McMaster University

McMaster University

Contact Information

Altaf Arain, Professor,
Director, McMaster Centre for Climate Change,
School of Geography and Earth Sciences

Office: General Science Building, Rm 214
Tel: (905) 525-9140 ext. 27941
Fax: (905) 546-0463

View Clip (.wmv)

Climate Change Research Program

McMaster Centre for Climate Change

McMaster University Weather Station

Ph.D  Student Opportunities
starting winter/fall session, 2015

Dr. Arain is currently on research leave

Dr. Altaf Arain

Altaf Arain

Research Interests

  • Hydrometeorology;
  • Biometeorology;
  • Climatology;
  • Forest carbon and water cycles;
  • Evapotranspiration; Ecosystem and Land surface-atmosphere interaction models;
  • Global climate models;
  • Air pollution;
  • Environment and health.


Related News Articles




Dr. Altaf Arain current research involves measurement of carbon dioxide, water vapour and energy fluxes and other meteorological variables over a chronosequence of planted conifer forest in southern Ontario under a McMaster Univesity Initiative and boreal mixed wood forests in northern Ontario under Fluxnet-Canada program. Objectives are to find out how much carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere as these forests grow and how seasonal and annual climate variability and other environmental factors regulate this carbon uptake.




Current Courses

Earth Sc/Envir Sc 4C03 Advanced Physical Climatology, Not Offered
Earth Sci 6C03
Advanced Physical Climatology, Not Offered
Earth Sci 755 Bio- and Hydro-Meteorology, Not Offered




Selected Publications (Peer reviewed)

Click Here for Full Publication List


Christoffersen BO, Restrepo-Coupe N, Arain MA, Baker IT, Cestaro BP, Ciais P, Fisher JB, Galbraith D, Guan X, Gulden L, van den Hurk B, Ichii K, Imbuzeiro H, Jain A, Levine N, Miguez-Macho G, Poulter B, Roberti DR, Sakaguchi K, Sahoo A, Schaefer K, Shi M, Verbeeck H, Yang Z-L, Araújo AC, Kruijt B, Manzi AO, da Rocha HR, von Randow C, Muza MN, Borak J, Costa MH, Gonçalves de Gonçalves LG, Zeng X, Saleska SR. 2014. Mechanisms of water supply and vegetation demand govern the seasonality and magnitude of evapotranspiration in Amazonia and Cerrado. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 191(0): 33-50.

Zha, T.S., A.G. Barr, P.-Y. Bernier, M.B. Lavigne, J.A. Trofymow, B.D. Amiro, M.A.Arain, J.S. Bhatti, T.A. Black, H.A. Margolis, J.H. McCaughey, Z.S. Xing, K.C.J. Van Rees, C. Coursolle, 2013.  Gross and aboveground net primary production at Canadian forest carbon flux sites. Agricltural and Forest Meteorology 174-175: 54-64.

Goncalves, L.G.G., Borak, J.S., Costa, M.H., Saleska, S.R., Baker, I., Restrepo-Coupe,N., Muza, M.N., Poulter, B., Verbeeck, H., Fisher, J.B., Arain, M.A., Arkin, P., Ces-taro, B.P., Christoffersen, B., Galbraith, D., Guan, X., van den Hurk, B.J.J.M., Ichii,K., Imbuzeiro, H.M.A., Jain, A.K., Levine, N., Lu, C., Miguez-Macho, G., Roberti,D.R., Sahoo, A., Sakaguchi, K., Schaefer, K., Shi, M., Shuttleworth, W.J., Tian, H.,Yang, Z.-L., Zeng, X., 2013. Overview of the Large-Scale Biosphere–Atmosphere Experiment in Amazonia Data Model Intercomparison Project (LBA-DMIP). Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 182– 183 (2013) 111–127.

von Randow C; Zeri M; Restrepo-Coupe N; Muza MN; de Gonçalves LGG; Costa MH; Imbuzeiro H; Araujo AC; Manzi AO; da Rocha HR; Cestaro BP; Saleska SR; Christoffersen B; Arain MA; Baker IT; Ciais P; Poulter B; Fisher JB; Galbraith D; Guan X; Shi M; Yang Z-L; van den Hurk B; Ichii K; Jain A; Levine N; Miguez-Macho G; Roberti DR; Sahoo A; Schaefer K; Tian H; Verbeeck H., 2013. Inter-annual variability of carbon and water fluxes in Amazonian forest, Cerrado and pasture sites, as simulated by terrestrial biosphere models, Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 182-183, 145-155. doi: 10.1016/j.agrformet.2013.05.015

Chen B, Arain MA, Khomik M, Trofymow A,  Grant R.F., Kurz WA, Yeluripati J, Wang Z, 2013.   Evaluating the impacts of disturbance regimes and climate variability on the historic carbon budget of a Pacific Northwestern Forest Landscape. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 180: 265-280.

