General Lab Information

Stephen Schwartz

Senior Scientist Emeritus, Environmental and Climate Sciences Department

Stephen Schwartz

Brookhaven National Laboratory

Environmental and Climate Sciences Department
Bldg. 815E, Room 1-46
P.O. Box 5000
Upton, NY 11973-5000

(631) 344-3100

Stephen Schwartz is a Senior Scientist Emeritus at Brookhaven National Laboratory and principal investigator in the Department of Energy Atmospheric System Research Program. His research centers on the influences of energy related emissions on climate, with a focus on the role of atmospheric aerosols.

In his research at Brookhaven National Laboratory, Schwartz developed methods to describe the rate of reactions in clouds that lead to production of acid rain. Schwartz's research exerted a major influence on the drafting of the acid deposition section of the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments. Subsequently his work focused on atmospheric aerosols, which influence a variety of atmospheric processes, from precipitation to climate change. More recently Schwartz has been examining climate change using whole-Earth energy balance models.

Schwartz is author or coauthor of over 130 papers published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. He was editor of Trace Atmospheric Constituents published by Wiley in 1983 and was co-editor of a three volume series Precipitation Scavenging and Atmosphere-Surface Exchange, published by Taylor & Francis in 1992. He is coauthor of Sea Salt Aerosol Production: Mechanisms, Methods, Measurements, and Models — A Critical Review, published by the American Geophysical Union in 2004.

Schwartz served as chief scientist of the Department of Energy's Atmospheric Science Program from 2004 through 2009. He also served on the management team which developed and led the Department of Energy's Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program, from the inception of that program in 1990 until 1999.

Stephen Schwartz lives with his wife, a retired teacher, in Center Moriches, on the south shore of Long Island, where he enjoys canoeing on the Forge River. They have two grown children. Schwartz drives a hybrid gasoline-electric car.

Expertise | Research | Education | Publications | Awards


  • Climate change
  • Atmospheric radiation
  • Atmospheric aerosols
  • Atmospheric chemistry

Research Activities

  • Brookhaven National Laboratory, Senior Scientist Emeritus, 2018-present.
  • Stony Brook University, Adjunct Professor (School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences), 2019-present.
  • Brookhaven National Laboratory, Senior Scientist, 1990-2018.
  • Brookhaven National Laboratory, Scientist, 1977-90.
  • Brookhaven National Laboratory, Associate Scientist, 1975-77.
  • Stony Brook University (State University of New York at Stony Brook), Assistant Professor (Chemistry), 1969-75.
  • Stony Brook University (State University of New York at Stony Brook), Adjunct Professor (Institute for Terrestrial and Planetary Atmospheres), 1994-97.
  • Energieonderzoek Centrum Nederland (Netherlands Energy Research Foundation, ECN), Visiting Scientist, 1996.


  • Harvard College, A.B., Magna cum laude
  • University of California, Berkeley, Ph.D.
  • University of Cambridge, England, Fulbright Post-Doctoral Fellow

