Howard Larsen is a physicist with a particular interest in the role of science in policy development.
Most of his career has been spent studying the physics of the atmosphere, including clouds, precipitation and lightning. Using a specially instrumented research sailplane he made the first in-situ measurements of New Zealand clouds, studying the growth processes of cloud droplets in wave clouds over the Tararuas. He made other in-situ measurements, of clouds and aerosols, from instrumented research aircraft around the Pacific and in Australia and Europe.
Howard’s academic career has involved periods as Reader in Physics at MGill University, Science Associate at the Swiss Technical University in Zurich (ETH-Z) and Professor of Physics at Université Blaise Pascal in France. As well as the aircraft measurements he has led laboratory, ground and satellite remote sensing, and computer modelling studies.
He has been elected a member of the International Commission on Clouds and Precipitation and has also served as a member of various Sub-Commissions, including of the International Commission on Atmospheric Electricity.
Most recently Howard was Principal Analyst in the New Zealand Ministry for the Environment. He represented New Zealand as the New Zealand Focal Point for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and as a member of the New Zealand delegation to the UNFCCC negotiations.
He is a Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society and the New Zealand Institute of Physics.
Selected conference papers and publications
Reisinger, A., Wratt, D.S., Allan, S., Larsen, H. (2010) The role of local government in adapting to climate change: lessons from New Zealand. In: Climate change adaptation in developed nations. JD Ford and LB Ford (eds.) Springer, Netherlands
Reisinger, A., and Larsen, H. (2010) Recognising ethics to help a constructive climate change debate. In: Public Policy: why ethics matters. J Boston et al. (eds.) ANU ePress, Canbera