Wang, Z. R. F Grant, A. Arain, P. Bernier, B. Chen, J. M. Chen, A. Govind, L. Guindon, W. A Kurz, C Peng, D. T. Price, G. Stinson; J. Sun, J. A. Trofymow, J. Yeluripati, 2013. Incorporating weather sensitivity in inventory-based estimates of boreal forest productivity: a meta-analysis of process model results. Ecological Modeling, 260(0): 25-35.

Chevallier, F., Wang T., Ciais C., Maignan F., Bocquet M., Arain A., Cescatti A., Chen J., Dolman A.J., Law B.E., Margolis H., Montagnani L., Moors E., 2013. What eddy-covariance measurements tell us about prior land flux errors in CO2-flux inversion schemes, Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 26; GB1021. doi:10.1029/2010GB003974.

Barr, A.G., D.M. Ricciuto, K. Schaefer, A. Richardson, D. Agarwal, P.E. Thornton, K. Davis, B. Jackson, R.B. Cook, D.Y. Hollinger, C. van Ingen, B. Amiro, A. Andrews, M.A. Arain, D. Baldocchi, T.A. Black, P. Bolstad, P. Curtis, A. Desai, D. Dragoni, L. Flanagan, L. Gu, G. Katul, B.E. Law, P. Lafleur, H. Margolis, R. Matamala, T. Meyers, H. McCaughey, R. Monson, J.W. Munger, W. Oechel, R. Oren, N. Roulet, M. Torn, and S. Verma. 2013. NACP Site: Tower Meteorology, Flux Observations with Uncertainty, and Ancillary Data. Data set. Available on-line [] from Oak Ridge National Laboratory Distributed Active Archive Center, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, USA http://dx.

Barr A.G., Richardson A.D., Hollinger D.Y., Papale D., Arain M.A., Black T.A., Bohrer G., Dragoni D., Fischer M.L., Gu L., Law B.E., Margolis H.A., McCaughey J.H., Munger J.W., Oechel W., Schaeffer K.., 2013. Use of change-point detection for friction–velocity threshold evaluation in eddy-covariance studies. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 171-172, 31-45.

Stoy, P. C., Dietze, M. C., Richardson, A. D., Vargas, R., Barr, A. G., Anderson, R. S., Arain, M. A., Baker, I. T., Black, T. A., Chen, J. M., Cook, R. B., Gough, C. M., Grant, R. F., Hollinger, D. Y., Izaurralde, R. C., Kucharik, C. J., Lafleur, P., Law, B. E., Liu, S., Lokupitiya, E., Luo, Y., Munger, J. W., Peng, C., Poulter, B., Price, D. T., Ricciuto, D. M., Riley, W. J., Sahoo, A. K., Schaefer, K., Schwalm, C. R., Tian, H., Verbeeck, H., and Weng, E., 2013. Evaluating the agreement between measurements and models of net ecosystem exchange at different times and timescales using wavelet coherence: an example using data from the North American Carbon Program Site-Level Interim Synthesis. Biogeosciences, 10: 6893-6909, doi:10.5194/bg-10-6893-2013.

Stoy, P; Mauder, M; Foken, T; Marcolla, B; Boegh, E; Ibrom, A; Arain, MA; Arneth, A; Aurela, M; Bernhofer, C; Cescatti, A; Dellwik, E; Duce, P; Gianelle, D; van Gorsel, E; Kiely, G; Knohl, A; Mangolis, H; McCaughey, H; Merbold, L; Montagnani, L; Papale, D; Reichstein, M; Serrano-Ortiz, P; Sottocornola, M; Saunders, M; Spano, D; Vaccari, F; Varlagin, A: 2013. A data-driven analysis of energy balance closure across FLUXNET research sites: The role of landscape-scale heterogeneity, Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 171-172: 137-152.

