Mike Mills

Dr. Michael J. Mills

Project Scientist
WACCM Liaison

National Center for Atmsopheric Research (NCAR)
Atmospheric Chemistry Observations & Modeling (ACOM)
My staff page      My Google Scholar page
mmills@ucar.edu     (303) 497-1425
Curriculum Vitae

WACCM Resources

WACCM Homepage
WACCM Support Forum
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Research Interests

My research has focused on modeling the chemistry and microphysics of the middle atmosphere, which affect the ozone layer and our climate. My recent published work has shown how firestorms resulting from a limited, regional nuclear war between India and Pakistan could produce global ozone losses of 20%-50% over populated areas, levels unprecedented in human history, accompanied by the coldest average surface temperatures in the last 1000 years, persisting for decades. My previous work showed how black carbon emissions from planned suborbital rocket launches for space tourism and scientific research could alter the radiative balance of the Earth, change stratospheric circulation, redistribute stratospheric ozone, and alter surface temperatures. Other work suggested that high-energy cosmic rays from dense interstellar clouds caused catastrophic ozone depletion and mass extinctions in the past, during periods of magnetic reversal on Earth. As a graduate student, I helped develop a semi-empirical method for evaluating ozone depletion potentials, which helped insure that the dramatic depletions in ozone at the Earth's poles are correctly accounted for in evaluating substances controlled by the Montreal Protocol protecting the ozone layer. My work has taken me below the Antarctic Circle and above the Arctic Circle.

Peer Reviewed Publications

Published in 2019

  1. Kravitz, B., D. G. MacMartin, S. Tilmes, J. H. Richter, M. J. Mills, J.-F. Lamarque, J. Tribbia, and W. G. Large, (2019), Holistic assessment of SO2 injections using CESM1(WACCM): Introduction to the Special Issue. J Geophys Res-Atmos, 124, 444-450, doi:10.1029/2018JD029293.
  2. MacMartin, D. G., W. Wang, B. Kravitz, S. Tilmes, J. H. Richter, and M. J. Mills (2019), Timescale for Detecting the Climate Response to Stratospheric Aerosol Geoengineering, J Geophys Res-Atmos, 124(3), 1233–1247, doi:10.1029/2018JD028906.

