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Scientist Who Popularized Term ‘Global Warming’ Dies at 87

Feb 18, 2019, 2:37 PM | Updated: Jun 8, 2022, 5:15 pm
NEWPORT BEACH, CA - OCTOBER 20: A water level marker is attached to a dock on Orange County's Balbo...
NEWPORT BEACH, CA - OCTOBER 20: A water level marker is attached to a dock on Orange County's Balboa Island on October 20, 2018 in Newport Beach, California. The threat of rising seas prompted officials to raise the island's sea walls by 9 inches this year. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (AP) — A climate scientist who popularized the term “global warming” has died. Wallace Smith Broecker was 87.

Columbia University said the longtime professor and researcher died Monday at a New York City hospital. A spokesman for the university’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory said Broecker had been ailing in recent months.

Broecker brought “global warming” into common use with a 1975 paper that correctly predicted rising carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere would lead to pronounced warming.

Broecker was also first to recognize what he called the Ocean Conveyor Belt, a global system of ocean currents circulating water and nutrients.

Broecker was born in Chicago in 1931 and grew up in suburban Oak Park.

He joined Columbia’s faculty in 1959 and was known in science circles as the “Grandfather of Climate Science.”

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Scientist Who Popularized Term ‘Global Warming’ Dies at 87