Director's Reports

Past Years: 2008-2020 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003

2022 Director's Reports

Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

Weekly Report from the Director
______________________________________________________________

Hello Friends,

It has been my honor and pleasure to take part in the IRI 25th Anniversary celebrations that happened today.  The International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI) would not be the institution it is today without the contributions of Lisa Goddard and Benno Blumenthal, two members of the Lamont community that passed away, far too young, in recent years. It has been especially moving hearing the tributes to their lives, their research and their pioneering leadership in the field of climate services.

We also hosted the IODP Forum this week under the leadership of Carl Brenner, Senior Staff Associate and Director of the Lamont-based U.S. Science Support Program. A significant topic of discussion within the international leadership of the IODP Forum is the future of the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP).  This and the former drilling programs have been essential to the scientific portfolio of Lamont scientists for decades.  We can only hope, and work hard to ensure, that current and future generations of Earth and climate scientists have access to deep ocean drilling.  Indeed, the drill ship, the JOIDES Resolution, is the Hubble Telescope of our field.  We need a new James Webb!

I would like to welcome the 18 new graduate students in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences and apologize for missing their welcoming event (due to Covid).  This is a good time to let all the students know that the Graduate Student Lounge, located behind the cafeteria, has been completely renovated and is open for business.  Many thanks to Angela LoPiccolo for her efforts.  Please feel free to share any feedback.  The two main rooms are designed as a social work space and a quieter reflection space.  That could include a power nap!  Please feel free to send feedback or suggestions to Angela.

Two graduate students recently defended their PhD.  Congratulations to Rebecca Trinh for successfully defending her thesis entitled “Microbial ecology of Antarctic carbon export” on September 6th. Rebecca will be starting a position as a biological oceanographer for the Applications and Research team of NOAA CoastWatch. Part of her role will be using NOAA satellite products to answer pressing questions about how the ocean is affected by climate change and how that, in turn, affects people's lives.

Congratulations also to PhD student Dongping Song, for his successful defense on August 18th. His thesis focused on "Tracer Studies of Air/Sea Gas Exchange, Mean Residence Times, and Stable Isotope Fractionation in the Arctic Ocean". Dongping is a student in Lamont's Geochemistry Division with a primary affiliation with the Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering (DEEE) at Columbia University. Dongping will start a postdoctoral position, working with Peter Schlosser, in the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory at Arizona State University.

In addition, the following FY22 promotions are also worthy of note and celebration! 

  • Chia-Ying Lee promoted to Lamont Associate Research Professor, Junior Staff.
  • Anne Bécel promoted to Lamont Associate Research Professor, Senior Staff.
  • Einat Lev promoted to Lamont Associate Research Professor, Senior Staff.
  • Nicolás Young promoted to Lamont Associate Research Professor, Senior Staff.
  • Michela Biasutti promoted to Lamont Research Professor.
  • Ben Bostick promoted to Lamont Research Professor.
  • Susanne Straub promoted to Lamont Research Professor.
  • Jennie Nakamura transitioned to Research Scientist.

September also sees the beginning of AGU’s award announcement month and the first big congratulations go out to Adam Sobel, Professor in Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics as well as DEES.  Adam has been named the 2022 Jule Gregory Charney Lecturer by the American Geophysical Union (AGU). “The Jule Gregory Charney Lecture is presented annually to a prominent scientist who has made exceptional contributions to the understanding of weather and climate.” The award and lecture will be presented at the Atmospheric Sciences business meeting during the AGU Fall Meeting, which will take place this December in Chicago.  

I’ll end by acknowledging the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from September 15 to October 15. I invite you to read the message shared by Mackenzie Carr, Lamont Assistant Director of DEIA, which is absolutely a good way to learn more about this important part of our shared heritage.

Have a peaceful weekend while you ponder the reality of Pliocene otters as large as lions!  Mo

=================== 

LAMONT IN THE MEDIA: FEATURED NEWS 

The Globe Is Barreling Toward $1 Trillion in Weather-Disaster Damages, Bloomberg News, September 15, 2022, Scientists are investigating whether climate change is responsible for increasing the odds for a La Nina. Richard Seager, a research professor at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, said he and his colleagues theorize the rise of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is making extended, strong La Ninas more likely. Still, more research is needed to fully understand the patterns.

Why the Quieter Than Usual Hurricane Season?, WSB, September 15, 2022, A team of researchers led by Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory Columbia University researcher Suzana Camargo and Université du Québec à Montréal’s Francesco Pausata found that large eruptions in either the northern or southern hemispheres served to push the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) away from its usual position -further into the southern hemisphere in the case of a northern hemisphere eruption, and the opposite for an eruption south of the Equator.

How the South Asian Monsoon Is Changing in a Warming Climate, Carbon Brief, September 15, 2022 By Lamont scientists Michaela Biasutti and Mingfang Ting.

Power Outages Are on the Rise, Led by Texas, Michigan and California. Here's What to Blam, CNN, September 14, 2022, Romany Webb, a researcher at Columbia University’s Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, said US utility companies need to account for the changing climate — evaluating whether existing stations are located in areas at risk of flooding, how severe droughts may affect the power plant operations, or how power lines might be impacted by increasing temperatures. “For many, the findings won’t come as a surprise because, all across the United States, people are already directly experiencing climate change-related disruptions to electricity and other services,” said Webb, who was not involved with the report. “As we’ve seen in recent years, those disruptions can have deadly consequences. Things will only get worse if we don’t take action.”

Hard Hit by Climate Change, Winemakers Turn to Sustainability, Reuters, September 14, 2022, In some ways, wine is like the canary in the coal mine for climate change impacts on agriculture, because these grapes are so climate-sensitive,” says the study’s co-author, Benjamin Cook from Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies.  

(Wire service report – widely syndicated)

The centuries-long quest to map the seafloor’s hidden secrets, Popular Science, September 14, 2022, Article on work of William Haxby of Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.  Also cites Marie Tharp and Bruce Heezen.

‘Global Stilling’: Is Climate Change Slowing the World’s Winds?, Yale e360, September 12, 2022, By using the Pliocene as an analog for modern global warming, it seems likely that the movement of the westerlies” — the prevailing mid-latitude winds that blow from west to east — “towards the poles observed in the modern era will continue with further human-induced warming,” says Gisela Winckler, a researcher at Columbia University’s Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory and an author of the Pliocene dust paper. … Dealing with wind-energy droughts will require new strategies for energy storage and reliable alternatives, says Upmanu Lall, a professor of civil engineering at Columbia University. Because of the variability of both wind and sunshine, alternative energy is “starting to look more like a water system than an energy system,” he says.

15 Conspiracy Theories Spawned by 9/11, MSN, September 11, 2022, According to conspiracy theorists, seismographs at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory recorded the strongest jolts from the Twin Towers’ collapse before falling debris struck the ground. These seismic spikes, they say, provide proof that demolition-style explosions brought the towers down.

The next four articles are on a study of Argentinian Shipwreck by Lamont scientists Mukund Palat Rao and Edward Cook.

Mystery of a Ship That Disappeared in 1858 Resolved by Use of Tree-Ring Technique, Yahoo News, September 6, 2022

Scientists Help Confirm Wreck Is Long-Lost Warren Ship, Warren Times-Gazette, September 9, 2022

How Tree Rings Helped Identify a New England Whaler Lost at Sea, New York Times, September 7, 2022

Can Tree Rings Solve the Mystery of a 19th-Century Shipwreck?, Smithsonian, September 4, 2022

The next eight articles are on a study of Extinct Otter Coauthored by Lamont scientist Kevin Uno.

Lion-Size Otters Prowled Ethiopia 3 Million Years Ago, Livescience, September 13, 2022

In Ethiopia, Scientists Discover a Fossil Otter the Size of a Lion, AllAfrica, September 13, 2022

Otters the Size of Lions Once Roamed the Earth,Telegraph (UK), September 8, 2022

Ancient Otter Fossils Show It Was the Size of a Lion, Daily Mail (UK), September 8, 2022

This Species of Otter Was as Big as a Lion, Futuro360 (Chile), September 8, 2022

Scientists Discover an Otter That Lived in Ethiopia and Was as Big as a Lion, Semana (Colombia), September 8, 2022

A New Species of Extinct Otter Was as Big as a Lion, Europapress (Spain), September 8, 2022

Ancient Otter Fossils Show It Was the Size of a Lion When it Lived More Than 2.5 Million Years Ago, Bharat Express News (India), September 8, 2022

To Clear Deadly Land Mines, Science Turns to Drones and Machine Learning, Scientific American, September 7, 2022, Research by Lamont graduate student Jasper Baur.

Lex van Geen, Research Professor, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, The Creative Process, September 7, 2022, Interview with Lex van Geen of LDEO about his work.

Scientists Warn of Breadbasket Failure Because of Climate Change, Deccan Herald (India), September 4, 2022, Kai Kornhuber, research scientist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia Climate School, said: “Climate change leads to more intense and more frequent extreme weather and climate events such as heatwaves, intense rains and prolonged drought.

Food Supply and Security Concerns Mount as Impacts Stress Agriculture, Yale Climate Connections, September 6, 2022, Article cites research led by Lamont climate scientist Kai Kornhuber.

From Pakistan to Texas, big rains after extreme heat deliver double punch, Reuters, September 2, 2022, "The warming trend is the main driver behind the increase in concurrent heatwaves," said climate scientist Kai Kornhuber at Columbia University in New York, who was part of a team including Singh that worked on the study. But there is evidence, including the research around the jet stream, "to believe that atmospheric dynamics have contributed to this increasing trend".

BLOGS  

What Lies Beneath Melting Glaciers and Thawing Permafrost? By Renee Cho, September 13, 2022, “As the planet’s ice disappears, it’s exposing new surfaces, opportunities, and threats — including valuable mineral deposits, archaeological relics, novel viruses, and more.”

Columbia Climate School Postdoctoral Research Program Now Accepting Applications for 2023 By Guest Blogger, September 07, 2022, The application deadline is October 31.

The Energy Transition Needs to Be Climate-Proofed By Corey Lesk and Kai Kornhuber, September 07, 2022, “Increasingly extreme weather has the potential to derail renewable energy projects — but there are a few things we can do to keep moving forward.”

Fast-Wasting Antarctic Glacier Lost Ice Even Faster in Past, Raising Concerns for FutureBy Columbia Climate School, September 06, 2022, “Some time in the past 200 years, Antarctica’s giant Thwaites Glacier saw a period of retreat much faster than even that observed in recent years. It could be a warning of rapid sea-level rise in the near future.”

In Ethiopia, a Fossil Otter the Size of a Lion By Columbia Climate School, September 6, 2022, Enhydriodon omoensis dwarfed ancestors of humans who lived alongside it from 2.5 to 3.5 million years ago; the two species

Hello Friends,

This week I was fascinated by a research study coming out of the Tree Ring Lab (lots of links below).  Using the tree rings in the ancient timbers of a shipwreck found in Patagonia, our scientists were able to determine the origin and likely identity of the ship.  They believe it was the Dolphin, a whaling ship which sailed from Rhode Island in 1859 and never returned.  The tree rings revealed that the trees used to construct the wreck grew in southeastern New England and were felled the year before the Dolphin was built.  Pretty incredible detective work.  Tree Ring Lab scientists Mukund Rao and Ed Cook led this work.

Lots of news piled up in August, which was also Diversity Awareness Month. As we continue our commitment to actively learning about and dismantling the persistent inequities that inhibit diversity and inclusion, I want to especially acknowledge some of the dedicated members of our community who attended the “Second National Conference for Justice in Geoscience” that took place at AGU Headquarters on August 15 -17. Members of the Lamont Community, current and past, who engaged in this important event included:

  • Lauren Moseley and Hannah Sweets facilitated the Graduate Student Advocacy: Removing Barriers to Belonging Action Lab. Lauren and Hannah discussed how to create methods to create and advance justice within geoscience spaces while working towards a more diverse and inclusive future.
  • Kailani Acosta who facilitated an Action Lab focused on Graduate Student Advocacy: Organizing for Radical Change. Kailani discussed the importance of building a memory of DEIA within institutions/organizations and approaching leadership about making change, how to get funding for initiatives, how to unionize or support ongoing efforts to unionize, implementing crossover meetups of affinity groups, and what can we do together.
  • Other Lamonters in attendance included incoming first year PhD student Redmond Stein as well as Lamont Adjunct Professor Alessandra Giannini.
  • Former Lamonters who participated include Spencer Jones, Gemma Sahwell, Anna Ledeczi, and event co-organizer Benjamin Keisling.

On August 11, the Secondary School Field Research Program (SSFRP) ended its six-week 2022 summer program with 72 high school and college students' oral and poster presentations. The students capped their experience at Lamont with a BBQ in their honor. Please join me in thanking Ben Bostick, Bob Newton, Margie Turrin, Susan Vincent, Magdaly Sevilla, and all the mentors for their extraordinary work stimulating our aspiring future Earth scientists.

Congratulations go to James Davis, Associate Director and Lamont Research Professor in the Seismology, Geology and Tectonophysics Division, and Joaquim Goes, Lamont Research Professor in the Biology and Paleo Environment Division, who are both recipients of a Columbia Global Centers President's Global Innovation Fund Award for 2022. Prof. Davis received the award for his project titled "Collaborative studies of the causes and impacts of sea-level change in the Marmara Sea region". Prof. Joaquim Goes was awarded for his project titled "Development of a Prototype Kenya Ocean Monitoring and Decision Support System for Sustainable Coastal Resource Management under Climate Change".

In addition, I am delighted to share that Ph.D. student Rebecca Trihn is among the 86 finalists to receive a 2023 John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship sponsored by New York Sea Grant. Rebecca is studying the marine carbon cycle of the West Antarctic Peninsula where the vast majority of particulate organic carbon that is exported to the deep ocean is made up of krill fecal pellets. Her findings show that this unique part of the Antarctic ecosystem plays a disproportionate role in the sequestration of carbon and that “the full-scale ecology of these organisms must be taken into account when predicting future change to the biological carbon pump in the face of warming at the poles.”

Congratulations also to Jonathan Lambert, who, on August 15, successfully defended his PhD thesis on "Pleistocene Nutrient, Thermocline, and Bottom Current Dynamics in the South Pacific Sector of the Western Pacific Warm Pool". Jonathan will be relocating to Santa Barbara, CA, to start a position as Ocean Science Manager at Conservation International in October. 

Ten days later, on August 25th, Rebecca Herman defended her PhD thesis on "Drivers and Mechanisms of Historical Sahel Precipitation Variability". Rebecca will be starting a position as a Researcher with Jakob Runge on CausalEarth in the Climate Informatics Lab at the German Aerospace Center.

I’ll wrap up with a few other notable professional successes.  DEES Professor Bill Menke just had a new edition of his textbook “Environmental Data Analysis with MatLab or Python” published. Lamont Research Scientist Frank Nitsche (lead PI) and Lamont Assistant Research Professor Kirsty Tinto (co-PI) just received a five year $1.6M+ grant for "Supporting Antarctic Research with Ongoing Operations and Development of the USAP‐DC Project Catalog and Data Repository".  And finally, a team led by Lamont Senior Research Scientist Vicki Ferrini was just notified that their INSPIRE proposal was funded.  This is an NSF Cultural Transformations award for $7.3M aimed at fostering a just, equitable, and inclusive geoscience research community rooted in multi-directional listening and knowledge transfer.  Vicki was also just appointed as Chair of the Ocean Exploration Advisory Board of NOAA.  Thank you for your leadership, Vicki, on so many fronts!

Wishing you all a peaceful three-day weekend.  Mo

=================== 

LAMONT IN THE MEDIA:  FEATURED NEWS

Volcanic Winters Ushered in the Jurassic Reign of the Dinosaurs, Eos, August 31, 2022, Dinosaur Evolution Study by Lamont scientists Paul Olsen, Dennis Kent

Study: Vikings Were Not the First to Settle the Faroe Islands, The Archaeologist, August 31, 2022, Lorelei Curtin of American Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, the lead author of the study, and colleagues collected the evidence from sediment cores taken from the Eiðisvatn catchment, home to the remains of an old Norse summer farm settlement called Argisbrekka.

The Microclimates of Glaciers Imitate Climate Change, Portal Ambiental (Mexico), August 31, 2022, Research by Lamont adjuncts Ben Gaglioti and Greg Wiles.

The next eleven articles are on research by Lamont scientists Mukund Rao and Ed Cook.

Shipwreck’s Story ‘Is There in the Tree Rings’, Newser, August 31, 2022

Scientists Determine the Year and Origin of a Ship That Wrecked Off Patagonia 150 Years Ago, El Ciudadano (Argentina), August 31, 2022

Dendrochronology Applied to Shipwreck Off Argentina’s Coast, Ancient Archaeology, August 31, 2022

After 160 Years, Argentine Scientists Resolve the Mystery of a Whaling Ship That Wrecked Off Patagonia, Clarín (Argentina), August 30, 2022

Dendrochronology Applied to Shipwreck Off Argentina. Archaeology, August 30, 2022

Long-Lost American Shipwreck Identified Off Argentina, Zenger News, August 30, 2022

Sunken Ship Found Off Argentine Patagonia Identified, MercoPress, August 30, 2022

A Ship That Sank 160 Years Ago Could Be Identified By Its Wood, Diario Jornada (Argentina), August 30, 2022

Scientists Affirm That a Shipwreck Off Punta Cuevas Is a North American Whaler Lost in 1859, El Chubut (Argentina), August 29, 2022

Rhode Island Whaling Ship Identified Off Patagonia After Nearly Two Centuries Lost at Sea, Rhode Island Monthly, August 25, 2022

Scientists Say a Shipwreck Off Patagonia Is a Long-Lost Rhode Island Whaler, Eco Magazine, August 25, 2022

Study: Vikings Were Not the First to Settle Faroe Islands, Norway Today, August 30, 2022, Article on study by Lamont researchers Lorelei Curtin, William D’Andrea.

The World’s Rivers, Canals and Reservoirs Are Turning to Dust, Bloomberg News, August 26, 2022, The ongoing and strong La Nina connects the droughts and low river flows in North America, Europe, Middle East and the southern hemisphere,” said Richard Seager, a research professor at Columbia University’s Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory.

How Climate Change Spurs Megadroughts, Yale Climate Connections, August 25, 2022, The connection between climate change and drought is not as straightforward as it seems. Some areas are likely to get wetter while others get drier. Still others may accumulate the same total rainfall, but in inconsistent patterns: More rain might fall in fewer, more intense bursts, followed by longer dry spells. “It’s complicated,” said Benjamin Cook, a climate scientist at NASA and the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.

Why Europe Is Particularly Impacted by Heat Waves, Euronews, August 24, 2022, "Europe is particularly affected with an amplified heat wave trend that is three to four times larger than compared to the rest of the mid-latitudes," Kai Kornhuber, a climate scientist at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory told Euronews.

Revelations From 17-Million-Year-Old Ape Teeth Could Lead to Insights on Early Human Evolution, The Conversation, August 24, 2022, Coauthored by Lamont postdoc Daniel Green.

Report of an ancient methane release raises questions for our climate future, The Washington Post, August 24, 2022, Still, the newest theory about how the climate dominoes may fall underscores what the late Columbia University geoscientist Wallace Broecker famously observed as he studied the global ocean currents’ response to burning fossil fuels: “The climate system is an angry beast and we are poking it with sticks.”

How Climate Change Spurs Megadroughts, Down to Earth (India), August 18, 2022, The connection between climate change and drought is not as straightforward as it seems. Some areas are likely to get wetter while others get drier. … More rain may fall in intense bursts, followed by longer dry spells. “It’s complicated,” said Benjamin Cook, a climate scientist at NASA and the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.

Millions of People in Midwest to Experience ‘Extreme Heat Belt’ by 2053, ABC News, August 15, 2022, Jason Smerdon, a climate scientist for the Columbia Climate School's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in New York, told ABC News last month that extreme heat is a "basic consequence of climate change." "While each heat wave itself is different and has individual dynamics behind it, the probability of these events is a direct consequence of the warming planet," Smerdon said.

Research: Dinosaurs Take Control in Cold Climates, ANI (India), August 15, 2022, A Dinosaur Evolution Study by Lamont scientists Paul Olsen and Dennis Kent. (wire service report; widely syndicated)

Opinion: The Inflation Reduction Act is a huge victory in this existential fight, CNN, August 13, 2022, By Adam Sobel of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.

How Climate Change Spurs Megadroughts, Grist, August 9, 2022, The connection between climate change and drought is not as straightforward as it seems. Some areas are likely to get wetter while others get drier. Still others may accumulate the same total rainfall, but in inconsistent patterns: More rain might fall in fewer, more intense bursts, followed by longer dry spells. “It’s complicated,” said Benjamin Cook, a climate scientist at NASA and the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.

New Study Reports that Tropical Cyclones are Dropping in Number, Eco Magazine, August 5, 2022, Using historical records and model data, the paper — co-authored by Suzana Camargo, an extreme weather expert from the Columbia Climate School’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory — shows the number of storms decreased by about 13 percent in that period in both global and regional scales.

Glider Experts Share Knowledge to Improve Global Ocean Health Data, Eco Magazine, August 5, 2022, Co-lead Dr. Julius Busecke from Columbia University and Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory said: “This project was very dear to me because of my past work as an observational oceanographer. These best practices, created by the world experts in the field, will make it much easier for students and people new to their platforms to produce high quality results. This living document will grow the community around glider observations and help to drive new scientific discoveries”.

