Peter B. deMenocal



I use deep-sea sediments as archives of past climate change. Ocean sediments accumulate slowly but continuously and provide records of past changes in Earth climate and ocean circulation over a wide range of timescales, from centuries to millions of years. I’m interested in paleoclimate questions that have relevance to human sustainability.

I’ve had a long-standing interest in understanding African climate history over the last several million years spanning key events in early human evolution. Over more recent timescales, our lab has been working on timing and causes of century-scale climate variability in tropics and high-latitudes.

LDEO Center for Climate and Life


Tierney, J.A., Ummenhofer, C.C., deMenocal, P.B. Past and Future rainfall in the Horn of Africa. Science advances. Sci. Adv. 2015;1:e1500682 Tierney.etal.2015b.pdf

In the news:

“Climate Change, Ahoy!” B. Palmer. OnEarth Magazine. 14 Oct., 2015.

“Ocean sediments suggest dry future for Horn of Africa”, H. Hoag, Nature News 9 Oct 2015

“Fixing the Climate Innovation Gap”, HuffPo (May 2, 2015)

How Somali Pirates Almost (but Not Quite) Halted Vital Climate Change Research, The Atlantic (Oct. 16, 2013)

Braving African piracy reveals abrupt rainfall shifts, Simple Climate (Oct. 18, 2013).