Published in 2018

  1. Bandoro, J., S. Solomon, B. D. Santer, D. E. Kinnison, and M. J. Mills (2018), Detectability of the impacts of ozone-depleting substances and greenhouse gases upon stratospheric ozone accounting for nonlinearities in historical forcings, Atmos Chem Phys, 18(1), 143–166, doi:10.5194/acp-18-143-2018.
  2. Black, B. A., R. R. Neely, J. -F. Lamarque, L. T. Elkins-Tanton, J. T. Kiehl, C. A. Shields, M. J. Mills, and C. Bardeen (2018), Systemic swings in end-Permian climate from Siberian Traps carbon and sulfur outgassing, Nature Geoscience, 11, 949-954, doi:10.1038/s41561-018-0261-y.
  3. Fasullo, J. T., S. Tilmes, J. H. Richter, B. Kravitz, D. G. MacMartin, M. J. Mills, and I. R. Simpson (2018), Persistent polar ocean warming in a strategically geoengineered climate, Nature Geosci, 77(12), 1–914, doi:10.1038/s41561-018-0249-7.
  4. Li, T., C. Ban, X. Fang, J. Li, Z. Wu, W. Feng, J. M. C. Plane, J. Xiong, D. R. Marsh, M. J. Mills, and Xiankang Dou (2018), Climatology of mesopause region nocturnal temperature, zonal wind and sodium density observed by sodium lidar over Hefei, China (32°N, 117°E), Atmos Chem Phys, 18(16), 11683–11695, doi:10.5194/acp-18-11683-2018.
  5. Marshall, L., A. Schmidt, M. Toohey, K. S. Carslaw, G. W. Mann, M. Sigl, M. Khodri, C. Timmreck, D. Zanchettin, W. T. Ball, S. Bekki, J. S. A. Brooke, S. Dhomse, C. Johnson, J.-F. Lamarque, A. N. LeGrande, M. J. Mills, U. Niemeier, J. O. Pope, V. Poulain, A. Robock, E. Rozanov, A. Stenke, T. Sukhodolov, S. Tilmes, K. Tsigaridis, F. Tummon (2018), Multi-model comparison of the volcanic sulfate deposition from the 1815 eruption of Mt. Tambora, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, doi:10.5194/acp-18-2307-2018.
  6. Richter, J. H., S. Tilmes, A. Glanville, B. Kravitz, D. G. MacMartin, M. J. Mills, I. R. Simpson, F. Vitt, J. J. Tribbia, and J.-F. Lamarque (2018), Stratospheric Response in the First Geoengineering Simulation Meeting Multiple Surface Climate Objectives, J Geophys Res-Atmos, 41(3), 1738, doi:10.1029/2018JD028285.
  7. Schmidt, A, M. J. Mills, S. Ghan, J. M. Gregory, R. P. Allan, T. Andrews, C. G. Bardeen, A. Conley, P. M. Forster, A. Gettelman, R. W. Portmann, S. Solomon, and O. B. Toon (2018), Volcanic Radiative Forcing From 1979 to 2015, J Geophys Res-Atmos, 123(2), 12,491-12,508, doi:10.1029/2018JD028776.
  8. Tilmes, S., J. H. Richter, M. J. Mills, B. Kravitz, D. G. MacMartin, R. R. Garcia, D. E. Kinnison, J.-F. Lamarque, J. Tribbia, and F. Vitt (2018), Effects of Different Stratospheric SO2 Injection Altitudes on Stratospheric Chemistry and Dynamics, J Geophys Res-Atmos, 17(10), 2229, doi:10.1002/2017JD028146.
  9. Tilmes, S., J. H. Richter, M. J. Mills, B. Kravitz, D. MacMartin, I. Simpson, A. S. Glanville, J. Fasullo, J.-F. Lamarque, J. Tribbia, J. Edwards, S. Mickelson, and S. Gosh (2018), CESM1(WACCM) Stratospheric Aerosol Geoengineering Large Ensemble (GLENS) Project, Bull Amer Met Soc, BAMS–D–17–0267.1, doi:10.1175/bams-d-17-0267.1.
  10. Timmreck, C., G. W. Mann, V. Aquila, R. Hommel, L. A. Lee, A. Schmidt, C. Brühl, S. Carn, M. Chin, S. S. Dhomse, T. Diehl, J. M. English, M. J. Mills, R. Neely, J. Sheng, M. Toohey, and D. Weisenstein (2018), The Interactive Stratospheric Aerosol Model Intercomparison Project (ISA-MIP): Motivation and experimental design, Geosci Model Dev, 1–46, doi:10.5194/gmd-2017-308.
  11. Wilka, C., K. Shah, K. Stone, S. Solomon, D. E. Kinnison, M. J. Mills, A. Schmidt, and R. R. Neely III (2018), On the role of heterogeneous chemistry in ozone depletion and recovery, Geophysical Research Letters, 45. doi:10.1029/2018GL078596.
  12. Zhu, Y., O. B. Toon , D. Kinnison V. L. Harvey, M. J. Mills, C. G. Bardeen, M. Pitts, N. Begue, J.-B. Renard, G. Berthet, and F. Jegou (2018), Stratospheric Aerosols, Polar Stratospheric Clouds, and Polar Ozone Depletion After the Mount Calbuco Eruption in 2015, J Geophys Res-Atmos, 123(2), 12,308-12,331, doi:10.1029/2018JD028974.

