Meteorologist interviews Cornell geologists

Professor Rhawn Denniston and an alumnus were featured on KCRG-TV9 for their research on May 19.

They are researching how El Niño will behave in the future by looking back in time. The journal Geology has just published their latest findings, “El Niño–Southern Oscillation–like variability in a late Miocene Caribbean coral.

The lead author is Thomas Weiss ’16, who conducted the research as his geology honors thesis last year and is now a doctoral student in paleoclimatology at Columbia University. Thanks to a grant from the National Science Foundation, Weiss, Cornell College Professor of Geology Rhawn Denniston, and three colleagues were able to develop decades worth of monthly Caribbean ocean temperatures from five million years ago. They tied variations in these ocean temperatures to the El Niño-Southern Oscillation, the biggest reason why global climates vary on a year-to-year basis.