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


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

deMenocal, P.B.. deMenocal, P.B. The End of the Humid Period. Nature Geoscience 8, 86–87 deMenocal.2015.pdf

Otto-Bliesner et al. Coherent changes of southeastern equatorial and northern African rainfall during the last deglaciation. Science, Dec. 2014. Otto-Bliesner.etal.2014.pdf

deMenocal, P.B.. Scientific American (September, 2014) deMenocal.Sci.Am.2014.pdf

Smithsonian Magazine, Oct. 2014. How Climate Change May Have Shaped Human Evolution.

College de France conference (Paris, May, 2014), Edouard Bard and PdeM convenors: African Climate during the Holocene, presentation videos available here

In the news: 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).