Modern and Future Climate

The Climate Science Group strives to solve problems in climate on timescales from seasonal to Quaternary and beyond. We use models representing the ocean, the atmosphere, the cryosphere and the land surface, ranging from simple to complex. In addition to analyses of data from recent decades, we develop techniques to extract as much as possible from the inaccurate and sparse data of the past.
Much of our work, often in collaboration with the International Research Institute located at Lamont, has been on understanding and predicting seasonal to interannual climate variations, especially El Niño and the North Atlantic Oscillation, and on the impacts of such variations on agriculture and health. Our recent focus is on accounting for the startlingly abrupt changes apparent in the paleoclimate record. Could such changes occur in the near future? Our investigations of the past and the future rely heavily on our knowledge of modern climate dynamics.

Dorothy M. Peteet
Personal Information
Dorothy
M.
Peteet
Adjunct Senior Research Scientist
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Biology and Paleo Environment
Adjunct Professor
Earth and Environmental Sciences
Contact Information
15 Geochemistry
61 Route 9W - PO Box 1000
Palisades
NY
10964-8000
US
(845) 365-8420

Fax: 

(845) 365-8154

Fields of interest: 

Paleoclimate, paleoecology, climate modeling, wetland carbon storage, palynology.

In the face of a rapidly changing climate today, we can turn to the landscapes around us as well as their historical archives to give us the best possible hints of the magnitude and rapidity of past climate shifts, and their relevance for our future. Our group utilizes field trips to wetlands (salt marshes, fresh marshes, bogs, fens, and swamps) to combine the study of modern plant ecology with retrieval of long sediment cores.

Our research includes travel to Siberia, Alaska, southeastern US, and Easter Island as well as the Hudson River marshes, Black Rock Forest, NY and upland nearby lakes. From these cores we analyze pollen, spores, and plant and animal macrofossils. We are particularly interested in abrupt climate change and patterns of droughts and floods as well as warm intervals and recent coolings such as the Little Ice Age.

Patterns and rates of plant migration are documented using our macrofossil studies in combination with pollen stratigraphy. We target disturbances such as land use change and fire at the local and regional level. Carbon sequestration in wetlands is a more recent focus, with changes in sequestration linked to climate change. Global climate modeling (GCM) at GISS is utilized to understand mechanisms and causes of climatic change.

Education
Ph.D.
New York University
1983
Master of Science
New York University
1979
Bachelor of Arts
Duke University
1974
Selected Publications:
Responses of an arctic landscape to Lateglacial and early Holocene climatic changes: the importance of moisture, Mann, D. H.; Peteet, D. M.; Reanier, R. E.; Kunz, M. L. Quaternary Science Reviews Apr, Volume: 21, Issue: 8-9 p.: 997-1021 (2002) Pii S0277-3791(01)00116-0
Sensitivity and rapidity of vegetational response to abrupt climate change, Peteet, D. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America Feb 15, Volume: 97, Issue: 4 p.: 1359-1361 (2000)
Late-glacial to early Holocene climate changes from a central Appalachian pollen and macrofossil record, Kneller, M.; Peteet, D. Quaternary Research Mar, Volume: 51, Issue: 2 p.: 133-147 (1999)
Jerry F. McManus
Personal Information
Jerry
F.
McManus
Professor
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Geochemistry
Contact Information
239 Comer
61 Route 9W - PO Box 1000
Palisades
NY
10964-8000
US
(845) 365-8722

Fax: 

(845) 365-8155
Martin Stute
Personal Information
Martin
Stute
Adjunct Senior Research Scientist
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Geochemistry
Adjunct Senior Research Scientist
Ann Whitney Olin Professor and Co-Chair
Environmental Science Barnard College
Contact Information
109 Comer
61 Route 9W - PO Box 1000
Palisades
NY
10964-8000
US
(845) 365-8704

Fax: 

(845) 365-8155

Fields of interest: 

Isotope Hydrology, Water Resources, Paleoclimate.

When I was about eight-years-old, I did not speak to my parents for a whole day because they threw a banana peel out of our car, which I found was unacceptable from an environmental point of view. I knew early on that I wanted to dedicate my career to environmental issues and studied Physics, because there was no such thing as Environmental Science back then. My PhD thesis research topic at the University of Heidelberg focussed on novel tracer techniques to study the dynamics of ground water flow, and the use of ground water as an archive of paleoclimate. I have been interested in water issues ever since and can still hardly resist to take a plunge into a thermal spring I encounter or take a sip from a well that might tap an interesting aquifer. I believe that water will play an increasingly important role in our attempts to achieve a sustainable global development. I am also trying hard to be a decent teacher and undergraduate and graduate student adviser, because I think that is where faculty members have the most influence on the future of our planet.