MacKay S.L., Arain M.A., Khomik M., Brodeur J.J., Schumacher J., Hartmann H., and Peichl M., 2012. The impact of induced drought on transpiration and growth in a temperate pine plantation forest. Hydrological Processes. 26(12), 1779-1791. doi: 10.1002/hyp.9315.

Niu, S., Luo Y.,  Fei S., Yuan W., Schimel D., Law B.E., Ammann C., Arain M.A.,  et al., 2012. Thermal optimality of net ecosystem exchange of carbon dioxide and underlying mechanisms. New Phytologist, 194(3), 775-783, doi:10.1111/j.1469-8137.2012.04095.x.

Jung, M., Reichstein M., Cescatti A., Richardson A.D., Margolis H., Arain M.A., Arneth A., Bonal D., Chen J., Gianelle D., Gobron N., Kier G., Kutsch W., Lasslop G., Law B.L., Lindroth A., Merbold L., Montagnani L., Moors E.J., Papale D., Sottocornola M., Vaccari F., Williams C., 2012. Correction to “Global patterns of land-atmosphere fluxes of carbon dioxide, latent heat, and sensible heat derived from eddy covariance, satellite, and meteorological observations”, Journal of Geophysical Research, 117, G04011, doi:10.1029/2012JG002190.

Schaefer, K., Schwalm C.R., Williams C., Arain M.A., Barr A., Chen J.M., Davis K.J., et al., 2012. A model-data comparison of gross primary productivity: Results from the North American Carbon Program site synthesis, Journal of Geophysical Research, 117, G03010, doi:10.1029/2012JG001960.

Chen, B., Coops, N.C., Fu, D., Margolis, H.A., Amiro, B.D., Black, T.A., Arain, M.A., Barr, A.G., Bourque, C.P.-A., Flanagan, L.B., Lafleur, P.M., McCaughey, J.H., and Wofsy, S.C.  2012.  Characterizing spatial representativeness of flux tower eddy-covariance measurements across the Canadian Carbon Program Network using remote sensing and footprint analysis.  Remote Sensing of the Environment, 124: 742-755.

Coursolle, C.; Margolis, H.A.; Giasson, M.-A.; Bernier, P.-Y.; Amiro, B.D.; Arain, M.A.; Barr, A.G.; Black, T.A.; Goulden, M.L.; McCaughey, J.H.; Chen, J.M.; Dunn, A.L.; Grant, R.F.; Lafleur, P.M. 2012. Influence of stand age on the magnitude and seasonality of carbon fluxes in Canadian forests. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 165:136-148.

Wang T.,  Brender P. Ciais P., Piao S., Mahecha M.D., Chevallier F., Reichstein M., Ottlé C., Maignan F.,  Arain A., Bohrer G., Cescatti A., Kiely G., Law B.E., Lutz M., Montagnani L.,  Moors I.E., Osborne B., Panferov O., Papale D., Vaccari F.P., 2012. State-dependent errors in a land surface model across biomes inferred from eddy covariance observations on multiple timescales. Ecological Modelling, 246: 11–25. doi: 10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2012.07.017

Wu C., Chen J.M., Desai A.R., Hollinger D.Y., Arain M.A., Margolis H.A., Gough C.M., Staebler R.M., 2012. Remote sensing of canopy light use efficiency in temperate and boreal forests of North America using MODIS imagery. Remote Sensing of Environment. 118: 60–72. doi:10.1016/j.rse.2011.11.012.

Brümmer C., Black T.A., Jassal R.S., Grant N.J., Spittlehouse D.L., Chen B., Nesic Z., Amiro B.D., Arain M.A., Barr A.G., Bourque C.P-A., Coursolle C., Dunn A,L., Flanagan L.B., Humphreys E.R., Lafleur P.M., Margolis H.A., McCaughey H., Wofsy S.C., 2012.   How climate and vegetation type influence evapotranspiration and water use efficiency in Canadian forest, peatland and grassland ecosystems. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 153: 14–30.

Beckerman B.S., Jerrett M., 1.      Finkelstein M., Kanaroglou P., Brook J.R., Arain M.A., Sears M.R., Stieb D., Balmes J., Chapman K. 2012. The association between chronic exposure to traffic-related air pollution and ischemic heart disease. Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health. 75(7):402-11. doi: 10.1080/15287394.2012.670899.





Related News Articles



Updated April 21, 2014

Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional Level Double-A conformance, W3C WAI Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0