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Professor Mike Hulme, BSc PhD

Professor Mike Hulme, BSc PhD

Professor of Human Geography and Fellow of Pembroke College

Mike studies the cultural and epistemic construction of the idea of climate change, and its discursive and material effects, drawing upon scientific, social scientific and humanities insight.


Mike Hulme joined the Department at Cambridge in September 2017, following a period of four years as professor of climate and culture in the Department of Geography at King's College London where he was Head of Department. From 2000 to 2007 he was the Founding Director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, a multi-institutional and inter-disciplinary research centre based at the University of East Anglia (UEA). For 12 years prior to establishing the Tyndall Centre, Hulme worked in the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at UEA and had the dubious honour of having five years' worth of his professional email correspondence released to public scrutiny as a result of the Climategate controversy. While in CRU, Hulme specialised in the compilation and analysis of global climate datasets and the construction and application of climate change scenarios for impact, adaptation and integrated assessment. He led the preparation of a series of climate scenarios and reports for the UK Government and in 2007 he received a personalised certificate from the Nobel Peace Prize committee in recognition of his 'significant contribution' to the work of the United Nations' IPCC. Hulme continues as the founding Editor-in-Chief of the review journal Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews (WIREs) Climate Change, with a journal impact factor of 4.6.

An extended narrative of his research career, impacts and influence to 2011 can be found online. His personal website is


  • 1984-1988: University of Salford
  • 1986: University of Zimbabwe
  • 1988-2013: University of East Anglia
  • 2013-2017: King's College London


  • BSc, University of Durham
  • PhD, University of Wales, Swansea


Hulme studies the numerous ways in which the idea of climate-change is constructed and deployed in public, political and scientific discourse, exploring both its historical, cultural and scientific origins and its contemporary meanings. His work has appeared in academic journals in the sciences, social sciences and humanities and has profoundly shaped the way in which the idea of climate-change is being studied, communicated and mobilised, in both the academy and public life. He draws inspiration from the geography of science, STS, environmental history and political ecology, but his research can be understood as defining a new field of critical climate anthropology.

Hulme's most recent book is Weathered: A Cultural Geography of Climate (SAGE, 2017), which explores how different cultures around the world make sense of their weather and climate. Among his other books are Can Science Fix Climate Change? A Case Against Climate Engineering (Polity Press, 2014) and Why We Disagree About Climate Change (CUP, 2009). This latter has was chosen by The Economist magazine as one of its science and technology books of the year and has become one of the standard university texts worldwide for social science and humanities students studying climate change. It was selected by CUP in November 2015 as one of their top 20 most influential books of all time, 'influencing policy-making, contributing to social change and altering intellectual landscapes'.

PhD supervision

He is particularly interested in the following topics and welcomes approaches from prospective PhD students on these and related themes:

  • relationships between climate, history and culture
  • cultural and scientific knowledge of climate and its changes
  • politics and ethics of climate engineering
  • public meanings and representations of the idea of climate-change

Doctoral students being supervised:

  • Ramya Tella (at King's College London, since October 2015; self-funded): "Knowledge, statecraft and the stage: the performance of authority and credibility in Indian climate politics"
  • Noam Obermeister (since October 2018; ESRC-funded): "Exploring the role of negotiations and tacit expectations in expert advice - the case of environmental science-policy in the UK"
  • Maximilian Hepach (since October 2018; AHRC-funded): "Under the weather: towards a phenomenological genealogy of weather and climate"
  • David Durand-Delacre (since October 2018; Cambridge Trust-funded): "Environmental influences on African migration to France: a participative critical discourse analysis"


Recent publications

  • Castree,N., Hulme,M. and Proctor,J.D. (2018) Companion to Environmental Studies Routledge, Abingdon, 849pp.
  • Hulme,M. (2017) Weathered: Cultures of climate SAGE, London, 185pp.
  • Hulme,M. (ed.) (2015) Climates and cultures: SAGE Library of the Environment 6 Vols., SAGE, London, 1872pp.
  • Hulme,M. (2014) Can science fix climate change? A case against climate engineering Polity, Cambridge, UK, 158pp
  • Hulme,M. (2013) Exploring climate change through science and in society: an anthology of Mike Hulme's essays, interviews and speeches Routledge, Abingdon, UK, 330pp.
  • Hulme,M. and Neufeldt,H. (eds.) (2010) Making climate change work for us: European perspectives on adaptation and mitigation strategies Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 413pp.
  • Hulme,M. (2009) Why we disagree about climate change: understanding controversy, inaction and opportunity Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 393pp. (translated into German (2014) and Turkish (2015))
  • Hulme,M. and Barrow,E.M. (eds.) (1997) Climates of The British Isles: present, past and future Routledge, London, 454pp.