Published in 2017

  1. Gómez-Martín, J. C., J. Brooke, W. Feng, M. Höpfner, M. J. Mills, and J. M. C. Plane (2017), Impacts of meteoric sulfur in the Earth's atmosphere, J Geophys Res-Atmos, 122(14), 7678-7701, doi:10.1002/2017JD027218.
  2. Hervig, M. E., C. G. Bardeen, D. E. Siskind, M. J. Mills, and R. Stockwell (2017), Meteoric smoke and H2SO4 aerosols in the upper stratosphere and mesosphere, Geophys Res Lett, doi:10.1002/2016GL072049.
  3. Ivy, D. J., S. Solomon, D. E. Kinnison, M. J. Mills, A. Schmidt, and R. R. Neely III (2017), The influence of the Calbuco eruption on the 2015 Antarctic ozone hole in a fully coupled chemistry climate model, Geophys Res Lett, doi:10.1002/2016GL071925
  4. Kravitz, B., D. G. MacMartin, M. J. Mills, J. H. Richter, S. Tilmes, J.-F. Lamarque, J. J. Tribbia, and F. Vitt (2017), First simulations of designing stratospheric sulfate aerosol geoengineering to meet multiple simultaneous climate objectives, J Geophys Res-Atmos, doi:10.1002/2017JD026874.
  5. MacMartin, D. G., B. Kravitz, S. Tilmes, J. H. Richter, M. J. Mills, J.-F. Lamarque, J. J. Tribbia, and F. Vitt (2017), The climate response to stratospheric aerosol geoengineering can be tailored using multiple injection locations, J Geophys Res-Atmos, doi:10.1002/2017JD026868.
  6. Mills, M. J., J. H. Richter, S. Tilmes, B. Kravitz, D. G. MacMartin, A. A. Glanville, J. J. Tribbia, J.-F. Lamarque, F. Vitt, A. Schmidt, A. Gettelman, C. Hannay, J. T. Bacmeister, and D. E. Kinnison, (2017), Radiative and chemical response to interactive stratospheric sulfate aerosols in fully coupled CESM1(WACCM), J Geophys Res-Atmos, doi:10.1002/2017JD027006.
  7. Richter, J. H., S. Tilmes, M. J. Mills, J. J. Tribbia, B. Kravitz, D. G. MacMartin, F. Vitt, and J.-F. Lamarque (2017), Stratospheric Dynamical Response and Ozone Feedbacks in the Presence of SO2 Injections, J Geophys Res-Atmos, doi:10.1002/2017jd026912.
  8. Rollins, A. W., T.D. Thornberry, L.A. Watts, P. Yu, K.H. Rosenlof, M. Mills, E. Baumann, F.R. Giorgetta, T.V. Bui, M.Höpfner, K.A. Walker, C.Boone, P.F. Bernath, P.R. Colarco, P.A. Newman, D.W. Fahey, and R.S. Gao, (2017), The Role of Sulfur Dioxide in Stratospheric Aerosol Formation Evaluated Using In-Situ Measurements in the Tropical Lower Stratosphere, Geophys Res Lett, doi:10.1002/2017GL072754.
  9. Solomon, S., D. J. Ivy, M. Gupta, J. Bandoro, B. D. Santer, Q. Fu, P. Lin, R. R. Garcia, D. E. Kinnison, and M. J. Mills (2017), Mirrored changes in Antarctic ozone and stratospheric temperature in the late 20th versus early 21st centuries, J Geophys Res-Atmos, 122(16), 8940–8950, doi:10.1002/2017JD026719.
  10. Stone, K. A., S. Solomon, D.E. Kinnison , M.C. Pitts , L.R. Poole, M.J. Mills, A. Schmidt, R.R. Neely III, D. Ivy, M.J. Schwartz , J.-P. Vernier , B.J. Johnson , M.B. Tully , A.R. Klekociuk, G. König-Langlo, and S. Hagiya, (2017), Observing the impact of Calbuco volcanic aerosols on South Polar ozone depletion in 2015, J Geophys Res-Atmos, doi:10.1002/2017JD026987.
  11. Tilmes, S., J. H. Richter, M. J. Mills, B. Kravitz, D. G. MacMartin, F. Vitt, J. J. Tribbia, and J.-F. Lamarque (2017), Sensitivity of aerosol distribution and climate response to stratospheric SO2 injection locations, J Geophys Res-Atmos, doi:10.1002/2017JD026888.
  12. Toon, O. B., A. Robock, M. J. Mills, and L. Xia (2017), Asia Treads the Nuclear Path, Unaware That Self-Assured Destruction Would Result from Nuclear War, The Journal of Asian Studies, 18, 1-20, doi:10.1017/S0021911817000080.

