Wallace Broecker, a climate scientist who brought the term "global warming" into the public and scientific lexicon, died on Monday. He was 87.
Broecker, a professor in the department of earth and environmental science at Columbia, was among the early scientists who raised alarms about the drastic changes in the planet's climate that humans could bring about over a relatively short period of time.
His 1975 paper "Climatic Change: Are We on the Brink of a Pronounced Global Warming?" predicted the current rise in global temperatures as a result of increased carbon dioxide levels — and popularized the term "global warming" to describe the phenomenon.
The geoscientist was also known for recognizing the global "conveyor belt," a system of deep-ocean currents that circulate water between the continents.
Sean Solomon, director of Columbia's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, where Broecker worked, called his late colleague a force for scientific innovation.