Dr. Jim Hansen 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. Jim leads CCAFS Climate Risk Management Flagship, which advances interventions that enable farming communities, and the institutions that support them, to become more resilient in the face of climate variability and extreme weather events. The Flagship's research focuses on: (a) climate-based seasonal agricultural prediction, early warning and decision support; (b) knowledge and methods for equitable climate information and advisory services for smallholder communities; (c) food security safety nets and policy interventions for dealing with impacts of climate-related shocks; and (d) weather-related agricultural insurance.  He is based at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI), at Columbia University, New York, where he is a Senior Research Scientist. 

Jim has been involved in CCAFS since early 2008, when he served on the Leadership Group that developed the successful proposal to create CCAFS as a CGIAR Challenge Program.  He then joined the CCAFS management team in 2009 as Leader of the Research Theme on Adaptation through Managing Climate Risk, which sought to enable promising innovations for managing climate-related agricultural risk – at the local scale of farms and rural communities, and at the level of governments and food security humanitarian organizations that intervene when a climate shock exceeds the coping capacity of rural.  His role shifted to Flagship Leader as CCAFS entered a new phase.

Jim has worked on managing climate-related risk for agriculture and food security since 1996 – first at the University of Florida where he was part of the Southeast Climate Consortium, then since 1999 in his present position as a researcher at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI).  His involvement in CCAFS has lead him to be increasingly concerned with: (a) how resilience framing can inform interventions that address both climate change adaptation and immediate development challenges in high-risk smallholder farming environments; and (b) finding practical, equitable and scalable solutions to the challenges of making smallholder livelihoods more resilient through climate services, climate-related insurance, and climate-informed food security management.  

Past research contributions have included integrating climate information with agricultural modeling; the economics of risk and advance information in agriculture; developing effective climate information services for farmers; farm economic risk and sustainability analysis; spatial scaling in agroecosystem modeling; stochastic weather modeling; and modeling multiple cropping systems. 

Other professional contributions include: serving as Co-Editor-in-Chief of Agricultural Systems (2002-2010)serving on the team that coordinated and reported the multi-stakeholder Gap Analysis for the Implementation of the Global Climate Observing System Programme in Africa which contributed to development of the ClimDev-Africa program; the International Review Team for Australia’s Managing Climate Variability R&D Program; and the Steering Group for the international Climate Prediction and Agriculture (CLIMAG) Program of ESSP.


Some recent publications

Zebiak SE, Orlove B, Vaughan C, Muñoz AG, Hansen JW, Troy T, Thomson M, Lustig A, Garvin S. 2014. Investigating El Niño-Southern Oscillation and society relationships. Climate Change 6(1):17-34.

Cooper PJM, Vermeulen S, Hansen JW, Thornton PK, Ramirez-Villegas J, Rippke U, Parker L, Jones E, Campbell BM, Zougmoré R. 2014. Smallholder Agriculture and Climate Variability and Change in Sub-Saharan Africa: Looking Forward to 2050. Chapter 1 in: Africa Agricultural Status Report: Climate Change and Smallholder Agriculture In Sub-Saharan Africa. Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), Nairobi. (Refereed chapter).

Tall A, Hansen JW, Jay A, Campbell B, Kinyangi J, Aggarwal PK, Zougmoré R. 2014. Scaling up climate services for farmers: Mission Possible. Learning from good practice in Africa and South Asia. CCAFS Report No. 13. Copenhagen, Denmark: CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS).

Vermeulen SJ, Aggarwal PK, Ainslie A, Angelone C, Campbell BM, Challinor AJ, Hansen JW, Ingram JSI, Jarvis A, Kristjanson P, Lau C, Nelson GC, Thornton PK, Wollenberg E. 2012. Options for support to agriculture and food security under climate change. Environmental Science and Policy 15:136-144.

Hansen JW. 2012. Meeting climate information needs for agricultural development. World Politics Review, 21 February 2012.

Hansen JW, Mason S, Sun L, Tall A. 2011.  Review of seasonal climate forecasting for agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa. Experimental Agriculture 47:205-240.

Ericksen P, Stewart B, Eriksen S, Tschakert P, Sabates-Wheeler R, Hansen JW, Thornton PK. 2010. Adapting Food Systems. In: Ingram JSI, Ericksen PJ, Liverman DM, (Eds.). Global Environmental Change and Food Security. London, United Kindgdom: Earthscan. (Refereed book chapter).

Hansen JW, Mishra A, Rao KPC, Indeje M, Ngugi RK. 2009. Potential value of GCM-based seasonal rainfall forecasts for maize management in semi-arid Kenya. Agricultural Systems 101:80-90.

Mishra A, Hansen JW, Dingkuhn M, Baron C, Traoré SB, Ndiaye O, Ward MN. 2008. Sorghum yield prediction from seasonal rainfall forecasts in Burkina Faso. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 148:1798-1814.

Meza FJ, Hansen JW, Osgood D. 2008. Economic value of seasonal climate forecasts for agriculture: review of ex‑ante assessments and recommendations for future research. Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology 47:1269-1286.