Festival Year: 2024

Lonnie G. Thompson

Roles: Subject

Lonnie G. Thompson is a Distinguished University Professor in the School of Earth Sciences and a Senior Research Scientist in the Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center at The Ohio State University. His research has propelled the field of ice core paleoclimatology out of the Polar Regions to the highest tropical and subtropical ice fields. He and the OSU team have developed lightweight solar-powered drilling equipment for the acquisition of histories from ice fields in the tropical South American Andes, the Himalayas, and Kilimanjaro. These paleoclimate histories have advanced our understanding of the coupled nature of Earth’s climate system. Special emphasis has been placed on the El Niño and monsoon systems that dominate the climate of the tropical Pacific and affect global-scale oceanic and atmospheric circulation patterns.

His observations of glacier retreat over the last three decades confirm that glaciers around the world are melting and provide clear evidence that the warming of the last 50 years is now outside the range of climate variability for several millennia, if not longer. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society. He is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and in 2008 he received the National Medal of Science.


2024 Program(s):



Festival Year: 2024