Concordia University

Damon Matthews, PhD

Professor and Concordia Research Chair in Climate Science and Sustainability, Geography, Planning and Environment

Office: S-H 1255-39 
Henry F. Hall Building,
1455 De Maisonneuve Blvd. W.
Phone: (514) 848-2424 ext. 2064
Website(s): Matthews Climate Lab Website
Google Scholar Citations Record

Dr. Damon Matthews is Professor and Tier 1 Concordia University Research Chair (Climate Science and Sustainability) in the Department of Geography Planning and Environment. He obtained a B.Sc. in Environmental Science from Simon Fraser University in 1999, and a Ph.D. in Earth and Ocean Sciences from the University of Victoria in 2004. Prior to joining Concordia University in January 2007, Dr. Matthews held a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Calgary, and worked as a post-doctoral researcher at the Carnegie Institution at Stanford. His research is aimed at better understanding the many possible interactions between human activities, natural ecosystems and future climate change, and contributing to the scientific knowledge base required to promote the development of sound national and international climate policy. Dr. Matthews has published more than 90 research papers on topics such as the climate response to cumulative carbon emissions, estimating allowable emissions for climate targets, and exploring equitable ways of sharing the global emissions quota. Dr. Matthews is a member of the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists of the Royal Society of Canada, serves as Concordia's scientific liaison to Future Earth, and was a contributing author to the Fourth and Fifth Assessment Reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Professional affiliations

Canadian Meteorological and Oceanography Society
American Geophysical Union

Attention Media: Will speak on climate change related issues

Climate Scenarios, Impacts and Modelling (CSIM) Lab

Visit the CSIM lab website

Graduate student opportunities

I am looking for graduate students interested in learning about global warming and climate modelling, and exploring the role of greenhouse gas cycles in the context of recent and future climate change. Potential students should have good quantitative skills, and some knowledge of computer programming would be an asset. Possible research projects include:

  • Estimating the climate response to cumulative greenhouse gas emissions
  • Predicting allowable emissions for global climate change policy targets
  • Projecting future changes in the availability of outdoor skating
  • Assessing national contributions to and responsibility for global warming
  • Modelling the atmospheric sinks for methane and nitrous oxide
  • Modelling the influence of past and future land-use change on climate
  • Assessing climate impacts as a function of global mean temperature change

Current Climate Lab student projects

  • Antti-Ilari Partanen (Post-doc): Climate and health implications of aerosol mitigation strategies
  • Nadine Mengis (Post-doc): Estimating carbon budgets for ambitious climate mitigation targets
  • Yann Chavaillaz (Post-doc): Response of extreme and abrupt climate events to cumulative emissions 
  • Daniel Horen Greenford (PhD student): Fossil Fuel Supply and Responsibility for Climate Change
  • Travis Moore (PhD student): Historical and projected future changes in weather extremes
  • Maida Hadziosmanovic (PhD student): Corporate contributions to and responsibility for historical climate change
  • Étienne Guertin (MSc student): Modelling fire as an interactive component of the climate system
  • Tanya Graham (MSc student): Impacts of cumulative emissions on mammal species
  • Alex MacIsaac (MSc student): Modelling atmospheric chemistry in a global climate model
  • Donny Seto (RA and Lab Manager): Cities, fossil fuel reserves and climate change

Teaching activities

Current Teaching

HENV 660 - Climate Change and Sustainability
GEOG 478 - Climate Change Science, Impacts and Policy

Past Courses Taught

GEOG 378 - The Climate System
GEOL 440 - Seminar in Environmental Earth Sciences
HENV 655 - Environmental Modeling
HENV 610 - Quantitative Research Methods



