Fellows

Yige Zhang

Ziff Environmental Fellow: 2014-2016

Faculty Host: 

Yige Zhang is a geochemist interested in understanding how the Earth evolved chemically, and using various geochemical tools to study climate change of the geological past.

Yige earned his B.S. in geochemistry at Nanjing University, China (2007), a M.S. in Marine Sciences from the University of Georgia in 2009. His M. Phil. (2011) and Ph.D. (2014) in Geology and Geophysics are from Yale University. During his PhD, his research is focused on climate reconstructions and modeling of the Cenozoic greenhouse – icehouse transition, including the Oligocene, Miocene and Pliocene epochs. He used geochemical proxies from marine sediments to understand ocean temperatures, atmospheric CO2 levels and continental ice volume over a series of global climate change events.

As an Environmental Fellow, Yige will be working with Ann Pearson from the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences. He plans to develop improved atmospheric CO2 estimates in the Miocene, using organic geochemistry methodologies and novel approaches to isotope-ratio mass spectrometry. His goal is to resolve the Miocene CO2 climate sensitivity “paradox,” an issue confronting his field in which current reconstructions show a puzzling relationship between stable, or even increased, CO2 concentrations during substantial surface seawater cooling. Yige hopes to resolve this climate sensitivity puzzle, which currently suggests that CO2 either played a minor role or that our proxy methods for measuring CO2 levels during that period are flawed.

Harvard University
Center for the Environment

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Email: huce@environment.harvard.edu
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