BLOGS

How Is Climate Change Affecting Ocean Waters and Ecosystems? By Kevin Krajick, August 29, 2022, "Biological oceanographer Hugh Ducklow describes decades of work in far-flung places to understand the evolving ecology of the oceans. The picture is not always clear."

Científicos afirman que un naufragio en la costa de Patagonia es un ballenero norteamericano perdido en 1859 By Kevin Krajick, August 24, 2022, “En 1858, un velero partió de una ciudad costera del noreste de Estados Unidos para cazar ballenas alrededor del mundo y nunca regresó. ¿Dónde terminó? Investigadores de los hemisferios sur y norte se unieron para dar respuesta a este misterio.”

Scientists Say a Shipwreck Off Patagonia Is a Long-Lost 1850s Rhode Island Whaler By Kevin Krajick, August 24, 2022, “In 1858, a sailing ship left Warren, R.I., to hunt the globe for whales, and never returned. Where did it end up? Researchers from the southern and northern hemispheres joined to investigate.”

Caroline Juang: Blending Art, Science, and Outreach By Alexis Earl, August 24, 2022, “In addition to studying climate-related hazards, Juang is a talented artist who helps make STEM fields more accessible for underrepresented minorities. Somehow, she also finds time to sleep.”

17 Million-Year-Old Teeth Open Windows Into Early Ape and Human Evolution By Columbia Climate School, August 22, 2022, “A new study shows that natural variants of oxygen within ancient animal teeth recorded details of seasonal rainfall, environmental conditions and animal behavior.”

Hello Friends,

Is it snakes on a plane or snakes in Monell?  The critters are on the move and we are on high alert up here on top of the sill.  We did, however, take a break for this week’s ice cream social where Rich, Laura, and Angela scooped some summer cheer for a hundred or so people.  I had a great conversation with a group of local Rockland County high school students who have been working with Margie Turrin and Laurel Zaima at the Piermont LDEO Hudson River Field Station.

Also this week, the 2022 Lamont Undergraduate Summer Interns presented their final projects, each giving a summary of their results at a plenary session in Monell Auditorium.  This was followed by a poster session in the Comer Atrium in which they explained their work one-on-one to Observatory staff and other guests. This year's group comprised 33 undergraduate students from over twenty colleges and universities, including not only Barnard and Columbia, but schools as distant as Colby College (Maine), Navajo Technical University (New Mexico) and Valley College (California). The ten-week program was led by Lamont scientists Dallas Abbott and Mike Kaplan with help from Clara Chang and Bennett Slibeck.  It was staffed by fifty Columbia-affiliated scientists and graduate students who served as mentors to individual students, and was made possible by funding from the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Science Support Program, LDEO, Columbia DEES, Columbia EI, Barnard College and individual donors. Congratulations Summer Interns for your excellent research and for the energy and inspiration that you bring to the Lamont Community!  And a big thanks to all the scientists, graduate students, administrators, technical staff and other folk who made this year's program a tremendous success!

 In the comings-and-goings department, Lamont Research Professor Mingfang Ting, stepped down from her position as Associate Director of Ocean and Climate Physics after eight years of leading the Division.  I am happy to announce that Lamont Research Professor Christoper Zappa has been appointed the new Associate Director for the OCP as of July 16.  Our new Director of Capital Planning and Facilities Strategy Mr. Dean Pearce also started on Monday, August 1st.  He will slowly be making the rounds in the coming weeks, introducing himself to the divisions and familiarizing himself with the needs of our buildings and labs.  Welcome Dean!

Two other notable events happened on campus recently.  Please join me in congratulating graduate student Nicholas O’Mara who successfully defended his thesis on “Monsoons, wildfires, and savannas: drivers of climate and ecosystem change in Northwest Africa.”  Our second notable event was a day-long visit by Prof. Dennis A. Mitchell, Executive Vice President for University Life and Senior Vice Provost for Faculty Advancement.  He spent a day here on a team retreat with his office staff that included a walking tour of the campus and a few labs.  The entire team was incredibly enthusiastic about their visit and I’m sure more of our downtown colleagues will follow in their footsteps.

In closing, I wish everyone some quiet summer days in which to recharge your batteries.  I will be traveling to Norway next week to meet my new (and first) grandchild.  Coastal grandma, here I come!

Best, Mo  

==================    

LAMONT IN THE MEDIA: FEATURED NEWS

This Day in History: The Term ‘Global Warming’ Appears for the First Time, History, Aug 3, 2022, Article about work of Lamont scientist Wally Broecker.

Humid Heat: Hidden but Hazardous, Climate Central, Aug 3, 2022, Radley Horton of LDEO listed among national experts.

Using Artificial Waves to Predict Tsunamis, ECO Magazine, Aug 2, 2022, The data used for the study were obtained during a five-week ship expedition with the American research vessel MARCUS G. LANGSETH.

Burning Up: Heat, Drought and Wildfires Are Ravaging Western Wildlife, National Wildlife, Aug 2, 2022, “As the atmosphere becomes warmer, it becomes hungrier for moisture and draws more water out of soil and plants,” explains Jason Smerdon, a climate scientist with Columbia University’s Lamont–Doherty Earth Observatory.

Ending the Plague of Plastic, Aspen Ideas Festival, July 29, 2022, Talk by Lamont education coordinator Laurel Zaima.

Pollen of the Past, Wellesley Magazine, July 29, 2022, Profile of Lamont adjunct Linda Heusser.

Floods, Heat and Fire: How Climate Change Is Unfolding in Real Time, NBC Nightly News, July 29, 2022, Interview with Climate School scientist Radley Horton.

These Hurricane Flood Maps Reveal the Climate Future of Miami, NYC and D.C., NPR Morning Edition, July 28, 2022, "We can't control the ocean, not even with sea walls," said Dr. Klaus Jacob, a geophysicist and climate expert at Columbia University's Climate School. "We need to start moving people to higher ground now, and using the coastal areas as a barrier."

Future Storms Will Put Parts of NYC Underwater, Endangering Hundreds of Thousands, NPR All Things Considered, July 28, 2022, Interview with Climate School scientist Klaus Jacob.

Massive Greenland Ice Sheet Loss in Just 3 Days; Experts Warn About More Water Melting Each Year, The Science Times, July 28, 2022, Furthermore, Greenland's ice sheet's melting began in 1990 and has revved since 2000. In July last year, climate scientist Marco Tedesco from Columbia University reported that Greenland's ice sheet lost 8.5 billion tons of surface mass in just one day, enough ice water to cover entire Florida in two inches.

Climate Change Exposes Growing Gap Between Weather We’ve Planned For—And What’s Coming, USA Today, July 27, 2022, Quotes Climate School scientist Radley Horton. (subscription only)

Carbon dating hampered by rising fossil-fuel emissions, Nature, July 27, 2022, “This wildlife forensics tool; the window is closing on its effectiveness,” says palaeoecologist Kevin Uno at Columbia University in New York City, who has used the bomb curve to date ivory samples and study elephant poaching3. “It’s kind of depressing.”

NOW Tonight with Joshua Johnson, NBC News, July 27, 2022, Interview with Cascade of CIESIN.

Her Discovery Was Dismissed As ‘Girl Talk’, SRF (Switzerland), July 26, 2022, Profile of Lamont scientist Marie Tharp.

The Great American Megadrought Is Already Here, Slate, July 25, 2022, Podcast with Lamont scientist Jason Smerdon.

Utah’s Great Salt Lake Drops to Lowest Level in Centuries Amid Drought, CGTN (China), July 24, 2022, "Because of rising temperatures, the need of water for crops and for human usage has been going up, so there's a lot of water, an increasing amount of water, that would've gone into the lake has been diverted for other human purposes," said Richard Seager, a researcher with the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory under Columbia University.

These Images of Great Salt Lake Are Haunting, Huffington Post, July 23, 2022, Due to rising temperatures, the need for water for crops and human use has increased. So an increasing amount of water that was supposed to go into the lake has been diverted for human interests, says Richard Seager, researcher at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory for Columbia University.

The Arctic Is Warming Much Faster Than the Rest of the Planet, Wired, July 23, 2022, “I don't think it's really precisely known—if these tipping points exist—what level of warming would trigger such rapid changes,” says Michael Previdi, a climate scientist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, who wasn’t involved in the new paper. But, he continues, in theory a larger amplification factor “increases the chances of passing one of these tipping points.”

The Bold Journey of the EV Nautilus to Map the Entire Planet’s Ocean Floor, The Daily Beast, July 22, 2022, Cites Marie Tharp and Vicki Ferrini of Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.

What Are Carbon Offsets, and Can They Combat Climate Change?, Wall Street Journal, July 21, 2022, “I don’t know whether they’re really offsetting carbon dioxide that we are emitting,” Mukund Palat Rao, a postdoctoral research scientist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, said of carbon offsets. “But by conserving a plot of land and stopping it from being deforested, we are stopping the carbon that the forest has accumulated over the past 200 years from going back into the atmosphere.”

The Social Responsibility of a Climate Scientist, TEDx Broadway, July 21, 2022, Talk by Lamont scientist Adam Sobel.

Greenland lost enough ice in three days to cover West Virginia, Daily Mail, July 21, 2022, On July 27, 2021, Marco Tedesco, a climate scientist at Columbia University reported Greenland’s ice sheet lost 8.5 billion tons of surface mass in a single day, which was enough ice to cover Florida in two inches of water.

What Is Ocean Acidification?Earth.org, July 21, 2022, A study published in 2014 by Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory has provided a comprehensive set of statistics on global marine acidity. In this study, 2005 is used as a reference year to draw on four decades of measurements.

Record-breaking Heat Waves in US and Europe Prove Climate Change is Already Here, Experts Say, Bloomberg News, July 20, 2022, Extreme heat is a "basic consequence of climate change," and the fact that it's happening in several different locations at the same time is characteristic of the average global temperatures rising, Jason Smerdon, a climate scientist for the Columbia Climate School's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in New York, told ABC News. "While each heat wave itself is different, and has individual dynamics behind it, the probability of these events is a direct consequence of the warming planet," Smerdon said, adding that a break in low airmass off the Atlantic Ocean moved east and blanketed Spain and Portugal, which is why those countries experienced the worst of the prolonged heat.

Cold Temperatures Paved the Way for T. Rex,Tech Explorist, July 20, 2022, Article on study by Lamont scientists Paul Olsen, Dennis Kent.

Lake Mead Dwindles, and a WWII Era Landing Craft Emerges, LiveScience, July 19, 2022, Geophysicist Richard Seager of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University in New York told Live Science that the decades-long drought at Lake Mead is mainly the result of a persistent "cold phase" in weather of the tropical Pacific Ocean region that causes relatively dry conditions over the Southwest of the United States.

‘Oldest Living Thing on Earth’ Discovered in Chile, Al Jazeera, July 19, 2022, Interview with Lamont tree-ring scientist Mukund Rao.

Mapping a Volcanic Eruption in the Backyard of Iceland’s Capital, Eos, July 19, 2022, For residents and visitors, maps can “remind the public that the land beneath them is actually very active and that eruptions can still happen,” said Einat Lev, an associate research professor at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.

The volcanic eruption in Alaska that rocked ancient Egypt » Yale Climate Connections, Yale Climate Connections, July 18, 2022, As climate scientist Wally Broecker once said, “Climate is an angry beast, and we are poking at it with sticks.” The powerful impacts of a destabilized climate system have the potential to reshape our society. In our own time of human-caused climate change, the stories of history don’t feel quite so ancient.

The New York City Triathlon Has a Complicated Relationship With the Hudson River, Fox Weather, July 18, 2022, A nonprofit called Riverkeeper has worked with volunteers and partners, including Columbia Climate School's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, to take samples of the Hudson across a 150-mile span providing data on water quality, including whether it's safe to swim in based on the Environmental Protection Agency guidelines.

The following 24 articles are related to Summer Heat Waves:

As Europe’s Heat Wave Melts Roads, Climate Change Is Making the Tour de France More Extreme, Washington Post, July 24, 2022, “What we already see is a shift in perception,” said Kai Kornhuber, a scientist with Columbia University’s Climate School. “That summer is not only a beautiful day at the beach and fun at water parks, but it’s also associated with wildfires, power failures and excess mortality.”

The Science Behind Extreme Heat and Climate Change, NBC News, July 22, 2022, Interview with Climate School scientist Radley Horton.

Linking Extreme Heat to Climate Change, Cheddar News, July 22, 2022, Interview with Lamont professor Jason Smerdon.

Climate-Change Fueled Heat Waves Forecast a New Global Reality, Globe and Mail (Canada), July 22, 2022, That heat waves are hitting different parts of the world at the same time indicates that “the climate as a whole is warming,” said Dr. Jason Smerdon, a Lamont research professor at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University. “The heat events that we’re seeing around the world are part of a progressively warming climate. So, our reality today is bad as we look around and we see these extreme events that are being supercharged by climate change,” he said.

U.S. Swelters in Latest Heat Wave, Yahoo News, July 20, 2022, Quotes Lamont scientist Jason Smerdon.

60 Million U.S. Residents Face Triple Digit Temperatures This Week, Ecowatch, July 20, 2022, “While each heat wave itself is different, and has individual dynamics behind it, the probability of these events is a direct consequence of the warming planet,” the Columbia Climate School’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in New York climate scientist Jason Smerdon told ABC News.

Record-breaking heat waves in US and Europe prove climate change is already here, experts say,m ABC News, July 20, 2022, Extreme heat is a "basic consequence of climate change," and the fact that it's happening in several different locations at the same time is characteristic of the average global temperatures rising, Jason Smerdon, a climate scientist for the Columbia Climate School's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in New York, told ABC News. "While each heat wave itself is different, and has individual dynamics behind it, the probability of these events is a direct consequence of the warming planet," Smerdon said.

Dante’s Inferno-Like Conditions Erupt Over Europe, Daily Kos, July 20, 2022, Low-pressure zones tend to draw air toward them. In this case, the low-pressure zone has been steadily drawing air from North Africa toward it and Europe. “It’s pumping hot air northward,” said Kai Kornhuber, a researcher at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, part of Columbia University.

Why Is Europe So Hot Now?, Deutsche Welle (Germany), July 20, 2022, Interview with Lamont scientist Kai Kornhuber.

The World Is Burning Once Again, The Atlantic, July 19, 2022, Quotes Columbia scientists Simon Lee, Kai Kornhuber and Alex Ruane.

Why the Widespread Heat Waves? CBS NY, July 19, 2022, Interview with Lamont scientist Richard Seager.(no direct weblink)

As NYC Sizzles, Research Shows Why Some Neighborhoods Are Hotter Than Others, NY1, July 19, 2022, Interview with CIESIN scientist Cascade Tuholske.

Record-Breaking Heat Waves in Europe and US Show Climate Change Is Already Here, Experts Say, ABCm July 19, 2022, Interview with Climate School scientist Radley Horton.

Why Europe Is Becoming a Heat Wave Hot Spot, New York Times, July 18, 2022, Low-pressure zones tend to draw air toward them. In this case, the low-pressure zone has been steadily drawing air from North Africa toward it and into Europe. “It’s pumping hot air northward,” said Kai Kornhuber, a researcher at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, part of Columbia University. Dr. Kornhuber contributed to a study published this month that found that heat waves in Europe had increased in frequency and intensity over the past four decades, and linked the increase at least in part to changes in the jet stream. The researchers found that many European heat waves occurred when the jet stream had temporarily split in two, leaving an area of weak winds and high pressure air between the two branches that is conducive to the buildup of extreme heat. Dr. Kornhuber said warming in the Arctic, which is occurring much faster than other parts of the world, may play a role. As the Arctic warms at a faster rate, the temperature differential between it and the Equator decreases. This leads to a decrease in summertime winds, which has the effect of making weather systems linger for longer. “We do see an increase in persistence,” he said.
 

Heat Waves Are Dominating Summer, Killing Thousands and Sparking Wildfires, Business Insider, July 18, 2022, "There needs to be kind of a shift in the perception of what a heat wave actually means, that the heat wave is not some fun day at the beach, but that it's potentially dangerous to health," Kai Kornhuber, a climate physicist at Columbia University, told Insider.

Europe Wrestles With Heat Waves and Forest Fires, Financial Times, July 18, 2022, Kai Kornhuber, research scientist at Columbia University, said that Europe is becoming a heatwave “hotspot”, with such abnormally hot weather episodes increasing three to four times faster than at other mid-latitudes. “Western Europe is seeing its third intense heatwave this summer, and it is still early [in the summer],” he said. The changing behaviour of the jet stream, which governs the weather in Europe, is contributing to the increase in heatwaves.

Europe Heat Wave Sparks Widespread Fires, Ecowatch, July 18, 2022, Quotes Lamont scientist Kai Kornhuber.

New Study Reports That Tropical Cyclones Are Dropping in Number, Ocean News, July 18, 2022, Using historical records and model data, the paper — co-authored by Suzana Camargo, an extreme weather expert from the Columbia Climate School’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory — shows the number of storms decreased by about 13 percent in that period in both global and regional scales. The study authors cautioned, however, that frequency was only one aspect controlling the risks associated with tropical cyclones; these storms have been increasing in intensity in recent decades, and may also be shifting closer to coastal areas inhabited by growing populations.

15 Minutes of Fame: Choosing Marie Tharp, BBC History (UK), July 18, 2022, Article about the Lamont researcher.

As Europe Boils, Climate Change Will Fuel Even Worse Heat Waves: Experts, Straits Times (Singapore), July 16, 2022, Quotes Lamont scientist Kai Kornhuber.

Europe’s New Normal: A Continent on Fire, Irish Examiner, July 16, 2022, Quotes Lamont scientist Kai Kornhuber.

Shanghai Declares Third Rare Extreme Heat Warning This Summer, Guardian (UK), July 16, 2022, Quotes Lamont scientist Kai Kornhuber.

Volcanic Lava Lake Belts Out Its Secrets in Seismic "Songs", Eos, July 15, 2022, Einat Lev, a volcanologist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory who was not involved in the paper, agreed.  “I actually think that the more we understand about how magmatic systems evolve between eruptions, the better equipped we will be to predict eruptions,” she said. “While the specific model employed in this paper is designed for lava lakes, the insight about the evolution of the system is likely more generally.

As Europe Bakes in Heat Wave, Wildfires Rage From Portugal to Croatia, Reuters, July 14, 2022, A study in the journal Nature last week found the number of heatwaves in Europe has increased three-to-four times faster than in the rest of the northern mid-latitudes, such as the United States and Canada, due in large part to the jet stream air current splitting into two parts for longer periods. “Europe is very much affected by changes in atmospheric circulation,” co-author Kai Kornhuber, a climate scientist at Columbia University, told Reuters. It’s a heatwave hotspot.” (wire service report; widely syndicated)
 

BLOGS  

Heat Wave in Europe: Climate School Experts Available to Comment By Columbia Climate School, July 18, 2022, “Hundreds of people have lost their lives in Spain and Portugal due to a heat wave that is moving north and east through Europe.”

More Frequent European Heat Waves Linked to Changes in Jet Stream By Columbia Climate School, July 05, 2022, “A new study shows that weather systems that normally cool part of the continent are being diverted northward. This is combining with overall warming to produce long-lived heat waves.”

Hello Friends,

Three things are top of mind today: There has been an increase in the number of Covid cases recently so please be extra careful and please wear your masks indoors during this time of increased risk.  Second, the raspberries are ripening and ready to be foraged.  I know a few of us are competing with the deer for these little nuggets of deliciousness.  And third, Paul Olsen reminds us again that any scientific study with the word dinosaur in it immediately rockets to the top of the charts.  Indeed, Paul continues his epic lifetime quest to unravel the mysteries of the Mesozoic, most recently challenging the stereotype of dinosaurs as warm-loving heat-seeking charismatic and/or terrifying megafauna.  Turns out they may have been cute fluffy little beasties hanging out on icebergs.  And to quote Kevin Krajick, our media relations manager, “Professor Paul Olsen and Adjunct Senior Research Scientist Dennis Kent in the Biology and Paleo Environment Division, have evolved to dominate the planet (at least for a few days)”.

In other science news, Lamont Assistant Research Professor Dan Westervelt and DEES PhD student Garima Raheja recently returned from two weeks in the field in Lomé, Togo. While there, they assembled and installed the country's first ever regulatory-grade particulate matter monitoring stations with the help of colleagues from the Université de Lomé and local environmental policy makers. They also conducted training sessions on instrumentation and analysis of air pollution data from such instruments.  This is truly the embodiment of President Bollinger’s fourth purpose, namely “advancing human welfare by merging our distinctive intellectual capacities with groups and organizations beyond the academy to bring about meaningful change.”

From the other side of the Atlantic, Anne Bécel, LRP and Chief Scientist, reports in on the successful Langseth cruise offshore of Mexico's Pacific coast. "After 47-days at sea aboard the R/V Marcus Langseth, we are back at Lamont with several terabytes of new, exciting seismic data collected across the Middle America Trench.” They are the first to image the plate boundary contact between the subducting Cocos Plate and overriding North American plate and they hope to gain a better understanding of the earthquake risk associated with this subduction zone.   

From seasoned scientists to the newly minted, please join me in congratulating Drs. Gibson and Lenssen!  On July 7, James Gibson successfully defended his thesis on "Controls on Surface and Sedimentary Processes on Continental Margins from Geophysical Data: New Insights at Cascadia, Galicia, and the Eastern North American Margin". James will continue consulting in both geophysics and data science.  On July 14, Nathan Lenssen defended his PhD thesis on “Uncertainty and Predictability of Seasonal-to-Centennial Climate Variability”.  Nathan accepted a postdoctoral position with Prof. Pedro DiNezio at University of Colorado Boulder.

