News from the Columbia Climate School

Work on Dead Sea Geology Earns Yael Kiro an Award

Yael Kiro
Yael Kiro

Yael Kiro, an associate research scientist at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, has received the 2017 Professor Rafi Freund Award from the Israel Geological Society. The award, named for a former professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, is given to recognize outstanding papers in the geological sciences published over the past three years.

Kiro was lauded for two studies published in 2016 and 2017 of sediments cored from the floor of the Dead Sea. She and co-authors showed that during the warm period preceding the last ice age, the amount of fresh water entering the Dead Sea watershed was as low as ~20 percent that of today. A story about the most recent paper is here.

Steve Goldstein, working the night shift during the Dead Sea coring expedition. Photo courtesy of Steve Goldstein
Steve Goldstein, working the night shift during the Dead Sea coring expedition. Photo courtesy of Steve Goldstein

The level of the Dead Sea is currently declining by more than a meter per year, because the countries in the watershed consume virtually all the useable fresh water runoff. Climate models predict increasing aridity in the region, so the work of Kiro and her colleagues points to greater stress on fresh water supplies in the future.

Kiro’s co-author Steven Goldstein, Higgins Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences, also has been honored recently: He has been elected a 2017 fellow of the Geochemical Society and the European Association of Geochemistry. These societies choose 10 individuals for this honor each year. He will accept it at the V.M. Goldschmidt Conference in Paris this August.

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