David Lea

Professor

Contact Phone

805-893-8665

Office Location

Webb 1114

Specialization

Paleoclimatology

Paleoceanography

Marine Geochemistry

Global Climate Change

 

Education

David Lea received his B.S. in Geology, Magna Cum Laude, from Haverford College (PA) in 1984 and his Ph.D. in Oceanography from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology – Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Joint Program in 1990 (Thesis Supervisor Prof. Ed Boyle, MIT - member NAS). 

Bio

David Lea is Professor in the Department of Earth Science, Affiliate Faculty in the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, and a member of the Marine Science Institute at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he has been a faculty member since 1989. He received his B.S. in Geology from Haverford College (PA) in 1984 and his Ph.D. in Oceanography from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology – Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Joint Program in 1990 (Thesis Supervisor Prof. Ed Boyle, MIT - member NAS). His research interests include Ice Age climate change, marine geochemistry/carbon cycle, and global climate change. He has published 100 scholarly papers on these topics, including 18 in the high profile journals Science and Nature. Lea has been a Visiting Professor at the University of Chicago and University of Cambridge, UK. His awards include the UCSB Academic Senate Distinguished Teaching Award (2001), a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship (2002-03), a Leverhulme Visiting Professorship, a Clare Hall Visiting Fellowship (both 2002-03, Cambridge, UK), the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Emiliani Lectureship (2007) -- awarded to "individuals who have made outstanding scientific contributions to our understanding of past oceans and climates" --, a Leopold Leadership Fellowship (2009), a Jefferson Science Fellowship (2010), and a Google Science Communication Fellowship (2011). Lea was elected a Fellow of AAAS in 2012 and AGU in 2013. He developed and chaired UCSB’s 2007 Global Warming-Science and Society Event Series, which drew over 3600 attendees. In 2010-2011, as a Jefferson Science Fellow, Lea served as science advisor in the U.S. Department of State to the Honorable Todd Stern, President Obama’s Special Envoy on Climate Change (SECC), and to the Office of Global Change (EGC).

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Research

David Lea's research interests include Ice Age climate change, marine geochemistry/carbon cycle, and global climate change.

Projects

Current Projects

A. I am working with my colleague Professor Syee Weldeab and post-doc Will Gray on a collaborative NSF grant to study how salinity and other factors effect the efficacy of foraminiferal Mg/Ca as a paleotemperature proxy.

B. I am working with international colleagues (COMPARE 2013) to compile, harmonize and synthesize paleo-SST data for the tropics during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), which will then be compared to coupled model simulations (see pub. #98).

C. I am working with colleagues Jeremy Shakun, BC, Lorraine Lisiecki, UCSB and Maureen Raymo, LDEO, to compile and synchronize seawater oxygen isotope composition and SST records of the last 800 kyr to test hypotheses about the time of temperature vs. ice volume change laid out in papers we wrote in the early 2000’s. Jeremy presented the results at Fall AGU 2014, and we've subsequently submitted a paper to EPSL.

D. I have been working with several modeling groups (Pedro DiNezio, Hawaii; Charles Jackson, Texas; Tony Broccoli, Rutgers) to test paleoclimate data spanning the LGM and subsequent deglaciation against coupled model simulations (also linked to areas B-C).

E. Masters student Samantha Gibbs and I are investigating a series of cores taken on a cruise to the Galápagos area, KNR195-5. We are focusing our efforts on a site on the Carnegie Platform, with the major effort of developing the isotope and carbonate stratigraphy for giant piston core CDH36, which we estimate spans ~600 kyr, three times longer than previous cores from this site. Records from this site are likely to be important for both surface water and deep-water evolution.

Publications

Publication/Citation Summary: Google Scholar

Google Scholar contains links to all of my publications and, in most cases, the PDFs.

List of Publications since 2010, with linked pdfs

2015

100. Lea, D.W., Climate sensitivity in a warmer world, Nature 518, 46-47, 2015

2014

99.    Weldeab, S., Lea, D. W., Oberhänsli, H. and Schneider, R. R., Links between southwestern tropical Indian Ocean SST and precipitation over Southeastern Africa over the last 17 kyr, Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 410, 200-212, DOI: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2014.06.001, 2014.

