Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University 61 Route 9W Palisades, NY 10964

Other, more general, publications on North American and Global Hydroclimate Variability and Change can be found here: Drought Research here:

NOAA DROUGHT TASK FORCE ASSESSMENT REPORT: Causes and Predictability of the 2011 to 2014 California Drought


Baek, H., J.E. Smerdon, R. Seager, A.P. Williams and B.I. Cook, 2019: Pacific Ocean forcing and atmospheric variability are the dominant causes of spatially widespread droughts in the contiguous United States, J. Geophys. Res., 124, 3507-2524, doi:10.1029/2018JD029219.

Bishop, A.D., A.P. Williams, R. Seager, A.M. Fiore, B.I. Cook, J.S. Mankin, D. Singh, J.E. Smerdon and M.P. Rao, 2019: Investigating the causes of Increased Twentieth-century fall precipitation over the southeastern United StatesJ. Climate32: 575-590, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-18-0244.1.

Pascolini-Campbell, M., R. Seager, A. P. Williams. B.I. Cook and A. Pinson, 2019:  Dynamics and variability of the spring dry season in the United States Southwest as observed in AmeriFlux and NLDAS-2 data, J. Hydromet., 20, 1081-1102, doi.org/10.1175/JHM-D-18-0154.1.

Seager, R., M. Ting and J. Nakamura, 2019:  Mechanisms of drought onset and termination in the southern Great Plains, J. Hydromet., 20, 751-771, doi.org/10.1175/JHM-D-18-0191.1.

Seager, R., A. P. Williams, J. Nakamura and J. Axelson, 2019: Analysis and modeling
of interannual timescale coupling between drought and bark beetles across the
American West, in prep.

Steiger, N., J. Smerdon, R. Seager, B. Cook and A. P. Williams, 2019: Oceanic and
radiative forcing of medieval megadroughts in the American southwest
, Sci. Adv.,
5, doi:10.1126/sciadv.aax0087.


Anderson, W., R. Seager, W. Baethgen and M. A. Cane, 2018: Trans-Pacific ENSO teleconnections pose a correlated risk to agriculture. Ag. Forest. Meteor., 262, 298-309, doi.org/10.1016/j.agrformet.2018.07.023.

Bishop, D., A. P. Williams, R. Seager, A. M. Fiore, B. I. Cook, J. S. Mankin, D.
Singh, J. E. Smerdon and M. P. Rao, 2018: Investigating the causes of increased twentieth-century precipitation over the southeastern United States,J. Climate, 32, 575-590, doi:org/10.1175/JCLI-18-0244.1.

Cook, B., A.P. Williams, J. Mankin, R. Seager, J.E. Smerdon and D. Singh, 2018: Revisiting the leading drivers of Pacific coastal drought variability in the contiguous United States. J. Climate: 31, 25-43, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-17-0172.1.

Deng, K., M. Ting, S. Yang and Y. Tan, 2018:  Increased frequency of summer extreme heat waves over Texas areas tied to the amplification of Pacific zonal SST gradient.  J. Climate, 31, 5629-5647, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-17-0554.1.

Jong, B.-T., M. Ting, R. Seager and D.-E. Lee, 2018: Role of equatorial Pacific SST forecast error in the late winter California precipitation forecast for the 2015/16 El Niño, J. Climate, 31, 839-852, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-17-0145.1

Mankin, J., J. Smerdon, B. I. Cook, A. P. Williams and R. Seager, 2018: The
curious case of projected 21st century drying but greening in the American West
, J. Climate, 30, 8689-8710, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-17-0213.1

Mankin, J.S., R. Seager, J.E. Smerdon, B.I. Cook, A.P. Williams and R. H. Horton, 2018: Blue water tradeoffs with ecosystems in a CO2 enriched world. Geophys. Res. Lett., 45, doi.org/10.1002/2018GL077051.

Seager, R., T. J. Osborn, Y. Kushnir, I. R. Simpson, H. Liu and J. Nakamura, 2018: Climate variability and change in Mediterranean-type climate regions, J. Climate, 32, 2887-2915, doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-18-0472.1.

Seager, R., J. Feldman, N. Lis, M. Ting, A.P. Williams, J. Nakamura, H. Liu and N. Henderson, 2018: Wither the 100th meridian? The once and future physical and human geography of America's arid-humid divide. Part I: The story so far. Earth Interactions, 22, 5, p1, doi:10.1175/EI-D-17-0011.1.

