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Professor Eric Wolff

Professor Eric Wolff

Royal Society Research Professor,

Department of Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge


Eric Wolff uses the chemical composition of ice cores to reveal the nature of Earth's past climates. He led the European Project for Ice Coring in Antarctica, which produced detailed climate records spanning back 800,000 years, allowing researchers to take an unprecedented look at the evolution of climate in the Quaternary Period. He is currently working towards extending this record further back in time, and on using past warm periods to help us understand future climate evolution. 

Amongst other highlights, Eric proposed the use of sea salt in ice cores for estimating the extent of past sea ice. He has also done pioneering work on the chemistry of the Antarctic troposphere and the link between the physical properties and chemical content of ice.

Eric has received a number of accolades in recognition of his work, including the Louis Agassiz Medal of the European Geosciences Union (2009) and the Lyell Medal of the Geological Society of London (2012).  He was elected as FRS in 2010. He chairs the Royal Society's Global Environmental Research Committee, and led the Royal Society team in a joint initiative with the National Academy of Sciences on explaining climate science “Climate change: evidence and causes” in 2013.


  • geochemistry
  • glaciology
  • climate change and earth-ocean-atmosphere systems
  • ice cores and past climate