Smerdon Group Research


Statistical Climatology

Climate Dynamics

Multi-proxy Paleoclimalogy

Borehole Paleoclimatology

Land-Surface Processes



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.  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 the resources linked below and my publication page for more information on my group’s research in these areas.



Check out our research blog for up-to-date news about our group and some background on our research.


Many of the papers that we publish are accompanied by online resources that include codes and data.  The list below includes many of our most recent online supplementary materials (also linked from our publication pages).

    Smerdon, J.E., A. Kaplan, and D.E. Amrhein (2013), J. Climate, 26, 3485–3486.


    Smerdon, J.E., A. Kaplan, E. Zorita, J.F. González-Rouco, and M.N. Evans (2011), GRL, 38.   

    Smerdon, J.E., A. Kaplan, and D.E. Amrhein (2010), J. Climate, 23, 5548-5554.

    Smerdon, J.E., A. Kaplan, D. Chang, and M.N. Evans (2010), J. Climate, 23, 4856-4880.

    Smerdon, J.E., and A. Kaplan (2007), J. Climate, 20(22), 5666-5670.


    Collaborative Research: EaSM2: Linking near-term future changes in weather and hydroclimate in

    western North America to adaptation for ecosystem and water management, NSF, PIs: R.

    Seager, M. Ting, Y. Kushnir, M. Biasutti, J. Smerdon, B. Cook, and A. Greene.

    Fossil coral estimates of central tropical Pacific SST and hydrological variability during the last

    millennium, NOAA, PIs: Kim Cobb and J.E. Smerdon, 2011-2014

    Global Decadal Hydroclimate Predictability, Variability and Change: A Data-Enriched Modeling

    Study (GloDecH), NOAA, PIs: R. Seager, M. Cane, M. Ting, Y. Kushnir, J.E. Smerdon, A. Kaplan, M.

    Evans, and L. Polvani, 2010-2013

    Collaborative Research: Locally-constrained climate field reconstructions of the last millennium:

    Methods and application, NSF, PIs: J.E. Smerdon, A. Kaplan, and M.N. Evans, 2009-2012

    Spectral characteristics of climate proxies and their expression in climate field reconstructions,

    NOAA, PIs: J.E. Smerdon, A. Kaplan, E.R. Cook, and M.N. Evans, 2007-2011.


Are you interested in joining our group as a student or postdoc?  Please contact me to learn more about undergraduate research opportunities, our graduate program in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences or postdoctoral opportunities in the Division of Ocean and Climate Physics.



A.J. CARVER, NOAA Hollings Undergraduate Summer Intern


Kevin Anchukaitis, LDEO, Columbia University

Hugo Beltrami, St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, Canada

Kim Cobb, Georgia Tech

Edward Cook, LDEO, Columbia University

Rosanne D’Arrigo, LDEO, Columbia University

Julien Emile-Geay, University of Southern California

Michael Evans, University of Maryland

J. Fidel González-Rouco, Universidad Complutense, Madrid, Spain

Alexey Kaplan, LDEO, Columbia University

Kris Karnauskas, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Bo Li, Purdue University

Richard Seager, LDEO, Columbia University

Eugene Wahl, NOAA Paleoclimatology

Eduardo Zorita, Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht, Geesthacht, Germany


© J.E. Smerdon

SLOAN COATS, Graduate Student

Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences Columbia University

DAN AMRHEIN (Right), Research Assistant

Now in the MIT-WHOI Joint Program