Lamont and the Nobel Peace Prize

October 19, 2007

Lamont and the Nobel Peace Prize

2007 Nobel Peace Prize Winner Al Gore


October 19, 2007 --The 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, awarded jointly to Al Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), honors many Lamont-based scientists who have contributed work to the IPCC. These include at least nine current staffers who collaborated with the IPCC’s most recent assessment, issued in 2007. Many others have contributed to the panel’s three previous reports over the past 17 years.

The Nobel recognition is in part an outgrowth of the seminal climate work that Lamont researchers have done since the 1950s —long before climate was generally recognized as a major issue. Award of the prize signals a global realization that not only is the scientific study of climate now taken seriously--but that changes now underway could threaten our environment, economy and social stability.

Lamont researchers’ work through the 1980s helped lay the foundations for our modern understanding of past natural climate shifts, which have been linked to variations in earth’s orbit, changes in ocean circulation and other factors not affected by humans.  Since the 1990s, the work has shifted to distinguishing how the human footprint may be interacting with these natural cycles. Most recently, many Lamont-based scientists have begun exploring how science and technology may help humanity mitigate its effects on the climate, and adapt to changes already taking place.

Lamont-based contributors to the 2007 IPCC report, and their affiliations, are:

Edward Cook, Biology and Paleo Environment

Rosanne D’Arrigo, Biology and Paleo Environment

Sidney Hemming, Geochemistry

Beate Liepert, Biology and Paleo Environment

Christopher Small, Marine Geology and Geophysics

Madeleine Thomson, International Research Institute for Climate and Society

Walter Baethgen, International Research Institute for Climate and Society

Robert Chen, Center for International Earth Science Information Network

Xiaoshi Xing, Center for International Earth Science Information Network


The Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory , a member of The Earth Institute at Columbia University, is one of the world's leading research centers seeking fundamental knowledge about the origin, evolution and future of the natural world. More than 300 research scientists study the planet from its deepest interior to the outer reaches of its atmosphere, on every continent and in every ocean. From global climate change to earthquakes, volcanoes, nonrenewable resources, environmental hazards and beyond, Observatory scientists provide a rational basis for the difficult choices facing humankind in the planet's stewardship. For more information, visit .
The Earth Institute at Columbia University is the world’s leading academic center for the integrated study of the Earth, its environment and society. The Earth Institute builds upon excellence in the core disciplines—earth sciences, biological sciences, engineering sciences, social sciences and health sciences—and stresses cross-disciplinary approaches to complex problems. Through research, training and global partnerships, The Earth Institute mobilizes science and technology to advance sustainable development, while placing special emphasis on the needs of the world’s poor. For more information, visit .