Climate science pioneer Wallace Broecker dies at 87

Xinhua
American geophysicist Wallace Broecker, who was dubbed as the early prophet of climate change, died on Monday, according to Columbia University.
Xinhua
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In this November 21, 2008, file photo, Wallace Smith Broecker, a professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University in New York, addresses the audience during the Balzan prize ceremony in Rome. 

American geophysicist Wallace Broecker, who was dubbed as the early prophet of climate change, died on Monday, according to Columbia University.

Broecker's family said the 87-year-old professor died from congestive heart failure, according to a statement from Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, where he spent a career that spanned more than six decades.

Broecker's studies of marine chemistry helped lay out a global ocean circulation map, which soon became general consensus.

His researches "provided the underpinnings for virtually all later studies of marine chemistry and the oceans' relationship to climate," the statement said.

Broecker wrote in 1975 a paper synthesizing his and others' related researches on climatic changes, which later popularized the term global warming.

The article was proved to have the overall picture right, by predicting that the planet's natural cycle would soon shift to a warm phase and then the man-made warming on top of that would become dramatically visible.

"He has single-handedly pushed more understanding than probably anybody in our field," said Richard Alley, a leading climatologist at Pennsylvania State University.

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