Dr Peter B DeMenocal

Dr Peter B DeMenocal
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University
Route 9W
205 Geoscience
Fields of interest
Paleoclimatology/ paleoceanography
Description of scientific projects
I am a paleoceanographer who uses deep-sea sediments to reconstruct past changes in ocean circulation and terrestrial environments. I am currently interested in understanding the role of the tropics in global climate change, specifically developing datasets to explore linkages between high-and low-latitude climate over the Holocene and Pliocene-Pleistocene. The tropics are the heat engines which drive global climate variability yet we know comparatively little about the nature and causes of tropical ocean and atmosphere variability over millennial and orbital timescales. My research employs geochemical analyses of foraminifera and deep-sea sediment compositional analyses to quantify past changes in tropical ocean and terrestrial climate variability and assess their linkages to high-latitude climate. Research questions which currently interest me are: What were the changes in tropical ocean-atmosphere circulation associated with the onset and growth of high-latitude glacial cycles? What factors controlled the Pliocene-Pleistocene evolution of African climate? What was the role of the tropics in the pervasive millennial-scale climate variability which puctuated the Holocene and Pleistocene? My research focuses on answering these questions so that we may better understand how and why climates have changed in the recent geologic past.