Seager, R., J. Feldman, N. Lis, M. Ting, A.P. Williams, J. Nakamura, H. Liu and N. Henderson, 2018: Wither the 100th meridian? The once and future physical and human geography of America's arid-humid divide. Part II: The meridian moves fast. Earth Interactions, 22, 5, p1, doi:10.1175/EI-D-17-0012.1.

Seager, R. and M. Ting, 2017: Decadal drought variability over North America:
Mechanisms and predictability
, Curr. Clim. Change Rep., doi:10.1007/s40641-017-0062-1.

Steiger, N.J., J.E. Smerdon, E.R. Cook, and B.I. Cook, 2018: A reconstruction of global hydroclimate and dynamical variables over the Common Era.  Scientific Data, doi.org/10.1038/sdata.2018.86.

Ting, M., R. Seager, C. Li, H. Liu, and N. Henderson, 2018: Mechanism of Future Spring Drying in the Southwest U.S. in CMIP5 Models*. J. Climate, 31, 4265-4279, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-17-0574.1.


Anderson, W., R. Seager, W. Baethgen and M. Cane, 2017: Crop production variability in North and South America forced by life-cycles of the El Niño Southern Oscillation. Ag. Forest. Meteor., 239, 151-165,doi.org/10.1016/j.agrformet.2017.03.008.

Baek, H. S., J. E. Smerdon, S. Coats, A. P. Williams, B. I. Cook, E. R. Cook and R. Seager, 2017: Precipitation, temperature, and teleconnection signals across the combined North American, Monsoon Asia, and Old World Drought Atlases. J. Climate, 7141-7155, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-16-0766.1.

Biasutti, M., R. Seager and D. Kirschbaum, 2017: Landslides in West Coast Metropolitan areas: the role of extreme weather events. Weather and Climate Extremes, 14, 67-79, doi:10.1016/j.wace.2016.11.004.

Cook, B.I., A. Williams, J. Mankin, R. Seager, J. Smerdon, and D. Singh, 2017: Revisiting the leading drivers of Pacific coastal drought variability in the Contiguous United States. J. Climate, 31, 25-43, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-17-0172.1.

Guo, Y.-Y., M. Ting, Z. Wen, and D. Lee, 2017:  Distinct Patterns of Tropical Pacific SST Anomaly and Their Impacts on North American Climate.  J. Climate, 30,  5221-5241, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-16-0488.1.

Jong, B.-T., M. Ting, R. Seager and D.-E. Lee, 2017: Role of equatorial Pacific SST forecast error in the late winter California precipitation forecast for 2015/16 El Niño. J. Climate, 31, 839-852, doi: 10.1175/JCLI-D-17-0145.1.

Jungclaus, J.H., E. Bard, M. Baroni, P. Braconnot, J. Cao, L.P. Chini, T. Egorova, M. Evans, J.F. González-Rouco, H. Goosse, G.C. Hurtt, F. Joos, J.O. Kaplan, M. Khodri, K. Klein Goldewijk, N. Krivova, A.N. LeGrande, S.J. Lorenz, J. Luterbacher, W. Man, M. Meinshausen, A. Moberg, C. Nehrbass-Ahles, B.I. Otto-Bliesner, S.J. Phipps, J. Pongratz, E. Rozanov, G.A. Schmidt, H. Schmidt, W. Schmutz, A. Schurer, A.I. Shapiro, M. Sigl, J.E Smerdon, S.K. Solanki, C. Timmreck, M. Toohey, I.G. Usoskin, S. Wagner, C.-J. Wu, K.L. Yeo, D. Zanchettin, Q. Zhang, and E. Zorita, 2017: The PMIP4 contribution to CMIP6 - Part 3: the Last Millenium, Scientific Objective and Experimental Design for the PMIP4 past1000 simulations, Geoscientific Model Development, 10,  4005-4033, doi.org/10.5194/gmd-10-4005-2017. 

Lehner, F., S. Coats, T.F. Stocker, A.G. Pendergrass, B.M. Sanderson, C.C. Raible, and J.E. Smerdon, 2017:  Projected drought risk in 1.5°C and 2°C warmer climates.  Geophys.  Res. Lett., 44, 7419-7428, doi:10.1002/2017GL074117. 

Mankin, J.S., J.E. Smerdon, B.I. Cook, A.P. Williams and R. Seager, 2017. The curious case of projected 21st-century drying but greening in the American West. J. Climate, 8689-8710, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-17-0213.1.

