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 a marine geologist and geochemist who uses stable isotopic and trace metal analyses of microfossil shells (foraminifera) to understand how and why past climates have changed. Two timescales interest me: Climate records spanning the past few millennia to understand natural climate variability. Over longer timescales I’m also interested in the evolution of ocean temperature gradients and terrestrial climate  associated with the Pliocene epoch 3-4 million years ago, the last time atmospheric CO2 levels were similar to today.


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

Arbuszewski, J.A., deMenocal, P.B. Cléroux C., Bradtmiller L., and Mix, A.C. Meridional shifts of the Atlantic intertropical convergence zone since the Last Glacial Maximum. Nature Geoscience, doi: 10.1038/ngeo1961. (2013). Arbuszewski et al.2013.pdf

Tierney, J.E., deMenocal, P.B., Abrupt shifts in Horn of Africa hydroclimate since the Last Glacial Maximum. Science (2013). Tierney.deMenocal.2013.pdf

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)

LDEO Center for Climate and Life