A graduate of the École normale supérieure (ENS), Hervé Le Treut's doctoral thesis focused on the modelling of clouds in the climate system. His work has focused on numerical modelling of the climate system and understanding the radiative perturbations of the climate, in particular the role of the additional greenhouse effect linked to human activities.

Director of the Institut Pierre-Simon Laplace (IPSL) between 2008 and 2019, Hervé Le Treut has built his career between research and teaching activities at the École Polytechnique, the Pierre-et-Marie-Curie University (Sorbonne University since 2018) and the ENS.
His international reputation has led him to be a member of various bodies: a member of the board of directors of the French Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) and the French Petroleum Institute (IFP), a member of the scientific council of GDF-Suez, a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and a member of the French Academy of Sciences.

In addition, he has been able to convey strong messages to his peers but also to a wider public through conferences and the publication of popular works. Since 2016, Hervé Le Treut has joined Acclimaterra, a sort of IPCC on a local scale (New Aquitaine region).
A member of the French Academy of Sciences since 2005, Hervé Le Treut has received numerous awards, including the Becquerel Prize from the French Academy of Sciences (1994), the Dargelos Prize from the École Polytechnique alumni association and the Leloir Prize awarded by the Argentine government, as well as the Palmes Académiques and Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur (2011).