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Wallace S. Broecker

Newberry Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences
Earth and Environmental Sciences Department
301 Comer, 61 Route 9W - PO Box 1000, Palisades NY 10964-8000 US
  • Scientist, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
  • Member, Academic Committee of the Earth Institute

As I sometimes tell my students, my research is directed toward the role of the oceans in climate change. Over the last several hundred thousand years, the folks in the back room who designed our planet were pretty clever. We have clear evidence that different parts of the earth's climate system are linked in very subtle yet dramatic ways.

The climate system has jumped from one mode of operation to another in the past. We are trying to understand how the earth's climate system is engineered climate change has come mainly in discrete jumps that appear to be related to changes in the mode of thermohaline circulation.

We place strong emphasis on using isotopes as a means to understand physical mixing and chemical cycling in the ocean, so we can understand what it takes to trigger mode switches. Until we do and the climate history as recorded in marine sediments. We cannot make good predictions about future climate change and the climate history as recorded in marine sediments.