  • Mengis, N., Partanen, A.-I., Jalbert, H. and Matthews, H.D. 1.5°C carbon budget dependent on carbon cycle uncertainty and future non-CO2 forcing. Scientific Reports, submitted October 31, 2017.
  • Hienola, A., Partanen, A.-I., Pietikainen, J.-P., O'Donnell, D., Korhonen, H., Matthews, H. D. and Laaksonen, A. The impact of aerosol emissions on the 1.5°C pathways. Environmental Research Letters, submitted October 31, 2017.
  • Partanen, A.-I., Landry, J.-S. and Matthews, H. D. Climate and health implications of future aerosol emission scenarios. Environmental Research Letters, submitted February 15, 2017. ​
  • Matthews, H. D., Zickfeld, K., Knutti, R. and Allen, M. (2017) Focus on cumulative emissions, global carbon budgets and the implications for climate mitigation targets. Environmental Research Letters, accepted. 
  • Millar, R. J., Fuglestvedt, J. S., Grubb, M., Rogelj, J., Skeie, R. B., Friedlingstein, P., Forster, P. M., Frame, D., Matthews, H. D. and Allen, M. R. (2017) Emissions budgets and pathways consistent with limiting warming to 1.5 °C. Nature Geoscience, 10, 741-747.
  • Haustein, K., Allen, M. R., Forster, P. M., Otto, F. E. L., Mitchell, D. M., Matthews, H. D. and Frame, D. A (2017) robust real-time Global Warming Index. Scientific Reports, 7, 15417.
  • Partanen, A.-I., Leduc, M. and Matthews, H. D. (2017) Seasonal climate change patterns due to cumulative CO2 emissions. Environmental Research Letters, 12, 075002.
  • Brault, M.-O., Matthews, H. D. and Mysak, L. A. (2017) The importance of terrestrial weathering changes in multi-millennial recovery of the global carbon cycle: a two-dimensional perspective. Earth System Dynamics, 8(2), 455-475. 
  • Matthews, H. D., Landry, J.-S., Partanen, A.-I., Allen, M., Eby, M., Forster, P., Friedlingstein, P. and Zickfeld, K. (2017) Estimating carbon budgets for ambitious mitigation targets. Current Climate Change Reports, 3, 69-77. 
  • Landry, J.-S., Partanen, A.-I. and Matthews, H. D. (2017) Carbon cycle and climate effects of forcing from fire-emitted aerosols. Environmental Research Letters, 12(2), 025002.
  • Brault M.-O., Mysak L. A. and Matthews H. D. (2017) Carbon cycle implications of terrestrial weathering changes since the last glacial maximum. FACETS, 2, 267-285.
  • Landry, J.-S. and Matthews, H. D. (2017) The global pyrogenic carbon cycle and its impact on the level of atmospheric CO2 over past and future centuries. Global Change Biology, 23, 3205-3218.


  • Landry, J.-S., Parrott, L., Price, D. T., Ramankutty, N. and Matthews, H. D. (2016) Modelling long-term impacts of mountain pine beetle outbreaks on merchantable biomass, ecosystem carbon, albedo, and radiative forcing. Biogeosciences, 13, 5277-5295. 
  • Partanen, A.-I., Keller, D. P., Korhonen, H. and Matthews, H. D. (2016) Impacts of sea spray geoengineering on marine biogeochemistry. Geophysical Research Letters, 43, 10.1002/2016GL070111. 
  • Leduc, M., Matthews, H. D. and De Elia, R. (2016) Regional estimates of the Transient Climate Response to cumulative CO2 Emissions. Nature Climate Change, 6, 474-478. 
  • Zickfeld, K., MacDougall, A. H. and Matthews, H. D. (2016) On the proportionality between global temperature change and cumulative CO2 emissions during periods of net negative CO2 emissions. Environmental Research Letters, 055006. 
  • Graham, T. L., Matthews, H. D. and Turner, S. E. (2016) Evaluating climatic changes in regions of non-human primate habitat. International Journal of Primatology, 37, 158–174. 
  • Landry, J.-S. and Matthews, H. D. (2016) Non-deforestation fire vs. fossil fuel combustion: the source of CO2 emissions affects the global carbon cycle and climate responses. Biogeosciences, 13, 2137–2149. 
  • Landry, J.-S., Price, D. T., Ramankutty, N., Parrott L. and Matthews, H. D. (2016) Implementation of a Marauding Insect Module (MIM, version 1.0) into the Integrated BIosphere Simulator (IBIS, version 2.6 b4) dynamic vegetation-land surface model. Geoscientific Model Development, 9, 1243–1261. 
  • Simmons, C. and Matthews, H. D. (2016) Assessing the implications of human land-use change for the Transient Climate Response to cumulative carbon Emissions. Environmental Research Letters, 11, 035001. 
  • Simmons, C. T., Matthews, H. D. and Mysak, L. A. (2016) Deglacial climate, carbon cycle and ocean chemistry changes in response to a terrestrial carbon release. Climate Dynamics, 46, 1287–1299. 
  • Matthews, H. D. (2016) Quantifying historical carbon and climate debts. Nature Climate Change, 6, 60–64. 
  • Matthews, H. D. and Lamontagne, C. Global Climate Models. In: The International Encyclopedia of Geography: People, the Earth, Environment, and Technology, ISBN: 9781118786352.
  • ​Stoett, P. and Matthews, H. D. (2016) Paris, Marrakech and you: the battle against climate change. Montreal Gazette, November 6, 2016. 
  • Matthews, H. D. (2016) Montreal emissions targets for 1.5◦C and 2◦C global warming. Office de Consultations Public de Montreal, submitted to the public consultation on emissions targets, February 2016. 