Published in 2016

  1. Mills, M.J., A. Schmidt, R. Easter, S. Solomon, D.E. Kinnison, S.J. Ghan, R.R. Neely III, D.R. Marsh, A. Conley, C.G. Bardeen, and A. Gettelman (2016), Global volcanic aerosol properties derived from emissions, 1990-2014, using CESM1(WACCM), J. Geophys. Res. Atmos., 121 , 2332 – 2348, doi:10.1002/2015JD024290.        Article (3.8MB)        Supplementary Material (600KB)
    Climatology of global aerosol properties: doi:10.5065/D6S180JM
  2. Solomon, S., D. J. Ivy, D. E. Kinnison, M. J. Mills, R. R. Neely III, & A. Schmidt (2016). Emergence of healing in the Antarctic ozone layer. Science, aae0061. doi:10.1126/science.aae0061 Article Supplementary Materials
  3. Solomon, S., D. E. Kinnison, R. R. Garcia, J. Bandoro, M. J. Mills, C. Wilka, R. R. Neely III, A. Schmidt, J. Barnes, J.-P. Vernier, & M. Höpfner (2016), Monsoon circulations and tropical heterogeneous chlorine chemistry in the stratosphere, Geophys Res Lett, doi:10.1002/2016GL071778.
  4. Yu, P., O.B. Toon, C.G. Bardeen, A. Bucholtz, K.H. Rosenlof, P.E. Saide, A. Da Silva, L.D. Ziemba, K.L. Thornhill, J.-L. Jimenez, P. Campuzano-Jost, J.P. Schwarz, A.E. Perring, K. D. Froyd, N.L. Wagner, M. J. Mills, & J.S. Reid (2016), Surface dimming by the 2013 Rim Fire simulated by a sectional aerosol model, J Geophys Res-Atmos, 121(12), 7079-7087, doi:10.1002/2015JD024702.
  5. Zanchettin, D., M. Khodri, C. Timmreck, M. Toohey, A. Schmidt, E.P. Gerber, G. Hegerl, A. Robock, F.S.R. Pausata, W.T. Ball, S.E. Bauer, S. Bekki, S.S. Dhomse, A.N. LeGrande, G.W. Mann, L. Marshall, M. Mills, M. Marchand, U. Niemeier, V. Poulain, E. Rozanov, A. Rubino, A. Stenke, K. Tsigaridis, & F. Tummon (2016), The Model Intercomparison Project on the climatic response to Volcanic forcing (VolMIP): experimental design and forcing input data for CMIP6, Geosci Model Dev, b>9(8), 2701-2719, doi:10.5194/gmd-9-2701-2016, .

Published in 2015

  1. Tilmes, S., M. J. Mills, U. Niemeier, H. Schmidt, A. Robock, B. Kravitz, J.-F. Lamarque, G. Pitari, and J. M. English (2015), A new Geoengineering Model Intercomparison Project (GeoMIP) experiment designed for climate and chemistry models, Geosci Model Dev, 8(1), 43–49, doi:10.5194/gmd-8-43-2015.
  2. Xia, L., A. Robock, M. J. Mills, A. Stenke, and I. Helfand (2015), Decadal reduction of Chinese agriculture after a regional nuclear war, Earth's Future, 3(3), 37–48, doi:10.1002/2014EF000283.
  3. Yu, P., O. B. Toon, C. G. Bardeen, M. J. Mills, T. Fan, J. M. English, and R. R. Neely (2015), Evaluations of tropospheric aerosol properties simulated by the community earth system model with a sectional aerosol microphysics scheme, J. Adv. Model. Earth Syst., 07, doi:10.1002/2014MS000421.
  4. Zhu, Y., O. B. Toon, A. Lambert, D. E. Kinnison, M. Brakebusch, C. G. Bardeen, M. J. Mills, and J. M. English (2015), Development of a Polar Stratospheric Cloud Model within the Community Earth System Model using constraints on Type I PSCs from the 2010–2011 Arctic winter, J. Adv. Model. Earth Syst., 7(2), 551–585, doi:10.1002/2015MS000427.