Mankin, J.S., D. Viviroli, M.M. Mekonnen, A.Y. Hoekstra, R.M. Horton, J.E. Smerdon, and N.S. Diffenbaugh, 2017:   Influence of internal variability on population exposure to hydroclimatic changes. Environ. Res. Lett. Environ. Res. Lett., 12, 1-11, doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/aa5efc. 

Pascolini-Campbell, M.A., R. Seager, A. Pinson and B.I. Cook, 2017: Covariability of Climate and Upper Rio Grande StreamflowJ. Hydrology: Regional Studies 13, 58-71, doi.org/10.1016/j.ejrh.2017.07.007.

Scheff, J., R. Seager, H. Liu and S. Coats, 2017: Are glacials dry? Consequences for paleoclimatology and for greenhouse warming. J. Climate, 30, 6593-6609, doi: 10.1175/JCLI-D-16-0854.1.

Seager, R. and M. Ting, 2017: Decadal drought variability over North America: Mechanisms and predictability. Curr. Clim. Change Rep.,1-9, doi:10.1007/s40641-017-0062-1.

Seager, R. , N. Henderson, M.A. Cane, H. Liu and J. Nakamura, 2017: Is There a Role for Human-Induced Climate Change in the Precipitation Decline that Drove the California Drought? J. Climate30, 10237-10258, doi: 10.1175/JCLI-D-17-0192.1.

Smerdon, J.E., J. Luterbacher, S. Phipps, K.J. Anchukaitis, T.R. Ault, S. Coats, K.M. Cobb, B.I. Cook, C. Colose, T. Felis, A. Gallant, J.H. Jungclaus, B. Konecky, A. LeGrande, S. Lewis, A.S. Lopatka, W. Man, J.S. Mankin, J.T. Maxwell, B.L. Otto-Bliesner, J.W. Partin, D. Singh, N.J. Steiger, S. Stevenson, J.E. Tierney, D. Zanchettin, H. Zhang, A. Atwood, L. Andreu-Hayles, S.H. Baek, B. Buckley, E.R. Cook, R. D'Arrigo, S.G. Dee, M. Griffiths, C. Kulkarni, Y. Kushnir, F. Lehner, C. Leland, H.W. Linderholm, A. Okazaki, J. Palmer, E. Piovano, C.C. Raible, M.P. Rao, J. Scheff, G.A. Schmidt, R. Seager, M. Widmann, A.P. Williams, E. Xoplaki, 2017:  Comparing proxy and model estimates of hydroclimate variability and change over the Common Era, Climate of the Past, 13, 1851-1900, doi.org/10.5194/cp-13-1851-2017. 

Steiger, N.J and J.E. Smerdon, 2017: A pseudoproxy assessment of data assimilation for reconstructing the atmosphere-ocean dynamics of hydroclimate extremes, Climate of the Past,13, 1435-1449, doi.org/10.5194/cp-13-1435-2017.

Williams, A.P. , B.I. Cook, J.E. Smerdon, D.A. Bishop, R. Seager and J.S. Mankin, 2017: The 2016 southeastern US drought: an extreme departure from centennial wetting and cooling. Geo. Res. Atmos.122(20): 10888-10905, doi:10.1002/2017JD027523.


Anderson, W. A., R Seager, W. Baethgen and M.A. Cane, 2016: Life cycles of agriculturally-relevant ENSO teleconnections in North and South America. Inter. J. Climatology, doi: 10.1002/joc.4916.

Coats, S., J. Smerdon, B.I. Cook, R. Seager, E.R. Cook and K. Achukaitis, 2016: Internal ocean-atmsophere variability drives megadroughts in Western North America. Geo. Res. Letts., 43(18), 9886–9894, doi:10.1002/2016GL070105.

Coats, S., J. E. Smerdon, K. B. Karnauskas and R. Seager, 2016: The improbable but unexceptional occurrence of megadrought clustering in the American West during the Medieval Climate Anomaly. Environmental Research Letters, 11(7), doi:10.1088/1748-9326/11/7/074025.

Cook, B.I., E. Cook, J. E. Smerdon, R. Seager, A. P. Williams, S. Coats, D. W. Stahle and J. Villanueva-Diaz, 2016: North American megadroughts in the Common Era: reconstructions and simulations. WIREs Clim. Change, doi: 10.1002/wcc.394.

Greene, A.M. and R. Seager, 2016: Categorical representation of North American precipitation projections. Nature, Scientific Reports, 6, 23888: doi:10.1038/srep23888.

