Professor Myles Allen


Research Groups

Professor Myles Allen

Professor of Geosystem Science
Leader, Climate Research Programme
Fellow, Linacre College

His research focuses on how human and natural influences on climate contribute to observed climate change and risks of extreme weather and in quantifying their implications for long-range climate forecasts. He is currently a Coordinating Lead Author on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Special Report on 1.5 degrees, having served on the IPCC’s 3rd, 4th and 5th Assessments, including the Synthesis Report Core Writing Team in 2014. Key research contributions include developing the statistical methods used to quantify the size of human influence on climate; the application of Probabilistic Event Attribution to quantify the contribution of human influence to specific individual weather events; and the observation that cumulative emissions of carbon dioxide largely determine global mean surface warming, which implies that a substantial fraction of current fossil carbon reserves cannot be emitted into the atmosphere if warming greater than 2oC is to be avoided.

Allen leads the project, using distributed computing to run the world’s largest ensemble climate modelling experiments, and in 2010 was awarded the Appleton Medal and Prize from the Institute of Physics “for his important contributions to the detection and attribution of human influence on climate and quantifying uncertainty in climate predictions.

Current/recent responsibilities

  • Research Cluster coordinator: Climate, School of Geography and the Environment.
  • Group Leader, Climate Dynamics Group, Department of Physics, University of Oxford. Responsible for climate modelling and attribution, comprising on average 4 post-docs and 5 doctoral students over the past three years.
  • Principal Investigator, " - distributed computing for global climate research", collaborative project (2000 present, overall budget c. £4m), performing large-scale Monte Carlo simulation of climate change 1900 - 2100 using idle CPU on personal computers volunteered by the general public.
  • Co-Director, Oxford Martin Programme on Resource Stewardship
  • Lead Author, "Detection of Climate Change and Attribution of Causes", Chapter 12 of the IPCC WG1 Third Assessment. Review Editor, "Global Climate Projections" Chapter 10 of the IPCC WG1 Fourth Assessment. Lead author, "Detection and Attribution of Climate Change: from Global to Regional", Chapter 10 of the IPCC WG1 Fifth Assessment.
  • Member of the US NOAA/Dept of Energy International Advisory Group on the Detection and Attribution of Anthropogenic Climate Change.