I am also pleased to announce that Lamont Associate Research Professors Indrani Das, Chia-Ying Lee, Christine McCarthy, and Kirsty Tinto are each the recipient of a 2022 Palisades Geophysical Institute (PGI) Young Scientist Award at Lamont.  This is an award that brings significant salary support to junior LRPs and lasts for four years or promotion to senior staff, whichever comes first.  Equally exciting to me is that this round of awards means that this year, for the first time, every junior LRP, including Brendan Reilly who will start in October, will be guaranteed a minimum of 3.5 months of support (or more), the same as for the senior LRPs.  This is almost entirely because of the generosity of past and present donors to LDEO, including those who have supported the Climate and Life Fellowships, the PGI awards, as well as the fellowships supported by the families of Peter Joseph and Donald Beene. This is so wonderful and I hope this will be the new normal for our amazing junior faculty.

Mackenzie Carr, Assistant Director of DEIA, has asked me to announce that July is Disability Pride Month. He encourages our community members to listen to the voices of those with disabilities. We understand that a deliberate effort for more recognition and representation for the disability community is needed. This month gives our community a chance to shine a spotlight on people who are often underrepresented, marginalized, forgotten, or explicitly discriminated against.  If you want to watch an inspiring and educational summer-themed documentary, I’ve previously recommended Crip Camp, and do so again. 

I’d also like to thank the outgoing Colloquium Faculty Coordinator Nicolás Young, Lamont Associate Research Professor in the Geochemistry Division, and outgoing Graduate Student Colloquium Organizers Tanner Acquisto, Joohee Kim, and Madankui-Tao for a great year of talks, despite the ongoing challenges of the pandemic.   At the same time, we are happy to welcome the 2022-2023 Colloquium Committee with Dan Westervelt, Lamont Assistant Research Professor in OCP, as the new Faculty Coordinator.  The new Graduate Student Organizers are Caroline Juang, Tess Walther, and continuing members Jasper Baur, Claire Jasper, Celeste Pallone. The committee is seeking nominations for potential speakers for the fall. Please use this form to submit your nomination by August 1st.  And speaking of talks, please Save-the-Date for an in-person Summer Stars Lecture with Bahamian poet and essayist Bernard Ferguson on Friday, July 29 at 2:00 PM in the Monell Auditorium.  Please try to make that an on-campus day!

I’ll end with a shout-out to the students of the Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, Preservation, and Planning (GSAPP), who are in the middle of an immersive design-build workshop on our campus.  The students and faculty are designing and constructing a small-scale art installation at the entrance to our Geoscience Building.  This sculpture will use raw earthen construction techniques, mirroring the "Farm to Building" technique, which is an environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable construction method.  Also called “rammed earth”, please google “famous rammed earth buildings” and be impressed (the 1200-year-old Alhambra!).  I’m sure the group would be delighted to discuss their work if you stopped by.

Wishing you all a peaceful summer weekend.

Best, Mo

===================  

LAMONT IN THE MEDIA:  FEATURED NEWS  

Restoring Hudson River Ecosystems Is Essential to Continue Dolphin and Whale Sightings, Fox Weather, July 8, 2022, For the past 14 years, the nonprofit Riverkeeper has worked with volunteers and partners, including Columbia Climate School's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, to take samples of the Hudson across a 150-mile span providing data on water quality, including whether it's safe to swim in based on the Environmental Protection Agency guidelines. 

U.S. Biggest Reservoir Hits Lowest Point Amid Megadrought, Xinhua (China), July 8, 2022, The megadrought that has gripped the southwestern United States for the past 22 years is the worst in at least 1,200 years, NBC News reported in February, citing research published in the journal Nature Climate Change. Jason Smerdon, one of the study's authors and a climate scientist at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, was quoted as saying by the news outlet that global warming has made the megadrought more extreme because it creates a "thirstier" atmosphere that is better able to pull moisture out of forests, vegetation, and soil.

Following are two articles on the Supreme Court Decision on Clean Air Act:

Are the Feds Closing the Door on Climate Action?, The Hill, July 11, 2022, The article quotes Lamont Research Professor Jason Smerdon.

Is federal government dooming efforts to address climate change?, The Hill, July 10, 2022, “Given gridlock in Congress, action at the state level is essential,” said Jason Smerdon, a professor at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.

India's Deadly Heatwave Will Soon Be a Global Reality, The Washington Post, July 7, 2022, Some peer reviewers refused to believe Columbia University's former doctoral student Colin Raymond's results. "There's no way these values could be right," Radley Horton, a professor at Columbia who supervised and co-authored the study, recalled one comment saying. After multiple rounds of review, however, the study was published in May 2020 in Science Advances, titled "The emergence of heat and humidity too severe for human tolerance."

Following are 46 articles on a Dinosaur Evolution Study by Lamont scientists Paul Olsen and Dennis Kent in the Biology and Paleo Environment Division:

Feathers Were the Secret of Dinosaur SuccessEarth.com, July 11, 2022

Feathery Insulation Helped Dinosaurs Survive and Thrive: Study, Mirage News (China), July 10, 2022

How Dinosaurs Conquered the World by Doing the Unthinkable, Mashable, July 9, 2022

A New Theory on the Rise of Dinosaurs, BBC Science in Action, July 7, 2022 (segment runs 23:56-30:07)

Feather Coats May Have Helped the Dinosaurs Survive an Apocalypse, Syfy, July 7, 2021

Reign of the Dinosaurs Began After Cold Waves 202 Million Years Ago, National Geographic (Spain), July 7, 2021

Dinosaurs Took Over Planet Because They Could Endure the Cold, Scientists Say, LiveScience, July 7, 2022

‘Dinosaurs Were Well Adapted to the Cold’, Kijk (Netherlands), July 6, 2022

How Protofeathers Helped Dinosaurs Adapt and Thrive in Cold Weather, Omny Radio (Canada), July 6, 2022

Protofeathers May Have Helped Dinosaurs Survive and Dominate the World, Inverse, July 5, 2022

Dinosaurs: How Did They Cope With Cold Weather?, BBC Newsround, July 5, 2022

Dinosaurs Took Over Planet Amid Cold That Reptiles Couldn’t Survive, The Independent (UK), July 5, 2022

Dinosaurs Came Out if the Dark to Take Over the World After Triassic Mass Extinction, ZME Science, July 4, 2022

Dinosaurs’ Dominance Linked to Adaptation to Cold, The Canadian (Canada), July 3, 2022

Cold Enabled Dinosaurs to Survive, Scinexx (Germany), July 3, 2022

Dinosaurs Already Adapted to Cold, Study Finds, Verve Times, July 3, 2022

Footprints in China Show Dinosaurs Came in From the Cold to Rule the World, South China Morning Post (China), July 3, 2022

Dinosaurs Adapted to the Cold Well, Enabling Them to Survive the Triassic-Jurassic Extinction, Science Times, July 3, 2022

New Evidence Shows Apparent Key to Dinosaurs’ Later Dominance After Mass Extinction, Nature World News, July 3, 2022

‘Cold Adapted Dinosaurs Survived Mass Extinction to Survive Mass Extinction, Study Says, CTV (Canada), July 3, 3022

Mysterious Mass Extinction 200 Million Years Ago: Why Did the Dinosaurs Survive It?, Scientias (Netherlands), July 2, 2022

‘Their Other Rivals Died Out’: Scientists Prove That Dinosaurs Survived Ice, RTVi (Russia/US), July 1, 2022

Dinosaurs Likely Inhabited Earth Cold Regions Even During Triassic, Study Says, Sputnik News (Russia), July 2, 2022

Cold Helped Dinosaurs Take Over the World, Sydsvenskan (Sweden), July 2, 2022

Dinosaurs Survived One Extinction in Chilly Temperatures, Jerusalem Post (Israel), July 2, 2022

What We’ve Been Getting Wrong About Dinosaurs, CNN, July 1, 2022

Were Dinosaurs Warm or Cold-Blooded? Scientists May Finally Have an Answer, Inverse, July 1, 2022

How the Dinosaurs Took Over, Economist, July 1, 2022

Dinosaurs’ Ability to Survive Icy Cold Helped Them Dominate the Planet, New Scientist (UK), July 1, 2022

Feathers May Have Helped Dinosaurs Survive Their First Apocalypse, Scientific American, July 1, 2022

Feathers May Have Been Key to Dinosaurs Taking Over the Earth, Real Clear Science, July 1, 2022

Did Fuzzy Coats Help Dinosaurs Survive One of Earth’s Worst Extinctions?, Science, July 1, 2022

Dinosaurs Took Over Earth After Winter of Discontent, Cosmos (Australia), July 2, 2022

Dinosaurs Came to Dominate the World in Icy LandscapesEarth.com, July 1, 2022

Rise of the Dinosaurs Traced Back to Their Adaptation to Cold, Guardian (UK), July 1, 2022

Freezing Temperatures From Repeated Volcanic Winters May Have Led to Rise of Dinosaurs, BBC Science Focus (UK), July 1, 2022

‘We Got Dinosaurs All Wrong’: New Study Argues That They Were Fundamentally Cold-Adapted Animals, Courthouse News, July 1, 2022

Age of Dinosaurs Was Triggered By Series of Deep Freezes, Public News Time, July 1, 2022

Feathers May Have Helped Dinosaurs Survive the Triassic Mass Extinction, Science News, July 1, 2022

Age of Dinosaurs Was Triggered By a Series of Deep Freezes 200 Million Years Ago, Daily Mail, July 1, 2022

Metabolism and Feathers: Why Dinosaurs Didn’t Die Out in the Mass Extinction of the Triassic, Teller Report, July 2, 2022

Dinosaurs Rose in the Cold of the Triassic, EFE (Spain), July 1, 2022n===, (wire service report; widely syndicated)

Dinosaurs Conquered Earth Due to Their Adaptation to Cold, La Vanguardia (Spain), July 1, 2022

Study of Mass Extinction Reveals That Dinosaurs Ruled Amid Ice, Not Warmth, Nonetheless (Portugal), July 1, 2022

Dinosaurs Survived Freezing Poles Before Jurassic Jungles, Discover, July 1, 2022

Dinosaurs Took Charge Amid Ice, Not Heat: Study, The Hill, July 1, 2022

(Our press release also picked up by scores of news-aggregator sites)


BLOGS  

More Frequent European Heat Waves Linked to Changes in Jet Stream By Columbia Climate School, July 5, 2022, “A new study shows that weather systems that normally cool part of the continent are being diverted northward. This is combining with overall warming to produce long-lived heat waves.”

Dinosaurs Took Over Amid Ice, Not Warmth, Says a New Study of Ancient Mass Extinction By Kevin Krajick, July 1, 2022, “There is new evidence that ancient high latitudes, to which early dinosaurs were largely relegated, regularly froze over, and that the creatures adapted—an apparent key to their later dominance.”

Hello Friends,

The news out of DC has been tough to take lately, including seeing the possibility of effective regulatory action on climate change evaporate.  However, I am constantly inspired by all the people, from all fields and walks of life, who are fighting for progress and this won't deter them or us. 

I am also sad to share the news that Peter Molnar, a distinguished colleague, Lamont alumni, and long-standing friend and supporter of our campus passed away earlier this month after a long fight with cancer.  Peter earned a PhD in seismology at Lamont in 1970 working with Lynn Sykes, Bryan Isacks, and Jack Oliver.  He went on to a distinguished career, eventually being awarded the 2014 Crafoord Prize. A great supporter of Lamont, his gifts were typically earmarked to support early career scientists.

Another great supporter of early career scientists, Bill Ryan, Special Research Scientist in the MGG Division at Lamont, was recently awarded the prestigious Charles Lyell Award at a virtual ceremony hosted by the Geological Society of London. He will give the Charles Lyell lecture on October 5th, either in London or online. 

In other news, please join me in congratulating Jenny Lee on her new position as Division Administrator of the MGG Division. Jenny, who started her new role on June 15th, has a MSC in Counseling/Communications from New Rochelle College and has been at Lamont since 2019 as Administrative Assistant for the OCP division.

In OCP, LRP Mingfang Ting is stepping down as Associate Director after eight years in this role.  She and LRP Jason Smerdon just moved into new leadership roles within the Climate School while Dr. Ruth DeFries, Co-Founding Dean, is on sabbatical.  Both will serve as Co-Senior Directors for Education.  Yesterday also saw the official last day of Bob Newton who has just retired. Bob came to Lamont 31 years ago as a DEES graduate student working with Mark Cane and Peter Schlosser on Arctic climate change and oceanography and he has been here ever since. Bob, Senior Research Scientist in the Geochemistry Division, has been an avid advocate for the interests of Lamonters on the Research Scientist track, most recently as their representative on ExCom. In 2004, Bob established the Secondary School Field Research Program (SSFRP), the high school summer program that engages dozens of high school students in research and laboratory projects at Lamont every summer. The SSFRP is a fantastic program, serving a highly diverse cohort with a stunning (100%) college success rate and an impressive rate of choosing STEM majors (almost 50%).  It is truly one of the gems in Lamont’s crown.  Bob will continue to be involved in the SSFRP this summer while transitioning it to the new leadership team of Benjamin Bostick, Lamont Associate Research Professor in Geochemistry, Einat Lev, Lamont Associate Research Professor in SGT, and Margie Turrin, Senior Staff Associate in MGG. Many thanks, Bob, and we wish you all the best for your retirement!

On June 29th Margaret Morrone also retired after 17 years with Lamont. Margaret began her career in the administration office and eventually became part of the B&G department. Margaret’s contributions were integral to the smooth operation of the B&G department and we will miss her dedication and ever positive attitude. During her retirement, she will enjoy relaxing on the beach in Aruba and traveling with her husband. We wish Margaret the best!

On the flip side, please join me in welcoming new DEES professor Dr. Folarin (Fola) Kolawole who joined us as an Assistant Professor of Structural Geology this week. Fola holds a PhD from the University of Oklahoma and joins DEES after working as an Upstream Structural Geologist at BP America. In this photo provided by DEES Prof. William Menke, Dr. Kolawole examines metamorphic rocks during a field trip to the Hudson Highlands of New York on his second day on the job. Welcome, Dr. Kolawole!  (and where did you get those very cool gaiters?)

In case you missed it, we recently circulated an RFP for the Fall 2022 Lamont Climate and Life Fellows Program.  We request proposals to fund urgent and impactful research that will deepen our understanding of how climate affects human sustainability and provide expert analysis on climate impacts and solutions. Please submit your proposal and any questions you might have to [email protected]. The deadline to submit proposals is July 22nd.

Finally, I’d like to thank the more than 125 Lamonters and Morningside colleagues who came together to celebrate Pride Month this past Wednesday.  Thanks also to Vicki Ferrini, Associate Director for DEIA, and Mackenzie Carr, Assistant Director for DEIA, who spoke about the importance of diversity and inclusion as well as the historical roots of the 1969 Stonewall Riots and the people who fought and continue to fight for complete equality for all members of the LGBTQIA+ community. They also recognized and thanked the efforts of our many colleagues who have worked tirelessly to advance equity, inclusion, and diversity at Lamont. Partygoers were treated to “Beyond the Rainbow-Pride Cupcakes” and delicious treats prepared by Richie, Laura, and Angela. I want to thank the staff who worked on the logistics to make this event a success, and a very special thanks to the Climate School Office of Research for generously sponsoring the celebration.

I hope everyone has a lovely Fourth of July weekend.  There is lots of interesting reading below and I especially enjoyed seeing the spider crabs inspecting our deep-sea instruments.

Mo

===================  

LAMONT IN THE MEDIA:  FEATURED NEWS   

Battling Crabs Off the Oregon Coast While Studying an Underwater Volcano, OPB, June 30, 2022, The research team had just dropped overboard a specialized seismometer designed to reveal things like the shape of the magma chamber under the volcano. That seismometer is so sensitive to vibration, engineer Ted Koczynski said it needs a Smart Car-sized plastic dome over the top to protect it. “The whole idea of that shield is to stop any currents from getting in and tweaking that seismometer,” said Koczynski, who, when not at sea, is based at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in New York.

U.S. a Giant Tinderbox as Drought and Wildfires Combine, Newsweek, June 28, 2022, According to Mingfang Ting, a Lamont research professor and associate director for Ocean and Climate Physics at Columbia University, the ongoing drought in western states is directly related to the La Niña condition that emerged in August 2020, causing low rainfall two winters in a row. … Without somehow reversing climate change, dealing with these increased wildfires is going to be complicated, says Lisa Dale, a climate, Earth and society lecturer at Columbia Climate School.

Hurricane Numbers Are Decreasing in Every Ocean Basin Except One, Study Finds, CNN, June 27, 2022, Suzana Camargo, co-author of the study and professor at Columbia University, said the goal was to put all the existing evidence together to try to "breach the uncertainty — or make it a little smaller."  "People have been doing different attempts to try to figure out what happened with other datasets, using different methodologies, so I see this paper as another piece of the puzzle," Camargo told CNN.

Why Has La Nina Lasted So Long?, Gigazine (Japan), June 27, 2022, 'The IPCC model shows that as climate change warms the ocean, it moves closer to the El Nino phenomenon,' said Richard Seager, a climate modeler at Columbia University's Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory in Paris, New York, pointed out. However, observations over the last half century show the opposite. As the climate warms, the waters of the eastern equatorial Pacific become colder, creating a state closer to the La Niña phenomenon.

What Is Causing Devastating Floods in Bangladesh and India?, Ground Report (India), June 27, 2022, Mingfang Ting, a research professor at the Columbia Climate School’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, pointed to several large-scale weather conditions that could be contributing to heavy rains in China and South Asia.

Heat Waves Around the Globe Push People and Nations to the Edge, New York Times, June 24, 2022, But those temperature differences are key forces driving the winds that keep weather systems moving around the planet. As the temperature differences narrow, these air currents may be slowing down, said Kai Kornhuber, a climate scientist with the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University. That means extreme events like heat waves and heavy downpours are likely to last longer.

Triple Trepidation as Weather Forecasters Warn of La Nina’s Return, Sydney Morning Herald (Australia), June 24, 2022, The article quotes Lamont scientists Kai Kornhuber and Mingfang Ting, and Columbia Climate School’s State of the Planet.

We’re in a Historic Drought. This Texan May Have a Solution., Dallas News, June 24, 2022, In 2012, scientists at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory decided to check if Powell's findings still held up. They didn't.

Rare ‘Triple La Nina’ Event Looks Likely. What Does the Future Hold?, Nature, June 23, 2022, The article quotes Lamont scientist Richard Seager.

What Is Columbia Known For?, College Gazette, June 20, 2022, The school is currently New York City’s only university-related research park, and its Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory is a significant contributor to the investigation of global climate change.

It's not summer yet, but climate change is already showing its teeth in 2022, Yahoo News, June 17, 2022, The article quotes Radley Horton, Lamont Research Professor at Lamont.

Following three articles: Antarctic Groundwater Study by Lamont Scientist Kerry Key, and Chloe Gustafson, Graduate Student, DEES.

The Underground Rivers of Antarctica, Epsiloon (France), June 25, 2022, (no weblink—print only) 

Massive Groundwater Systems Lie Beneath Antarctic Ice, Eos, June 16, 2022

Giant Reservoirs of Water Could Aid Collapse of Antarctica, Folha de Sao Paulo (Brazil), June 16, 2022

Greenland’s Polar Bears Are Learning to get Around in a Less Icy World, Popular Science, June 16, 2022, Robert Newton, a geochemist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory who studies Arctic sea ice, praised the wealth of information that Kristin Laidre, a marine biologist at the University of Washington in Seattle, and her team analyzed to discover the new subpopulation. “The article itself is very hopeful in the sense that it does appear that the polar bears can survive without sea ice as long as they have some alternative platform from which to hunt,” he said, noting that it can take hundreds of years for glaciers to retreat. “It is quite possible that polar bears as a species will survive the loss of sea ice in the Arctic even if most of the populations are forced into extinction or forced onto land where they’ll merge back into the brown bear populations.” 

N.H. Rock Cores Still Need a Home, Concord Monitor, June 16, 2022, The article cites Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.

BLOGS  

Tropical Cyclones Are Dropping in Number, Study Says By Columbia Climate School, June 27, 2022, “Using historical records and model data, researchers have for the first time shown that the annual number of tropical cyclones dropped during the 20th century compared with the late 19th century.”

Seeing Through the Sea By Brian Boston, June 27, 2022 “How researchers are plumbing the seafloor during a quest to understand ‘silent’ earthquakes off the Mexican coast.”

Life Aboard the Langseth By Josh Burstein, June 23, 2022, “Daily life on a research vessel is smaller and slower-paced — in a good way, for the most part.”

Hello Friends,

Happy Pride Month!  Happy Juneteenth Weekend!  This Sunday, June 19th, also known as Juneteenth and Emancipation Day, commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. Though it is a day that celebrates independence, Juneteenth is also a nod to the long delay of equality in our country. Despite the Emancipation Proclamation being issued by President Lincoln on January 1, 1863, many enslaved were not aware of their freedom until June 1865. And while the abomination of slavery has long since been abolished, severe societal inequalities continue to exist to this day.  Please let us continue to listen, learn, and reflect as a community as we celebrate this essential milestone in our nation’s history.

