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.
The jury is still out on how tropical storms will change as climate warms, but rising sea levels will almost certainly place more coastal property at risk of flooding, says a team of scientists writing in the journal Nature.
A new youth development and disaster recovery program, which grew out of research on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, will debut in five Gulf Coast high schools. The project will bring together teens to create and share resources to help communities recover from disasters.
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.
During Hurricane Sandy the seas rose a record 14-feet in lower Manhattan. Water flooded city streets, subways, tunnels and even sewage treatment plants. It is unclear how much sewage may have been released as plants lost power or were forced to divert untreated wastewater into the Hudson River. Four days after Sandy, the environmental group [...]
Sandy instantly brought a new kind of national media attention to the influence of global warming on weather disasters. After several years of near-silence on climate from our political leaders and the mainstream media, the renewed attention is profoundly welcome.
(Updated Wednesday, March 6, 2013) Before Hurricane Sandy, scientists at The Earth Institute were at the forefront of studying the dangers posed by such storms, especially in the New York City area, where they are based. Among their specialties: the physics of storms and storm prediction; impacts of climate on weather and sea level; vulnerability [...]
The IRI’s latest forecast for the Atlantic hurricane season, which started June 1, points to significantly increased hurricane activity this year. In fact, the likelihood of having an above-normal year is more than three times that of having a below-normal year. This could spell trouble for highly vulnerable Caribbean nations such as Haiti – still [...]