Jong, B.-T., M. Ting and R. Seager, 2016: El Niño's impact on California precipitation: seasonality, regionality, and El Niño intensity. Environ. Res. Lett, 11, 1 - 8, doi:10.1088/1748-9326/11/5/054021.

Lepore, C., J.T. Allen, and M.K. Tippett, 2016: Relationships Between Hourly Rainfall Intensity and Atmospheric Variables Over the Contiguous United States.  J. Climate, 29, 3181-3197, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-15-0331.1.

Schubert, S., R. Stewart, H. Wang, M. Barlow, E. Berbery, W. Cai, M. Hoerling, K. Kanikicharla, R. Koster, B. Lyon, A. Mariotti, C. Mechoso, O. Müller, B. Rodriguez-Fonseca, R. Seager, S. Seneviratne, L. Zhang, and T. Zhou, 2016: Global Meteorological Drought: A Synthesis of Current Understanding with a Focus on SST Drivers of Precipitation Deficits. J. Climate, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D- 15-0452.1.

Seager, R., 2016: Physical Mechanisms of the California Drought. In Harvard College review of the environment and society "Weathering the Great California Drought". p. 1-5.

Seager, R. and N. Henderson, 2016: On the role of tropical ocean forcing of the persistent North American west coast ridge of winter 2013/14a. J. Climate, 29, 8027 - 8049, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-16-0145.1.

Seager, R. and I.R. Simpson, 2016: Western boundary currents and climate change. J. Geo. Res.: Oceans, 12, doi:10.1002/2016JC012156.


Biasutti, M., and R. Seager, 2015: Projected changes in US rainfall erosivity. Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 19, 2945–2961, doi:10.5194/hess-19-2945.

Coats, S., J.E. Smerdon, R. Seager, D. Griffin and B.I. Cook, 2015: Winter-to-summer precipitation phasing in southwestern North America: A multicentury perspective from paleoclimatic model-data comparisons. J. Geo. Res.: Atmos.,120, 8052-8064, doi:10.1002/2015JD023085.

Coats, S., B. Cook, J. Smerdon, and R. Seager, 2015: North American Pan-Continental Drought in Model Simulations of the Last Millennium. J. Climate, 28, 5, 2025-2043, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00634.1.

Coats, S., J.E. Smerdon, B.I. Cook and R. Seager, 2015: Are Simulated Megadroughts in the North American Southwest Forced? J. Climate, 28, 124-142, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00071.1.

Pascolini-Campbell, M.A., R. Seager, D.S. Gutzler, B.I. Cook and D. Griffin, 2015: Causes of Interannual to Decadal Variability of Gila River Streamflow over the past Century. J. Hydrol. Regional Sys., 3, doi:10.1016/j.ejrh.2015.02.013, 494-508.

Seager, R., and E.R. Cook, 2015: Medieval megadroughts in the Four Corners region: Characterization and causes. Presentation: The Society for American Archaelogy, Austin, Texas, April 2007.

Seager, R, M. Hoerling, S. Schubert, H. Wang, B. Lyon, A. Kumar, J. Nakamura, N. Henderson, 2015: Causes of the 2011 to 2014 California drought. J. Climate, 28, doi: 10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00860.1, 6997-7024.

Seager, R., A. Hooks, A.P. Williams, B. Cook, J. Nakamua and N. Henderson, 2015: Climatology, Variability and Trends in U.S. Vapor Pressure Deficit, an Important Fire-Related Meteorological Qualit, J. App. Meteor. Climat., 54, 1121-1141, doi:10.1175/JAMC-D-14-0321.1.

Simpson, I.R., R. Seager, M. Ting and T.A. Shaw, 2015: Causes of change in Northern Hemisphere winter meridional winds and regional hydroclimate, Nature Climate Change, doi:10.1038/NCLIMATE2783.

Smerdon, J.E., B.I. Cook, E.R. Cook and R. Seager, 2015: Bridging Past and Future Climate Across Paleoclimatic Reconstructions, Observations, and Models: A Hydroclimate Case Study. J. Climate, 28, 3213-3231, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00417.1.

Williams, A.P., R. Seager, J.T. Abatzoglou, B.I. Cook, J.E. Smerdon and E.R. Cook, 2015: Contribution of anthropogenic warming to California drought during 2012–2014. Geophys. Res. Lett., 42, doi:10.1002/2015GL064924. Supplemental

Williams, A.P., R.E. Schwartz, S. Lacobellis, R. Seager, B.I. Cook, C.J. Still, G. Husak and J. Michaelsen, 2015: Urbanization causes increased cloud base height and decreased fog in coastal Southern California. Geo. Res. Lett., doi:10.1002/2015GL063266.


