Dr. Yochanan Kushnir

Special Research Scientist, Ocean and Climate Physics, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO), Columbia Climate School

104C Oceanography
61 Route 9W
PO Box 1000
Palisades, NY 10964


I am a Research Professor at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, The Earth Institute, Columbia University. My research is concerned with characterizing and understanding climate variability and change using observations and global climate models. I am particularly interested in the role of the oceans in climate variability on time scales of years to decades. Throughout my career at Lamont I have mentored graduate and undergraduate students in their research. With my collaborators and students, I published extensively on the topics modern and paleo climate variability. I co-edited and contributed to the 2003 American Geophysical Union Monograph: The North Atlantic Oscillation: significance and environmental impact and was one of the authors of the 1995 National Academies report on Climate Variability on Decade-to-Century Time Scales. Between 2003 and 2014 I served as the director of the Cooperative Institute for Climate Applications and Research (CICAR), a research partnership between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Columbia University. I co-chaired the CLIVAR working group on Decadal Climate Variability and Predictability, which has been sunset last year. I currently co-chair the World Climate Research Program (WCRP) the panel on Grand Challenge on Near Term Climate Prediction. In 2013 I was elected Fellow of the American Meteorological Society.


Only select projects listed below
Name Start Date End Date
Geochemical Analysis of Ancient Salt Deposits from the Dead Sea and its Climate and Hydrology During Warmer Periods in the Past 200,000 Years 9/1/16 8/31/18
Atlantic Multidecadal Variability: Mechanisms, Impact, and Predictability: A Study using Observations and IPCC AR4 Model Simulations 8/1/09 6/30/13
Collaborative Research: EaSM2: Linking near-term future changes in weather and hydroclimate in western North America to adaption for ecosystem and water management 4/1/13 3/31/19
Collaborative Research: Hydrological Variability During the Last Millennium from High Resolution Proxies 10/1/10 9/30/14
Cooperative Institute for Climate Application and Research (CICAR) 7/1/08 6/30/14
Hurricane Interactive Track Simulator with Wind and Precipitation Scenarios 3/30/18 3/29/21
Mechanisms of Mediterranean Region Hydroclimate Variability and Change 9/1/17 8/31/21
Sea Surface Temperature-Forced Monsoon Evolution and Variability in West Africa 11/1/16 10/31/19
Understanding recent global hydroclimate change using multivariate detection & attribution techniques and GCM Experiments 8/1/15 7/31/19
Vulnerability of the U.S. Atlantic coast to hazards associated with extreme weather storms 1/16/14 1/15/18
Changes in Impacts-relevant Climate in the the World’s Mediterranean Climate Regions: A Mechanisms-based Investigation of Atmosphere-Ocean-Land Processes across Seasons 12/15/21 11/30/24
Insolation Gradients and Eastern Mediterranean Aridity: Impacts on Winter Storms and Implications for Climate Projections 9/1/23 8/31/26