  • Matthews, H. Damon (2014) A growing commitment to future CO2 emissions. Environmental Research Letters, 9, 111001.
  • Matthews, H. Damon (2014) Warming goal: clear link to emissions. Nature (Correspondence), 514, 434.
  • Reid M. G., Hamilton, C., Reid, S. K., Trousdale, W., Hill, C., Turner, N., Picard, C. R., Lamontagne, C. and Matthews, H. D. (2014) Indigenous climate change adaptation planning using a value-focused approach: A case study with the Gitga'at Nation. Journal of Ethnobiology, 34, 401-424.
  • Matthews, H. Damon, Graham, Tanya, Keverian, Serge, Smith, Trevor, Seto, Donny and Lamontagne, Cassandra (2014) National contributions to observed global warming. Environmental Research Letters, 9, 014010. 
  • Turner, Sarah E., Fedigan, Linda M., Matthews, H. Damon and Nakamicki, Masayuki (2014) Social consequences of disability in a nonhuman primate. Journal of Human Evolution, 68, 47-57. 


  • Matthews, H. D. and Solomon, S. (2013) Irreversible does not mean unavoidable. Science (Perspective), 340, 438-439. 
  • Gillett, N. P., Arora, V. K., Matthews, H. D. and Allen, M. R. (2013) Constraining the ratio of global warming to cumulative CO2 emissions using CMIP5 simulations. Journal of Climate, 26, 6844-6858. 
  • Solomon, S., Pierrehumbert, R., Matthews, H. D., Daniel, J. S. and Friedlingstein, P. (2013) Atmospheric composition, irreversible climate change, and mitigation policy. In: Climate Science for Serving Society: Research, Modeling and Prediction Priorities, G.R. Asrar and J.W. Hurrell (eds.). 415-436. 
  • Brault, M.-O., Mysak, L. A., Matthews, H. D. and Simmons, C. T. (2013) Assessing the impact of late Pleistocene megafaunal extinctions on global vegetation and climate. Climate of the Past, 9, 1761-1771. 
  • Simmons, C., Matthews, H. D. and Mysak, L. (2013) Investigating the natural carbon cycle since 6000 BP using an intermediate complexity model: the role of southern ocean ventilation and marine ice shelves. Atmosphere-Ocean, 51, 187-212. 
  • Markovic, M., de Elia, R., Frigon, A. and Matthews, H. D. (2013) A transition from CMIP3 to CMIP5 for climate information providers: the case of surface temperature over eastern North America. Climatic Change 120, 197-210.
  • Ciais, P. and Sabine, C. et al. (2013) Chapter 6: Carbon and other biogeochemical cycles. In: Working Group I Contribution to the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, U.K. (Matthews, H. D., contributing author).
  • Bindoff, N. and Stott, P. et al. (2013) Chapter 10: Detection and attribution of climate change: from global to regional. In: Working Group I Contribution to the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, U.K. (Matthews, H. D., contributing author).
  • Collins, M. and Knutti, R. et al. (2013) Chapter 12: Long-term climate change: projections, commitments and irreversibility. In: Working Group I Contribution to the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, U.K. (Matthews, H. D., contributing author). 
  • Matthews, H. D. (2013) Emissions cuts made now fight global warming immediately. The Conversation, May 16, 2013. 
  • Matthews, H. D. (2013) Use less fossil fuel, save outdoor hockey. Gazette, Op-Ed, February 5.  
  • Matthews, H. D. (2013) Adieu, les patinoires extérieures? Le Devoir, Op-Ed (in French), February 1. 