We also celebrate Pride Month in June, a time to acknowledge and reaffirm our commitment to supporting the LGBTQIA+ members of our community. We are delighted to be hosting a Pride celebration at Lamont on June 29 at 3PM (behind SGT), co-sponsored by the Climate School Office of Research and LDEO’s Office of DEIA, that will feature pride-themed food and festivities.  I hope you will join us!  I’d like to personally thank the Lamonters that have given so generously of their time and experience to help us navigate toward a more thoughtful, welcoming campus that supports all our members.  I have learned and grown along the way and want people to know that my door is always open.  If we don’t know about a problem, we can’t fix it.  To that end, another thanks go to Mackenzie Carr, our new Assistant Director of the Office of DEIA, and Vicki Ferrini, Senior Research Scientist and Associate Director for DEIA, for driving a renewed focus on the DEIA Task Force recommendations with our growing team. 

Related to this, I’m happy to report that the DEIA Office and the DEIA Standing Committee are working to establish a framework and program for recognizing and celebrating Diversity Heritage Months at Lamont. The goals of this effort are to increase awareness and allyship while building community and creating a welcoming and inclusive environment for all.  Please reach out to Mack Carr if you have questions or suggestions about upcoming Heritage Months.
 
Columbia University Trustee Mark Gallogly and his wife Lise Strickler, along with their foundation Three Cairns Group staff, visited the campus on Wednesday, June 8th, for a team retreat. They also toured the campus and saw the Core Repository, Rock/Ice Mechanics, the Fluid Dynamics/Volcano Lab, and the Marine Polar Lab.  They were very impressed by the breadth of the Observatory's research and left at the end of the day grateful though exhausted.  I also had a lovely luncheon recently with another dedicated supporter of Lamont, Quentin Kennedy of the Comer Building Quentin Kennedy Board Room fame.  You rock Quentin!  This is a shout-out to thank you for everything you have done for LDEO over the years.  (He told me he reads the weekly report. ;-)

I look forward to seeing everyone at the in-person Columbia Climate School Town Hall hosted by the Climate School leadership on Thursday, June 23, on the Lamont Campus.  The Town Hall event in Monell Auditorium will be followed by a networking reception in the lower lobby.   Please remember to register and please come help represent our community.

The peaceful long days of summer are upon us.  Enjoy the long weekend!

Mo

===================  

LAMONT IN THE MEDIA: FEATURED NEWS 

NYC in 2027: What the city will look like five years down the road, New York Post, June 11, 2022, “We’ll be seeing the impact of climate change on our everyday lives on a much more regular basis,” said Maureen Raymo, director of Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and Co-Founding Dean of the Columbia Climate School. “In five years, it’ll be a little warmer, more frequent heat waves, extreme rain like Ida more often, and hurricanes that do reach us will be more severe.”

Massive amount of water found below Antarctica's ice sheet for 1st time, CTV News, June 8, 2022, "The Empire State Building up to the antenna is about 420 metres (1,378 feet) tall," [Chloe] Gustafson, who did the research as a graduate student at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, said in the statement.  "At the shallow end, our water would go up the Empire State Building about halfway. At the deepest end, it's almost two Empire State Buildings stacked on top of each other. This is significant because subglacial lakes in this area are two to 15 metres (6.6 to 49 feet) deep. That's like one to four stories of the Empire State Building."

Is This the Oldest Tree in the World?, LiveScience, June 7, 2022, Quotes Lamont scientist Ed Cook.

Is the World’s Oldest Tree Growing in a Ravine in Chile?, Science, May 20, 2022, Others will be harder to convince. Dendrochronologists have traditionally viewed counts of actual rings as the gold standard for determining a tree’s age. “The ONLY way to truly determine the age of a tree is by dendrochronologically counting the rings and that requires ALL rings being present or accounted for,” Ed Cook, a founding director of the Tree Ring Laboratory at Columbia University, wrote in an email.

Why Are Wet-Bulb Temperatures So Dangerous?, Ground Report (India), June 5, 2022, Quotes Lamont scientist Radley Horton.

The Deep History and Uncertain Future of a Marsh on the Hudson, Places Journal, June 1, 2022, Coauthored by GISS/Lamont scientist Dorothy Peteet.

Community-Led Science Uncovers High Pollution From Fracking in Ohio County, Environmental News Network, June 6, 2022, Article on research led by Lamont grad student Garima Raheja.

BLOGS  

Heat, Storm, Drought, Fire: Prolonged Climate Extremes as Cool La Niña Pacific Pattern Persists By Andrew Revkin, June 13, 2022, “As the tropical Pacific stays stuck in a cool phase, dangerous patterns persist worldwide.”

The Research Begins: Dropping Instruments Into the Abyss By Brandon Shuck, June 10, 2022, Aboard the R/V Marcus G. Langseth, Expedition MGL2204’s science team has started deploying ocean-bottom seismometers.

Looking for the Origin of Slow Earthquakes in the Guerrero Gap By Anne Bécel, June 07, 2022, “We are underway on our 48-day long expedition offshore of the west coast of Mexico near Acapulco, where the young Cocos oceanic plate dives beneath the North American plate.”

Hello Friends,

Summer has arrived and that means a new cohort of undergraduate summer interns has also arrived on campus. Please join us today as Lamont greets the 2022 Lamont Summer Interns with a welcome party co-hosted by the program coordinators Dallas Abbott, Adjunct Research Scientist in MGG, Michael Kaplan, LRP in Geochemistry, and graduate student mentors Clara Chang and Bennett Slibeck.  For ten weeks, between June 2nd and August 2nd, this group of 33 up-and-coming researchers will carry out interdisciplinary research and educational activities under the guidance and mentorship of our scientific staff. Everyone is welcome to attend the various events scheduled for the Summer Interns.  The program will culminate with the students' oral presentations and posters on their research and experience at Lamont.  For additional information, please get in touch with Dallas Abbott.

This week congratulations go to both a senior and a junior colleague. Steve Goldstein, Higgins Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences in DEES, will receive the 2022 Great Teacher Award from the Society of Columbia Graduates.  This is an award given yearly, since 1949, to one faculty member in Arts and Sciences and one in Engineering. On the Society’s website: “The recipients are selected… based on the professors’ abilities to stimulate, challenge and inspire undergraduate students; for their demonstrated interest in students; their ability to relate positively to students outside the classroom; and for their recognized standing in their respective academic disciplines.” This is the first time the award has gone to one of our faculty! The ceremony and reception will take place during Reunion Weekend, at Faculty House on Saturday, June 11 at 4:00-5:15 PM. Steve invites anyone who happens to be in the area at that time to come by and celebrate with him!

Congratulations also go to graduate student Sam Bartusek who has been awarded a NASA FINESST (Future Investigators in NASA Earth and Space Science and Technology) grant for his research on “Causal Mechanisms of Dry and Humid Heat Extremes”.  Sam works with Mingfang Ting, LRP and OCP Associate Director, on projects relating to summer heat waves and their mechanisms.  Sam, I’m putting you on speed-dial for when the inevitable calls for comment on heat domes and extreme heat waves come in!

Two particularly interesting events are coming up next week.  First, the Hudson River Field Station will be participating in World Fish Migration Day on June 11th from 10 to noon at the end of the Piermont Pier.  Bring the kids—it will be fun and you might get wet.  This event launches a summer of Science Saturdays on the pier starting on June 18th.  The second event is part of the “Emerging Voices in the Geosciences & Society Series” which starts on Tuesday, June 7th.  At 4:00 PM, Columbia Climate School's Office of Research will sponsor the first lecture in the series that will feature Dr. Mika Tosca, Associate Professor of Climate Science at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Dr. Tosca will lead a discussion on "Imagining a post-climate-crisis future: Art, design, climate change, and overcoming the apocalypse narrative". Register here to attend in person at Lerner Hall, Room 569, Morningside Campus, or to attend via Zoom. For additional information, please contact Natalie Trotta.

In other news this week, Lamont hosted a visit by staff members of the Climate Solutions Foundation Congressional Delegation and the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia. The group toured the Core Repository, the Rock Mechanics Lab and the Tree Ring Lab, wrapping up in the Directorate with coffee and a discussion of climate policy and how to best effect progress on the climate crisis across our nation.  Special thanks to Nichole Anest, Christine McCarthy, and Edward Cook for leading the lab tours and sharing their research with our guests.

I’ll end by sharing the sad news that Dr. Kuo, who we helped celebrate his 100th birthday barely two months ago, passed less than a month later on April 29th.  His daughters conveyed how joyous his centennial was and expressed their thanks and best wishes to the Lamont community.

Please have a peaceful weekend.  I am transitioning to a summer schedule of fortnightly newsletters but please keep the updates and news coming. 

Best, Mo

===================  

LAMONT IN THE MEDIA: FEATURED NEWS  


Weather’s unwanted guest: Nasty La Nina keeps popping up, Associated Press, May 28, 2022, What’s bothering many scientists is that their go-to climate simulation models that tend to get conditions right over the rest of the globe predict more El Ninos, not La Ninas, and that’s causing contention in the climate community about what to believe, according to Columbia University climate scientist Richard Seager and MIT hurricane scientist Kerry Emanuel.

Next two articles: Ohio Air Pollution Study by Garima Raheja, Lamont PhD candidate, and colleagues.

Ohio Community Finds High Air Pollution Levels Missed By EPA Instruments, Meteorological Technology, May 27, 2022

Sensors Identify Emissions Missed by Expensive EPA Instruments, Espanol News, May 26, 2022

Sandstorm wave sweeps Middle East, sending thousands to hospitals, The Washington Post, May 26, 2022, Benjamin Cook, an environmental scientist at Columbia University’s Climate School, said three elements are needed for a sandstorm to take off: wind, a source of dust where there is little to no vegetation, and very dry conditions.

Water scarcity in a changing climate: will droughts get worse?, Climate Feedback. May 20, 2022, Features Lamont/GISS scientist Benjamin Cook.

BLOGS 

Aurora Barone Looks for Equitable Ways to Cut Carbon Emissions By Alexis Earl, May 31, 2022, “A graduate of Columbia’s Environmental Science and Policy program, Barone works as an economics and policy analyst for Environmental Defense Fund.”

Sylhet City, Geology, and Packing Up By Mike Steckler, May 27, 2022, “We finished our electromagnetic survey and mini-field school in northern Sylhet, Bangladesh, with lectures and field trips to see the geology by car and boat.”

Hello Friends,

Please join me in congratulating Yuxin Zhou who successfully defended his PhD thesis on “Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation instabilities during the last glacial cycle” yesterday.  Yuxin’s committee included his advisor Prof. Jerry McManus of DEES, as well as Profs. Robert Anderson, Ryan Abernathey, Sidney Hemming, and Dr. Alan Condron, an Associate Scientist from WHOI.  Yuxin will be heading to the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he will be starting a postdoctoral position. Congratulations Dr. Zhou!

Also join me in thanking Miriam and the café crew for organizing another successful Wednesday Street Food Festival, the second in a summer series. A combination of delicious food and good music delivered by Richie and Laura, gorgeous weather, and your participation made this event a success. Stay tuned for our upcoming June event rumored to be Pride Month themed. 

At last month’s NY Environmental Champion Award event I met another honoree, a local artist named Timothy Englert who I invited to come visit Lamont this past Wednesday.  Tim is a woodcrafter who makes amazing log benches and tables and specializes in building outdoor classrooms.  You can see some of his work here including the impressive Knickerbocker bench, evocative of depression era Civilian Conservation Corp construction.  We walked the campus for an hour or so and Tim also made time to visit the folks at the Tree Ring Lab.  We agreed to brainstorm potential collaborations and Tim followed up with an email that included the following: “Were I to conjure the perfect setting for me to create not just a gathering space (or three), but also the type of partnership that exemplifies the depth of knowledge, beauty, reverence, understanding, and practical action that I hope such spaces could nurture, then I’d be hard pressed to find a more suitable candidate than Lamont. I don’t think my feet touched the ground during most of my visit.”  I hope we find a path forward to building an inspiring outdoor classroom in some shady glade on campus.

I’ll end by acknowledging that it has been a tough, emotionally-draining week across the nation. I took some small amount of solace and pleasure in the Happy Daisy picture.  Thank you, Margaret, for sharing.

Have a restorative Memorial Day Weekend.   Mo 

===================   

LAMONT IN THE MEDIA: FEATURED NEWS   

The Rockland County Town of Orangetown's Impact On The World, Patch, May 25, 2022, Moving on to the Columbia University's Scientific Research Center, the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in the Orangetown hamlet of Palisades since 1949. Its mission is "developing fundamental climate and earth sciences vis a vis the origin, evolution and future of the natural world." Need I say more?

Groundwater Discovered in Sediments Buried Deep Under Antarctic Ice, National Science Foundation, May 24, 2022, Article on research by Lamont scientists Kerry Key and Chloe Gustafson. 

‘Megadrought’ threatens water and power supplies to millions in US, Financial Times, May 22, 2022, Jason Smerdon, a Columbia University climate scientist, described "scary" drought conditions in the south-west states. "All emissions scenarios suggest increased warming in the south-west and therefore increased drying," he said.... 

BLOGS   

Community-Led Science Uncovers High Air Pollution From Fracking in Ohio County By Sarah Fecht, May 25, 2022, In a collaboration that included Columbia researchers, Belmont County residents set up a low-cost sensor network that is helping them fight for clean air. 

Start of the Mini-Field School By Mike Steckler, May 20, 2022, “We were joined in our electromagnetic investigation of the subsurface and earthquake hazard by a group of US and Bangladeshi students and professors for a mini-Field School.” 

Hello Friends,

What a stunningly beautiful day we had Wednesday for Columbia’s first in-person graduation in three years!  It was such a privilege to be seated, with my three Climate School co-deans, on the stage facing the thousands of students and family members stretching in every possible direction.  To share a stage with Patti Smith, Hillary Clinton, Yo-Yo Ma, and Jodi Kantor was a real thrill.  The students chanting “speech! speech!” got the desired result, with an impromptu address from Secretary Clinton after receiving her honorary degree (normally, the degree recipients do not address the crowd).  Overall, it was an incredibly joyous day with lots of great karma saturating the ether.

Another lovely annual event that occurred this week, also back in person for the first time in almost three years, was Lamont’s Neighbors Reception held on Monday, May 16th.  We hosted a cocktail party in Comer for 45 local community leaders, elected officials, and neighbors from surrounding towns. After a warm welcome from yours truly, our guests enjoyed “speed” presentations on the Hudson River Field Station and educational programs with Margie Turrin, Senior Staff Associate in MGG, followed by Hudson River health with Andrew Juhl, LRP in BPE, followed by Catskills water resource and climate history with William D’Andrea, also an LRP in BPE, wrapping up with local air quality research with Róisín Commane, Assistant Professor in DEES. I hope you see the theme—namely, the impactful work our scientists are doing in our own backyard! 

Later on, over wine and appetizers, our neighbors had the opportunity to mingle with the presenters and others on our scientific staff, learning even more about the research going on at Lamont.  One neighbor asked if he could intern in a lab!  A very special thanks to the development staff in particular for pulling off such a great event!  And, if you see some new plantings around campus this week, including lavender and lilacs, they are the “décor” we ordered for the event in lieu of cut flowers.

In other news, Suzanne Carbotte, Bruce Heezen Lamont Research Professor in MGG, stepped down from her role as P&C Chair and assumed the role of MGG Associate Director as of May 16.  Suzana Camargo, Marie Tharp Lamont Research Professor in OCP, has agreed to Chair the P&C Committee.  We also have a new meeting space available on campus.  Lamont's new Storke Conference Room in the Machine Shop building is open for reservations. The room can accommodate about 25 people depending on the layout. The current setup is for round table meetings. In addition, there is a wall-mounted large screen monitor, a kitchenette next to the conference room, and a cloakroom down the hallway. There is also a large picnic table outside that can be used for breaks. Parking for cars and bicycles is available, and I’ll add the reminder that there is a bike repair station located nearby as well.  Watch out for dive-bombing swallows!

I hope you will join us in celebrating AAPI (Asian American/Pacific Islander) Heritage Month.  The Climate School is sponsoring two exciting events this spring and summer.  The first is a "Lunch and Learn Event" on June 13th from 1-2pm with Dr. Han Ren, who will speak about "Empowerment During Racial Injustice: Mental Health in the AAPI Community".  There will be an in-person option, and a remote option as well.  If you are interested in attending, please RSVP to Cassie Xu ([email protected]) by Friday, May 20th.  Please indicate in your RSVP if you are attending in person or remotely. 

The second event will be with Emily Roh, an antiracist life coach and facilitator, who will speak about "Building an Asian-American Community."  They are currently holding July 6, 7, or 8 from 12pm-1:30pm ET on the speaker's calendar, and they ask that interested attendees RSVP to Cassie Xu ([email protected]) by Friday, May 20th with your date/time preference.  For this pilot workshop, they are inviting Asian American members of the Climate School to help create and foster a safe space to share ideas about identity, inclusion, and diversity in our community.  For future workshops, the invitation will be extended to a larger group.  This event will only have an in-person component and will be limited to 30 individuals.

Finally, I am excited to announce a new seminar initiative out of the Office of Research: Emerging Voices in the Geosciences and Society. In partnership with Lamont’s Seminar Diversity Initiative, and generously supported by the Climate School’s DEIA Pilot Grants, Emerging Voices provides a venue for a diverse set of speakers to share their research, outreach, and community-centered activities with the Climate School community. The inaugural seminar will take place on Tuesday, June 7th at 4pm with a talk by Dr. Mika Tosca (School of the Art Institute of Chicago) on "Imagining a post-climate-crisis future: Art, design, climate change, and overcoming the apocalypse narrative.” The seminar will be in person at Lerner Hall - please register here.

Have a lovely weekend, perhaps learning about lazy bears and confused birds. 

Best, Mo

=================== 

LAMONT IN THE MEDIA:    FEATURED NEWS  

Lazy Bears and Confused Birds: What a Warming Planet Means for Wildlife, Environmental News Network, May 16, 2022, Natalie Boelman ’04GSAS, an ecologist at Columbia’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, has spent more than a decade monitoring wildlife in the region, seeking to understand how animals are responding and adapting to the rising temperatures. Not content to follow a single species, as many ecologists do, Boelman has overseen a series of large studies to assess how the entire biome is being altered by climate change.

NYC to be hit by 'multiple' thunderstorms as tornadoes and winds forecast for the tri-state area, Daily Mail, May 16, 2022, This year's season, due to start June 1, will be particularly active, due to above-average sea surface temperatures, according to meteorologist Chia-Ying Lee, of Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.  'When people think about more active years, it can mean more storms or the storms are more strong,' Lee told CBS News of approaching season. She said to expect both.

My Lying Eyes: We Did Start the Fire, NPR This American Life, May 16, 2022, Segment on the disastrous Paradise, Calif., wildfire, and mixed signals that child victims are getting from teachers vs. parents about the role of climate change (We supplied the scientific expertise and access to Lamont adjunct Park Williams, though we were not directly credited)

Lazy Bears, Confused Birds: What a Warming Planet Means for Wildlife, Columbia Magazine, May 12, 2022, Article on work of Lamont scientist Natalie Boelman.

Study finds cleaner air leads to more Atlantic hurricanes, AP News , May 11, 2022, “While aerosol cooling is maybe half to one-third smaller than the warming from greenhouse gases, it is about twice as effective in reducing tropical cyclone intensity compared to warming increasing it, said Columbia University climate scientist Adam Sobel, who wasn’t part of the study.”

Cities Brace for Apocalyptic Flooding As New Age of Super Storms Dawns, Newsweek, May 11, 2022, “Klaus Jacob, a special research scientist at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and a former member of New York City Panel on Climate Change, says New York City is doing better than many other cities. In New Orleans, the Army Corps spent $14 billion to upgrade levees that are sinking and will soon be inadequate.”

Air Pollution Can Mean More, or Fewer, Hurricanes. Depends on Where You Live., New York Times, May 11, 2022, Quotes Lamont scientist Adam Sobel

Cleaner Air May Help Explain Why We’re Seeing So Many Atlantic Hurricanes, Philadelphia Inquirer, May 11, 2022, Quotes Lamont scientists Chia-Ying Lee and Adam Sobel

BLOGS  

Lazy Bears and Confused Birds: What a Warming Planet Means for Wildlife By David J. Craig, May 17, 2022, In the Arctic, climate change is upsetting the migratory rhythms of many species, disrupting pollinators, and spelling trouble for ecosystems around the world.

Tea Gardens to the Rescue By Mike Steckler, May 12, 2022, “We switched to deploying our equipment for imaging faults and the structure beneath the surface to tea gardens to get away from power lines and buried the cables to protect them from gnawing foxes.”

Upcoming Scientific Fieldwork, 2022 and Beyond By Kevin Krajick, May 11, 2022, “Thumbnail descriptions of field projects on land, at sea and in the air, on every continent and every ocean.”

Hello Friends,

Well, I was barely back from vacation, getting off at Exit 4 on the PIP, telling my taxi driver to bear left on 9W, when I saw the email, subject line “Bear Video”, from Howie Matza.  A bear!  This was exciting and I immediately launched the attached video, barely containing my excitement from Max sitting in my lap.  Seeing the big black bear, bearing down on the guard shack, sent shivers down my spine!  The video abruptly ends, leaving me in unbearable suspense.  Did the guard see the bear?  Was the bear baring its teeth?  Did the bear try to get into the guard shack?  Night was falling, would the bear be back?  Under the clear night sky, dimly lit by starlight from Ursa Major and Ursa Minor, yes, the Big Bear and Little Bear, I peered deeply into the campus woods as my taxi glided north on 9W.  Would I bear witness to yet another sighting of one of Rockland County’s apex predators?  It was quite easy to see into the woods as the trees still barely had any leaves—however, I saw nothing unusual.  As concerns swirled in my head (just another day as director), I felt a headache coming on.  I took two Bayer aspirin and headed home, turning my attention to the two weeks of campus news that bears repeating here.  Bear with me…

Hip hip hooray to Thomas and Corey!  Last week Thomas Weiss successfully defended his PhD thesis entitled "Investigating Climate Variability over the Last Four Glacial Cycles using Surface and Thermocline Dwelling Foraminifera from the Sulu Sea in the Far Western Pacific". Thomas’s committee included his advisor LRP Braddock Linsley and DEES Professors Arnold Gordon and Jerry McManus.  Best wishes to Thomas in all his future endeavors!  And this week Corey Lesk successfully defended his thesis on “New insights on how changing hydroclimate might affect crop yields -- and a way to avoid the worst of it”. His defense committee included his advisor LRP Radley Horton, as well as LRP Mingfang Ting and Kevin Griffin and Ruth DeFries from E3B.  Corey will begin a Postdoc next month as a Neukom Fellow at Dartmouth. Congratulations, Corey!

