Prof Michael Tjernström
Person photo
Organisation: Department of Meteorology
Department of Meteorology, Stockholm University
SE-106 91 Stockholm


Michael Tjernström is a professor at the Department of Meteorology, Stockholm University, specializing on small-scale atmospheric processes of importance for the Arctic climate. Examples of such processes are the formation of cloud, and how they affect solar and thermal radiation, and the turbulent exchange of energy and matter at the interface between the atmosphere and the sea-ice covered or open-water Arctic Ocean. Most of his work is based on interpretations of observations and he has lead four Arctic atmosphere research endeavors on the Swedish icebreaker Oden. Michael has published over 100 original research papers in scientific journals and often participate in media discussing issues on climate change, globally and in the Arctic.

Michael started his career as a Forecast Officer for the Swedish Airforce, but came back to academia after a few years and defended a thesis on computer modeling of low clouds and fog at Uppsala University in 1988. He obtained a position as Senior Lecturer and Associate Professor in 1994 and was promoted to professor at Uppsala University in 2000. At about the same he was appointed “Senior Scientist” by the Natural Research Council (NFR) and moved to Stockholm University. He has had a number of international and national assignments including as Chair for the “International Study of Arctic Change” and Director of the International Meteorological Institute and Chair for the Department of Meteorology, Stockholm University. He is currently the Swedish representative for the Atmospheric Working Group of the International Arctic Science Committee.



  • Sedlar, J., M. Tjernström, T. Mauritzen, M. Shupe, I. Brooks, P. Persson, C. Birch, C. Leck, A. Sirevaag, and M. Nicolaus, 2011: A transitioning Arctic surface energy budget: the impacts of solar zenith angle, surface albedo and cloud radiative forcing. Climate Dynamics, 37, 1643–1660, doi:10.1007/s00382-010-0937-5.
  • Mauritsen, T., J. Sedlar, M. Tjernström, C. Leck, M. Martin, M. Shupe, S. Sjogren, B. Sierau, P. O. G. Persson, I. M. Brooks, E. Swietlicki, 2011: An Arctic CCN-limited cloud-aerosol regime, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 11, 165–173, doi:10.5194/acp-11-165-2011.
  • Tjernström, M., C. E. Birch, I. M. Brooks, M. D. Shupe, P. O. G. Persson, J. Sedlar, T. Mauritsen, C. Leck, J. Paatero, M. Szczodrak and C. R. Wheeler, 2012:  Meteorological conditions in the Central Arctic summer during the arctic summer cloud ocean study (ASCOS), Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 12, 6863–6889, doi:10.5194/acp-12-6863-2012.  
  • Kapsch, M-L, R.G. Graversen and MT, 2013: Springtime atmospheric transport controls Arctic summer sea ice. Nature Climate Change, 3,Pages: 744–748, doi: 10.1038/NCLIMATE1884.
  • Tjernström, M., and 43 co-authors, 2014: The Arctic Summer Cloud Ocean Study (ASCOS): Overview and experimental design, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 14, 2823–2869, doi:10.5194/acp-14-2823-2014
  • Vihma, T., R. Pirazzini, I. A. Renfrew, J. Sedlar, M. Tjernström, T. Nygård, I. Fer, C. Lüpkes, D. Notz, J. Weiss, D. Marsan, B. Cheng, G. Birnbaum, S. Gerland, D. Chechin, and J. C. Gascard, 2014: Advances in understanding and parameterization of small-scale physical processes in the marine Arctic; A review. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 14, 9403–9450, doi:10.5194/acp-14-9403-2014
  • Tjernström, M., M. D. Shupe, I. M. Brooks, P. O. G. Persson, J. Prytherch, D. Salisbury, J. Sedlar, P. Achtert, B. J. Brooks, P. E. Johnston, G. Sotiropoulou and D. Wolfe, 2015:  Warm-air advection, air mass transformation and fog causes rapid ice melt, Geophysical Research Letters, 42, 5594–5602, doi:10.1002/2015GL064373.
  • Vihma, T., J. Screen, M. Tjernström, B. Newton, X. Zhang, V. Popova, C. Deser, M. Holland, and T. Prowse, 2015: The atmospheric role in the Arctic water cycle: processes, past and future changes, and their impacts, Journal of Geophysical Research, DOI:10.1002/2015JG003132.
  • Kapsch, M., R. Graversen, M. Tjernström, Richard Bintanja, 2016: The effect of downwelling longwave radiation on Arctic summer sea ice, Journal of Climate, 29, 1143 – 1159, DOI: 10.1175/JCLI-D-15-0238.1.
  • Sotiropoulou, G., M. Tjernström, J. Sedlar, P. Achtert, B. J. Brooks, I. M. Brooks, P. O. G. Persson, J. Prytherch, D. J. Salisbury, M. D. Shupe, P. E. Johnston, D. Wolfe, 2016: Arctic Cloud Summer Experiment (ACSE): Boundary layer and cloud characteristics over ice and open-water, during the melt and freeze-up seasons. Journal of Climate, doi: 10.1175/JCLI-D-16-0211.1.

Contracts (8)
Collaborating with (7)
Advanced Simulation of Arctic climate change and impact on Northern regions
Period: 1/1/10 - 12/31/13
This project aims at understanding and advanced simulation of climate change in the Arctic including its impact on land areas, and incorporating interaction between simulation results and a wide stakeholder community. The goal is to establish a chain of knowledge starting from the global climate ...
Arctic cloud-capped boundary layers
Period: 1/1/10 - 12/31/12
ASCOS studies Arctic clouds from unique data gathered during an expedition to the central Arctic summer of 2008, onboard the Swedish icebreaker Oden. Low-level clouds are the single-most important factor in controlling the energy balance at the Arctic sea-ice surface, in turn determining the annual ...
Arctic Clouds in Summer Experiment (ACSE)
Period: 1/1/14 - 12/31/15
Moln är mer än bara vatten - särskilt i Arktis Moln spelar en viktig roll i klimatsystemet men vår förmåga att beskriva dessa i klimatmodeller är begränsad, särskilt i Arktis. Detta är allvarligt eftersom både molnen i sig själva men också deras egenskaper har stor effekt på hela energibalansen vid ...
Developing Arctic Modelling and Observing Capabilities for Long-term Environmental Studies
Period: 12/1/05 - 5/31/10
All state-of-the-art climate models predict that the perennial sea-ice of the Arctic Ocean will disappear within a few decades or less. Important questions remain as to whether this expectation is justified, and if so when this change will take place and what effect it will have on climate on a ...
Marine Effects of Atmospheric Deposition
Period: 2/1/00 - 1/31/03
Problems to be Solved The coastal seas represent one of the most valuable resources on the planet. However, this ecosystem is threatened as a result of human pressure. In Europe high population densities and high levels of industrial activity mean that the pressures arising from these activities ...
Swedish –Russian – US Arctic Ocean Investigation of Climate-Cryosphere-Carbon Interactions – The SWERUS-C3 Program –
Period: 4/1/13 - 6/30/17
SWERUS-C3 is a multi-disciplinary program with base funding supported from by the Swedish Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation (KAW) aiming to investigate the linkages between Climate, Cryosphere (here: sea ice and coastal permafrost) and Carbon release from the sediment, with addition of ...
The Arctic cloud-capped boundary layer
Period: 1/1/07 - 12/31/10
ASCOS is an icebreaker-based atmospheric field experiment to the central Arctic planned for summer 2008, as a contribution to the International Polar Year. Extensive measurements from the surface through the boundary layer by surface-based remote sensing and in-situ instruments, coupled with ...