Science & Innovation

Dr. Taro Takahashi
Earth Scientist

After earning a degree in engineering, a doctorate in Earth Science and a professorship at Queens College and Columbia University, Dr. Taro Takahashi is now a Senior Scholar at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University.

Dr. Takahashi has devoted five decades of his life to discovering how carbon cycles through oceans, land and atmosphere, and his work is the foundation upon which all carbon-cycle research is now built.

Dr. Takahashi found that the majority of global CO2 resided in the ocean. He also made many important observations of oceanic absorption and its variation depending on water temperature and seasons. Dr. Takahashi explains that his main research “is aimed at understanding the fate of industrial CO2 released in the air” and hopes that his study “will lead to a better understanding and hence to a reliable prediction of the oceans’ capacity to absorb industrial CO2”. The idea is to estimate the extent of the capacity of the oceans as a climate regulator.

With financial support from the Ford Company, which recognized him with the Ford Award in 2004, he has been studying how climate change may alter interactions between land and oceans, as well as the solutions for mitigating these alterations.

“He initiated the methods we all use,” said Richard Feely, an oceanographer at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration who studies El Niño and carbon cycling. “Just about everyone who has worked with him has benefited from his wisdom and advice.”

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