Primary tabs


Lamont Research Professor
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Ocean and Climate Physics
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: 
Lamont Excellence in Mentoring Award, 2018
Excellence in Refereeing Award, Geophysical Research Letters, 2013
First Decade Award for Early Professional Achievement, Gustavus Adolphus College, 2008
Storke-Doherty Lectureship Award, LDEO and Columbia University, 2007
Lamont-Doherty Postdoctoral Fellowship, LDEO, 2005

Lamont Projects:

Lamont/DEES Student List: 

Referenced in the Following News Items:

Selected Publications:

Pacific Ocean Forcing and Atmospheric Variability Are the Dominant Causes of Spatially Widespread Droughts in the Contiguous United States Back, Seung H.; Smerdon, Jason E.; Seager, Richard; Williams, A. Park, Cook, Benjamin I. JGR Atmospheres (2019)
Twentieth century hydroclimate changes consistent with human influence Marvel, Kate; Cook, Benjamin I.; Bonfils, Céline; Durack, Paul; Smerdon, Jason E.; Williams, Park Nature (2019)
Blue Water Trade-Offs With Vegetation in a CO2 - -Enriched Climate Mankin, Justin S.; Seager, Richard; Smerdon, Jason; Cook, Benjamin I.; Williams, Park A.; Horton, Radley M. Geophysical Research Letters (2018)
A reconstruction of of global hydroclimate and dynamical variables over the dynamical variables over the Common Era Steiger, Nathan J., Smerdon, Jason E.; Cook, Edward R.; Cook, Benjamin I. Nature (2018)
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)
Projected drought risk in 1.5°C and 2°C warmer climates Lehner, Flavio; Coats, Sloan; Stocker, Thomas F.; Angeline G.; Pendergrass, Angeline G.; Sanderson, Benjamin M.; Raible, Christoph C.; Smerdon, Jason E. Geophysical Research Letters (2017)