Valérie MASSON-DELMOTTE - Speaker 2019

Chercheur senior CEA au LSCE (Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement) / CEA Senior scientist at LSCE

Vice-Chair of IPCC Group I

Valérie Masson-Delmotte obtained her doctorate in fluid physics and transfer from the Ecole Centrale de Paris in 1996. In 1997, she joined the Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement (LSCE) of the CEA where she obtained her habilitation to direct research (HDR) in 2004.

Research director since 2008, her research focuses on the evolution of past climates and the impact of future climate, on stable isotopes of water, on climate archives in tree rings and polar ice, and on the comparison between paleoclimate reconstruction and simulations.

In 2018 alone, Valérie Masson-Delmotte has contributed to more than 200 scientific publications. Also a scientific mediator, she has written books for children and the general public to explain scientific knowledge on climate change and its impacts. She has also curated several exhibitions on these themes and given numerous lectures.

Since 2015, Valérie Masson-Delmotte has been co-chair of Working Group 1 of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Finally, she is a member of the High Council for the Climate, created in 2018 and placed under the Prime Minister.

Latest IPCC report : Global Warming of 1.5 ºC

The video summary on the WWF website

And a reminder from NewCorp Conseil of some useful benchmarks! +1.5°C instead of +2°C ...
👉 ... that's half the number of people exposed to water shortages
👉 ... is to preserve 1.5 to 2.5 million km2 of permafrost
👉 ... is to reduce the rise in sea level by 10 cm
👉 ... is preserving 30% of coral reefs versus a complete loss at +2°C!!!
👉 With warming limited to 1.5°C, 6 % of insects, 8 % of plants and 4 % of vertebrates will lose half their habitat ... these percentages double at +2°C
👉 On poverty and inequality, limiting warming to +1.5°C instead of +2°C would reduce the number of people affected by poverty by several hundred million by 2050.

The consequences, already disastrous at 1.5°C, are much more serious at 2°C. So the other big message is: EVERY HALF-DEGREET COUNTS!

The pdf of the IPCC report of 8 October 2018 is here :

Bio of Valérie Masson-Delmotte :

Research topics / Research activities

  • Climate variability and change / Climate variability and climate change
  • Stable isotopes of water / Water stable isotopes
  • Climate records in tree rings and polar ice / Climate archives from tree rings and polar ice cores
  • Comparisons between paleoclimate reconstructions and simulations / Comparison between paleoclimatic reconstructions and simulations

General public / Outreach


For children (9-12 years)

  1. Le climat, de nos ancêtres à vos enfants, V. Masson-Delmotte, B. Dubrulle, C. Gambini, Le Pommier, Paris, 2005 (62 pages).
  2. Les expéditions polaires, V. Masson-Delmotte, G. Jugie, Y. Fastier, Le Pommier, Paris, 2007 (62 pages).
  3. Atmosphere, what greenhouse effect, V. Masson-Delmotte, M. Delmotte, Le Pommier, Paris, 2009 (63 pages).

  General public

  1. Atmosphere, atmosphere, D. Hauglustaine, J. Jouzel, V. Masson-Delmotte, 2008 (215 pages).
  2. Climat, le vrai et le faux, V. Masson-Delmotte, A. Pailler, Le Pommier, Paris, 2011 (203 pages).
  3. Le climat à découvert, C. Jeandel and R. Mosseri, CNRS éditions, Paris, 2011 (200 pages).
  4. Climate, a planet and people, what human influence on global warming? M. Petit and A. Chabreuil, Le Cherche-Midi, Paris, 2011 (333 pages).
  5. La révolution des métiers verts, 20 passionnés témoignent, collective Adret, Editions Autrement, Paris (151 pages).
  6. Climate Controversies, Science and Politics, Zaccai, Gemenne and Decroly, Presses de Sciences Po, 2012 (254 pages).
  7. 150 questions sur l'Océan et le Climat, Collectif, Le Pommier, 2012 (224 pages).
  8. Des climats et des hommes, J.F. Berger, J.P. Jacob, F. Jacq, La Découverte, 2012 (496 pages).
  9. Understanding the Earth System, Global Change Science for Application, Cornell, Colin Prentice, House and Downy, Cambridge U. Press, 2012 (267 pages).
  10. Antarctica, Ice with everything, Collective, D. Walton, Cambridge U. Press, 2013.
  11. L'énergie à découvert, C. Jeandel and R. Mosseri, CNRS éditions, Paris, 2013.
  12. Paleoclimatology, Investigating ancient climates. Finding and interpreting the evidence, J.-C. Duplessy and G. Ramstein, EDP Sciences, in press.
  13. Le développement durable à découvert, CNRS éditions, in press.


