Yochanan Kushnir

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.

Fields of Interest

  • Diagnostic analysis of climate variability
  • Climate impacts
  • Climate predictability
  • Ocean-atmosphere interaction
  • Extreme precipitation and flooding


  • Ph.D., Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University, 1985
  • M.Sc., Meteorology, Tel Aviv Univeristy, 1980
  • B.Sc., Physics, Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, 1971