Some of my projects include:

  • Health Effects and Geochemistry of Lead ( details )
  • San Andreas Fault Observatory at Depth (SAFOD/EarthScope) ( details )
Education
Prom.
Heidelberg
1989
Dipl.
Heidelberg
1985
Selected Publications:
A paleotemperature record derived from dissolved noble gases in groundwater of the Aquia Aquifer (Maryland, USA), Aeschbach-Hertig, W.; Stute, M.; Clark, J. F.; Reuter, R. F.; Schlosser, P. Geochimica Et Cosmochimica Acta Mar, Volume: 66, Issue: 5 p.: 797-817 (2002) Pii S0016-7037(01)00804-3
Tritium/He-3 dating of river infiltration: An example from the Danube in the Szigetkoz area, Hungary, Stute, M.; Deak, J.; Revesz, K.; Bohlke, J. K.; Deseo, E.; Weppernig, R.; Schlosser, P. Ground Water Sep-Oct, Volume: 35, Issue: 5 p.: 905-911 (1997)
Cooling of Tropical Brazil (5-Degrees-C) during the Last Glacial Maximum, Stute, M.; Forster, M.; Frischkorn, H.; Serejo, A.; Clark, J. F.; Schlosser, P.; Broecker, W. S.; Bonani, G. Science Jul 21, Volume: 269, Issue: 5222 p.: 379-383 (1995)
Peter Schlosser
Personal Information
Peter
Schlosser
Professor
Earth and Environmental Sciences
Geochemistry
Vinton Professor of Earth and Environmental Engineering
Earth and Environmental Sciences
Contact Information
139 Comer
61 Route 9W - PO Box 1000
Palisades
NY
10964-8000
US
(845) 365-8707

Fax: 

(845) 365-8176

Fields of interest: 

Aqueous Geochemistry, Physical Oceanography, Climate, Contaminant Transport.

My research focuses on the application of noble gases and other isotopes to natural systems with emphasis on the oceans and groundwater. My research is directed to understanding the natural state of these water bodies, the human perturbation of the natural state, and the possibility to design engineering solutions to the problems caused by human impact. The problems we are working on range from basic studies of circulation patterns of water in the ocean and groundwater flow systems to the variability of the oceanic circulation under natural and anthropogenically forced conditions or the transport and transformation of contaminants. Other projects include paleoclimate and paleocirculation studies.

For most of our studies, we use trace substances of natural or anthropogenic origin (isotopes or chemical compounds). In some cases we follow the penetration of such substances into the water bodies of interests in a fashion that is similar to dye experiments, but on a much larger scale. In other cases, we use combinations of isotopes as ?radioactive clocks? (e.g., tritium, the radioactive isotope of hydrogen, and its decay product, the noble gas isotope 3He). In some cases, we deliberately inject small amounts of inert trace gases into specific water bodies (e.g., the Hudson River) and study their spreading and mixing. Such experiments provide the closest analogues to the spreading of contaminants in the environment.

In many cases, we combine our experimental work with modeling studies to understand the underlying physics of the circulation or to explore predictability. Modeling studies also provide insight into management options for certain water bodies.

Some of my projects include:

  • World Ocean Circulation Experiment ( details )
  • Hudson River Research ( details )
  • Groundwater studies ( details )
Education
Ph.D.
Heidelberg
1985
Selected Publications:
Decrease of river runoff in the upper waters of the Eurasian Basin, Arctic Ocean, between 1991 and 1996: Evidence from delta O-18 data, Schlosser, P.; Newton, R.; Ekwurzel, B.; Khatiwala, S.; Mortlock, R.; Fairbanks, R. Geophysical Research Letters May 1, Volume: 29, Issue: 9 p.: - (2002) Doi 10.1029/2001gl013135
Determination of longitudinal dispersion coefficient and net advection in the tidal Hudson River with a large-scale, high resolution SF6 tracer release experiment, Ho, D. T.; Schlosser, P.; Caplow, T. Environmental Science & Technology Aug 1, Volume: 36, Issue: 15 p.: 3234-3241 (2002) UNSP ES015814+
Excess helium and neon in the southeast Pacific: Tracers for glacial meltwater, Hohmann, R.; Schlosser, P.; Jacobs, S.; Ludin, A.; Weppernig, R. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans Nov, Volume: 107, Issue: C11 p.: - (2002) Doi 10.1029/2000jc000378

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