McMaster University

McMaster University

Contact Information

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

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

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Ph.D  Student Opportunity in Ecosystem Modelling

McMaster Hydrometeorology & Climatology Group

McMaster Centre for Climate Change

McMaster University Weather Station

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.


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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 2C03 Surface Climate Processes & Environmental Interaction, Term One, 2015-16
Earth Sc/Envir Sc 4C03 Advanced Physical Climatology, Term Two, 2015-16
Earth Sci 6C03
Advanced Physical Climatology, 2015-16
Earth Sci 755 Bio- and Hydro-Meteorology, 2015-16




Selected Publications (Peer reviewed)

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Yuan, W.P., S.L. Liu, W.C. Cai, W.D. Dong, J. Chen, A. Arain, P.B. Blanken, A.C. Cescatti, W.G. Georg, T.G. Georgiadis, L.G. Genesio, D.G. Gianelle, A.G. Grelle, G.K. Kiely, A.K. Knohl, D.L. Liu, M.M. Marek, L.M. Merbold, L.M. Montagnani, O.P. Panferov, M.P. Peltoniemi, S.R. Rambal, A.R. Raschi, A.V. Varlagin, and J.X. Xia. 2014. Vegetation-specific model parameters are not required for estimating gross primary production? Ecological Modeling, 292(24): 1–10.  doi:10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2014.08.017

 Yuan W.P., Cai W., Xia, J., Chen J., Liu S., Dong W., Merbold L., Law B., Arain A., Beringer J., Bernhofer J., Black A., Blanken P.D., Cescatti A., Chen Y., Francois L., Gianelle D., Janssen I.A., Jung M., Kato T, Kiely G., Liu D., Marcolla B., Montagnani L., Raschi A., Roupsard O., Varlagin A., Wohlfahrt G., 2014. Global comparison oflight use efficiency models for simulatingterrestrial vegetation gross primary production based on the LaThuiledatabase. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 192–193 (2014)

 He L., Chen J.M, Liu J., Mo G., Bélair S., Zheng T., Wang R., Chen B., Croft H., Arain M.A., and Barr A.G., 2014. Optimization of water uptake and photosynthetic parameters in an ecosystem model using tower flux data. Ecological Modelling 294: 94–104.

Chang K-H., Warland J.S., Bartlett P.A., Arain M.A., and Yuan F, 2014. A simple crop phenology algorithm improves the carbon cycle simulation in land surface model: CN- CLASS. Agronomy Journal, 106: 297–308. doi:10.2134/agronj2013.0164.

 Xiao, J., S. V. Ollinger, S. Frolking, G. C. Hurtt, D. Y. Hollinger, K. J. Davis, Y. Pan, X.
Zhang, F. Deng, J. Chen, D. D. Baldocchi, B. E. Law, M. A. Arain, A. R. Desai, A. D. Richardson, G. Sun, B. Amiro, H. Margolis, L. Gu, R. L. Scott, P. D. Blanken, and A. E. Suyker. 2014. Data-driven diagnostics of terrestrial carbon dynamics over North America. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 197:142-157.

Kasurinen, V.; Alfredsen, K.; Kolari, P.; Mammarella, I.; Alekseychik, P.; Rinne, J.; Vesala, T.; Bernier, P.; Boike, J.; Langer, M.; Marchesini, L.B.; van Huissteden, K.; Dolman, H.; Sachs, T.; Ohta, T.; Varlagin, A.; Rocha, A.; Arain, A.; Oechel, W.; Lund, M.; Grelle, A.; Lindroth, A.; Black, A.; Aurela, M.; Laurila, T.; Lohila, A.; Berninger, F., 2014. Latent heat exchange in the boreal and arctic biomes. Global Change Biol., 20(11),

Peichl M., Arain A. M., Moore T. R.,  Brodeur J. J., Khomik M., Ullah S., Restrepo-Coupé N., McLaren J., and Pejam M. R., 2014. Carbon and greenhouse gas balances in an age sequence of temperate pine plantations. Biogeosciences, 11: 1–12, 2014. doi:10.5194/bg-11-1-2014

Camino-Serrano M., Gielen B., Luyssaert S., Ciais P., Vicca S.,Guenet B., De Vos B., Cools N., Ahrens B., Arain M.A., Borken W., Clarke N., Clarkson B., Cummins T., Don A., Pannatier E.G., Laudon H., Moore T., Nieminen T.M, Nilsson M.B., Peichl M., Schwendenmann L., Siemens J., and Janssens I., 2014. Linking variability in soil solution dissolved organic carbon to climate, soil type, and vegetation type. Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 25(5):  497–509.

 Wu H, Peng C., Moore T.R., Hua D., Li C., Zhu Q., Peichl M., Arain M.A., and Guo1 Z.,2014. Modeling dissolved organic carbon in temperate forest soils: TRIPLEX-DOCmodel development and validation. Geoscientific Model Development, 7:867-881.

 Mallick K., Jarvis A.J., Boegh E., Fisher J.B., Drewrya D.T., Tu K.P., Hook S.J., Hulley G., Ardö J., Beringer J., Arain A., Niyogi D., 2014. A Surface Temperature Initiated Closure(STIC) for surface energy balance fluxes. Remote Sensing of Environment 141: 243–261.

Fisher, J. B., Sikka, M., Oechel, W. C., Huntzinger, D. N., Melton, J. R., Koven, C. D., Ahlström, A., Arain, A.M., Baker, I., Chen, J. M., Ciais, P., Davidson, C., Dietze, M., El-Masri, B., Hayes, D., Huntingford, C., Jain, A., Levy, P. E., Lomas, M. R.,Poulter, B., Price, D., Sahoo, A. K., Schaefer, K., Tian, H., Tomelleri, E., Verbeeck, H., Viovy, N., Wania, R., Zeng, N., and Miller, C. E., 2014: Carbon cycle uncertainty in the Alaskan Arctic, Biogeosciences Discuss., 11, 2887-2932, doi:10.5194/bgd-11-2887-2014.

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.

Vicca, S; Bahn, M; Estiarte, M; Alberti, G; Ambus, P; Arain, MA; Beier, C; Bentley, L; Borken, W; Buchmann, N; Collins, S; de Dato, G; Dukes, J; Escolar, C; Fay, P; Guidolotti, G; Hanson, P; Kahmen, A; Kroel-Dulay, G; Ladreiter-Knauss, T; Larsen, K; Lellei-Kovacs, E; Lebrija-Trejos, E; Maestre, FT; Marhan, S; Marshall, M; Meir, P; Miao, Y; Muhr, J; Niklaus, P; Ogaya, R; Penuelas, J; Poll, C; Rustad, L; Savage, K; Schindlbacher, A; Schmidt, IK; Smith, A; Sotta, E; Suseela, V; Tietema, A; van Gestel, N; van Loon, EE; van Straaten, O; Vargas, R; Wan, S; Weber, U; Janssens, I: 2014. Can current moisture responses of soil respiration be extrapolated into the future? A synthesis of precipitation manipulation experiments, Biogeosciences, 11, 2991-3013, doi:10.5194/bg-11-2991-2014

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.




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Updated February09, 2015

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