Selected Publications

  • Sherwood SC, Sen Gupta A, Schwartz SE (2022) Probability of committed warming exceeding 1.5 °C and 2.0 °C Paris targets. Environmental Research Letters 17:064022.
  • Schwartz SE, Keeling RF, Meijer HAJ, Turnbull JC (2022) Comment on "World Atmospheric CO2, Its 14C Specific Activity, Non-fossil Component, Anthropogenic Fossil Component, and Emissions (1750–2018)," by Kenneth Skrable, George Chabot, and Clayton French. Health Physics 122:717–719.
  • Bellouin N, Quaas J, Gryspeerdt E, Kinne S, Stier P, Watson-Parris D, Boucher O, Carslaw KS, Christensen M, Daniau A -L., Dufresne J -L., Feingold G, Fiedler S, Forster P, Gettelman A, Haywood JM, Lohmann U, Malavelle F, Mauritsen T, McCoy DT, Myhre G, Mülmenstädt J, Neubauer D, Possner A, Rugenstein M, Sato Y, Schulz M, Schwartz SE, Sourdeval O, Storelvmo T, Toll V, Winker D, Stevens B (2020) Bounding Global Aerosol Radiative Forcing of Climate Change. Reviews of Geophysics. doi: 10.1029/2019rg000660
  • Schwartz SE (2018) Unrealized Global Temperature Increase: Implications of Current Uncertainties. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 123:3462–3482. doi: 10.1002/2017jd028121
  • Schwartz SE (2018) Resource Letter GECC-1: The Greenhouse Effect and Climate Change: Earth's Natural Greenhouse Effect. American Journal of Physics 86:565–576. doi: 10.1119/1.5045574
  • Schwartz SE (2018) Resource Letter GECC-2: The Greenhouse Effect and Climate Change: The Intensified Greenhouse Effect. American Journal of Physics 86:645–656. doi: 10.1119/1.5045577
  • Vladutescu VD, Schwartz SE, Huang D (2018) Optical instruments synergy in determination of optical depth of thin clouds. EPJ Web of Conferences 176:08008. doi: 10.1051/epjconf/201817608008
  • Schwartz SE, Huang D, Vladutescu DV (2017) High-resolution photography of clouds from the surface: Retrieval of optical depth of thin clouds down to centimeter scales. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 122:2898–2928. doi: 10.1002/2016jd025384
  • Schwartz SE, Charlson RJ, Kahn R, Rodhe H (2014) Earth's Climate Sensitivity: Apparent Inconsistencies in Recent Assessments. Earth's Future 2:601–605. doi: 10.1002/2014ef000273
  • Bengtsson L, Schwartz SE (2013) Determination of a lower bound on Earth's climate sensitivity. Tellus B: Chemical and Physical Meteorology 65:21533. doi: 10.3402/tellusb.v65i0.21533
  • Schwartz SE (2012) Determination of Earth's Transient and Equilibrium Climate Sensitivities from Observations Over the Twentieth Century: Strong Dependence on Assumed Forcing. Surveys in Geophysics 33:745–777. doi: 10.1007/s10712-012-9180-4
  • Schwartz SE, Charlson RJ, Kahn RA, Ogren JA, Rodhe H (2012) Reply to "Comments on 'Why Hasn't Earth Warmed as Much as Expected?'."Journal of Climate 25:2200–2204. doi: 10.1175/2011jcli4161.1
  • Stevens B, Schwartz SE (2012) Observing and Modeling Earth's Energy Flows. Surveys in Geophysics 33:779–816. doi: 10.1007/s10712-012-9184-0
  • Bruzewicz DA, Checco A, Ocko BM, Lewis ER, McGraw RL, Schwartz SE (2011) Reversible uptake of water on NaCl nanoparticles at relative humidity below deliquescence point observed by noncontact environmental atomic force microscopy. The Journal of Chemical Physics 134:044702. doi: 10.1063/1.3524195
  • De Leeuw G, Andreas EL, Anguelova MD, Fairall CW, Lewis ER, O'Dowd C, Schulz M, Schwartz SE (2011) Production flux of sea spray aerosol. Reviews of Geophysics. doi: 10.1029/2010rg000349
  • Schwartz SE (2010) Feedback and sensitivity in an electrical circuit: an analog for climate models. Climatic Change 106:315–326. doi: 10.1007/s10584-010-9903-9
  • Michalsky J, Denn F, Flynn C, Hodges G, Kiedron P, Koontz A, Schlemmer J, Schwartz SE (2010) Climatology of aerosol optical depth in north-central Oklahoma: 1992–2008. Journal of Geophysical Research. doi: 10.1029/2009jd012197
  • Schwartz SE, Charlson RJ, Kahn RA, Ogren JA, Rodhe H (2010) Why Hasn't Earth Warmed as Much as Expected? Journal of Climate 23:2453–2464. doi: 10.1175/2009jcli3461.1

Awards & Recognition

  • 2020-2021 Haagen-Smit Award , California Air Resources Board, 2022.
  • International Aerosol Fellow , International Aerosol Research Assembly, 2020.
  • Stephen H. Schneider Lecture, Global Environmental Change Section, Amer. Geophys. Union, 2018.
  • Research Milestone , U.S. Department of Energy, 2017.
  • Outstanding Leadership Award, U.S. Department of Energy, 2010.
  • ISI Highly Cited Researcher, Thompson Scientific, 2006.
  • Science and Technology Award, Brookhaven National Laboratory, 2006.
  • Fellow, American Geophysical Union, 2005.
  • Haagen-Smit Award for an “Outstanding paper” published in Atmospheric Environment, 2003.
  • Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2002. 
  • Sigma Xi, 1969 (University of California, Berkeley).
  • Phi Beta Kappa, 1963 (Harvard College)
  • University City (MO) High School Hall of Fame , 2019.
Stephen Schwartz

Brookhaven National Laboratory

Environmental and Climate Sciences Department
Bldg. 815E, Room 1-46
P.O. Box 5000
Upton, NY 11973-5000

(631) 344-3100

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