Journal articles


  • Selby,J., Dahi,O.S., Fröhlich,C. and Hulme,M. (2017) Climate change and the Syrian civil war revisited Political Geography 60, 232-244
  • Selby,J., Dahi,O., Fröhlich,C. and Hulme,M. (2017) Climate change and the Syrian civil war: a rejoinder Political Geography 60, 253-255
  • Pearce,W., Grundmann,R., Hulme,M., Raman,S., Kershaw,E.H. and Tsouvalis,J. (2017) Beyond counting climate consensus Environmental Communication
  • Hulme,M. (2017) Climate change and the importance of religion Economic & Political Weekly 52(28), 14-17, 15 July 2017


  • Hulme,M. (2016) 1.5°C and climate research after the Paris Agreement Nature Climate Change 6(3), 222-224
  • Mahony,M. and Hulme,M. (2016) Modelling and the nation: institutionalizing climate prediction in the UK, 1988-92 Minerva 54, 445-470
  • Mahony,M. and Hulme,M. (2016) Epistemic geographies of climate change: science, space and politics Progress in Human Geography DOI: 10.1177/0309132516681485
  • Turnhout,E., Dewulf,A. and Hulme,M. (2016) What does policy-relevant global environmental knowledge do? The cases of climate and biodiversity Current Opinions in Environmental Sustainability 18, 65-72


  • Hulme,M. (2015) (Still) Disagreeing about climate change: which way forward? Zygon: A Journal of Religion and Science 50(4), 893-905
  • Hulme,M. (2015) Changing what exactly, and from where? A response to Castree Dialogues in Human Geography 5(3), 322-326
  • Hulme,M. (2015) Climate and its changes: a cultural appraisal GEO: Geography and Environment 2(1), 1-11
  • Sillmann,J., Lenton,T., Levermann,A., Ott,K., Hulme,M., Benduhn,F. and Horton,J.B. (2015) Climate emergency – no argument for climate engineering Nature Climate Change 5(4), 290-292
  • Borie,M. and Hulme,M. (2015) Framing global biodiversity: IPBES between Mother Earth and ecosystem services Environmental Science & Policy 54, 487-496
  • Lövbrand,E., Beck,S., Chilvers,J., Forsyth,T., Hedren,J., Hulme,M., Lidskog,R. and Vasileiadou,E. (2015) The ontological politics of the Anthropocene: a critical research agenda for the social sciences Global Environmental Change 32, 211-218
  • Hulme,M. (2015) Climate Environmental Humanities 6, 175-178
  • Hulme,M. (2015) Better weather? The cultivation of the sky Cultural Anthropology 30(2), 236-244


  • Hulme,M. (2014) Attributing weather extremes to 'climate change': A review Progress in Physical Geography 38(4), 499-511
  • Hulme,M. (2014) Climate change and virtue: an apologetic Humanities 3(3), 299-312
  • Beck,S. …., Hulme,M. … and 14 co-authors (2014) Towards a reflexive turn in the governance of global environmental expertise. The cases of the IPCC and the IPBES GAiA 23/2, 80–87


  • Porter,K.E. and Hulme,M. (2013) The emergence of the geoengineering debate in the British print media: a frame analysis Geographical Journal 179(4), 342-355


  • Turnhout,E., Bloomfield,R., Hulme,M., Wynne,B. and Vogel,J. (2012) Listen to the voices of experience Nature 488, 454-455
  • Sutherland,W.J., Bellingan,L., ... , Hulme,M., ... and 49 others (2012) A collaboratively-derived science-policy research agenda PLoS ONE 7(3): e31824. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0031824, 5pp.
  • Mahony,M. and Hulme,M. (2012) The colour of risk: an exploration of the IPCC's 'burning embers' diagram Spontaneous Generation: A Journal for the History and Philosophy of Science 6(1), 75-89
  • Lake,I.R., Hooper,L., Abdelhamid,A., Bentham,G., Boxall,A., Draper,A., Fairweather-Tait,S. Hulme,M., Hunter,P.R., Nichols,G. and Waldron,K. (2012) Climate change and food security: health impacts in developed countries Environmental Health Perspectives 120(11), 1520-1526
  • Hulme,M. (2012) Climate change: Climate engineering through stratospheric aerosol injection Progress in Physical Geography 36(5), 694-705
  • Hulme,M. (2012) 'Telling a different tale': literary, historical and meteorological reading of a Norfolk heatwave Climatic Change 113(1), 5-21
  • Hastrup,K., Schaffer,S., Kennel,C.F., Sneath,D., Bravo,M., Diemberger,H., Graf,H-F., Hobbs,J., Davs,J., Nodari,L., Vassena,G., Irvine,R., Evans,C., Strathern,M., Hulme,M., Kaser,G. and Bodenhorn,B. (2012) Communicating climate knowledge: proxies, processes, politics Current Anthropology 53(2), 226-244
  • Mahony,M. and Hulme,M. (2012) Model migrations: mobility and boundary crossings in regional climate prediction Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 37(2), 197-211


  • Part IB: Geographical Concepts
  • Part 2: Environmental Knowledges and the Politics of Expertise

External activities

  • Editor-in-Chief, WIREs Climate Change (since 2009)
  • Editorial Board member for: Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers (since 2013), Global Environmental Change (since 2010), GAIA (since 2014), Environmental Science and Policy (since 2011).
  • Advisory Board of ENHANCE, EU-funded training network in Environmental Humanities (2015-present)
  • Head of Geography Department, King's College London (2016-2017)
  • Advisory Board of ECOPAS Project, EU FP7 (2012-2017)
  • Advisor to the All-Party Parliamentary Climate Change Group (2015-2016)
  • Chair, Advisory Board for STEPS Centre, University of Sussex (2010-2016)
  • Rachel Carson Fellow, LMU Münich (2014)
  • Review Panel Member for European Research Council (2008-2012)
  • Commissioning Panel member for AHRC's Environmental Narratives Programme (2010-2011)
  • Scientific Advisory Board member for UK Climate Impacts Programme (2007-2011)
  • Advisor for London Science Museum Climate Change Exhibition (2009-2011)
  • Science Advisor (climate change) for the British Council (2007-2010)
  • Personalised certificate for 'contributing significantly' to the award of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize jointly to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)