Portrait of Mark A. Cane

Mark A. Cane

Mark Cane is the G. Unger Vetlesen Professor of Earth and Climate Sciences in Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences and Department of Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics at Columbia University, where he also holds joint appointment in the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI) and serves as a member of the IRI's International Science and Technical Advisory Committee. Cane received his Ph.D. in Meteorology from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1975. With his colleague Dr. Stephen Zebiak, Mark devised the first numerical model able to simulate El Niño and the Southern Oscillation (ENSO), a pattern of interannual climate variability centered in the tropical Pacific but with global consequences. In 1985 this model was used to make the first physically based forecasts of El Niño. Over the years the Zebiak-Cane model has been the primary tool used by many investigators to enhance understanding of ENSO. Dr. Cane has also worked extensively on the impact of El Niño on human activity, especially agriculture. In 1992 Dr. Cane received the Sverdrup Gold Medal of the American Meteorological Society. He is a fellow of the American Meteorological Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Geophysical Union, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His current research is focused on the variations in the paleoclimate record, especially abrupt changes, and on the impact of climate variability on human activities, especially agriculture and health.

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