American Philosophical Society
Member History

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1. Mathematical and Physical Sciences[X]
105. Physical Earth Sciences[X]
1Name:  Dr. Wallace S. Broecker
 Institution:  Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University
 Year Elected:  2015
 Class:  1. Mathematical and Physical Sciences
 Subdivision:  105. Physical Earth Sciences
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1931
 Death Date:  February 18, 2019
For more than half a century Wally Broecker devoted his life to study of the role of the oceans in climate change. By using isotopic analysis to study physical mixing and chemical cycling in the ocean, he developed a picture of the ocean’s thermohaline circulations as comprising a conveyor belt. He showed this global conveyor belt to be susceptible to sudden shifts from one mode to another, and in the process able to trigger changes in climate that are not slow to develop but instead abrupt. This conceptual framework, which he outlined in more than 450 papers and ten books, provides an essential starting point for our present-day understanding of climate, dating back to the Pleistocene and extending forward to its long-term future outlook. Broecker was a recipient of the National Medal of Science (1996) and numerous other honors. Wallace Broecker died February 18, 2019 in Manhattan at the age of 87.
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