Dr. James W. Hansen

Senior Research Scientist, International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI), Columbia Climate School

121 Monell
61 Rt. 9W
PO Box 1000
Palisades, NY 10964


James Hansen is a Senior Research Scientist at the IRI, where he has worked since 1999. With a background in Agricultural Systems, his work at IRI aims to strengthen the use of climate information for smallholder agriculture and food security in the developing world. 

Research interests:

  • Translation of climate information into actionable forms for agriculture and food security management;
  • Rural climate service communication strategies and challenges;
  • Scaling, sustainability and equity challenges in agricultural climate services; and
  • Livelihood and food security impacts of climate services and climate risk management interventions.


His current work focuses on integration of climate services with climate-smart agricultural practices, and curriculum to strengthen the capacity of current and future agricultural professionals in sub-Saharan Africa to use climate information to manage agricultural risk.

From 2009 to 2019, Dr. Hansen served on the leadership team of the CGIAR research program on Climate, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), leading its Flagship Program on Climate Services and Safety Nets. CCAFS Flagship contributions during this period included expanding farmers' access to improved climate information, strengthening capacity of African National Meteorological Services to provide locally useful climate information at scale, new index-based agricultural insurance solutions, and evidence of livelihood and food security impacts of climate services and climate risk management. 

He holds a Ph.D. in Agricultural and Biological Engineering from the University of Florida, and an M.S. in Agronomy and Soil Science and B.S. in General Tropical Agriculture from the University of Hawaii.


Only select publications listed below
Name Published Date
Climate Risk Management Curriculum for Agriculture Gaps and Opportunities at USSEIN 2024
Modeling farmers' preference and willingness to pay for improved climate services in Rwanda 2023
Country-specific challenges to improving effectiveness, scalability and sustainability of agricultural climate services in Africa 2022
Enhancing climate services design and implementation through gender-responsive evaluation 2022
Flexible forecast presentation overcomes longstanding obstacles to using probabilistic seasonal forecasts 2022
Re-prioritizing climate services for agriculture: Insights from Bangladesh 2022
Report D’Atelier: Coproduction de services climatiques pour le secteur de la nutrition au Sénégal 2021
Actor roles and networks in agricultural climate services in Ethiopia: a social network analysis 2020
Gender-responsive rural climate services: a review of the literature 2020
A multi-scale and multi-model gridded framework for forecasting crop production, risk analysis, and climate change impact studies 2019
Climate risk management and rural poverty reduction 2019
Climate Services Can Support African Farmers' Context-Specific Adaptation Needs at Scale 2019
Estimating the economic value of climate services for strengthening resilience of smallholder farmers to climate risks in Ethiopia: A choice experiment approach 2019
Evaluating agricultural weather and climate services in Africa: Evidence, methods, and a learning agenda 2019
Urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts (SDG 13): transforming agriculture and food systems 2018
Anatomy of a Local‐Scale Drought: Application of Assimilated Remote Sensing Products, Crop Model, and Statistical Methods to an Agricultural Drought Study 2015
Investigating El Niño-Southern Oscillation and society relationships 2014
Shaping global agendas on climate risk management and climate services: an IRI perspective 2014
Assimilation of remotely sensed soil moisture and vegetation with a crop simulation model for maize yield prediction 2013
Climate change, agriculture and food security: a global partnership to link research and action for low-income agricultural producers and consumers 2012
Extraction of information content from stochastic disaggregation and bias corrected downscaled precipitation variables for crop simulation 2012
A framework for the simulation of regional decadal variability for agricultural and other applications 2011
Enhancing the utility of daily GCM rainfall for crop yield prediction 2011
Review of seasonal climate forecasting for agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa 2011
Impact assessment and adaptation to climate change of plantations in Sri Lanka 2010
Linking seasonal forecasts into RiskView to enhance food security contingency planning 2010
Designing Index-Based Weather Insurance for Farmers in Adi Ha, Ethiopia: Report to OXFAM America, July 2009 2009
Designing Index-Based Weather Insurance for Farmers In Central America: Final Report to the World Bank Commodity Risk Management Group, ARD 2009
Potential value of GCM-based seasonal rainfall forecasts for maize management in semi-arid Kenya 2009
Assessing Predictability of Cotton Yields in the Southeastern United States Based on Regional Atmospheric Circulation and Surface Temperatures 2008
Use of seasonal climate information to predict coconut production in Sri Lanka 2008
Designing Weather Insurance Contracts for Farmers in Malawi, Tanzania and Kenya: Final Report to the Commodity Risk Management Group, ARD, World Bank 2007
Downscaling of seasonal precipitation for crop simulation 2007
Innovations in Climate Risk Management: Protecting and Building Rural Livelihoods in a Variable and Changing Climate 2007
Working Paper: Poverty Traps and Climate and Weather Risk: Limitations and Opportunities of Index-based Risk Financing 2007
Bias correction of daily GCM rainfall for crop simulation studies 2006
Translating climate forecasts into agricultural terms: advances and challenges 2006
Climate Variability and the Millennium Development Goal Hunger Target 2004
The Role of Climate Perceptions, Expectations, and Forecasts in Farmer Decision Making: The Argentine Pampas and South Florida: Final Report of an IRI Seed Grant Project 2004