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Lamont Research Professor
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Ocean and Climate Physics
Adjunct Associate Professor
School of International & Public Affairs
205D Oceanography
61 Route 9W - PO Box 1000
(845) 365-8493
(845) 365-8157


Fields of interest: 
Common-Era Paleoclimatology, Climate Modeling, Statistical Climatology, Climate Variability and Change

The PaleoDynamics Lab at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory is led by Prof. Jason E. Smerdon, with strong connections to colleagues in the Division of Ocean and Climate Physics, the Lamont Tree-Ring Laboratory and the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies.  The broad objective of our group 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.  Our group uses numerical models, climate proxy records and statistical methods to better understand the variability of climate over decades to centuries.  We are particularly interested 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),  how climate models represent climatic change over this time period, and how to use model-data comparisons on paleoclimatic timescales to inform future climate projections.  Several of our recent efforts are highlighted below and all of our publications are publicly available at our Publications page.

List of degrees from highest to lowest:
Ph.D., Applied Physics
University of Michigan
M.S., Physics
University of Michigan
B.A., Physics Major
Gustavus Adolphus College
Honors & Awards: 
First Decade Award for Early Professional Achievement, Gustavus Adolphus College 2008
Storke-Doherty Lectureship Award, LDEO and Columbia University 2007
Barnard Environmental Science/Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship, Barnard College, 2007
Lamont-Doherty Postdoctoral Fellowship, LDEO, 2005

Lamont Projects:

Referenced in the Following News Items:

Selected Publications:

A new archive of large volcanic events over the past millennium derived fromreconstructed summer temperatures Schneider, L.; Smerdon, J. E.; Pretis, F.; Hartl-Meier, C.; Esper, J. Environmental Research Letters (2017)
The 2016 Southeastern U.S. Drought: An Extreme Departure From Centennial Wetting and Cooling Q2 Williams, Park A.; Cook, Benjamin I.; Smerdon, Jason E.; Bishop, Daniel A.; Seager, Richard; Mankin, Justin S. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres (2017)
Revisiting the Leading Drivers of Pacific Coastal Drought Variability in the Contiguous United States Cook, Benjamin I.; Willliam, Park A.; Mankin, Justin S.; Seager, Richard; Smerdon, Jason E.; Singh, Deepti Journal of Climate (2017)
A Robust Null Hypothesis for the Potential Causes of Megadrought in Western North America Ault, Toby R.; St. George, Scott; Smerdon, Jason E.; Coats, Sloan; Mankin, Justin S.; Carrillo, Carlos M.; Cook, Benjamin I.; Stevenson Samantha Journal of Climate (2017)
The 2016 southeastern US drought: an extreme departure from centennial wetting and cooling Williams, A. Park; Cook, Benjamin I.; Smerdon, Jason E.; Bishop, Daniel A.; Seager, Richard; Mankin, Justin S. Journal of Geophysical Research - Atmospheres Volume: 122 Issue: 20 p.: 10888-10905 (2017) 10.1002/2017JD027523