A scientist who popularized the term "global warming" dies at 87



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  • ASSOCIATED PRESS / 2018

    Wallace Broecker, a professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University in New York, delivers a speech to the public at the Balzan Awards ceremony in Rome. Broecker died today at the age of 87.

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NEW YORK >> A climatologist who popularized the term "global warming" is dead. Wallace Smith Broecker was 87 years old.

Columbia University said the longtime professor and researcher died today in a New York City hospital. A spokesman for the University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory said Broecker was sick in recent months.

Broecker generalized the use of "global warming" with a 1975 article that correctly predicted that rising carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere would result in pronounced warming.

Broecker was also the first to recognize what he called the oceanic treadmill, a global system of ocean currents flowing in water and nutrients.

Broecker was born in Chicago in 1931 and grew up in the suburbs of Oak Park.

He joined the Columbia faculty in 1959 and was known in scientific circles as the "grandfather of climate science".

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