Climate Scientist, ETH Zürich
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Journal Publications


Schneider, T., L. R. Leung, and R.C.J. Wills: Opinion: Optimizing climate models with process-knowledge, resolution, and AI. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP) Discussion, in review. [Preprint]

Wills, R.C.J., A. R. Herrington, I.R. Simpson, D.S. Battisti: Resolving weather fronts increases the large-scale circulation response to Gulf Stream SST anomalies in variable resolution CESM2 simulations. Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems, submitted. [Official Preprint] [PDF] [SI]

Bonan, D.B., J.S. Dörr, R.C.J. Wills, A.F. Thompson, and M. Årthun: Sources of low-frequency variability in observed Antarctic sea ice. The Cryosphere Discussion, in review. [Preprint]


K.C. Armour, C. Proistosescu, Y. Dong, L.C. Hahn, E. Blanchard-Wrigglesworth, A.G. Pauling, R.C.J. Wills, T. Andrews, M.F. Stuecker, S. Po-Chedley, I. Mitevski, P.M. Forster, and J.M. Gregory, 2024: Sea-surface temperature pattern effects have slowed global warming and biased warming-based constraints on climate sensitivity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, in press. [Preprint]


Rugenstein, M., S. Dhame, D. Olonscheck, R. Jnglin Wills, M. Watanabe, and R. Seager, 2023: Connecting the SST pattern problem and the hot model problem. Geophysical Research Letters, 50. [PDF] [SI] [Official Version]

Dörr, J.S., D.B. Bonan, M. Årthun, L. Svendsen, and R.C.J. Wills, 2023: Forced and internal components of observed Arctic sea-ice changes. The Cryosphere, 17, 4133–4153. [PDF] [Official Version]

Gray, W.R., C. deLavergne, R.C.J. Wills, L. Menviel, P. Spence, M. Holzer, M. Kageyama, and E. Michel, 2023: Poleward shift in the Southern Hemisphere westerly winds synchronous with the deglacial rise in CO2. Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology, 38. [PDF] [SI] [Official Version]

Maher, N., R.C.J. Wills, P. DiNezio, J. Klavans, S. Milinski, S.C. Sanchez, S. Stevenson, M.F. Stuecker, and X. Wu, 2023: The future of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation: Using large ensembles to illuminate time-varying responses and inter-model differences. Earth System Dynamics, 14, 413–431. [PDF] [SI] [Official Version]


Wills, R.C.J., Y. Dong, C. Proistosescu, K.C. Armour, and D.S. Battisti, 2022: Systematic climate model biases in the large-scale patterns of recent sea-surface temperature and sea-level pressure change. Geophysical Research Letters, 49. [PDF] [SI] [Official Version] [UW News] [Presentation in Smile Webinar, July 2022]

Shi, H., F.-F. Jin, R.C.J. Wills, M.G. Jacox, B.A. Black, D.J. Amaya, R. R. Rykaczewski, S.J. Bograd, M. García-Reyes, and W.J. Sydeman, 2022: Global decline in ocean memory over the 21st century. Science Advances, 8. [PDF] [SI] [Official Version] [Press Release] [EurekAlert] [Nature Research Highlight] [EOS]

Oldenburg, D., R.C.J. Wills, K.C. Armour, L. Thompson, 2022: Resolution dependence of atmosphere-ocean interactions and water-mass transformation in the North Atlantic. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 127. [PDF] [SI] [Official Version]


Wills, R.C.J., K.C. Armour, D.S. Battisti, C. Proistosescu, and L.A. Parsons, 2021: Slow modes of global temperature variability and their impact on climate sensitivity estimates. Journal of Climate, 34, 8717–8738. [PDF] [Official Version] [Corrigendum] [Presentation in ECS and Cloud Feedback symposium, April 2022]

Bonan, D.B., T. Schneider, I. Eisenman, and R.C.J. Wills, 2021: Constraining the date of a seasonally ice-free Arctic using a simple model. Geophysical Research Letters, 48. [PDF] [SI] [Official Version] [PCC Research Highlight] [Polar Bears International]

Oldenburg D., R.C.J. Wills, K.C. Armour, L. Thompson, and L.C. Jackson, 2021: Mechanisms of low-frequency variability in Atlantic northward ocean heat transport and AMOC. Journal of Climate, 34, 4733–4755. [PDF] [Official Version]

Årthun, M., R.C.J. Wills, H. Johnson, L. Chafik, and H.R. Langehaug, 2021: Mechanisms of decadal North Atlantic climate variability and implications for the recent cold anomaly. Journal of Climate, 34, 3421–3439. [PDF] [SI] [Official Version]

Nilsson, J., D. Ferreira, T. Schneider, and R.C.J. Wills, 2021: Is the surface salinity difference between the Atlantic and Indo-Pacific a signature of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation? Journal of Physical Oceanography, 51, 769–787. [PDF] [Official Version]


Rae, J.W.B., W.R Gray, R.C.J. Wills, I. Eisenman, B. Fitzhugh, E.F.M. Littley, P. Rafter, R. Rees-Owen, A. Ridgwell, B. Taylor, and A. Burke, 2020: Overturning circulation, nutrient limitation, and warming in the glacial North Pacific. Science Advances, 6. [PDF] [SI] [Official Version] [UW News]

Wills, R.C.J., D.S. Battisti, K.C. Armour, T. Schneider, and C. Deser, 2020: Pattern recognition methods to separate forced responses from internal variability in climate model ensembles and observations. Journal of Climate, 33, 8693–8719. [PDF] [SI] [Official Version] [PCC Research Highlight]