In other news, Vicky Nazario, Director of Sponsored Projects Finance and Reporting, has stepped down as Chair of the Campus Life Committee and Andrew Goodwillie, Associate Research Scientist in the Marine/Large Programs Division, has enthusiastically agreed to be the new Chair. Please join me in thanking Vicky for her valuable contribution and welcoming Andrew to this vital role on our Campus.  Indeed, after the last few years I think we are all happy to see more “life” coming back to our wonderful campus.

From May 1 through May 6, we had a STEMSEAS group onboard the R/V Marcus G. Langseth transiting from Newport, OR to San Diego, CA. Sean Higgins, Director of the Office of Marine Operations at Lamont, reports "It was our first opportunity to host a program during transit from one port to another, with ten undergraduate students from around the country experiencing life at sea for the first time.  The group included three mentors. One of the mentors, Rafael Uribe, works at LDEO and is himself a former STEMSEAS student. The students kept an excellent blog and it was fantastic to see the impact this experience had on them". STEMSEAS is an NSF funded program led by our very own Sharon Cooper, the Education and Outreach Officer for the U.S. Science Support Program (USSSP) based at LDEO. The program is designed to take advantage of transits on a variety of U.S. Academic Research Fleet ships. The goal is to provide at-sea experiences for undergraduates who may or may not be interested in STEM and expose them to “life at sea."

Today we celebrated the Columbia Climate School’s commencement of its inaugural class of Masters students.  I felt so honored to be able to introduce the keynote speaker, Peggy Shepard, an extraordinary activist and advocate as well as the Co-Founder and Executive Director of WE ACT for Environmental Justice.  The whole event was inspiring and celebratory and fun to be a part of in my Columbia Blue regalia.  LRP Mingfang Ting, the Director of the Climate & Society program was clearly a class favorite, receiving an impressively decibel-busting round of applause.

Also this week, Robin Bell officially resigned from her role as Associate Director of the Marine Geology and Geophysics Division at Lamont.  Tomorrow she embarks on a two-year circum-navigation of the world with her husband Karl.  I’m sure I will not be the only one vicariously following their adventures.  I’m also sure that I will miss Robin’s friendship, advice, and leadership at Lamont.  Bon voyage Robin and Karl!

Speaking of foreign adventures, if not opportunities, I am delighted to mention that Lamont Research Professor Lex van Geen was recently a science visitor at the Columbia Institute for Ideas and Imagination in Paris, where he organized an international and well attended workshop on lead poisoning in Paris and New York. The Institute is currently accepting applications for science visitors for next year.  To apply by June 30th, please visit the Institute's website.   This is the same CU center that I visited last fall and can confirm what an amazingly enriching experience it was.

Finally, I would draw your attention to a fascinating opinion piece published in Nature Communications entitled “Crowd-sourcing observations of volcanic eruptions during the 2021 Fagradalsfjall and Cumbre Vieja events”, co-authored by Einat Lev, Lamont Associate Research Professor in SGT.  Stunning pictures abound and you will learn what the “volcanologists paradox” is.

Have a relaxing weekend.  Lots of good stuff to read below.  DEES Professor Kerry Key and graduate student Chloe Gustafson, you won the week with the global media blitz on your Science paper about the vast groundwater systems under Antarctica!

Best, Mo

===================   

LAMONT IN THE MEDIA: FEATURED NEWS   

Tri-State Area Bracing for More Devastating Storms as Another Hurricane Season Approaches, CBS News, Apr 14, 2022, “An active season lies ahead, according to both Kevin Reed, of Stony Brook University, and Chia-Ying Lee, of Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. "When people think about more active years, it can mean more storms or the storms are more strong," Lee said.”

Cities Brace for Apocalyptic Flooding as a New Age of Super Storms Dawn, Newsweek, May 10, 2022, “Klaus Jacob, a special research scientist at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and a former member of New York City Panel on Climate Change, says New York City is doing better than many other cities. In New Orleans, the Army Corps spent $14 billion to upgrade levees that are sinking and will soon be inadequate. And in Miami Beach, he notes, politicians are spending billions of dollars to build pumping systems that aim to mitigate the effects of street flooding during a normal rainstorm but will quickly be overwhelmed by extreme weather.”

Making New Climate Data From Old Timber, The New Yorker, May 6, 2022, Article on the Lamont Tree Ring Lab, with scientists Caroline Leland, Mukund Rao, and Ed Cook. 

Antarctic Groundwater Study by Lamont Scientist Kerry Key, and Graduate Chloe Gustafson, Graduate Student, DEES 

Lamont-Doherty – Antarctic Groundwater System Study by Kerry Key, Chloe Gustafson, La Razon (Mexico), May 9, 2022, Gigantic Subterranean Water System That Could Affect Climate Is Discovered 

Gigantic Water Reservoir Found Under Antarctic Glacier, GMX (Germany), May 9, 2022 

Within Sediments in Antarctica, A Giant Groundwater System, National Geographic Indonesia, May 9, 2022 

Scientists Fund First Underground Reservoir in Antarctica, Super Interessante (Brazil), May 9, 2022 

Ancient ground water discovered deep below Antarctic ice., The Washington Examiner, May 9, 2022, “A team of scientists from Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory first found evidence of the groundwater system during a six-week field trip to Antarctica in 2018. Using a technique called magnetotelluric imaging, the team mapped sediments under Whillans Ice Stream. The stream is one of several large, fast-moving rivers of ice flowing from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet into the Ross Ice Shelf.” 

Groundwater Discovered in Sediments Buried Deep Beneath Antarctic Ice, Sci Tech Daily.com, May 8, 2022, “A team of scientists from Scripps Oceanography and Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory led the project. Gustafson and six co-authors reported their findings in the May 6, 2022, issue of the journal Science.” 

Giant Groundwater System Discovered in Sediments Beneath Antarctic Ice, The Explorist, May 8, 2022 

Scientists Discover Giant Groundwater System Beneath Antarctica’s Ross Ice ShelfWeather.com, May 8, 2022 

Scientists Discover Huge Water Reservoir in Antarctica, Polar Journal, May 8, 2022 

Groundwater Discovered in Sediments Buried Deep Beneath Antarctic Ice, Sci Tech Daily.com, May 8, 2022 

Scientists Discover Massive Reservoir of Water Under Antarctic Ice, Axios, May 7, 2022 

Lamont-Doherty – Antarctic Groundwater Study by Kerry Key, Chloe Gustafson, Cosmos (Australia), May 6, 2022  

In Sediments Below Antarctic Ice, Scientists Discover a Giant Groundwater System, Environmental News Network, May 6, 2022 

Vast Underground Water System Drives Antarctic Glaciers, Ars Technica, May 6, 2022 

Breakthrough discovery of groundwater beneath Antarctic ice sheet - and what it may mean for sea level riseIndependent (UK), May 5, 2022 

Vast reservoir of water discovered under the ice in AntarcticaNew Scientist (UK), May 5, 2022 

‘Giant MRI of Antarctica’ Reveals ‘Fossil Seawater’ Beneath Ice Sheet, LiveScience, May 5, 2022 

Huge groundwater system discovered below the Antarctic ice could influence how it reacts to climate change, Daily Mail (UK), May 5, 2022 

A Vast Underground Water System Helps Drive Antarctica’s GlaciersWired, May 5, 2022 

Immense Reservoir of Fossil Seawater Found Under Antarctic Ice Shelf, IFL Science, May 5, 2022 

A Huge Subterranean Water System Is Discovered Under the Antarctic Ice, EFE (Spain), May 5, 2022, (wire service report; widely syndicated) 

A Vast Reservoir of Water Has Been Hiding Under Antarctic Ice, Researchers Confirm, Inverse, May 5, 2022 

Giant Groundwater System Discovered Beneath AntarcticaIEarth.com, May 5, 2022 

Massive Amount of Water Discovered Beneath Antarctic Ice Sheet for First Time, CNN, May 5, 2022 

Huge Groundwater System Discovered Under Antarctica, Gizmodo, May 5, 2022 

Scientists Discover Huge Reserve Under Antarctica, Enough to Submerge State of Unity, India Today, May 5, 2022

BLOGS   

Dealing With Rain and Rats By Michael StecklerMay 9, 2022“As we continued our geophysical measurements, we had to deal with heavy rains, flooding fields, and rats and foxes biting our cables. Many cables were broken soon after sunset, ruining the measurements.” 

In Sediments Below Antarctic Ice, Scientists Discover a Giant Groundwater System By Kevin Krajick, May 05, 2022, “For the first time, scientists have mapped in detail water locked in a deep basin far under the Antarctic ice. The discovery could have implications for how the continent reacts to, or even contributes to, climate change.” 

Maureen Raymo is on vacation this week.  Please enjoy the links to articles and blogs below.  

LDEO Directorate

===================  

LAMONT IN THE MEDIA: FEATURED NEWS  

Massive amount of water found below Antarctica's ice sheet for 1st time, CNN, May 5, 2022, “We imaged from the ice bed to about five kilometers (3.1 miles) and even deeper," said coauthor Kerry Key, an associate professor of earth and environmental sciences at Columbia University, in a separate statement.”

Clues from the Sea Paint a Picture of Earth’s Water Cycle, EOS-Science News from AGU, May 4, 2022, “We are grateful to Kerstin Lehnert and the EarthChem team at Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory and Carrie Morrill and Bruce Bauer at NOAA Paleoclimatology for providing opportunities to host the new database.”

Did Land Temperatures in India and Pakistan Reach 140 F?, Snopes, May 3, 2022, Features CIESIN postdoc Cascade Tuholske and Lamont scientist Radley Horton.

Meltwater Rivers Could Endanger Antarctic Ice Shelves, Discover, April 29, 2022, Article on research by DEES/Lamont graduate student Alexandra Boghosian.

The Big Myth About Global Warming You Need to Stop Believing, SlashGear, April 29, 2022, Cites Lamont scientist Wally Broecker.

Researchers Examined Ancient Sheep Poop, and We Don’t Know Who Settled the Faroe Islands,, Undisciplined (Utah Public Radio), April 28, 2022, Podcast about study by Lamont scientists Lorelei Curtin and William D’Andrea.

BLOGS  

In Sediments Below Antarctic Ice, Scientists Discover a Giant Groundwater System By Kevin Krajick, May 5, 2022, “Previously Unmapped Reservoirs Could Speed Glaciers, Release Carbon”

Fieldwork in Bangladesh During the End of Ramadan and Eid Festival By Michael Steckler, May 3, 2022, “We have come to in Bangladesh in the pre-monsoon heat to better image the active faults beneath the surface using electromagnetic instruments. We are using the fallow fields from the just-harvested rice crop for our sites.”

Hello Friends,

I am delighted to share that due to the generosity of two donors, Dr. Peter Joseph and the Estate of Donald Beane, we are able to offer two Early Career Development Fellowships for Lamont Assistant Research Professors. Sarah Hurley, LARP in the Biology and Paleo Environment Division, has been awarded the Peter Joseph Career Development Fellowship, and Jennifer Middleton, LARP in the Geochemistry Division has been awarded the Donald Beane Career Development Fellowship. The fellowships will provide added salary and research support for the next two years.  Congratulations to both Sarah and Jennifer.

Congratulations also to Aaron Stubblefield, who successfully defended his PhD thesis on “Modelling the dynamics and surface expressions of subglacial water flow” on April 27th.  His committee included his advisor DEES professor Marc Spiegelman and DEES faculty members Meredith Nettles and Jonathan Kingslake. Aaron has accepted a Postdoctoral position at Dartmouth University, where we wish him much success! 

It is bittersweet to announce that Maribel Respo, Lamont's Manager of Grants & Contracts, will be taking a promotion into Morningside Sponsored Projects Administration to supervise the office's project officers. Maribel has been at the center of Lamont pre-award research for the last 27 years, helping the Directorate to craft a world-class research administrative infrastructure to bring in more and more grants and contracts. When I became Director, I was particularly impressed (although not surprised) to find out that Lamont has the highest "success rate" of winning grants of any part of Columbia, and it is clear that this achievement is in part due to Maribel's service. She leaves us in a place better than when she found us, and leaves our exceptional research community in the capable hands of the new Office of Research. I will be in touch on Monday with more specific details about pre-award administration and how we will help you develop your proposals and steward your existing grants, with our foundational commitment to customer service. But that can come on Monday. Please join me in thanking Maribel for her long service to Lamont, to the Climate School, and to Columbia, and wish her luck in her new SPA adventure. Maribel, thank you!

Spring is in the air and the birds and bees are humming.  All week, people working in Monell have reported seeing our resident fox who must live in the rocky cliff below our building.  A lone turkey also pecks around the directorate patio most days (she must have appreciated our Jardetzky reception crumbs).  A particularly lovely addition to our campus are three new swallow boxes installed by the pond. Twenty years after the first tree swallow nest box was installed at the north end of the pond, the Campus Life Committee, with the help of BNG, installed three additional boxes around the perimeter of the pond, in part to help alleviate bird strikes around campus. Their avian leader Linda Pistolesi, Senior Geographic Information Specialist, reported that since installing the new boxes on April 13th, they have seen more tree swallows around, and "this week was the first sighting of a pair seeming to have moved into the box opposite the new parking lot, and a wren has been singing emphatically in the vicinity of the box closer to shipping for the last week or so."  I can personally confirm through multiple sightings, on my drive in, that a nesting pair has moved in to this fancy new apartment!

I was told that collisions with glass cause up to one billion bird deaths annually in North America. A growing movement to require that bird-safe glass be incorporated into new construction has resulted in the Bird-Safe Buildings Act, currently moving through Congress, and the passage of similar laws in several states and localities (including NYC in 2019).  Thank you to everyone who pitches in to help steward our natural environment and contribute to a healthy and sustainable ecosystem on campus.

Also, on your drive in, you might have noticed the odd collection of equipment sitting in the grass outside the Seismology/Marine Biology building. Terry Plank let me know that it is a test array of smart sensors for the next generation of volcano monitoring.  Built by Nick Frearson and his engineering group, and funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation for the AVERT project (Anticipating Volcanic Eruptions in Realtime), these seismometers, cameras and GNSS sensors sport two major advancements. One is that they have on-board computers, which enables edge computing like triggering or imaging algorithms in near real time. The other is that the data are being transmitted by radio and then by satellite (currently from one side of Lamont to the southern hemisphere then to a server at another side of Lamont), which enables real time, open data feeds from remote locations. The arrays will be deployed on Okmok and Cleveland volcanoes in the Aleutian Islands this summer. Don't forget to wave to the cameras as you drive by!  For more on this project, see: https://avert.ldeo.columbia.edu/

Finally, today Lamont hosted the annual First-Year Colloquium, with 15-minute AGU-style talks by 15 first-year PhD students. After the presentations, I hope everyone can join the students and attendees to enjoy a reception sponsored by DEES and LDEO.  I also want to thank folks for all the positive feedback on the Lamont Street Food Festival, which took place on Wednesday and hosted about 65 people.  Based on that feedback we are planning to hold these events monthly through the summer and the Office of Research has offered to sponsor the next one.  Join me in thanking Miriam Cinquegrana, as well as Richie, Laura, and Angela from our cafeteria for the excellent job and enthusiasm for catering the event! 

Please look for our new swallow friends on the way out today.

Best, Mo

=================== 

LAMONT IN THE MEDIA: FEATURED NEWS 

7 ocean mysteries scientists haven’t solved yet, Vox, Apr 22, 2022, Understanding the sea is to understand our planet better, at a fundamental level. “There’s so much about how the planet works that is basically preserved in this sort of underwater museum,” Vicki Ferrini, a senior research scientist at Columbia University, told Vox’s Mandy Nguyen last year.

Nordic terroir threatens to leave Britain's wine dreams withering on the vine, The Telegraph, April 23, 2022, ..."We're really starting to see the impacts of climate change in places like California, Southern Europe and mainland Australia," says Benjamin Cook, from the Columbia Climate School. … "They're already growing the varieties of grapes which can deal with the hottest climates, and so much more global warming has the potential to really degrade the climate in these regions and simply make it much more difficult." A significant change is coming down the line....

Climate Change Will Force People Out of Their Homes — But Where Will They Go?, NBC LX, April 21, 2022, “More demand for real estate inland drives up costs and forces out lower-income residents. That inspired researchers Jesse Keenan from Tulane University and Marco Tedesco from Columbia University to come up with a new term for the trend: climate gentrification. “

BLOGS 

Climate School Dean Receives Environmental Champion Award By Caroline Adelman, April 26, 2022, Maureen Raymo, co-founding dean of the Columbia Climate School and director at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, received an Environmental Champion Award from NY State Senator Elijah Reichlin-Melnick”

What Is Decarbonization, and How Do We Make It Happen? By Renee Cho, April 22, 2022, “To keep the planet from warming more than 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, economies must rapidly decarbonize. What will this involve?”

Hello Friends,

Happy Earth Day!!!  I cannot help but think about the scorching summer of 1988 as I was wrapping up my doctoral thesis at Lamont.  Jim Hansen testified about global warming in front of Congress, the IPCC was formed to generate the first of what would be many assessments of the state of climate science—and, the United Nations passed a resolution endorsing “the protection of global climate for present and future generations of mankind.”  Skipping ahead to over 30 years later, we now know it is “Code Red” for the planet.  Despites dozens of COPs and agreements, protocols, and accords, we have still not managed to turn the trajectory of carbon emissions.  My generation has failed in its obligation to protect our planet and we must redouble our efforts to train, educate, support, and empower a new generation of leaders.  It is a mission LDEO and DEES have always excelled in, and it is something that the newly established Columbia Climate School will build on further.

This Earth Day I’d like to thank all my colleagues at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory for their collective efforts in reaching a better understanding of our Mother Earth—from minerals in the deepest reaches of the planet, to the majestic polar ice sheets, to the toxic pollutants in our backyard. This campus and our community were founded almost 75 years ago.  I took over the Directorship of Lamont at the beginning of the COVID pandemic in 2020, and much of the last two years has been focused on supporting scientists, staff, and students during a time of immense personal and institutional challenges. But now that we are entering a different phase of the pandemic and it is time to start looking ahead, moving Lamont towards a vision for what it will be in the next 75 years.

And speaking of Lamont’s future, I would be remiss if I did not reflect on the incredibly inspiring Lamont Strategic Vision Implementation Town Hall we had on April 18th.  Hosted by Deputy Director David Goldberg and Associate Director of MGG Robin Bell, the town hall reviewed the formation of our Strategic Plan (led by Christine McCarthy), followed by presentations on Vision Implementation Plans by the Co-Chairs of the five different Vision Implementation Teams.  They were: Coastal Resilience by Christopher Zappa; Geohealth by Daniel Westervelt; Disaster Resilience by Suzana Camargo; Habitable Earth/Planets by Alberto Malinverno; and Earth’s Carbon and Decarbonization by Catalina Sanchez-Roa.  The presentations were followed by an active Q&A session that stretched the Town Hall by 30 minutes.  It was incredibly inspiring to hear these presentations and see how traditional silos and barriers are being broken down across the divisions of Lamont and the university at large.  The next step is sending these documents and recommendations to a Vision Implementation Review Team, who will take these individual plans and craft them into a more unified roadmap for strategic investment and effort decisions over the coming years. Thank you to everyone for their participation in this critical community effort!

I am happy to report that Congyu Yu successfully defended his PhD thesis yesterday on “Fossil, data, and information driven paleontology”.  Congratulations Congyu!  Congyu’s committee included his advisor Jin Meng, Curator-in-Charge, Fossil Mammals at the AMNH, as well as Paul Olsen, Arthur D. Storke Memorial Professor and Nicholas Christie-Blick, Professor in DEES.  Congratulations also to Patty Catanzaro whoafter 50 years at Lamont, mostly as a draftsperson in the Geochemistry Division, retired on April 19th.  A group of Patty’s colleagues in the Geochemistry Division, led by Moanna St. Clair, Division Administrator, and including Jerry McManus, Bob Anderson, Marty Fleisher, Sid Hemming, Steve Goldstein, and Dave Walker, shared the following words of appreciation about her long service to Lamont:

"It is often the case that a few special individuals have an overwhelmingly large positive impact on an institution. Patty Catanzaro surely qualifies as one of those. For 49 years at Lamont, she has been a constant ray of sunshine as well as an amazingly talented artist. Patty Catanzaro started working (drafting, typing, and microscope work) at Lamont in 1960 – 1962 for Dr. Alan W. H. Be. Working at Lamont was a family affair, as her dad (Stanley Harrison) worked in the Lamont machine shop and her daughter (Kathleen Catanzaro Tosi) worked 15 years for Rusty Lotti in the New Core Lab. Patty met her eventual husband Eddie Catanzaro (a JL Kulp graduate student) at Lamont and moved with him to DC. She returned to LDEO in 1975 to work in Geochemistry once Eddie took a job at Fairleigh Dickinson; it was then that she began her illustrious drafting career at Lamont."