Published in 2014

  1. Campbell, P., M. J. Mills, and T. Deshler (2014), The Global Extent of the Mid Stratospheric CN Layer: A Three-Dimensional Modeling Study, J Geophys Res-Atmos, 119(2), 1–16, doi:10.1002/2013JD020503.
    Article (5.1MB)
  2. Duderstadt, K. A., J. E. Dibb, C. H. Jackman, C. E. Randall, S. C. Solomon, M. J. Mills, N. A. Schwadron, and H. E. Spence (2014), Nitrate deposition to surface snow at Summit, Greenland, following the 9 November 2000 solar proton event, J Geophys Res-Atmos, 119(11), 6938–6957, doi:10.1002/2013JD021389.
  3. Mills, M. J., O. B. Toon, J. Lee-Taylor, and A. Robock (2014), Multidecadal global cooling and unprecedented ozone loss following a regional nuclear conflict, Earth's Future, 2(4), 161–176, doi:doi:10.1002/2013EF000205. Article (2.4MB)
    Related presentation: Global Famine after a Regional Nuclear War: Overview of recent Research Powerpoint (63MB), Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Implications of Nuclear Weapons, December 2014.
  4. Tilmes, S., and M.J. Mills (2014), Stratospheric Sulfate Aerosols and Planetary Albedo, in Handbook of Global Environmental Pollution, Global Environmental Change: SpringerReference, edited by B. Freedman, pp. 771–776, Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht.

Published 1992-2013

"Microphysical simulations of large volcanic eruptions: Pinatubo and Toba," J.M. English, O.B. Toon, and M.J. Mills, J. Geophys. Res. Atmos., 118, 1-16, doi:10.1002/jgrd.50196, 2013, Article (3.1MB)

"Climate change from 1850 to 2005 simulated in CESM1(WACCM)," D.R. Marsh, M.J. Mills, D.E. Kinnison, J.-F. Lamarque, N. Calvo, and L.M. Polvani, Journal of Climate, 26(19), doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00558.1, 2013, Article (2.1MB)

"Recent anthropogenic increases in SO2 from Asia have minimal impact on stratospheric aerosol," R.R. Neely III, O.B. Toon, S. Solomon, J.-P. Vernier, C. Alvarez, J.M. English, K.H. Rosenlof, M.J. Mills, C.G. Bardeen, J.S. Daniel, and J.P. Thayer, Geophys. Res. Lett., 40, 999-1004, doi:10.1002/grl.50263, 2013, Article (0.3MB) Supplement (0.7MB)

"Reconciling modeled and observed temperature trends over Antarctica," N. Calvo, R. R. Garcia, D. R. Marsh, M.J. Mills, D.E. Kinnison, and P.J. Young, Geophys. Res. Lett., 39, L16803, doi:10.1029/2012GL052526, 2012.

"Microphysical simulations of sulfur burdens from stratospheric sulfur geoengineering," J.M. English, O.B. Toon, and M.J. Mills, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 12, 4775-4793, doi:10.5194/acp-12-4775-2012, 2012.

"Microphysical simulations of new particle formation in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere," J.M. English, O.B. Toon, M.J. Mills, and F. Yu, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 11, 9303-9322, doi:10.5194/acp-11-9303-2011, 2011.

