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Adjunct Associate Professor
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Ocean and Climate Physics
205D Oceanography
61 Route 9W - PO Box 1000
(845) 365-8493
(845) 365-8157


Fields of interest: 
Late-Holocene Paleoclimatology, Climate Modeling, Statistical Climatology, Climate Variability and Change

My group’s broad objective is to characterize and understand climate variability and change on multi-decadal to centennial timescales.  Climate research is limited in its ability to understand these climatic variations directly from the instrumental record because such observations are not widely available for more than about 100-150 years.  To circumvent this limitation, modern instrumental records are supplemented with climatic proxy records and climate model simulations to help characterize these low-frequency modes of change.  Toward such ends, my research group uses numerical models, climate proxy records and statistical methods to better understand the variability of climate over decades to centuries.  We have a particular interest in how multiple climate proxies can be combined to yield hemispheric and global maps of climate variability spanning the Common Era (the last two thousand years), and how climate models represent climatic change over this time period.  Please see my research and publication pages for more information on my group’s research in these areas.


  • Spectral characteristics of climate proxies and their expression in climate field reconstructions, NOAA (Lead PI)
  • Collaborative Research: Locally-constrained climate field reconstructions of the last millennium: Methods and application, NSF (Lead PI)
  • Global Decadal Hydroclimate Predictability, Variability and Change: A Data-Enriched Modeling Study (GloDecH), NOAA, (Co PI)


List of degrees from highest to lowest:
Ph.D., Applied Physics
University of Michigan
M.S., Physics
University of Michigan
B.A., Physics Major
Gustavus Adolphus College
Honors & Awards: 
First Decade Award for Early Professional Achievement, Gustavus Adolphus College 2008
Storke-Doherty Lectureship Award, LDEO and Columbia University 2007
Barnard Environmental Science/Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship, Barnard College, 2007
Lamont-Doherty Postdoctoral Fellowship, LDEO, 2005
John Dorr Graduate Academic Achievement Award, University of Michigan 2005
Julian A. Crawford Memorial Prize in Physics, Gustavus Adolphus College, 1997

Lamont Projects:

Lamont/DEES Student List: 

Referenced in the Following News Items:

Selected Publications:

The anomalous winter of 1783-1784: Was the Laki eruption or an analog of the 2009-2010 winter to blame? D'Arrigo, R.; Seager, R.; Smerdon, J. E.; LeGrande, A. N.; Cook, E. R. Geophysical Research Letters (2011)
Spatial Performance of Four Climate Field Reconstruction Methods Targeting the Common Era Smerdon, J. E.; Kaplan, A.; Zorita, E.; Gonzalez-Rouco, J. F.; Evans, M. N.; Geophysical Research Letters 06/2011 Volume: 38 Issue: L11705 (2011) doi:10.1029/2011GL047372
A pseudoproxy evaluation of the CCA and RegEM methods for reconstructing climate fields of the last millennium Smerdon, J. E.; Kaplan, A.; Chang, D.; Evans, M. N. Journal of Climate (2010)
Erroneous Model Field Representations in Multiple Pseudoproxy Studies: Corrections and Implications Smerdon, J. E.; Kaplan, A.; Amrhein, D. E. Journal of Climate (2010)
Propagation of linear surface air temperature trends into the terrestrial subsurface Lesperance, M.; Smerdon, J. E.; Beltrami, H. Journal of Geophysical Research - Atmospheres (2010) http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/~jsmerdon/papers/2010_jgr_lesperanceetal.pdf
Characterizing land surface processes: A quantitative analysis using air-ground thermal orbits Smerdon, J. E.; Beltrami, H; Creelman, C; Stevens, M B Journal of Geophysical Research - Atmospheres Volume: 114 Issue: D15102 (2009)
Tropical climate influences on drought variability over Java, Indonesia D'Arrigo, R.; Smerdon, J. E. Geophysical Research Letters Mar 8 Volume: 35 Issue: 5 p.: - (2008) Doi 10.1029/2007gl032589
Pacific and Indian Ocean climate signals in a tree-ring record of Java monsoon drought D'Arrigo, R.; Allan, R.; Wilson, R.; Palmer, J.; Sakulich, J.; Smerdon, J. E.; Bijaksana, S.; Ngkoimani, L. O. International Journal of Climatology Nov 30 Volume: 28 Issue: 14 p.: 1889-1901 (2008) Doi 10.1002/Joc.1679
Tropical climate influences on drought variability over Java, Indonesia D'Arrigo, R.; Smerdon, J. E. Geophysical Research Letters Mar 8 Volume: 35 Issue: 5 p.: - (2008) Doi 10.1029/2007gl032589
Comment on "Robustness of proxy-based climate field reconstruction methods' by Michael E. Mann et al. Smerdon, J. E.; Gonzalez-Rouco, J. F.; Zorita, E. Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres Sep 19 Volume: 113 Issue: D18 p.: - (2008) Doi 10.1029/2007jd009542