Only select publications listed below
Name Published Date
A saturated stochastic simulator: synthetic US Gulf coast tropical cyclone precipitation fields 2023
An Atmospheric Bridge Between the Subpolar and Tropical Atlantic Regions: A Perplexing Asymmetric Teleconnection 2021
Changing hydroclimate dynamics and the 19th to 20th century wetting trend in the English Channel region of northwest Europe 2021
Interannual Variability of the Early and Late-Rainy Seasons in the Caribbean 2020
Mechanisms of winter precipitation variability in the European-Mediterranean region associated with the North Atlantic Oscillation 2020
Climate variability and change of Mediterranean-type climates 2019
Medieval Climate in the Eastern Mediterranean: Instability and Evidence of Solar Forcing 2019
Seasonal Climatology and Dynamical Mechanisms of Rainfall in the Caribbean 2019
Atlantic Multidecadal Variability as a modulator of the precipitation variability in the continental US 2018
Multiscale Variability in North American Summer Maximum Temperatures and Modulations from the North Atlantic Simulated by an AGCM 2018
Commentary on the Syria case: Climate as a contributing factor 2017
Comparing proxy and model estimates of hydroclimate variability and change over the Common Era 2017
Winter storm intensity, hazards, and property losses in the New York tristate area 2017
Understanding Pacific Ocean influence on interannual precipitation variability in the Sahel 2016
Climate change in the Fertile Crescent and implications of the recent Syrian drought 2015
Cross–Time Scale Interactions and Rainfall Extreme Events in Southeastern South America for the Austral Summer. Part I: Potential Predictors 2015
Dead Sea drawdown and monsoonal impacts in the Levant during the last interglacial 2015
HITS: Hurricane Intensity and Track Simulator with North Atlantic Ocean Applications for Risk Assessment 2015
Human adaptation strategies to abrupt climate change in Puerto Rico ca. 3.5 ka 2015
Mediterranean climate future: an insightful look into the Basin's precipitation response to greenhouse gas forcing 2015
Natural and Forced North Atlantic Hurricane Potential Intensity Change in CMIP5 Models 2015
Old World megadroughts and pluvials during the Common Era 2015
Persistent drying in the tropics linked to natural forcing 2015
The middle Holocene climatic records from Arabia: Reassessing lacustrine environments, shift of ITCZ in Arabian Sea, and impacts of the southwest Indian and African monsoons 2015
The paths of extratropical cyclones associated with wintertime high wind events in the Northeast United States 2015
Causes of increasing aridification of the Mediterranean region in response to rising greenhouse gases 2014
Dynamical and Thermodynamical Causes of Large-Scale Changes in the Hydrological Cycle over North America in Response to Global Warming 2014
Hydroclimate Variability and Change in the Prairie Pothole Region, the “Duck Factory” of North America 2014
Moisture budget analysis of SST-driven decadal Sahel precipitation variability in the twentieth century 2014
North Atlantic Multidecadal SST Oscillation: External forcing versus internal variability 2014
Dynamical Structure of Extreme Floods in the U.S. Midwest and the United Kingdom 2013
Have Aerosols Caused the Observed Atlantic Multidecadal Variability? 2013
Influence of local and remote SST on North Atlantic tropical cyclone potential intensity 2013
A verification framework for interannual-to-decadal predictions experiments 2012
Comparing Twentieth- and Twenty-First-Century Patterns of Interannual Precipitation Variability over the Western United States and Northern Mexico 2012
Coupled climate model simulations of Mediterranean winter cyclones and large-scale flow patterns 2012
Mediterranean precipitation climatology, seasonal cycle, and trend as simulated by CMIP5 2012
The 1960s Drought and the Subsequent Shift to a Wetter Climate in the Catskill Mountains Region of the New York City Watershed 2012
Distinguishing the Roles of Natural and Anthropogenically Forced Decadal Climate Variability: Implications for Prediction 2011
Robust features of Atlantic multi-decadal variability and its climate impacts 2011
The relative contributions of radiative forcing and internal climate variability to the late 20th Century winter drying of the Mediterranean region 2011
Variation of the North Atlantic subtropical high western ridge and its implication to Southeastern US summer precipitation 2011
Adjustment of the atmospheric circulation to tropical Pacific SST anomalies: Variability of transient eddy propagation in the Pacific–North America sector 2010
Low-frequency climate variability in the Atlantic basin during the 20th century 2010
North Atlantic influence on 19th–20th century rainfall in the Dead Sea watershed, teleconnections with the Sahel, and implication for Holocene climate fluctuations 2010
Northern Hemisphere winter snow anomalies: ENSO, NAO and the winter of 2009/10 2010
Tropical Oceanic Causes of Interannual to Multidecadal Precipitation Variability in Southeast South America over the Past Century 2010
Classifying North Atlantic Tropical Cyclone Tracks by Mass Moments 2009
Forced and Internal Twentieth-Century SST Trends in the North Atlantic 2009
Hindcasts of Tropical Atlantic SST Gradient and South American Precipitation: The Influences of the ENSO Forcing and the Atlantic Preconditioning 2009
Mechanisms of Tropical Atlantic SST Influence on North American Precipitation Variability 2009
Blueprints for Medieval hydroclimate 2007
Model projections of an imminent transition to a more arid climate in southwestern North America 2007
The Physical Basis for Predicting Atlantic Sector Seasonal-to-Interannual Climate Variability 2006
Atlantic SST gradient and the influence of ENSO 2005
Mechanisms of ENSO-forcing of hemispherically symmetric precipitation variability 2005
Modeling of Tropical Forcing of Persistent Droughts and Pluvials over Western North America: 1856–2000 2005
Mechanisms of Hemispherically Symmetric Climate Variability 2003