Michael McPhaden is a Senior Scientist at NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory in Seattle, Washington. His research focuses on large-scale tropical ocean dynamics, ocean-atmosphere interactions, and the ocean’s role in climate. He received a Ph.D. in Physical Oceanography from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in 1980. For more than 35 years he has been involved in developing ocean observing systems for climate research and forecasting, most notably the Tropical Atmosphere Ocean (TAO) moored buoy array in the Pacific for studies of El Niño and the Southern Oscillation.
McPhaden has published over 300 articles in the refereed scientific literature and is one of the most highly cited authors on the topic of El Niño. He is a Past President of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), a Sverdrup Medalist of the American Meteorological Society (AMS), a Nansen Medalist of the European Geosciences Union, and a fellow of the AGU, AMS and The Oceanography Society. For his contributions to assessments of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), he shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 with Al Gore and other IPCC participants.