  • Allen, M., Frame, D., Frieler, K., Hare, W., Huntingford, C., Jones, C., Knutti, R., Lowe, J., Meinshausen, M., Meinshausen, N. and Raper, S. (2009) The exit strategy. Nature Reports Climate Change, 5.
  • Allen, M.R., Frame, D.J. and Mason, C.F. (2009) The case for mandatory sequestration. Nature Geoscience, 2(12): 813-814.
  • Allen, M.R., Frame, D.J., Huntingford, C., Jones, C.D., Lowe, J.A., Meinshausen, M. and Meinshausen, N. (2009) Warming caused by cumulative carbon emissions towards the trillionth tonne. Nature, 458: 1163-1166.
  • Lambert, F.H. and Allen, M.R. (2009) Are changes in global precipitation constrained by the tropospheric energy budget? Journal of Climate, 22(3): 499-517.
  • Meinshausen, M., Meinshausen, N., Hare, W., Raper, S.C.B., Frieler, K., Knutti, R., Frame, D.J. and Allen, M.R. (2009) Greenhouse-gas emission targets for limiting global warming to 2 degrees C. Nature, 458: 1158-1162.
  • Stone, D.A., Allen, M.R., Stott, P.A., Pall, P., Min, S.K., Nozawa, T. and Yukimoto, S. (2009) The Detection and Attribution of Human Influence on Climate*. Annual Review of Environment and Resources, 34: 1-16.
  • Allen, M.R. and Frame, D.J. (2007) Call off the quest. Science, 318(5850): 582-583.
  • Allen, M.R., Pall, P., Stone, D.A., Scott, P., Frame, D.J., Min, S-K., Nozawa, T. and Yukimoto, S. (2007) Scientific challenges in the attribution of harm to human influence on climate. Pennsylvania Law Review,, 155(6): 1353-1400.
  • Frame, D.J., Faull, N.E., Joshi, M.M. and Allen, M.R. (2007) Probabilistic climate forecasts and inductive problems. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 365(1857): 1971-1992.
  • Pall, P., Allen, M.R. and Stone, D.A. (2007) Testing the Clausius--Clapeyron constraint on changes in extreme precipitation under CO 2 warming. Climate Dynamics, 28(4): 351-363.
  • Piani, C., Sanderson, B., Giorgi, F., Frame, D.J., Christensen, C. and Allen, M.R. (2007) Regional probabilistic climate forecasts from a multithousand, multimodel ensemble of simulations. Journal of Geophysical Research, 112(D2408).
  • Allen, M., Andronova, N., Booth, B., Dessai, S., Frame, D., Forest, C., Gregory, J., Hegerl, G., Knutti, R. and Piani, C. (2006) Observational constraints on climate sensitivity. Avoiding dangerous climate change. Cambridge University Press. 281-290.
  • Knutti, R., Meehl, G.A., Allen, M.R. and Stainforth, D.A. (2006) Constraining climate sensitivity from the seasonal cycle in surface temperature. Journal of Climate, 19(17): 4224-4233.
  • Lopez, A., Tebaldi, C., New, M., Stainforth, D., Allen, M. and Kettleborough, J. (2006) Two approaches to quantifying uncertainty in global temperature changes. Journal of climate, 19(19): 4785-4796.
  • Massey, N., Aina, T., Allen, M., Christensen, C., Frame, D., Goodman, D., Kettleborough, J., Martin, A., Pascoe, S. and Stainforth, D. (2006) Data access and analysis with distributed federated data servers in Advances in Geosciences, 8: 49-56.
  • Stainforth, D.A., Allen, M.R., Frame, D.J. and Piani, C. (2006) Risks associated with stabilisation scenarios and uncertainty in regional and global climate change impacts. Avoiding dangerous climate change Schellnhuber H.-J, Cramer W, Nakiccnovic N, Wigley T, Yohe G.W: 315-320.
  • Piani, C., Frame, D.J., Stainforth, D.A. and Allen, M.R. (2005) Constraints on climate change from a multi-thousand member ensemble of simulations. Geophysical Research Letters, 32(23).
  • Stainforth, D.A., Aina, T., Christensen, C., Collins, M., Faull, N., Frame, D.J., Kettleborough, J.A., Knight, S., Martin, A., Murphy, J.M., Piani, C., Sexton, D., Smith, L.A., Spicer, R.A., Thorpe, A.J. and Allen, M.R. (2005) Uncertainty in predictions of the climate response to rising levels of greenhouse gases. Nature, 433: 403-406.
  • Lambert, F.H., Stott, P.A., Allen, M.R. and Palmer, M.A. (2004) Detection and attribution of changes in 20th century land precipitation. Geophysical Research Letters, 31(10).
  • Stott, P.A., Stone, D.A. and Allen, M.R. (2004) Human contribution to the European heatwave of 2003. Nature, 432(7017): 610-614.
  • Allen, M. (2003) Liability for climate change. Nature, 421(6926): 891-892.
  • Allen, M.R. and Ingram, W.J. (2002) Constraints on future changes in climate and the hydrologic cycle. Nature, 419(6903): 224-232.
  • Allen, M.R., Kettleborough, J.A. and Stainforth, D.A. (2002) Model error in weather and climate forecasting. ECMWF Predictability of Weather and Climate Seminar.
  • Allen, M.R., Stott, P.A., Mitchell, J.F.B., Schnur, R. and Delworth, T.L. (2002) Quantifying uncertainties in climate system properties with the use of recent climate observations. Science, 295: 113-117.
  • Allen, M.R. and Tett, S.F.B. (1999) Checking for model consistency in optimal fingerprinting. Climate Dynamics, 15(6): 419-434.
  • Tett, S.F.B., Stott, P.A., Allen, M.R., Ingram, W.J. and Mitchell, J.F.B. (1999) Causes of twentieth-century temperature change near the Earth's surface. Nature, 399(6736): 569-572.