  • Matthews, H. D. (2012) Sandy a warning about global warming. Gazette, Op-Ed, November 6. 
  • Matthews, H. D. (2012) Le monstre Sandy: \'etrange prog\'eniture d'un climat en mutation? Le Devoir, Op-Ed (in French), November 5.
  • Matthews, H. D. (2012) Le plan Harper, un d\'eeveloppement non durable. La Presse and Le Devoir, Op-Ed (in French), April 22. 
  • Matthews, H. D. and Zickfeld, K. (2012) Climate response to zeroed emissions of greenhouse gases and aerosols. Nature Climate Change, 2, 338-341.
  • Matthews, H. D., Solomon, S. and Pierrehumbert, R. (2012) Cumulative carbon as a policy framework for achieving climate stabilization. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, 370, 4365-4379.
  • Damyanov, N, Matthews, H. D. and Mysak, L. (2012) Observed changes in the outdoor skating season in Canada. Environmental Research Letters, 7, 014028.
  • Nugent, K. and Matthews, H. D. (2012) Drivers of future Northern latitude runoff change. Atmosphere-Ocean, 50, 197-206. 
  • Olson, R., Sriver, R., Goes, M., Urban, N. M., Matthews, H. D., Haran, M. and Keller, K. (2012) A climate sensitivity estimate using global average observations and an Earth System model with a dynamic 3D ocean. Journal of Geophysical Research D, 117, D04103. 
  • Pinsonneault, A., Matthews, H. D., Galbraith, E. and Schmittner, A. (2012) Calcium carbonate production response to future ocean warming and acidification. Biogeosciences, 9, 2351-2364.
  • Ross, A., Matthews, H. D., Kothavala, Z. and Schmittner, A. (2012) Assessing the effects of ocean diffusivity and climate sensitivity on the rate of climate change. Tellus B, 64, 17733. 
  • Akbari, H., Matthews, H. D. and Seto, D. (2012) The long-term effect of increasing the albedo of urban areas. Environmental Research Letters, 7, 024004.Link to PDF 
  • Akbari, H., and Matthews, H. D. (2012) Global cooling updates: reflective roofs and pavements. Energy and Buildings, 55, 2-6. 
  • Turner, S. E., Fedigan, L., Matthews, H. D. and Nakamichi, M. (2012) Disability, compensatory behavior and innovation in free-ranging adult female Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata). American Journal of Primatology, 74, 788-803.


  • Matthews, H. D. and Srivastiva, P. (2011) Canada's complacency on climate change is an embarrassment. Montreal Gazette, Op-Ed, July 2, 2011.
  • Solomon, S., et al. (2011) Climate Stabilization Targets: Emissions, Concentrations and Impacts over Decades to Millennia, The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C. (Matthews, H. D., co-author)
  • Zickfeld, K., Eby, M., Matthews, H. D., Schmittner, A and Weaver, A. J. (2011) Nonlinearity of carbon cycle feedbacks. Journal of Climate, 24, 4254 4274. 
  • Pinsonnuealt, A., Matthews, H. D. and Kothavala, Z. (2011) Benchmarking climate-carbon models against forest FACE data. Atmosphere-Ocean, 49, 41 50. 
  • Li, Y., Yang, X., Xiaodong, Z., Mulvill, P. R. and Matthews, H. D. (2011) Integrating climate change factors into China s development policy: Adaptation strategies and mitigation to environmental change. Ecological Complexity, 8, 294 298.


  • Davis, S. J., Caldeira, K. and Matthews, H. D. (2010) Future CO2 emissions and climate change from existing energy infrastructure. Science, 329, 1330 1333. 
  • Matthews, H. D. (2010) Can carbon cycle geoengineering be a useful complement to ambitious climate mitigation? Carbon Management, 1, 135 144.
  • Matthews, H. D. and Weaver, A. (2010) Committed climate warming. Nature Geoscience, 3, 142-142.
  • Gillett, N. P. and Matthews, H. D. (2010) Accounting for carbon cycle feedbacks in a comparison of the global warming effects of greenhouse gases. Environmental Research Letters, 5, 034011.
  • Turner S. E., Fedigan, L. M., Nakamichi, M., Matthews, H. D., McKenna, K., Nobuhara, H., Nobuhara, T. and Shimizu, K. (2010) Birth in free-ranging Macaca fuscata. International Journal of Primatology, 31, 15 37.


  • Matthews, H. D. (2009) Sommet de Copenhague un climat favorable. Le Devoir, Op-Ed (in French), December 7, 2009.
  • Matthews. H. D.. Gillett, N., Stott, P. and Zickfeld, K. (2009) The proportionality of global warming to cumulative carbon emissions. Nature, 459, 829-832. 
  • Matthews. H. D. and Turner S. E. (2009) Of mongooses and mitigation: Ecological analogues to geoengineering. Environmental Research Letters, 4, 045105. 
  • Ross. A. and Matthews, H. D. (2009) Climate enigineering and the risk of rapid climate change. Environmental Research Letters, 4, 045103. 
  • Zickfeld, K., Eby. M.. Matthews, H. D. and Weaver, A. J. (2009) Setting cumulative emissions: targets to reduce the risk of dangerous climate change. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences U.S.A., 106, 16 129-16134. 
  • Schmittnler, A., Urban. N. M., Keller, K and Matthews, H. D. (2009) Using tracer observations to reduce the uncertaintv of ocean diapycnal mnixing and climate-carbon projections. Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 23, G B4009.
  • Matthews, H. D., Cao, L. and Caldeira. K. (2009) Sensitivity of ocean acidification to geoenginieered climate stabilization. Geophysical Research Letters, L10706
  • Arora, V. and Matthews. H. D. (2009) Characterizing uncertainty in modelling primary, terrestrial ecosystem processes. Global Biogeochemical Cycles, GB2016.
  • Matthews, H. D. and Keith, D. (2009) Geoengineering. The Oxford Companion to Global Change, Ed. David Cuff and Andrew Goudie, Oxford University Press, Oxford, U.K. 