"Patty served as the Geochemistry draftsperson for many years when services like secretarial, bookkeeping, electronics etc. were pooled. Patty was always many PIs’ favorite person 'up front' in the old Geochemistry Building, where such services were ensconced near Wally Broecker’s office. Although in later years Wally kept her busy, Patty always found a way to help all who needed graphics jobs.  Many Lamonters today may not remember a time before computer graphics but that is how Patty worked for decades, and most members of Geochemistry depended on her to illustrate their talks and publications. Not only was she a wonderfully nice individual, she was extremely expert at her craft, which included drafting figures for publication, occasionally with her own drawings.  Moreover, she kept her graphics skills updated, becoming an expert and resource to our division in computer graphics. Patty turned graphics into art - Wally’s Angry Beast cartoon was a Patty Catanzaro creation.  A Lamont institution is stepping down with Patty’s departure - her level of dedication and technical excellence establish her as a role model for all of us who follow in her footsteps. We are deeply indebted to Patty for her long and faithful service to Lamont.”

Dear Patty, from all of us at Lamont, a deep and heartfelt thank you for your years of service to our community!

Finally, I hope everyone on campus will join us in the Monell Auditorium today for the 23rd Annual Jardetzky Lecture.  Prof. Karen Fischer from Brown University will give the Lecture on “Understanding the Asthenosphere”, that will be followed by a reception on the Directorate patio on the south side of Monell.  I will not be able to stay long afterwards as I will be traveling to Ossining to accept a Champion of the Environment Award from NY State Senator Elijah Reichlin-Melnick.  It will be with great pleasure that I use this opportunity to both highlight the amazing work our scientists do in the region and continue to build the partnerships we need to achieve a more sustainable, healthy world.

Happy Earth Day!

Mo

=================== 

LAMONT IN THE MEDIA:  FEATURED NEWS 

NY to spend $638M on clean water projects, upgrades to aging sewers. Which cities will get funding, The Journal News, April 21, 2022, In 2016, researchers from the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University found evidence of an assortment of pharmaceuticals – drugs to treat blood pressure, cholesterol and other ailments – in the Hudson River.

NY to Spend $638M on Clean Water Projects, Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, April 20, 2022, In 2016, researchers from the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University found evidence of an assortment of pharmaceuticals – drugs to treat blood pressure, cholesterol and other ailments – in the Hudson River.

Two Thirds of Community Water Systems in US Contain Uranium, Amsterdam News, April 20, 2022, Research coauthored by Lamont scientists Steven Chillrud and Ben Bostick.

A Quiet Section of the San Andreas Fault Once Had Big Quakes, Temblor, April 19, 2022, Article on a San Andreas Fault Study by Stephen Cox, Lamont Associate Research Scientist, Genevieve Coffey, Columbia University Department of Earth of Environmental Sciences PhD Graduate, now at GNS Science.

BLOGS

Behind the Podcast ‘How We Got Here' By Elise Gout, April 21, 2022, “Scientists Stephanie Spera and Rachel Lupien demystify how different professionals are addressing the climate crisis, one career path and podcast episode at a time.”

Defying Some Expectations, Southern Ocean Did Not Increase Carbon Uptake in Ice Ages By Columbia Climate School, April 19, 2022, “In much of the world ocean, there is evidence that iron-rich dust blowing from land has fertilized algae during cold period, increasing uptake of carbon from the air, and keeping things frigid. Not here, says a new study.”

At 90, Still Studying Ancient Pollen By Sarah Fecht, April 15, 2022, “Lamont’s Linda Heusser turned 90 years old on April 12, and the only birthday present she really wanted was another sediment core to study.”

Hello Friends,

I am very happy to announce that Mr. Mackenzie Carr has joined our team as the new Assistant Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Anti-Bias (DEIA).  Mackenzie comes to us from Hannam University in South Korea, where he was the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Campus Coordinator and the Cultural Awareness Assistant Professor.  He has worked as a DEI coordinator/Cultural Awareness professor for over eight years, and also as an ESL certified teacher for two years for grades K-12. In addition to teaching international students, he has a background in advancing DEIA efforts with clients from diverse and multicultural settings in the workplace as well as within the community.  Please join me in welcoming Mackenzie to our team!

Also this week, on Wednesday, we welcomed Orangetown Supervisor Ms. Teresa Kenny to our Lamont campus.  We gave Ms. Kenny a brief presentation on the world-class research taking place on site and the positive impact that our campus has on Rockland County.  Lamont Research Professor Andy Juhl gave a fantastic presentation on his monitoring of Hudson River water quality and implications for where investments could be made to improve regional water health.  With these visits, our aim is to foster more collaborations and partnerships across the county and state, elevating our visibility as a trusted scientific partner and community member. 

I’m guessing many of you have noticed the broadly advertised call for nominations for the 2023 Vetlesen Prize.  The “Call for Nominations” is popping up on the AGU website banner as well as on the Science and Nature websites.  Email blasts and written invitations for nominations have also gone out. The Vetlesen Prize was established in 1959 by The G. Unger Vetlesen Foundation and is administered by Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. It recognizes “scientific achievement resulting in a clearer understanding of Earth, its history, or its relation to the universe” and comes with a gold medal and a $250,000 prize.  The deadline for nominations is June 30th.  For more information about the prize and nominating criteria, visit the Vetlesen Prize website.

This Earth Month, the comms team invites you to share one or more of your best field, research, and/or campus photos. Submit your favorites via this simple form.  Select photos will once again be highlighted in our Earth Month communications under our hashtag #ColumbiaBeautifulPlanet.   This ongoing effort helps us feature your work on our websites, social media, email, and related communications platforms. Thank you for all of the amazing photos you have already provided, and we look forward to many more.  Questions?  Contact Tara Spinelli.

Today a special event was facilitated by Columbia Climate Conversations team members, Lauren Ritchie, Founder of The Eco Justice Project, Kwolanne Felix, a student at Columbia College, Kailani Acosta, PhD candidate in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, and Benjamin Keisling, Postdoctoral Research Scientist at Lamont.  They hosted the first Environmental Justice Summit at Columbia University.  The event featured keynote speaker Leah Thomas, founder of Intersectional Environmentalist.  Her lecture was followed by a panel discussion featuring Jasmine Graham, Energy Justice Policy Manager for WE ACT; Daphne Frias, a 24-year-old youth activist; Whitney McGuire. Esq., mother, New York state licensed attorney, legal and sustainability consultant & strategist, and co-founder of Sustainable Brooklyn; and Ayisha Siddiqa, a Pakistani environmentalist and human rights advocate, as well as co-founder of Polluters Out and Fossil Free University.  The event, held in Lerner Hall, focused on representation and inclusivity in environmental spaces and “dive deeper into housing injustice, bottom-up climate action, and systemic inequity”.

Finally, two dates….please mark your calendars for Saturday, October 8th, as the return of an in-person Open House. You will be hearing from the event planning team in the coming weeks.  Second, please note the W.S. Jardetzky Lecture is this coming Friday, April 22nd, and will feature Prof. Karen Fischer, the Louis and Elizabeth Scherck Distinguished Professor of Geological Sciences from Brown University. A reception will follow.

Happy Easter weekend. 

Best, Mo

===================   

LAMONT IN THE MEDIA:  FEATURED NEWS 

How ancient, recurring climate changes may have shaped human evolution, Science News, April 13, 2022, The new model “provides a great framework” to evaluate ideas such as variability selection, says paleoclimatologist Rachel Lupien of Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in Palisades, N.Y. That’s especially true, Lupien says, if researchers can specify whether climate and ecosystem changes that played out over tens or hundreds of years were closely linked to ancient Homo migrations.

In Pursuit of Data Immortality, Nature, April 4, 2022, Article features Lamont geoinformatician Kerstin Lehnert.

At a Melting Glacier, a Landslide, Then Tsunami, Signal Climate-Related Threat, Eurasia Review, April 10, 2022, Article on study coauthored by Lamont scientist Goran Ekstrom.

Landslide and Tsunami Signal Climate-Related Threat at a Melting Glacier, Azo Cleantech, April 8, 2022, In 2020, seismologist Goran Ekström noticed a peculiar wiggle picked up on Nov. 28 by seismographs around the world. It emanated from a remote area in British Columbia's steep, glaciated Central Coast Mountains, some 2,400 miles from Ekström's office at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, in Palisades, N.Y.

Hello Friends,

Although today’s sunshine is right up there, the highlight of this week was most certainly our Mentoring and JEDI Awards ceremony held Monday, April 4th.  Our community came together to recognize and celebrate our colleagues who have demonstrated outstanding commitment to mentoring and promoting justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion at Lamont. The 17th Excellence in Mentoring Award went to Kirsty Tinto, Lamont Associate Research Professor in the Marine Geology and Geophysics Division. Her nominator Alexandra Boghosian, a post-doc in Marine Geology and Geophysics, wrote in her citation, “Kirsty Tinto is an exceptional mentor and role model who continues to have lasting impacts on her colleagues and mentees. She leads by example, proving that excellent research is propelled by both a strong sense of one’s own scientific identity as well as collaboration with others, and she encourages these qualities in her mentees.” Congratulations Kirsty! 

Dr. Jennifer Middleton, Lamont Assistant Research Professor in the Geochemistry Division, received the JEDI Award. Jenny’s nominator, Gisela Winckler, Lamont Research Professor in the Geochemistry Division, cited: “Through her leadership and vision, Jenny has had a significant impact on improving the campus climate at Lamont. Her dedication to building and maintaining a supportive community has made Lamont more welcoming to the next generation of Lamonters.” Congratulations Jenny!

Finally, congratulations to everyone who was nominated, everyone who contributed a nomination, and a special thanks to the selection committee including Vicki Ferrini, Christine Chesley, Jim Davis, Jean Hanley, Sheean Haley, Rachel Lupien, Jerry McManus, Henry Towbin, and Daniel Westervelt as well as the Directorate team for planning this special event.

And that was just Monday….there are tons more amazing accomplishments to report this week. The German Mineralogical Society (Deutsche Mineralogische Gesellschaft DMG) announced that they are awarding Dr. Kerstin Lehnert, Doherty Senior Research Scientist in Marine Geology and Geophysics Division and Director of the Geoinformatics Research Group at Lamont, the Doris-Schachner-Medal. The medal, previously known as the Abraham-Gottlob-Werner Medaille in Gold, was recently renamed in honor of a female mineralogist. Kerstin let me know that, “The DMG was the first scientific society that I joined during my undergraduate years, which makes this a special honor for me.” The Doris-Schachner Medal is the highest DMG award. Congratulations Kerstin!

Prof. Robin Bell, Palisades Geophysical Institute Lamont Research Professor, has been selected for a Fulbright award to work in Australia in academic year 2022-2023. The announcement on behalf of the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board reads, “Your grant is a reflection of your leadership and contributions to society”.  So true!   Congratulations Robin!

Garima Raheja, PhD candidate in the Department of Earth and Environmental Studies and Ocean and Climate Physics at Lamont, has been awarded a 2022 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP). Garima passed her qualifying exam last week, and her paper focused on sensor inter-comparisons in locations in urban settings in Ghana and Togo. She is currently working with Dan Westervelt, on air pollution monitoring and data science techniques for PM2.5 in Africa. This prestigious NSF fellowship will allow her to expand her air quality environmental justice work.

And moving from graduates to high-schoolers, 2021 Lamont Summer Interns Leysha Esteves and Leonah Esteves from Peekskill High School won the Leason Ellis Team Project Award at the Regeneron Westchester Engineering and Science Fair on April 5th. In a message to Lamont Research Professor Joaquim Gomes and Research Scientist Helga Gomes in the BPE Division, Leysha and Leonah expressed, “thank you both so much for helping us achieve this award. We would love to work with both of you this coming summer again. We wanted to thank you for everything you have done for us by being supportive mentors and helping us throughout our study.”  Such a great story!

Finally, Dr. Catalina Sanchez-Roa, Columbia Climate Fellow and Associate Research Scientist in the Geochemistry Division at Lamont, won the best presentation award at a Gordon Research Seminar for her presentation titled “Is Carbon Mineralization a Self-perpetuating Process? Implications for the Upscaling of Geological Carbon Storage”. As a prize, Catalina presented on April 7th at their leading Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage conferenceThe Gordon Research Conferences “provide an international forum for presenting and discussing frontier research in the biological, chemical, physical and engineering sciences and their interfaces."

I’ll wrap up with the sad news that DrMuawia Barazangi passed away last week.  Muawia Barazangi was a graduate student with Lamont’s Seismology group from 1967 to 1971 where he received his PhD in seismotectonics. He had arrived with a B.S. from University of Damascus, his hometown in Syria, and an M.S. from the University of Minnesota in Applied Geophysics. While at Lamont, Muawia and Leonardo (Nano) Seeber were the first in the US to use portable micro earthquake recorders to unravel complex tectonics of the Earth’s lithosphere. They chose the Mendocino triple junction in Northwestern California as a target and succeeded after eight weeks of field work by deploying an array of very sensitive instruments to pin-point hundreds of small (micro-)earthquakes that illuminated a complex fault system; they used the first motions of seismic P-wave arrivals from these events to infer the direction of slip on the faults. Their work introduced an entirely new way to study crustal tectonics into the toolbox of structural geology.

Using the same technique, Dr. Barazangi later worked with Chris Scholz to unravel the largely extensional tectonics of the intermountain seismic belt in the western U.S., and with Jim Dorman published the first global map of seismicity, affirming the visually striking patterns of plate tectonics. He later moved to Cornell, where he worked on the crustal and lithospheric structure all around the globe from the Himalayas, Tibet, New Hebrides, the Atlas Mountains, the Western and Eastern Mediterranean, the Mideast, to the Zagros Mountains, as well as the structure and tectonics of his native Syria, among other places. From Klaus Jacob, “Lamonters may remember Muawia Barazangi for his openhearted laughter, upbeat personality, combined with a wry humor, always ready for pranks and practical jokes. He is, and always will be a Lamont alumnus, one to be proud of.”

Please keep your ears attuned to the chorus of the spring “peepers” on your way home today.

Best, Mo

====================  

LAMONT IN THE MEDIA:  FEATURED NEWS

Lack of Hydrogen and Helium Led to Fewer Weather Surveying Balloon Trips, The New York Times, April 5, 2022, Adam Sobel, an atmospheric scientist at Columbia University, said that while the weather service was facing a “tough situation,” he did not think their statement that there would be no impact on forecasts was credible.  “The N.W.S. claim that the loss of several radiosonde stations in a high-population region has no impact on the forecast was accompanied by no supporting evidence,” he said.

These energy innovations could transform how we mitigate climate change, and save money in the process - 5 essential reads, The Conversation, April 2, 2022, Engineers and geophysicists like David Goldberg of Columbia University are exploring ways to cut those costs by combining direct air capture technology with renewable energy production and carbon storage, like offshore wind turbines built above undersea rock formations where captured carbon could be locked away.

The Big Slide, Hakai, April 1, 2022, Story on giant landslide in British Columbia features Lamont seismologist Goran Ekstrom.

BLOGS  

A Landslide Near a Glacier Caused a Tsunami. Was There a Climate Connection?, By Kevin Krajick, April 6, 2022, “A peculiar seismic signal was the first indication of a gigantic landslide and subsequent tsunami in the remote mountains of British Columbia. It detected what may be a growing climate-related threat.”

Struggling With Towed Equipment, Repairing GPS, and Home, By Mike Steckler, April 1, 2022, “We switched to a towed electromagnetic system to image the fresh and saline groundwater in Bangladesh, and ran into a variety of problems, including high winds, strong currents and running aground.”

Hello Friends,

It has been a very busy few weeks with many highlights.  Last Friday we were delighted to host a visit from Dr. Richard Spinrad, NOAA Administrator and Undersecretary of Commerce.  Over five hours he met with many of our scientists, discussing ideas and opportunities for the future.  Thank you to everyone who came to the Town Hall and heard the terrific lightning talks by Galen McKinley, Ajit Subramaniam, Thad Pawlowski, Suzana Camargo, Dan Westervelt, Pierre Gentine, and Jason Smerdon.  Thank you also to everyone who helped with the logistics to make this visit a success, including Jeanette Wing and her staff at the office of the Executive Vice President for Research. You can read more about the visit here

Also last week we hosted a visit from the Rockefeller Foundation.  The goal of the visit was to learn about the Columbia Climate School, its emerging priorities and explore the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory campus as well as other forward-looking climate initiatives of the Columbia Climate School. The hope is that this initial visit will be followed by a more robust visit in the future that includes Foundation President Dr. Rajiv Shah with the Foundation’s climate team.  Again, thank you to everyone who participated and volunteered their time to make this visit a success.

This week, on Monday, we welcomed the Rockland County Executive, Mr. Ed Day, and Director of Economic Development and Tourism, Ms. Lucy Redzeposki, to our Lamont campus.  We gave Mr. Day and Ms. Redzeposki a presentation on the world-renowned research taking place on our campus, as well as the positive impact that our campus has on Rockland County.  Our aim is to foster more collaborations with the county and state and to establish ways in which to grow these partnerships.  We hope to welcome more local and state government officials to our campus in the near future.

 “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated”, famously said Mark Twain.  And apparently too for the death of former Director Barry Raleigh.  GSA Today goofed and the geoscience community rapidly communicated that Barry is still with us.  From his colleagues: “Barry is a vigorous and sharp 87- year-old!”  Also, I learned that Neil Opdyke was an interim director, not the second director.  The founding director of Lamont was Maurice Ewing (1949-72). He was followed by Manik Talwani (1974-81) and C. Barry Raleigh (1981-89). 

The Secondary School Field Research Program is back in person!  Lamont Associate Research Professors Ben Bostick and Einat Lev and Bob Newton, Senior Research Scientist, announced that the LDEO high school internship program will return to the Lamont campus this summer.  They are looking for mentors who can be at any stage of their career. The internship program will run July 5 - August 17.  For additional mentorship and program details, please contact Ben, Einat, or Bob. 

A few congrats need to go out.  First, to Galen McKinley, Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences, who was invited to join the Ocean Studies Board at the National Academy of Sciences, a distinguished community leadership position.  Second, I am delighted to announce that 2021 LDEO Summer Interns Malik Atadzhanov and Ellen Jorgensen have been elected 2022 Goldwater Scholars by the Barry Goldwater Scholarship & Excellence in Education Foundation. Malik participated in the Summer Intern program under the mentorship of Dallas Abbott and he is currently at CUNY Hunter College. Ellen participated in the Summer Intern program under the mentorship of Jerry McManus and Yuxin Zhou and she is currently at Syracuse University.

Thirdly, we celebrate a notable birthday on Friday, April 1—Professor Emeritus John T. Kuo turns 100 years old today. Professor Kuo was the Maurice Ewing and J. Lamar Worzel Professor of Geophysics at Columbia. He retired in 1993 and was succeeded in that named chair by Enders Robinson, another major figure in geophysics. Kuo was the Director of the Aldridge Laboratory of Applied Geophysics at Columbia, and had a long association with Lamont.  Dr. Kuo performed research in a wide variety of areas, from seismic surface waves to exploration geophysics and geology, to the Earth and ocean tides, gravity, and crustal strain. He was widely recognized for his advances in finite-element elastic modeling. At the time he retired, Professor Kuo was a PI of the INDEPTH experiment, a major project to perform deep profiling of Tibet and the Himalayas. Professor Kuo's daughter, architect Sonya Kuo, writes that Professor Kuo continues to work daily on new ideas and his research. Happy birthday, Professor Kuo!

Finally, I am pleased to point everyone to the new website of the Climate School's Office of Research which launched today.  This Phase 1 site is just a starting template and over the summer will enter Phase 2, expanding to include many new programs to support proposal development success, new pre-award procedures and policy guidance, events to promote training in leadership and research skills, opportunities for engaging federal and industry sponsors (such as last week's NOAA Town Hall), and much more. The new weekly "Find Funding" newsletters will also start going out next week, so stay tuned!  Please send any feedback about the Office of Research's website or newsletter, or indeed anything to Marley Bauce, Associate Dean for Research, at [email protected].

Happy April Fool’s Day,  

Mo

===================  

LAMONT IN THE MEDIA:  FEATURED NEWS  

Wally Broecker Divined How the Climate Could Suddenly Shift, Science News, March 29, 2022, Article on Lamont scientist Wally Broecker’s work on abrupt climate change; also features Lamont scientist Dorothy Peteet.

What Is the Last Arctic Ice Area?, BBC Mundo, March 22, 2022, Article on research led by Lamont scientist Bob Newton.

Why It Matters, Council on Foreign Relations, Podcast, March 17, 2022, Interview with Lamont geophysicist Klaus Jacob. “Climate Adaptation: Rising Tides in Coastal Cities. The world is already witnessing the effects of climate change. One inescapable and irreversible consequence is sea-level rise, which could destroy coastal cities. How will the world adapt to rising tides?” 

Breakdown: Why the Western megadrought is ‘the worst in 1,200 years’, Action News, March 17, 2022 , “UCLA geographer Park Williams, the study’s lead author, said with dry conditions likely to persist, it would take multiple wet years to remediate their effects” 

Alaska Volcanoes Go Offline after 'Severe' Telecoms Interruption, Newsweek, March 17, 2022, Nine volcanoes in Alaska have gone offline after a "severe interruption to a regional telecommunication link", according to officials. This means the Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO) cannot monitor seismic activity to ensure activity is at its normal, background state. [...] Yves Moussallam, Assistant Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University, told Newsweek that it is fairly unusual to have such a large-scale disruption. "Communication is often lost with specific instruments but not with whole networks," he said. [...] Einat Lev, Lamont Associate Research Professor at Columbia University, told Newsweek: "Volcanoes are unique among natural hazards in that they often provide precursors to eruptions. Therefore, monitoring volcanoes can provide us with the warning of an upcoming eruption, which will greatly assist with preparedness and response to an eruption." 

