Atmospheric scientist Adam Sobel is author of the new book “Storm Surge: Hurricane Sandy, Our Changing Climate and Extreme Weather of the Past and Future.” Sobel was one of the first researchers to explain to media and the public what might be brewing, before the storm hit. In the aftermath, he looked closely at the factors driving the storm’s unusual ferocity, and how these played against human weaknesses. The book offers a primer on what drives storm systems, and what we know (and don’t) about their relation to warming climate. Sobel also looks into future weather, urban infrastructure and the politics of global climate change. He recently discussed some of his insights.
What was behind perhaps the worst natural disaster to hit the Northeast seaboard in recent history? How likely is it that we'll see more superstorms in the future? How could we have been better prepared? The science and the lessons of Hurricane Sandy, through the eyes of researchers at the Earth Institute.
Earth Institute experts weigh in as the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy approaches.
Earth Institute scientists across many disciplines are playing key roles in helping New York move forward following Hurricane Sandy. Many were already advising the city about the potential effects of sea-level rise, storm surge, climate change and related issues before the storm hit, For better or worse, their predictions were vindicated, and they now continue efforts to help make infrastructure and population more resilient and sustainable.
Shortly after Hurricane Sandy, Columbia University convened a forum featuring faculty researchers from The Earth Institute, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, NASA-Goddard Institute for Space Studies, the Mailman School of Public Health, the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, and the School of International and Public Affairs. This university-wide conversation, co-sponsored by The Earth Institute, Office of the Executive Vice President for Research, and World Leaders Forum, brought together just a few of the many Columbia researchers whose interdisciplinary work is adding to our understanding of the risks facing coastal communities, including New York City and its suburbs.
The impact of climate change on New York City could be even more severe than previously thought, putting more people at risk from increasingly frequent floods and heat waves, according to a report by the New York City Panel on Climate Change that was released Monday.
Last October, Superstorm Sandy provoked widespread frustration and fear after it left more than 7.5 million people in the New York Metro area without power. In the hardest hit areas, outages lasted two weeks or more. These failures led many observers to wonder if America’s aging electrical grid was up to dealing with emerging climate and other challenges.
Cynthia Rosenzweig of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies talks about the work of the New York State Ready Commission, set up after Hurricane Sandy to study how the state can better prepare for natural disasters.
On Wednesday, February 20, M.S. in Sustainability Management (MSSM) alum Julia Ragragio-Ruiz (’12) joined fellow urban planning professionals Albert Wei of Kohn Pederson Fox, and Lance Jay Brown, of Lance Jay Brown Architecture and Urban Design, at GreenHomeNYC’s monthly Greenbuilding forum. The event, entitled “Building in Flood Zones” discussed Sandy relief efforts and the work being done now in order to improve the city’s ability to withstand another similar weather event.
As shocking as the coastal devastation caused by Mega-Storm Sandy was, the prolonged electrical blackouts in the region were much more troubling. They never should have happened, and if any did, power should have been restored sooner.