Wills, R.C.J., S. Sippel, and E. A. Barnes, 2020: Separating forced and unforced components of climate change: The utility of pattern recognition methods in large ensembles and observations. US CLIVAR Variations, 18, 1–10, Not Peer Reviewed. [PDF] [Official version] [Webinar Presentation, September 2020]

Parsons, L.A., M.K. Brennan, R.C.J. Wills, and C. Proistosescu, 2020: Magnitudes and spatial patterns of interdecadal temperature variability in CMIP6. Geophysical Research Letters, 47. [PDF] [SI] [Official Version]

Gray, W.R., R.C.J. Wills, J.W.B. Rae, A. Burke, R. Ivanovic, W.H.G. Roberts, D. Ferreira, and P.J. Valdes, 2020: Wind-driven evolution of the North Pacific subpolar gyre over the last deglaciation. Geophysical Research Letters, 47. [PDF] [SI] [Official Version]


Wills, R.C.J., R.H. White, and X.J. Levine, 2019: Northern Hemisphere stationary waves in a changing climate, Current Climate Change Reports. [PDF] [SI] [Official version]

Wills, R.C.J., D.S. Battisti, C. Proistosescu, L. Thompson, D.L. Hartmann, and K.C. Armour, 2019: Ocean circulation signatures of North Pacific decadal variability. Geophysical Research Letters, 46, 1690–1701. [PDF] [SI] [Official version] [Presentation at AMS-AOFD, June 2019]

Wills, R.C.J., K.C. Armour, D.S. Battisti, and D.L. Hartmann, 2019: Ocean-atmosphere dynamical coupling fundamental to the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation. Journal of Climate, 32, 251–272. [PDF] [Official version]


Wills, R.C.J. and T. Schneider, 2018: Mechanisms setting the strength of orographic Rossby waves across a wide range of climates in a moist idealized GCM. Journal of Climate, 31, 7679–7700. [PDF] [Official version]

Gray, W.R., J.W.B. Rae, R.C.J. Wills, A.E. Shevenell, G.L. Foster, C.H. Lear, and B. Taylor, 2018: Deglacial upwelling, productivity and CO2 outgassing in the North Pacific Ocean. Nature Geoscience, 11, 340–344. [Official version] [News and Views]

Ferreira, D., P. Cessi, H. Coxall, A. de Boer, H.A. Dijkstra, S.S. Drijfhout, T. Eldevik, N. Harnik, J.F. McManus, D.P. Marshall, J. Nilsson, F. Roquet, T. Schneider, R.C. Wills, 2018: Atlantic-Pacific asymmetry in deep water formation. Annual Reviews of Earth and Planetary Sciences, 46, 327–352. [Official version]

Wills, R.C., T. Schneider, J.M. Wallace, D.S. Battisti, and D.L. Hartmann, 2018: Disentangling global warming, multidecadal variability, and El Niño in Pacific temperatures. Geophysical Research Letters, 45, 2487–2496. [PDF] [SI] [Official version] [Code] [Science Editor's Note] [PCC Research Highlight]


Wills, R.C., D.S. Battisti, D.L. Hartmann, and T. Schneider, 2017: Extracting modes of variability and change from climate model ensembles. Proceedings of the 7th International Workshop on Climate Informatics: CI 2017, V. Lyubchich, N.C. Oza, A. Rhines, and E. Szekely, Eds., NCAR Technical Note NCAR/TN-536+PROC, 25–28. [PDF] [Official version]

Wills, R.C., X.J. Levine, and T. Schneider, 2017: Local energetic constraints on Walker circulation strength. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 74, 1907–1922. [PDF] [Official version]
Corrigendum. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 76, 3965. [Corrigendum]


Wills, R.C., M.P. Byrne, and T. Schneider, 2016: Thermodynamic and dynamic controls on changes in the zonally anomalous hydrological cycle. Geophysical Research Letters, 43, 4640–4649. [PDF] [SI] [Official version] [EOS Spotlight]

Wills, R.C. and T. Schneider, 2016: How stationary eddies shape changes in the hydrological cycle: Zonally asymmetric experiments in an idealized GCM. Journal of Climate, 29, 3161–3179. [PDF] [Official version]


Wills, R.C. and T. Schneider, 2015: Stationary eddies and the zonal asymmetry of net precipitation and ocean freshwater forcing. Journal of Climate, 28, 5115-5133. [PDF] [Official version]
Corrigendum. Journal of Climate, 30, 8841–8842. [Corrigendum]

Ph.D. Thesis

Wills, R.C., 2016: Stationary eddies and zonal variations of the global hydrological cycle in a changing climate. Ph.D. Thesis, California Institute of Technology. [PDF]

Other Publications

Wills, R.C., November 2014: The world is certainly warming. What about where I live? [ClimateSnack]

Schneider, T. and R.C. Wills, February 2013: An L.A. weather report in 2100 A.D. [Zocolo Public Square]

Wills, R.C., January 2013: A rockslide in action: An arch falls into the sea. [Personal Blog] [AGU Landslide Blog] [SFGate] [Huffpost] [Patch]

Wills, R.C., M. Davis, P.P. Woskov, D.T. Garnier, J. Kesner, and M.E. Mauel, 2010: Density Profile Measurements in LDX using Microwave Reflectometry. APS DPP JP9.00068. MIT PSFC Research Report. PSFC/RR-10-9. [Official Version]