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Damon Matthews, PhD

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

Damon Matthews, PhD
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
  • Assessing climate impacts as a function of global mean temperature change
  • Assessing national contributions to and responsibility for global warming
  • Projecting future changes in the availability of outdoor skating
  • Modelling the influence of past and future land-use change on climate

Current Climate Lab student projects

  • 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 (PhD student): Modelling coupled climate-economic systems
  • Alex MacIsaac (MSc student): Modelling atmospheric chemistry in a global climate model
  • Miles Barette Duckworth (MSc student): Effect of gravel roads on carbon sequestration via enhanced weathering
  • Samantha Mailhot (MSc student): Public perceptions of degrowth as a climate response strategy
  • 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, J., and Matthews, H. D. (2018). 1.5° C carbon budget dependent on carbon cycle uncertainty and future non-CO2 forcing. Scientific Reports, 8(1), 5831.
  • Teufel, B., Sushama, L., Huziy, O., Diro, G. T., Jeong, D. I., Winger, K. Garnaud, C., de Elia, R., Zwiers, F. W., Matthews, H. D. and Nguyen, V.-T.-V. (2018) Investigation of the mechanisms leading to the 2017 Montreal flood. Climate Dynamics, 1-14. 

  • Hienola, A., Partanen, A. I., Pietikäinen, J. P., O’Donnell, D., Korhonen, H., Matthews, H. D., and Laaksonen, A. (2018). The impact of aerosol emissions on the 1.5° C pathways. Environmental Research Letters, 13(4), 044011.
  • Partanen, A. I., Landry, J. S., and Matthews, H. D. (2018). Climate and health implications of future aerosol emission scenarios. Environmental Research Letters, 13(2), 024028.
  • Millar, R.J., Fuglestvedt, J.S., Friedlingstein, P., Rogelj, J., Grubb, M.J., Matthews, H.D., Skeie, R.B., Forster, P.M., Frame, D.J. and Allen, M.R. (2018). Reply to ‘Interpretations of the Paris climate target’. Nature Geoscience, 11, 222.
  • Matthews, H. D., Zickfeld, K., Knutti, R., and Allen, M. R. (2018). Focus on cumulative emissions, global carbon budgets and the implications for climate mitigation targets. Environmental Research Letters, 13(1), 010201.


  • 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) A real-time Global Warming Index. Scientific Reports, 7(1), 15417.
  • Partanen, A.-I., Leduc, M. and Matthews, H. D. (2017) Seasonal climate change patterns due to cumulative CO2 emissions. Environmental Research Letters, 12(7), 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(1), 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(8), 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. 

2012 and earlier

  • 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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