BLOGS  

First Long-term Air Pollution Monitoring in Togo Reveals Concerning Levels, By Sarah Fecht, March 31, 2022, “A new study finds that annual air pollution levels in the city of Lomé are, on average, four to five times greater than recommended by the World Health Organization.”

A Key U.S. Earth-Sciences Official Visits Columbia to Explore Research Ideas, By Kevin Krajick, March 29, 2022, “Oceanographer Richard Spinrad of NOAA participated in a town hall and discussed funding opportunities with Columbia Climate School researchers.”

Continuing the Survey: Watermelon and Winds, By Mike Steckler, March 25, 2022, “Continuing our electromagnetic survey of fresh and saline groundwater, we saw the landscape change from lush watermelon fields to fallow rice fields as the salinity increased towards the sea.”

Barisal and the Eastern Channel, By Mike Steckler, March 23, 2022, “We are continuing our measurements of fresh and saline groundwater in Bangladesh using electromagnetic instruments. We finished our first set of measurements and have now shifted farther east near Barisal where groundwater is fresher.” 

Deploying in the Mangrove Forest, By Mike Steckler, March 18, 2022, “We continued our electromagnetic expedition to image fresh and saline groundwater into the Sundarbans Mangrove Forest, the world’s largest. While guards protected us from tigers, it was a wild boar that dug up some of our equipment.” 

Hello Friends,  Announcements, losses, and science, in that order.  We are working hard on planning an enlightening and stimulating visit next Friday for Dr. Richard Spinrad, Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans & Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator.  In particular, please join us for a Town Hall from 12:30pm-1:45pm in the Monell Auditorium. In addition to lightning talks from some of our colleagues, Dr. Spinrad will give a presentation followed by a public Q+A.  The Town Hall will be a key part of his five-hour visit that will feature our scientists and their work, facilitate discussions about NOAA's strategic priorities, and hopefully inspire thinking around opportunities for new funding streams. NOAA has been, and will continue to be, one of the Lamont campus's most important sponsors and partners.  The link to register for the Town Hall is here

The Office of Research is pleased to welcome two new staff to its team and to Lamont. Ty Rosa is the new Associate Director of Research Communications, focused on websites, newsletters, and other internal communications materials, developing our School's federal affairs strategy, and supporting the writing and editing of large ($4M+) proposals. Ty was previously the Assistant Director of Research Proposal Development in EVPR. Second, please join us in welcoming Haley Clint as the new Operations Manager responsible for the Office's events and administrative infrastructure. She was most recently the Senior Events Manager at The Mann/Live Nation, responsible for large music concerts. These two hires round out the Office of Research's rapid expansion, and now they will focus on launching many new programs and support services for researchers. Stay tuned for their new website and newsletter launch in early-April.   

On March 8th, the Development office hosted a Lamont tour for new hires including the Offices of Research, Columbia Technology Ventures, Major Gift Officers, and the Directorate Administration. The tour highlighted our researchers' active projects, future ones in planning, and did Q&As at the end of each stop. Introductions between researchers and shared administrative offices help to facilitate grant submissions, assist with patent licensing, and find us industry opportunities and donors. And, of course, we all get to know each other a little bit better. Thank you to all the scientists who helped us share why Lamont is a leader in its field.

I’m sorry to report that LDEO lost two members of the Lamont community recently.  C. Barry Raleigh, the Director of LDEO from 1981 to 1989, was listed in the in memoriam section of GSA Today.  According to my sources, he was the third Director of the Observatory, after Neil Opdyke and Maurice Ewing.  The second loss was Misha Kogan, a distinguished geophysicist from Russia who came to Lamont where he worked for about 20 years as a senior scientist.  Many testaments to his friendship and research impact have circulated today on campus email so I won’t repeat them here.  Both Misha and Barry were great colleagues who contributed mightily to the history of and historical impact of the Observatory.

Finally, in the science news listed below, the very cool and innovative geo-bio study of large earthquake history (see last week’s newsletter) continues to be highlighted across media outlets.  A second study, led by another recent PhD student Daniel Rasmussen and published in Science, investigates volcanic eruption prediction and is also getting a lot of press attention.  Both studies speak to the goal of hazard prediction in an uncertain world, with the ultimate pay-off being saved lives and economic livelihoods.  I am continually amazed at how important Lamont’s research is to sound decision-making in government, communities, and business—to see the continual scientific innovations and advancement across the fields of volcanology and seismology, events once considered impossible to predict, is truly inspiring.

I hope everyone is enjoying this beautiful day.  A hearty welcome back to our campus geese!  Watch where you step…

Mo

===================

LAMONT IN THE MEDIA: FEATURED NEWS 

Below, four articles related to a study of San Andreas Fault by Paleoseismologist Genevieve Coffey at GNS Science, and Stephen Cox, Associate Research Scientist at Lamont.

Why the Big One Could Be Even Bigger, Daily Mail (UK), March 17, 2022

Central Section of San Andreas Fault Could Cause Bigger Earthquakes, Science Times, March 17, 2022

San Andreas Fault Not So SilentWeather.com, March 16, 2022

Why the Western Megadrought Is the Worst in 1,200 Years, News 5, March 17, 2022, Megadrought Study coauthored by Jason Smerdon, Lamont Research Professor, and Benjamin Cook, Adjunct Associate Research Scientist at Lamont.

Adam Sobel: A Climate Science Midlife Crisis, Sea Change Radio, March 15, 2022, Interview with Professor Adam Sobel, Ocean and Climate Physics at Lamont.

The history of climate change offers clues to Earth’s future, Knowable Magazine, March 14, 2022, Interview with Professor Sidney Hemming, Geochemistry Division at Lamont.

What the Discovery of the Endurance 3,000 Meters Under the Ice Teaches Us, La Repubblica (Italy), March 11, 2022, By Lamont scientist Marco Tedesco.

Below, six articles on research by Daniel Rasmussen, DEES 2018 PhD graduate, and Professor Terry Plank, Geochemistry Division.

Better Forecasting of Volcanic Eruptions, Economist, March 11, 2022

To Track Magma’s Path to Eruption, Scientists Say There’s Something in the Water, Smithsonian, March 11, 2022

Keys to Knowing When a Volcano Is Going to Erupt, ABC Ciencia (Spain), March 10, 2022

New Insight Into Magma Chambers Could Improve Volcano Models, Science, March 10, 2022

Moving Towards Better Volcanic Eruption Predictions, Cosmos (Australia), March 10, 2022

Scientists Take a Step Forward in Predicting Volcanic Eruptions, Blaze Trends, March 10, 2022

Summer: The Warmest Season, Live Science, March 11, 2022, "There will always be seasons, and the weather will always fluctuate from day to day, month to month, and year to year," Adam Sobel, Columbia professor, atmospheric scientist and author of "Storm Surge" (Harper Wave, 2014), told Live Science. "Global warming won't change that; it will just make all the seasons a little warmer, on average, than they would have been otherwise." 

BLOGS

Sailing Around the Bangladesh Coastal Zonem By Mike Steckler, March 12, 2022, “I am back in Bangladesh to explore the distribution of fresh and saline groundwater in the coastal zone, needed for drinking in the dry season.”

Water Content Controls the Depth of Magma Storage Under Many Volcanoes, Says Study By Kevin Krajick, March 10, 2022, “Research into volcanoes in the Aleutian Islands and elsewhere overturns the conventional understanding of what controls the depth at which rising magma is stored.”

Hello Friends,  It has been a busy week.  On Monday, folks from the Tree Ring Lab and myself met with Tim Termini, District Representative for the American Chestnut Foundation.  We had a long discussion about the reintroduction this important native tree that has been largely wiped out by blight.  Their goal raises interesting ethical issues around genetically-modified organisms in a rapidly changing world that I look forward to discussing with the tree ring scientists when we have some time to debrief. 

Also on Monday, Jorge Otero-Pailos, Professor and Director of Historic Preservation at Columbia University GSAPP, and Gisela Winckler, Lamont Research Professor, participated in a Climate and Society series event run by the Center for Science and Society on The Story and Ethics of Dust: Linking the Past to the Present.  The event featured a dialogue between two colleagues with diverse perspectives looking at dust as a historical, climatic and artistic record. The conversation will be available on CSS's website and YouTube channel. An event later in the series, on April 26, will feature Jason Smerdon, Lamont Research Professor in the Ocean and Climate Physics Division, in conversation with Rhiannon Stephens, Associate Professor in the Department of History at Columbia University. 

Also, on Monday we were pleased to welcome Angel Cherpanath, who joined our team as the new Director of Finance and Administration, replacing Edie Miller who moved to a new Climate School position.  Angel comes to us from the Columbia School of Nursing, where she served as their Director of Accounting and Financial Planning.  She has been with Columbia since 2013, and brings with her a wealth of experience in budgeting, accounting, and financial planning, as well as experience in our Columbia in-house systems like ARC, FDS and PAC.  We are very excited to have her join the Directorate, and I hope you all join me in welcoming her to Lamont.

Tuesday, March 8th, was International Women’s Day and in celebration, and under this year's UN’s theme “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow”, the Columbia Climate School featured a few of the women at the school who are leading on these issues, among them Nicole Davi, Adjunct Senior Research Scientist at the Tree-Ring Laboratory.  And speaking of amazing women scientists, I started today as the moderator of “A University Symposium: Promoting Credibility, Reproducibility and Integrity” with the special privilege of introducing the keynote speaker, Professor Naomi Oreskes of Harvard University.  Naomi is a world-leading voice on the role of science in society and the reality of anthropogenic climate change.  The author or co-author of 7 books, and over 150 articles, essays and opinion pieces, her writing is engaging and wide-ranging, often entertaining and enraging you at the same time.  In other words, impactful.  Her book Merchants of Doubt was made into a powerful film documentary and another book of hers, The Collapse of Western Civilization, should be required reading for everyone—it is a short and powerful vision of what our future will look like if we don’t quickly get our carbon pollution under control.

Further linking the topics of data reproducibility and credibility with enhancing the visibility of women and minorities in the sciences, I’d like to give a special shout-out to Lamont Research Professor Joerg Schaefer, Post-doctoral Research Scientist Benjamin Keisling, and their colleagues at various institutions. Yesterday, Nature Reviews Method Primers published their paper "Cosmogenic Nuclide Techniques” which I’m sure will become the go-to text for anyone wanting to understand how cosmic nuclides can help unravel Earth’s history, including the ice ages.  But even more ground-breaking was their inclusion of a section devoted to assessing DEIA representation in their field and discussing strategies for increasing diversity and inclusion in the geosciences.  Joerg sends special kudos to Benjamin and co-author Jane Willenbring, both nationally recognized leaders in the DEIA space.  I think we can also be happy to see a top journal allocate space to this important issue and take inspiration for our own paper writing.  

Another recent paper in the journal Geology, led by DEES PhD alum Genevieve Coffey and written with former and current Lamont colleagues including Associate Research Scientist Stephen Cox, DEES Professor Sidney Hemming, Lamont Research Professor Gisela Winckler, and former Lamonters Heather Savage and Pratigya Polissar, continues to make waves (seismic waves) in the popular press, including The Washington Post and Popular Science.  Genevieve’s work extends the paleo record of seismicity on the San Andreas Fault and provides evidence for past major earthquakes in the creeping section of the fault. The team’s use of biomarkers to measure thermal history, combined with argon diffusion and K-Ar dating to infer ages and time histories of heating, represents a new and creative way to reconstruct past earthquake history.  Their results show that creeping faults, generally considered to be less of a hazard, may in fact host large earthquakes over longer time scales. Their new method sheds light on the nature of seismic risk and will soon be applied to other major fault systems around the world.

Lastly, today we bid adieu to Dr. Guy Paxman, one of our Postdoctoral Research Scientists in the sea level group.  From his mentor Jacky Austermann, “Guy was awarded a prestigious research fellowship from the Leverhulme Trust, which he is taking to go back to Durham University in the UK. His last day at Lamont is on March 18”.  Best of luck Guy!

Happy weekend,

Mo

=================== 

LAMONT IN THE MEDIA: FEATURED NEWS 

An Alaskan Testament to a Warming World, Food & Environment Reporting Network, March 8, 2022, Feature on film about Lamont-Doherty’s Ice Bridges project. 

What the Western U.S. Megadrought Tells Us About Climate Change, World Economic Forum, March 8, 2022, Lamont-Doherty/GISS – Megadrought Study coauthored by Jason Smerdon, Lamont Research Professor, and Benjamin Cook, Adjunct Associate Research Scientist. 

Man Rescued After Almost an Hour in Cook Inlet’s Icy Waters, Nature World News, March 7, 2022, Cites sea-ice research by Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. 

Why Ice Melt in Antarctica and Greenland Matters for Us, The Sweaty Penguin, March 4, 2022, Interview with Lamont scientist Robin Bell.  (Starts about ¾ way through the episode) 

5 groundbreaking researchers who mapped the ocean floor, tested atomic theories, vanquished malaria and more, The Conversation, March 4, 2022, Features Marie Tharp of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. 

Below, articles pertaining to study of San Andreas Fault by Paleoseismologist Genevieve Coffey at GNS Science, and Stephen Cox, Associate Research Scientist at Lamont. 

New Research Suggests That Central California Has Experienced Bigger Quakes Than Thought, KCBX, March 8, 2022  

OK, the Least Dangerous Part of the San Andreas Fault Could Still Cause a Big, LAist, March 8, 2022 

The San Andreas Fault: Is There Seismic Danger in Its ‘Silent and Slow’ Part?, MVS Noticias (Mexico), March 8, 2022 

The Central Part of the San Andreas Fault Could Represent a Seismic Danger, El Ciudadano (Chile), March 8, 2022 

‘Aseismic’ Creeping Part of California Fault Once Hosted Huge Earthquakes, Washington Post, March 7, 2022 

The ‘Slow and Silent’ Part of the San Andreas Fault May Still Be an Earthquake Threat, Science Alert, March 6, 2022 

San Andreas Fault: What to Know, The Travel, March 6, 2022 

BLOGS 

Learning From Tree Rings: An Interview With Nicole Davi, By Nataley Williams, March 8, 2022, “A dendrochronologist explains how tree rings can teach us about our past, present, and future.” 

How These Women Are Contributing to a Sustainable Tomorrow, By Columbia Climate School, March 8, 2022, “For International Women’s Day, we highlight a few women in the Columbia Climate School who are leading on climate science and adaptation, and helping to promote equity, sustainability

Hello Friends,  It is my great pleasure to share the news that William “Bill” Ryan, Special Research Scientist in the Marine Geology and Geophysics group and Earth Elder extraordinaire, has been awarded the Lyell Medal by the Geological Society of London. The Lyell Medal is given for contributions to “soft” rock studies—it was established by Sir Charles Lyell, the author of Principles of Geology and one who makes a star appearance in most introductory geology lectures.  The first Lyell medal was given in 1876 to John Morris, a professor of geology at University College in London, and our own Bill Ruddiman won the medal in 2010. 

From the Geological Society press release: "The Lyell Medal, recognising geologists whose research has made a significant contribution to 'soft' rock studies, is awarded in 2022 to Dr William B. F. Ryan….. Dr Ryan said, “It is an honour to receive a medal with Lyell’s name. After notice of the award, I devoured all three volumes of his “Principles of Geology” with the greatest pleasure and immense respect for his pioneering role in the geosciences.”  Dr Ryan, a marine geologist, has provided pivotal insights to marine geology; one of most note is his documentation of the Miocene desiccation of the Mediterranean Sea. He has also highly regarded for his valuable contribution to the geoscience community through his work on the development of user-friendly marine geological and geophysical data bases, the web-based GeoMapApp and the mobile-based Polar Explorer: Sea-level app.”

It won’t surprise anyone who knows Bill to hear that he wrote to me: “None of these accolades would have happened without a career at Lamont and in the company of so many of our brilliant colleagues…”. Congratulations Bill!

On Wednesday, February 23rd, a group of Visual Arts MFA students paid a visit to Lamont.  Committed to using sustainable materials in their practice as well as using their work to communicate around the subject of climate change, these students wanted to learn more about what we do and hopefully get inspired.  I think it worked!  We’ve had nothing but positive feedback about the visit and their interactions with our scientists.  We all hope this leads to more collaborations between CU artists and scientists, something that is becoming a bit of a thing around here.  They toured the Core Repository, Marine Polar Lab (Ice Pod) and the Tree-Ring Lab.  The group included Prof. Nicola Lopez (Chair of the Visual Arts department), Prof. Tomas Vu Daniel (Artistic Director of the Leroy Neiman Center for Print Studies), and 14 students.  The highlight was the wrap-up reception in the Monell lobby where the students presented lightning talks about their inspiring works-in-progress.

Our interactions with the School of Arts continued this week, on March 2nd, with a visit by Carol Becker, Professor of the Arts and Dean of the School of Arts.  Joining her were Gavin Browning, Director of Public Programs and Engagement at Columbia University School of the Arts and Carol’s husband Mr. Jack Murchie, an architect and partner at the firm of SMNG A (yes, that is the name, not a typo).  The goal of this visit was to introduce Dean Becker and her colleagues to some of the ground-breaking research being done here at Lamont, to encourage thought-provoking conversations around the intersection of art and science, and to foster future collaborations between the School of Arts and the Lamont campus. 

Carol was just as excited about her visit as the students were the week before.  Thank you to all the Lamonters who helped make this visit a success.  From Carol “We had SUCH a great time. Thank you for all the generosity of time and intelligence and thank your team as well. What a wonderful community you have,” and from Gavin, “I'd always wanted to visit LDEO, and this was really the perfect way to do it. (I was particularly drawn to those maps by Marie Tharp — they are very beautiful. And of course the Core Lab is totally incredible.)”  

I’ll wrap up by announcing an upcoming, in-person Town Hall featuring Dr. Richard Spinrad, Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans & Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator, on Friday, March 25 from 12:30pm-1:45pm in the Monell Auditorium. In addition to lightning talks from some of our colleagues, Dr. Spinrad will give a presentation followed by a public Q+A.  The Town Hall will be a key part of his five-hour visit that will feature our scientists and their work, facilitate discussions about NOAA's strategic priorities, and hopefully inspire thinking around opportunities for new funding streams. I only wish we had five days instead of five hours. NOAA has been, and will continue to be, one of Lamont's most important sponsors and partners.  I hope that the full Lamont community will attend this Town Hall and help us highlight our exceptional and innovative science!  The link to register is here.  For any event questions, please contact Natalie Trotta at [email protected].  I'm looking forward to seeing you all there.  No masks required!  Hooray!

Warmer weather is on its way.  Have a lovely weekend.

Mo

===================

LAMONT IN THE MEDIA: FEATURED NEWS

How Carbon-Eating Rocks Could Help Fight Climate Crisis, Guardian (UK), March 2, 2022, Article on research by Lamont researcher Catalina Sanchez-Roa.

Disputing Koonin on Melting of Greenland’s Ice, Wall Street Journal, February 28, 2022, Letter to the editor coauthored by Lamont scientist Marco Tedesco.

Articles below pertaining to study of San Andreas Fault by Paleoseismologist Genevieve Coffey at GNS Science, and Stephen Cox, Associate Research Scientist at Lamont.

Sluggish Section of San Andreas Fault Remains a Hazard, San Francisco Bay News, March 3, 2022

New Study Sounds the Alarm About San Andreas Fault, KTVU, March 3, 2022

Earthquake Models Get a Big Shakeup With Clues Buried in the San Andreas Fault, Popular Science, March 3, 2022

The San Andreas Fault May Cause More Damage Than Expected, KCBS, March 3, 2022

Paleoseismology Changes the San Andreas Game, Medium, March 3, 2022

Paleoseismology Changes the San Andreas Game, CosmoQuest, March 2, 2022

Slow-Moving Section of San Andreas Fault Remains a Danger, Zenger, March 2, 2022

Section of San Andreas Fault Lind May Be More Disastrous Than Previously Believed, Nature World News, March 1, 2022

San Andreas Fault Line Could Cause Bigger Quakes Than Previously Thought, Researchers Say, The Independent (UK), February 28, 2022

Center of California’s San Andreas Fault Could Cause Even Bigger Earthquakes, Researchers Say, Newsweek, February 28, 2022

Where Big Quakes Were Thought Unlikely, Rocks Deep Down Say Otherwise, Science Daily, February 28, 2022

According to a Study, Central Section of California’s San Andreas Fault Could Cause Even Bigger Quakes, Ceng News, February 28, 2022, (Story picked up from SoP by dozens of news-aggregator sites)

Earth Pulsates Every 26 Seconds. No One Knows Why., Popular Mechanics, February 21, 2022, Jack Oliver, who worked at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory at the time, heard the noise, but didn't have the advanced instruments...

Articles below pertaining to Lamont-Doherty/GISS – Megadrought Study coauthored by Jason Smerdon, Lamont Research Professor, and Benjamin Cook, Adjunct Associate Research Scientist.

Megadrought Likely to Continue in Western Colorado and Throughout the West for Years, Scientists Say, Denver Post, February 19, 2022

The Southwest United States Has Not Experienced Such a Drought for 1,200 Years, Futura (France), February 19, 2022

Ohio Needs a Consistent Earthquake-Risk Policy on Permitting Fracking Waste Wells, Cleveland Plain Dealer, February 18, 2022, Discusses research by Lamont seismologists John Armbruster and Leonardo Seeber.

