (1978-79); the first U.S. National Assessment of Possible Consequences of Climate Variability and Change (1997-2000); the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group II (Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability) Third Assessment Report (1998-2001); and aspects of the United Nations Environment Programme et al. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment related to issues of geographic scale and regional and local assessments (2001-2005). 

More recently, he served as coordinating lead author for the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report, Working Group II, Chapter 7 (for which, along with other IPCC Fourth Assessment Report lead authors, he was formally recognized as a co-laureate for the 2007 Nobel Prize for Peace); coordinating lead author for the U.S. Climate Change Science Program’s report on Effects of Climate Change on Energy Production and Use in the United States); lead author of the section on Effects of Global Change on Human Settlements of its report on Effects of Global Change on Human Health and Welfare and Human Systems); and a lead author of the CCSP “Unified Synthesis Product:”  Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States, March 2009.