Robinson's research focuses on the atmospheric fluid dynamics as it relates to variability and change in Earth's climate system. Overarching themes in Robinson's writings include the mechanisms for intrinsic variability in Earth's climate, with a focus on jets and stormtracks, and how these mechanisms results in expected changes with global warming. Robinson gives frequent public talks on climate change, and he is involved in activities related to NC Executive Order 80 (which addresses climate change and clean energy), including serving on the Climate Science Advisory Panel.
Summarizes what is known about how mid-latitude storms, such as nor'easters, and how they will change in a warming climate
Finds the strength of storms moving across the North Atlantic will increase with global warming, and these changes are not well captured in current generation global climate models.
Finds that within overall 20th century warming, regions of the US cooled over time. Notes that in climate models that show a similar cooling, the cooling is linked to natural changes in ocean temperatures in the Pacific Ocean. Finds that the cooling is a natural effect, that would be expected to reverse over time.