Ballard, T., R. Seager, J. Smerdon, B. Cook, A.J. Ray, B. Rajagopalan, Y. Kushnir, J. Nakamura and N. Henderson, 2014: Hydroclimate Variability and Change in the Prairie Pothole Region, the “Duck Factory” of North America. Earth Interactions, 18, N14, p 1-28, doi:10.1175/EI-D-14-0004.1.

Cook, B.I., R. Seager and J.E. Smerdon, 2014: The worst North American drought year of the last millennium: 1934. Geophys. Res. Lett., 41, doi:10.1002/2014GL061661.

Cook, B.I., J.E. Smerdon, R. Seager, and E.R. Cook, 2014: Pan-continental droughts in North America over the last millennium. J. Climate, 27, 1, 383-397, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-13-00100.1.

Cook, B.I., J.E. Smerdon, R. Seager and S. Coats, 2014: Global warming and 21st century drying. Climate Dynamics, doi:10.1007/s00382-014-2075-y.

Seager, R. and M. Hoerling, 2014: Atmosphere and Ocean Origins of North American Droughts. J. Climate, 27, 4581-4606, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-13-00329.1.

Seager, R., L. Goddard, J. Nakamura, N. Henderson and D. Lee, 2014: Dynamical causes of the 2010/11 Texas-northern Mexico drought. J. Hydrometeorology, 15, 39-68, doi: 10.1175/JHM-D-13-024.1.

Seager, R., D. Neelin, I. Simpson, H. Liu, N. Henderson, T. Shaw, Y. Kushnir, M. Ting and B. Cook, 2014: Dynamical and thermodynamical causes of large-scale changes in the hydrological cycle over North America in response to global warming. J. Climate, 27, 7921-7948, doi: 10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00153.1.

Wahl, E.R., H.F. Diaz, and J.E. Smerdon, 2014: Late Winter Temperature Response to Large Tropical Volcanic Eruptions in Temperate Western North America: Relationship to ENSO Phases.  Global and Planetary Change, 122, 238, doi:10.1016/j.gloplacha.2014.08.005. 

Williams, A.P., R. Seager, M. Berkelhammer, A. Macalady, M. Crimmins, T. Swetnam, A. Trugman, N. Buenning, N. Hryniw, N. McDowell, D. Noone, C. Mora and T. Rahn, 2014: Causes and Implications of Extreme Atmospheric Moisture Demand during the Record-Breaking 2011 Wildfire Season in the Southwest United States, J. Appl. Meteor. Climatol., 53, 2671-2684, doi:10.1175/JAMC-D-14-0053.1.

Williams, A.P., R. Seager, A.K. Macalady, M. Berkelhammer, M.A. Crimmins, T.W. Swetnam, A.T. Trugman, N. Buenning, D. Noone, N.G. McDowell, N. Hryniw, C.I. Mora and T. Rahn, 2014: Correlations between components of the water balance and burned area reveal new insights for predicting forest fire area in the southwest United States. Inter. J. Wildland Fire, 24, 14-26, doi.org/10.1071/WF14023.


Coats, S., J.E. Smerdon, B.I. Cook and R. Seager, 2013: Stationarity of the tropical pacific teleconnection to North America in CMIP5/PMIP3 model simulations. Geophys. Res. Lett., , 4927–4932, doi:10.1002/grl.50938.

Donat, M.G., L.V. Alexander, H. Yang, I. Durre, R. Vose, R.J.H. Dunn, K M. Willett, E. Aguilar, M. Brunet, J. Caesar, B. Hewitson, C. Jack, A.M.G. Klein Tank, A.C. Kruger, J. Marengo, T.C. Peterson, M. Renom, C. Oria Rojas, M. Rusticucci, J. Salinger, A.S. Elrayah, S.S. Sekele, A.K. Srivastava, B. Trewin, C. Villarroel, L.A. Vincent, P. Zhai, X. Zhang and S. Kitching. 2013: Updated analyses of temperature and precipitation extreme indices since the beginning of the twentieth century: The HadEX2 dataset.  J. Geophys. Res. Atmos., 118, 2118-2098, doi:10.1002/jgrd.50150. 

Donat, M.G., L.V. Alexander, H. Yang, I. Durre, R. Vose, J. Caesar, 2013: Global Land-Based Datasets for Monitoring Climatic Extremes.  Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 94, 997-1006,doi: 10.1175/BAMS-D-12-00109.1.