  1. Masson-Delmotte, J. Jouzel, J. Chappellaz, D. Raynaud, Les archives glacées du climat, Pour la Science, May
  2. Masson-Delmotte, J. Chappellaz, Au coeur de la glace, les secrets du climat, La Météorologie, 2002 (also published in the Palais de la Découverte magazine and the Bulletin de l'Union des Physiciens)

 French translation of the chapter "Paléoclimat" of the 4th IPCC report: IPCC-Chap6-translation


What climate for tomorrow?

Greenland's ice, witnesses and actors of climate change,glaces-groenland-temoins-acteurs-changement-climatique.html


  • Since 2008: Director of Research at the CEA / Senior scientist at CEA.
  • 2004 Habilitation à diriger les recherches (HDR) Paris 6 : « Variabilité du climat et du cycle de l’eau : géochimie isotopique des précipitations » / Habilitation to direct research "Climate and water cycle variability: precipitation isotopic geochemistry Masson_2004_HDR.pdf
  • 1998-2008 Head of the GLACCIOS team / Head of the GLACCIOS research group
  • 2010-2013 Theme Leader for 'Climate Dynamics and Archives'/ Head of the paleoclimate group
  • Since 1996 Researcher at the CEA / CEA scientist
  • 1996: PhD thesis from the Ecole Centrale de Paris, in Fluid and Transfer Physics: "Simulation of the mid-Holocene climate using atmospheric general circulation models, impacts of parameterizations" / "Simulation of the mid-Holocene climate using atmospheric general circulation models, impacts of parameterizations PhD thesis in fluid physics: "Modelling mid-Holocene climate using atmospheric general circulation models, impact of parameterisations
  • 1993: DEA and Engineering Diploma from Ecole Centrale Paris, specialising in Fluid and Transfer Physics, with honours
  • 1988-1990: Preparatory classes P'.
  • 1988 : Bac C with honours

Teaching / Teaching

  • Lectures on climate change in preparation for the CAPES SVT (Paris 7), preparation for the AGREG SVT (Paris 6), MASTER2 in biology at Orsay, MASTER1 at Paris Dauphine, Master's degree in the Arctic (UVSQ)
  • Climate and sustainable development modules at Ecole Centrale Paris
  • Numerous interventions in schools and for the general public
  • Co-supervision of 10 PhD students
  • Participation in 10 thesis juries in France, Europe, Russia, Australia


IPCC (lead author of the paleoclimate chapter of the 4th synthesis report)

Associate Editor of Climate of the Past

CLIVAR/PAGES intersection panel, CLIVAR Scientific Council, IACS Scientific Council

Arranging sessions at the IUGG

Member of the steering committee of HOLIVAR (2000-2006), IPICS (since 2006), NorthGRIP (1998-2004), NEEM (since 2004)

Member of the ADEME Board of Directors, the ONF Ethics and Orientation Council, the Climate and Health Adaptation Working Group, the OPECST, the Polar Environment Committee

Projects / Projects

Coordination of national projects :

  • NRA GREENLAND since March 2011
  • ANR NEEM since January 2008
  • GIS Pluies-Tibet (2007-2009), co-funded by the French Embassy in Beijing, China
  • ANR PICC (2005-2008) with Elsa Cortijo
  • ECLIPSE CAC1000 (2004-2006) with Valérie Daux
  • GDR Antarctica (2004-2005)
  • ECLIPSE PAGAA (2001-2004)
  • IPEV NorthGRIP (2000-2004)
  • NDEP North Atlantic (1999-2000)
  • DTT/DYTEC (1997-1998)

Participation in international projects:

  • Participant in POP, EPICA, MILECLIM, North-South projects

Field mission :

NorthGRIP (Greenland), 1997, 2 months; NEEM (Greenland), 2008, 2 months

Price / Awards

  • Grand Prix Etienne Roth of the Académie des Sciences with Françoise Vimeux (2002)
  • Collectively with the LSCE climate theme, Louis D Prize of the Institut de France (2004)
  • Associated with the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Al Gore and the IPCC
  • European Commission Descartes Prize for Transnational Collaborative Research: EPICA (2008)
  • UVSQ Prize for Scientific Excellence (2011)

Research administration / Service

  • Since 2010: INSU Scientific Council
  • Since 2007: appointed member of the CSOA of the INSU
  • 2002-2009: Appointed member of the CPST of the IPEV
  • 2005-2006: appointed member of the CSD6 of the ANR (white call and young researchers)
  • 2004-2004: elected member of the CNRS national committee (section 13)
  • 2006-: IACS (International association of Cryosphere Sciences) Office, Division Head

Scientific publications / Scientific papers in peer-reviewed literature 

Click here to access the full list (full list here)

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