98.    Lea, D. W., Kienast, M., de Garidel-Thoron, T., Kageyama, M., Paul, A. and Bard, E., COMPARE 2013, Constraining tropical ocean cooling during the Last Glacial Maximum. Past Global Changes Magazine 22(1), 43, 2014.

97.    Lea, D. W., Not so permanent El Niño, Science 344, 52-53, 10.1126/science.1252246, 2014.

96.    Regenberg, M., Regenberg, A., Garbe‐Schönberg, A. and Lea, D. W. (2014) Global dissolution effects on planktonic foraminiferal Mg/Ca ratios controlled by the calcite‐saturation state of bottom waters. Paleoceanography 29, 127–142, doi:10.1002/2013PA002492, 2014.

2013

95.    Lea D. W., Elemental and Isotopic Proxies of Past Ocean Temperatures, In Treatise on Geochemistry, Second Edition (eds. Holland H. D. and Turekian, K. K.), Vol. 8, Oxford: Elsevier, 2014.

94.     Hönisch, B., Allen, K. A., Lea, D. W., Spero, H. J., Eggins, S. M., Arbuszewski, J., deMenocal, P., Rosenthal, Y., Russell, A. D. and Elderfield, H., The influence of salinity on Mg/Ca in planktic foraminifers - evidence from cultures, core-top sediments and complementary δ18O, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 121, 196-213, 2013.

93.    Saraswat, R., Lea, D. W., Nigam, R., Mackensen, A., Naik, D. K., Deglaciation in the tropical Indian Ocean driven by interplay between the regional monsoon and global teleconnections, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 375, 166-175, 2013.

2012

92.    PALAEOSENS (multiple authors), Making sense of palaeoclimate sensitivity, Nature 491, 683-691, 2012.

91.    Pak, D. K, Lea, D. W. and Kennett, J. P. Millennial scale changes in sea surface temperature and ocean circulation in the northeast Pacific, 10-60 kyr BP, Paleoceanography, 27, PA1212, doi:10.1029/2011PA002238, 2012.

2011

90.    Hönisch, B., Allen, K. A., Russell, A. D., Eggins, S. M., Bijma, J., Spero, H. J. Lea, D. W. and Yu, J., Planktic foraminifers as recorders of seawater Ba/Ca, Marine Micropaleontology, 79, 52-57, 2011.

89.    Lalicata, J. J. and Lea, D. W., Pleistocene carbonate dissolution fluctuations in the eastern equatorial Pacific on glacial timescales: Evidence from ODP Hole 1241, Marine Micropaleontology, 79, 41-51, 2011.

2010

88.    Medina-Elizalde, M., Burns, S. J., Lea, D. W., Asmerom, Y., von Guntena, L., Polyak, V., Vuille, M. and Karmalkar, A., High resolution stalagmite climate record from the Yucatán Peninsula spanning the Maya terminal classic period, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 298, 255-262, 2010.

87.    Toggweiler, J.R., Lea, D.W., 2010. Temperature differences between the hemispheres and ice age climate variability. Paleoceanography, 25, PA2212, 2210.1029/2009pa001758, 2010.

86.    Medina-Elizalde, M., Lea, D.W., 2010. Late Pliocene equatorial Pacific. Paleoceanography, 25, PA2208, 2210.1029/2009pa001780, 2010.

Courses

Earth 4: Oceanography (Fall 2011, Fall 2013)

Earth 105: Earth's Climate Past and Present (Fall 2012)

Earth 130: Global Warming Science and Society (Winter 2013, Spring 2014)

Earth 266: Chemical Oceanography (Winter 2014)

Bren 239: Advanced Climate Science for Policy Makers (offered Spring 2015)

This course examines the science of climate change with a focus on those issues most relevant to policy makers. Professor Lea will draw on his experience serving as science advisor to the Special Envoy on Climate Change in the U.S. Department of State. Topics include: Climate Forcing Agents and their Efficacy; Climate Sensitivity and Feedbacks; Anthropogenic Climate Change; Extreme Events; Energy and Greenhouse Gas Emissions; Global Temperature Limits and Mitigation Scenarios; and Geoengineering. Discussion will focus on topical issues at the nexus of climate policy and science, such as mitigation of short-lived climate pollutants like black carbon.