NASA News & Feature Releases

Cynthia Rosenzweig — “What If and So What?
Climate Change and Corn/Wheat/Rice/Soybeans (and a few words on Cities)”

In June 2016, Dr. Cynthia Rosenzweig presented the "Maniac Lexture" at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. Dr. Rosenzweig is a Senior Research Scientist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, where she heads the Climate Impacts Group. She attended Cook College (at Rutgers) earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Sciences in 1980, an M.S. in Soils and Crops from Rutgers University in 1983 and earned a Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in Plant, Soil and Environmental Sciences in 1991.

NASA climate scientist Cynthia Rosenzweig presented a Maniac lecture entitled, "What If and So What? Climate Change and Corn/Wheat/Rice/Soybeans (and a few words on Cities)." Cynthia narrated how her background as agronomist set her on a path to investigate how a change in climate due to increased carbon dioxide would impact food security and how NASA missions and models have been valuable at every step of the way. Cynthia also touched briefly on climate change and cities. Credits: NASA (Video also available on YouTube.)

Dr. Rosenzweig pioneered the study of climate change impacts on agriculture and cities at NASA. She is Co-Founder of the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP), a major international collaborative effort to assess the state of global agricultural modeling, understand climate impacts on the agricultural sector, and enhance adaptation capacity, as it pertains to food security, in developing and developed countries. She is Co-Chair of the New York City Panel on Climate Change, a body of experts convened by the mayor to advise the city on adaptation for its critical infrastructure. She co-led the Metropolitan East Coast Regional Assessment of the U.S. National Assessment of the Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change, sponsored by the U.S. Global Change Research Program. She was Coordinating Lead Author of the IPCC Working Group II Fourth Assessment Report. She is Co-Director of the Urban Climate Change Research Network (UCCRN) and Co-Editor of the First UCCRN Assessment Report on Climate Change and Cities (ARC3), the first-ever global, interdisciplinary, cross-regional, science-based assessment to address climate risks, adaptation, mitigation, and policy mechanisms relevant to cities. She was named as one of Nature's “Ten People Who Mattered in 2012”. A recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, she joins impact models with climate models to project future outcomes of both land-based and urban systems under altered climate conditions. She is a Professor at Barnard College and a Senior Research Scientist at the Earth Institute at Columbia University.

Media Contact

Leslie McCarthy, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York, N.Y., 212-678-5507,

This article was originally prepared by Lynn Jenner as a NASA Goddard Feature.

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