"Potential climate impact of black carbon emitted by rockets," M. Ross, M. Mills, and D. Toohey, Geophys. Res. Lett., 37, L24810, doi:10.1029/2010GL044548, 2010. Article (14MB) Auxiliary figures (12MB) Auxiliary animation (11MB)

"Intra-seasonal variability of polar mesospheric clouds due to inter-hemispheric coupling," B. Karlsson, C. E. Randall, S. Benze, M. Mills, V. L. Harvey, S. M. Bailey, and J. M. Russell III, Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L20802, doi:10.1029/2009GL040348, 2009.

"Massive global ozone loss predicted following regional nuclear conflict," M.J. Mills, O.B. Toon, R.P. Turco, D.E. Kinnison, R.R. Garcia, PNAS, doi:10.1073/pnas.0710058105, 2008. Full Text (PDF, 2.8MB) /Figures (PDF, 1.5 MB)

"The mesospheric sulfate aerosol layer," M.J. Mills, O.B. Toon, G.E. Thomas, J. Geophys. Res. 110 (D24208), doi:10.1029/2005JD006242, 2005.

"Mystery of the volcanic mass-independent sulfur isotope fractionation signature in the Antarctic ice core," A.A. Pavlov, M.J. Mills, O.B. Toon, Geophys. Res. Lett. 32 (L12816), doi:10.1029/2005GL022784, 2005.

"Photolysis of sulfuric acid vapor by visible light as a source of the polar stratospheric CN layer," M.J. Mills, O.B. Toon, V. Vaida, P. E. Hintze, H.G. Kjaergaard, D.P. Schofield and T.W. Robinson, J. Geophys. Res. 110 (D08201), doi:10.1029/2004JD005519, 2005.

"Catastrophic ozone loss during passage of the Solar system through an interstellar cloud," A.A. Pavlov, A.K. Pavlov, M.J. Mills, V.M. Ostryakov, G.I. Vasilyev, Owen B. Toon, Geophys. Res. Lett. 32 (L01815), doi:10.1029/2004GL021601, 2005.

"A 2D microphysical model of the polar stratospheric CN layer," M.J. Mills, O.B. Toon, and S. Solomon, Geophys. Res. Lett. 26 (8), 1133-1136, 1999. Abstract + article

Stratospheric Sulfate Aerosol: A Microphysical Model, M.J. Mills, Ph.D. Thesis, University of Colorado, 1996. PDF (3.2MB)

"Do Hydrofluorocarbons Destroy Stratospheric Ozone?," A.R. Ravishankara, A.A. Turnipseed, N.R. Jensen, S. Barone, M.J. Mills, C.J. Howard and S. Solomon, Science, 263, 71-75, 1994. Abstract / PDF

"On the relationship between stratospheric aerosols and nitrogen dioxide," M.J. Mills, A. O. Langford, T.J. O'Leary, K. Arpag, H.L. Miller, M.H. Proffitt, R.W. Sanders and S. Solomon, Geophys. Res. Lett. 20, 1187-1190, 1993. Abstract + article

"Atmospheric lifetimes and ozone depletion potentials of methyl bromide (CH3Br) and dibromomethane (CH2Br2)," A. Mellouki, R.K. Talukdar, A. Schmoltner, T. Gierczak, M.J. Mills, S. Solomon, and A.R. Ravishankara, Geophys. Res. Lett., 19, 2059-2062, 1992. Abstract + article

"On the age of stratospheric air and ozone depletion potentials in polar regions," W.H. Pollock, L.E. Heidt, R.A. Lueb, J.F. Vedder, M.J. Mills, and S. Solomon, J. Geophys. Res., 97, 12993-12999, 1992. Abstract + article

"On the evaluation of ozone depletion potentials," S. Solomon, M.J. Mills, L.E. Heidt, W.H. Pollock and A. F. Tuck, J. Geophys. Res. 97, 825-842, 1992. Abstract + article