  • Matthews, H. D. and Caldeira, K. (2007) Transient climate-carbon simulations of planetary geoengineering. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, U.S.A., 104, 9949-9954. 
  • Matthews, H. D. and Keith, D. W. (2007) Carbon-cycle feedbacks increase the likelihood of a warmer future. Geophysical Research Letters, 34, L09702. 
  • Matthews, H. D., Eby, M., Ewen, T., Friedlingstein, P. and Hawkins, B. (2007) What determines the magnitude of carbon cycle-climate feedbacks? Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 21, GB2012.
  • Matthews, H. D. (2007) Effect of CO2 fertilization uncertainty on future climate change in a coupled climate-carbon model. Global Change Biology, 13, 1068-1078.
  • Meehl, G. A., Stocker, T. F. et al. (2007) Chapter 10: Global Climate Projections. In: Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis, Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, U.K. (Matthews, H. D., contributing author)


  • Matthews, H. D. (2006) Emissions targets for CO2 stabilization as modified by carbon cycle feedbacks. Tel lus B Special Issue, 58B, 591-602. 
  • Friedlingstein, P., Cox, P., Betts, R., Bopp, L., von Bloh, W., Brovkin, V, Doney, S., Eby, M., Fung, I., Govindasamy, B., John, J., Jones, C., Joos, F., Kato, T., Kawamiya, M., Knorr, W., Lindsay, K., Matthews, H. D., Raddatz, T., Rayner, P., Reick, C., Roeckner, E., Schnitzler, K.-G., Schnur, R., Strassmann, K., Thompson, S., Weaver, A. J., Yoshikawa, C., and Zeng, N. (2006) Climate-carbon cycle feedback analysis, results from the C4MIP model intercomparison. Journal of Climate, 19, 3337-3353.
  • Brovkin, V., Claussen, M., Driesschaert, E., Fichefet, T., Kicklighter, D., Loutre, M.-F., Matthews, H. D., Ramankutty, N., Schaeffer, M. and Sokolov, A. (2006) Biogeophysical effects of historical land cover changes simulated by six Earth system models of intermediate complexity. Climate Dynamics, 26, 587–600.
  • Matthews, D. (2006) The water cycle freshens up. Nature, 439, 793-794. 

2005 and earlier

  • Matthews, H. D. (2005) Decrease of emissions required to stabilize atmospheric CO2 due to positive carbon cycle-climate feedbacks. Geophysical Research Letters, 32, L21707. 
  • Matthews, H. D., Eby, M., Weaver, A. J. and Hawkins, B. J. (2005) Primary productivity control of simulated carbon cycle-climate feedbacks. Geophysical Research Letters, 32, L14708. 
  • Matthews, H. D., Weaver, A. J. and Meissner, K. J. (2005) Terrestrial carbon cycle dynamics under recent and future climate change. Journal of Climate, 18, 1609-1628.
  • Matthews, H. D., Weaver, A. J., Meissner, K. J., Gillett, N. P. and Eby, M. (2004) Natural and anthropogenic climate change: Incorporating historical land cover change, vegetation dynamics and the global carbon cycle. Climate Dynamics, 22, 461-479. 
  • Meissner, K. J., Weaver, A. J., Matthews, H. D. and Cox, P. M. (2003) The role of land-surface dynamics in glacial inception: A study with the UVic Earth System Climate Model. Climate Dynamics, 21, 515-537.
  • Matthews, H. D., Weaver, A. J., Meissner, K. J. and Eby, M. (2003) Radiative forcing of climate by historical land cover change. Geophysical Research Letters, 30, 1055.
  • Weaver, A. J., Eby, M., Wiebe, E. C., Bitz, C. M., Duffy, P. B., Ewen, T. L., Fanning, A. F., Holland, M. M., MacFadyen, A., Matthews, H. D., Meissner, K. J., Saenko, O., Schmittner, A., Wang, H., and Yoshimori, M. (2001) The UVic Earth System Climate Model: Model description, climatology and application to past, present and future climates. Atmosphere-Ocean, 39, 361-428.

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