Professor Mark Cane Elected to the National Academy of Sciences

May 13 2013 | By Melanie Farmer

Leading climatologist Mark Cane, professor of applied physics and applied mathematics, has been recently elected to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). Cane is one of 84 new members and 21 foreign associates from 14 countries to join the prestigious academy that recognizes distinguished and continuing achievements in original research and is one of the highest honors accorded to a U.S. scientist or engineer. 

Cane is widely recognized in the international scientific community for a model he developed with former student and now a fellow Lamont Doherty colleague, Steve Zebiak, to predict the movement of warm water across the tropical Pacific Ocean in a cyclical phenomena known as the El Niño Southern Oscillation, or ENSO. The Zebiak-Cane model successfully made the first physical forecasts of El Niño in 1985 and has since been the primary tool used by many researchers to enhance understanding of ENSO.

Cane’s additional research interests include tropical oceanography, climate modeling, and data analysis methodology. A distinguished scholar and researcher, he holds multiple appointments at Columbia in addition to his professorship at the Engineering School. He is G. Unger Vetlesen Professor of Earth and Climate Sciences at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, professor and chair of earth and environmental sciences, and associate director at the Earth Institute. He also is the director of a highly successful master’s degree program in Climate and Society that prepares students to understand and cope with the impacts of climate variability on society and the environment.

Most of Cane’s current work relates to the impacts of human-induced climate change and natural climate variability on people around the world, with a focus on agriculture and health.

Mark Cane