BLOGS

A Slow-Motion Section of the San Andreas Fault May Not Be So Harmless After All By Kevin Krajick, February 28, 2022, “The central section of the great fault spanning California, thought to be creeping along harmlessly at the moment, has experienced big quakes in the past, says a new study.”

Talking With Bill Ryan, Detective of the Deeps By Kevin Krajick, February 24, 2022,Marine geologist William B.F. Ryan discusses once seemingly unlikely theories about the evolution of oceans and seas, the hunt for the wreck of the Titanic, the Biblical Flood, and more.”

Researchers Map New York State Methane Emissions With a Mobile Laboratory By Columbia Climate School, February 22, 2022, “Scientists are using mobile instruments to measure and hopefully help reduce emissions from landfills, cities, farms, waste treatment plants and other sources where mitigation measures could be put in place.”

Forest Fires Increasingly Affecting Western Rivers and Streams, for Better and Worse By Columbia Climate School, February 22, 2022, “Fires may increase stream flow for years after sweeping the surface, and temporarily increase downstream water supplies. But they may also increase the risks of landslides and floods in affected areas.”

Researchers Map New York State Methane Emissions With a Mobile Laboratory By Columbia Climate School, February 22, 2022, “Scientists are using mobile instruments to measure and hopefully help reduce emissions from landfills, cities, farms, waste treatment plants and other sources where mitigation measures could be put in place.”

Hello Friends,  Fugitive dust.   What is fugitive dust?   Fugitive dust is dust that should be staying put, but escapes to wreak havoc on the environment. The specific dust I’m talking about is from the Norlite plant located in Cohoes NY, near Albany. 

This plant manufactures lightweight aggregate materials from shale mined on site. The problem is that the resultant dust is being blown off premises and impacting air quality in the surrounding communities—accumulating on windowsills, cars, swing sets, in AC units, and more.  Dave Walker, retired geochemist and Higgens Professor Emeritus in DEES, shared with me recently the great news that, after a long effort to demonstrate the hazardous nature of the dust which is filled with tiny glass shards, the NYS DEC (Dept. of Environmental Conservation) has ordered Norlite to cease and desist any actions that result in dust leaving their property.  Dave played a key role in arming local citizens and leadership with the scientific knowledge they needed to demonstrate the potentially hazardous nature of the dust.  Chalk up a win for environmental justice and healthy air!

I have been asked by two of our admin staff to share some reminders.  First, please upload your booster info if you have it. You can update your information here, or log into the ReopenCU app. The deadline for submission is February 28 for faculty, staff, and researchers.  Please help lighten Virginia Maher’s workload, the person that will have to track down non-compliers.  Second, our B&G Facilities Staff recently joined the rest of Columbia in using an online facilities service request management system known as Maximo.  This system allows anyone with a uni to submit a service request for work to be completed.  You will soon receive an email noting its benefits and a step-by-step guide to use when submitting your service requests. I am confident that this will streamline the process for everyone (and will most certainly make life easier for our facilities team).

Congratulations to Julian Spergel who passed his Ph.D. thesis defense today with flying colors!  Julian's thesis, entitled "Modelling and remote sensing of meltwater drainage on Antarctic ice shelves", looks at what controls the flow of water across Antarctic ice shelves. This is important because meltwater can cause ice shelves to collapse, accelerating ice-sheet loss, ultimately causing sea level rise.  One key insight provided by Julian's work is the important role played by ice surface topography in controlling how drainage systems grow in response to the melting caused by climate warming. 

I’m looking forward to going to an in-person colloquium this week and hearing what Matthew Hayek, Assistant Professor in Environmental Studies at New York University, has to say about “Hamburgers in a Heated World: Providing Scientific Evidence in the Food Sustainability Debate”.  #Holdthebeef!  And of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the in-person TGIF taking place at Monell upon conclusion of the colloquium.  

Finally, from fugitive dust to Mother Nature’s dust.  Wow.  See below.  Megadroughts are the new dinosaurs!  Really exciting to see the wide impact and recognition of Lamont Research Professor Jason Smerdon and Adjunct Associate Research Scientist Ben Cook’s work on the history of climate change and drought in the western United States.  The news ain’t good, but better to know it than not.

Have a peaceful, dust-free weekend.   Mo

===================

LAMONT IN THE MEDIA: FEATURED NEWS

Tracking the Melting Ross Ice Shelf With New Probes, Polar Journal, February 16, 2022, Research led by Lamont scientist David Porter.

Lamont-Doherty/GISS – Western Megadrought Study Coauthored by scientists Jason Smerdon and Benjamin Cook in the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. (Story picked up by a large number of news-aggregator sites)

What Is the Megadrought Gripping the US Southwest?, CNBC, February 16, 2022

Megadrought Plaguing Western U.S. Is Worst in 1,200 Years, Bloomberg News, February 15, 2022

Study Finds Megadrought Is Worst in 1,200 Years, NPR, February 15, 2022

Megadrought: The Worst in 1,200 Years, KABC TV, February 15, 2022 (no weblink)

Scientists Say Drought Is Worst in 1,200 Years, Cheddar TV, February 15, 2022 (no weblink)

U.S. Drought Worst in 1,200 Years, Researchers Say, NBC News, February 15, 2022

The American West’s ‘Megadrought Is the Worst It’s Been in 1,200 Years, Futurism, February 15, 2022

U.S. Megadrought Is Worst in 1,200 Years, Study Says, Guardian (UK), February 15, 2022

Megadrought Severity Based on Tree Rings, Soil Moisture, 2News, February 15, 2022

Western Megadrought Now Worst in 1,200 Years, KPIX, February 15, 2022

Western U.S. Suffers Worst Drought in 1,200 Years, Publico (Portugal), February 15, 2022

Western Megadrought Is Worst in 1,200 Years, Scientific American, February 15, 2022

U.S. Megadrought Unprecedented in Last 1,200 Years; And It Is Man’s Fault, La Reppublica (Italy), February 15, 2022

Study Finds Western Megadrought Is Worst in 1,200 Years, KUNC, February 15, 2022

Farmers, Ranchers in Southwest Adapt to Worst Drought in More Than 1,000       Years, NPR Marketplace, February 15, 2022

Western Megadrought Is the Worst in 1,200 Years, ClimateWire, February 15, 2022

Megadrought in U.S. Southwest, Boosted by Human CO2 Emissions, Is Worst Since 800 A.D., Informed Comment, February 15, 2022

The U.S. Southwest Is Hitting Megadrought Status, Ars Technica, February 15, 2022, Western Megadrought Study Coauthored by Lamont scientists Jason Smerdon and Ben Cook

Southwest U.S. Is at Its Driest in 1,200 Years, Newsweek, February 15, 2022, Western Megadrought Study Coauthored by Lamont scientists Jason Smerdon    and Ben Cook

Western Megadrought Is Worst in 1,200 Years, Intensified by Climate Change, Study Finds, Los Angeles Times, February 14, 2022

How Bad Is the Western Drought? Worst in 1,200 Years, Study Finds, New York Times, February 14, 2022

Study Finds Western Megadrought Is Worst in 1,200 Years, NPR, February 14, 2022

Underground carbon-dioxide storage idea is cracked. And that’s actually good., The Washington Post, February 13, 2022 “In new experiments, researchers at Columbia University are learning more about the technique’s viability”.  The article quotes Catalina Sanchez Roa, Columbia Climate School Fellow, Associate Research Scientist at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.

BLOGS

How Does a Major Subduction Zone Get Started? It May Begin Small By Columbia Climate School, February 15, 2022

Megadrought in Southwest Is Now the Worst in at Least 1,200 Years, Study Confirms By Columbia Climate School, February 14, 2022

Hello Friends,  This is going to be a short missive, a reflection of the crazy number of zoom meetings I’ve had this week. I want to highlight that Friday was International Women in Science Day and hope you will take a moment to go through the 2022 flip book "Women In Science At LDEO, DEES, IRI, and CIESIN".  This beautifully designed flip book highlights the work of 122 women scientists affiliated with Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, the International Research Institute for Climate and Society, and the Center for International Earth Science Information Network.  From the UN Resolution declaring the day: “Despite some progress over the years, women and girls still face various and often compounding barriers and challenges to meaningfully engage in the fields of science at all levels, including education and research. According to the UNESCO Science Report, women only account for 33% of the world’s researchers. They still occupy fewer senior positions than men at top universities, and only 12% of the members of the national science academies are women. To date, women and girls have only won 23 of the 631 Nobel Prizes in science and are still a minority in science-related studies and fields.”

Please also enjoy this article by Renee Cho that was just published in State of the Planet on “Why Climate Science Needs More Women Scientists”.   Renee interviewed both Dean Ruth DeFries and myself for the article.  Another article I really enjoyed highlighted the work of Lamont Research Scientist Catalina Sanchez-Roa, an experimental geophysicist working to develop more effective ways to remove carbon dioxide from our atmosphere.  When you think about it, it is amazing to consider how much Columbia scientists have influenced the fields of carbon capture and storage—from the first demonstration of air capture (now commercialized), to the sequestering of carbon via water-rock reactions in the CarbFix project (now commercialized), to the many potentially ground-breaking experiments going on across the Lamont campus now (I’m looking at you Catalina!).  The impact our scientists have had, and will continue to have, in this critically important area of research for the future of our planet is truly something we can all be proud of.

Finally, many Lamont-centric events occurred across Columbia this week, too many to recount here.  However, the best news I have to report this week comes from the Ocean and Climate Physics Division. Please join me in congratulating graduate students Sam Bartusek and Sarah Smith who were both prize recipients from the American Meteorological Society for their presentations at the 2022 AMS Middle Atmosphere conference.  Sam won the prize for best student talk for his presentation on “Tropopause Folding and Tropospheric Ozone”.  Sarah won first place for outstanding oral presentation on "Satellite Observations of Aerosol Optical Depth in 4 Northern Hemisphere Source Regions during the COVID-19”.  Both Sam and Sarah are currently working on projects with Lamont Research Professors Mingfang Ting and Yutian Wu.  Nice! 

A very strong whiff of spring pervades the air and I wish you all a relaxing weekend as the days stretch longer.

Best, Mo

===================

LAMONT IN THE MEDIA: FEATURED NEWS

Daily Climate Damage Should Feel More Like a Disaster, Bloomberg News, February 10, 2022, Written with David Ho, a climate scientist at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and a research scientist at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University.

Good News: Rocks Crack Under Pressure From Mineral CO2 Storage, Eos, February 10, 2022, “It is always going to be looking for a way to escape to an area where the pressure is lower,” explained Catalina Sanchez-Roa, an experimental geophysicist at Columbia University Climate School in New York City.

What Is the Last Area of Arctic Sea Ice (And Why Is It Important to the Future of the Planet)?, BBC Mundo, February 9, 2022, Article on research led by Lamont scientist Bob Newton.

Kilimanjaro’s ice fields didn’t disappear by 2020. That doesn’t mean climate change isn’t happening., PolitiFact, February 7, 2022, "The trends in ice loss on Kilimanjaro are clear," said Jason Smerdon, a Columbia University professor who studies climate change. He encouraged people to look beyond the predicted time frame and acknowledge that the glaciers are ultimately disappearing as the paper indicated. 

BLOGS

Why Climate Science Needs More Women Scientists By Renee Cho, February 11, 2022, “Women scientists continue to face unequal access to resources and opportunities in climate science. This lack of gender diversity is concerning, since women around the world will bear the brunt of climate change impacts.”

Celebrating the 2022 International Day of Women and Girls in Science, By Columbia Climate School, February 11, 2022, “This U.N.-designated day aims to accelerate gender equity and improve access to and participation in science for women and girls.”

Hello Friends,  On this dreary day a few words about COVID across the university.  The good news is that the omicron wave has passed and positive testing rates are now under 2% across the University.  Our campus continues to have a remarkable safety record with respect to viral transmission.  The current university risk level is yellow, or LOW.  The deadline to upload your booster information has been extended to February 28th.  Indoor masking is still required (except in private offices or when eating or lecturing and one is able to maintain a 6-foot distance). On February 7, 2022, social gatherings will be allowed with no capacity restrictions.

Please keep in mind that we are still in a hybrid work mode, similar to last fall.  This is designed to allow flexibility for remote work for employees that are not student-facing and whose jobs can be carried out remotely.  This flexibility is especially important for parents of young children and others dealing with the ongoing challenges of the pandemic on everyday life and family health.  However, please note that the health risk of working on campus is very low and employees whose jobs require them to be on campus are expected to be here.  Our heroes from facilities have been on campus since the beginning of the pandemic.  Other groups in admin have defined schedules to keep occupancy rates low in shared offices while providing the flexibility mentioned above.  Leadership has worked with groups to try to ensure uniformity in expectations across divisions and 100% remote work is not the norm or expectation.  If you think these protocols are not being applied fairly and equitably, please reach out to the Directorate so we can gently investigate and intervene if necessary.

On the flip side, I walked down a major building corridor last week where, with the exception of one employee who doesn’t like working from home, every single office suite was dark and locked.  I could not help but feel sympathy for this lone ranger—they should not be in that position.  I’ll note that it has also been conveyed to me how much our campus lab managers (with limited ability to work remotely) appreciated it when people started spending more time on campus.  So—managers, advisors, members of the community—please be thoughtful in evaluating your work patterns versus actual health risks and recognize the ripple effects your choices have across our currently-not-so-vibrant campus (and cafeteria struggling to survive).

For more information, please consider joining the next Campus Update Forum for faculty, researchers and staff on Tuesday, Feb. 8, from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. via Zoom.  You will get up-to-date information on COVID-19, plans for Spring 2022, and the campus work environment.  Register here.

I’ll end with a big shout-out to Bar Oryan who today successfully defended his Ph.D. thesis on “Long-term and short-term processes affecting inelastic deformation above subduction zone interfaces”.  Nice job Bar!  Post-graduation, Bar will be starting a postdoctoral position at École Normale Supérieure in Paris.  Paris in the spring!

Have a peaceful weekend.   Mo

===================

LAMONT IN THE MEDIA: FEATURED NEWS

Researcher floats pairing offshore wind with carbon removal tech, Axios, January 31, 2022, The big picture: Marine geophysicist David Goldberg, writing in The Conversation, says co-locating direct air capture (DAC) systems with offshore wind would ensure the systems are powered by clean energy.  The captured CO2 could be piped directly into subsea geologic storage, "reducing the need for extensive pipeline systems," which also reduces the environmental impact.

Curl up with these 7 thought provoking stories, The Washington Post, January 28, 2022, At a certain threshold of heat and humidity, “it’s no longer possible to be able to sweat fast enough to prevent overheating,” said Radley Horton, a professor at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.

What Can Be Learned From the Tonga Volcano?, CGTN, January 27, 2022, Interview with Lamont volcanologist Einat Lev.

Film Reveals Arctic Changes Through Indigenous Knowledge, Daily News-Miner, Jan 27, 2022, Film includes Lamont scientist Chris Zappa.

Five Columbia Faculty Named AAAS Fellows, Columbia News, January 26, 2022, “Columbia's 2021 AAAS Fellows are recognized for their contributions to teaching and research.”

Offshore wind farms could bank carbon dioxide on slow days, Popular Science, January 25, 2022, Article by Lamont deputy director and geophysicist David Goldberg.

Offshore wind farms could help capture carbon from air and store it long-term – using energy that would otherwise go to waste, The Conversation, January 25, 2022, Article by Lamont deputy director and geophysicist David Goldberg.

BLOGS

Return of the R/V Pelican to Ocho Rios, Jamaica By Cecilia McHugh, February 2, 2022, “The expedition discovered stresses along an underwater plate boundary and a record of historic and pre-historic earthquakes, which will shed light on the geohazard risks for Jamaica and Haiti.”

How Climate Change Will Affect Plants By Renee Cho, January 27, 2022, “While elevated levels of CO2 can help plants grow, the impacts of climate change mean it’s not all good news for the plant world.”

Offshore Wind Farms Could Capture Carbon From Air and Store It By David Goldberg, January 28, 2022, “When the wind can produce more power than is needed, that unused power could be used to remove carbon from the air and lock it away.”

Hello Friends,  Will it?  Won’t it?  What hath Mother Nature in store for us now?  From the NYTimes: “Forecasters said there was potential for heavy snow and high winds for eastern portions of the New York City region on Friday through Saturday night, but stressed an “unusual amount of uncertainty” in snow amounts.”  Hmm, just like the good ole days before weather forecasting got so good.  We announced already that the Saturday shuttle is cancelled.  If campus closes, please stay at home unless it is critical to be here—our facilities team will be busy plowing.

The January 27 issue of Columbia News Awards & Milestones Newsletter announced that five Columbia researchers were named American Association for the Advancement of Sciences Fellows, among them Nicholas Christie-Blick, Professor in DEES and the SGT Division at Lamont.  Congrats Nick!

In an article in The Conversation titled "Offshore wind farms could help capture carbon from air and store it long-term, saving money – a geophysicist explains how", David Goldberg, Lamont Research Professor and Deputy Director, explains.  He lays out some new ideas for combining off-shore wind technology with carbon capture and storage goals that leverage the large planned infrastructure build-outs off our coasts. Wouldn’t that be cool, creating clean energy while burying the pollution of dirty energy at the same time!

Today I participated in a Columbia Global Centers event, in their University Leadership Series.  It was titled "Columbia's New Climate School: How It Plans to Make a Difference", with Alex Halliday, Ruth DeFries, and myself along with Julie Kornfeld, Vice Provost for Academic Programs, and Safwan Masri, Executive Vice-President for Global Centers and Global Development at Columbia. It was great seeing Columbia colleagues from the Centers zooming in from all over the world.

As the Office of Research continues to grow, I’d like to welcome Kelsi Welter who is the new Senior Grants Manager. In this role, Kelsi will support proposal development, collaborating with all stages of researchers, administrators, and external sponsors to help develop high-quality and large grant applications. Kelsi comes to the Climate School and Lamont from Sponsored Projects Administration at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, where she was a Senior Project Officer for the last three years. The Research Office staff are spending time on both campuses weekly and will continue to engage enthusiastically with our scientists at LDEO, IRI, and CIESIN as they build out programs to support career advancement and grant success.

Finally, I hope you will all join me this afternoon for this year’s Diversity Seminar on “Who gets geoscience degrees?”, presented by Rachel E. Bernard, Assistant Professor of Geology at Amherst College. As we strive to build a campus and school where resources and opportunities for advancement are distributed equitably, it behooves us to reflect on the often ingrained and sometimes unacknowledged biases in our systems.  I am proud every week to be part of a community where these types of conversations are happening regularly.  Yes, academia is a meritocracy, albeit sometimes imperfect, but having doors opened to you and having the space, salary, start-up, and family support resources to compete and thrive on a level playing field with your peers has got to be our guiding principle if we hope to change the face of the geosciences. 

Best, Mo

===================

LAMONT IN THE MEDIA: FEATURED NEWS

Offshore Wind Farms Could Help Capture Carbon from Air and Store It Long-term, Saving Money – A Geophysicist Explains How, The Conversation, January 25, 2022, Article by David Goldberg, Deputy Director, Marine/Large Programs Associate Director, and Lamont Research Professor at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.
 

Lisa Goddard, 55, Dies; Brought Climate Data to Those Who Needed It, New York Times, January 22, 2022, Obituary for the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI) scientist; quotes Climate School dean Alex Halliday; Lamont director Maureen Raymo; and IRI director John Furlow. (picked up by many news-aggregator sites)

BLOGS

How Climate Change Will Affect Plants By Renee Cho, January, 27 2022, “While elevated levels of CO2 can help plants grow, the impacts of climate change mean it’s not all good news for the plant world.”

Looking at the Seafloor Without Water By Cecilia McHugh, January 26, 2022, “Along the Enriquillo fault, large-scale submarine landslides provide possible evidence of earthquakes.”

Lisa Goddard: Led Global Efforts to Advance Near-Term Climate Forecasting By Kevin Krajick, January 21, 2022, “Lisa Goddard, longtime director of the International Research Institute for Climate and Society, has died.”

New Film Explores Combining Indigenous Knowledge and Western Science to Understand Waning Arctic Sea Ice By Columbia Climate School, January 21, 2022, “A launch event will include clips from the film; discussion by Iñupiaq elders, scientists and the filmmaker; and audience Q&A.”

Hello Friends, The news of the pandemic is a bit better this week.  The number of positive cases appears to have peaked in our community and is falling.  If the South Africa data is our guide, this fall will happen rapidly.  Daily hospitalizations in NYC are also dropping and, as a reminder, the vast majority of those hospitalizations are unvaccinated people.  Classes started this week and the first two weeks of classes will be on line (in-person restarting on Jan. 31st).  This week we also returned to the “normal” work guidelines of last semester which for many did include some mix of on-site and remote work.  Of course, nothing feels normal.  

A few events are coming up that are worth mentioning. On February 18th, the Columbia Business School's Green Business Club, in partnership with the Columbia Climate School, will host a virtual Student Climate Symposium. The purpose of the event is “to promote interdisciplinary, University-wide collaboration around climate change research and solutions; and to gather feedback from students on how best to facilitate and connect student research related to climate across the University".  Please visit the event website for more details. 

On January 26, Columbia Climate School Earth Series will host “A Breathtaking Challenge: Charting the Course for Cleaner Air”, a discussion by atmospheric scientists V. Faye McNeill, Professor of Chemical Engineering and Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia, and Daniel M. Westervelt, Assistant Research Professor at LDEO.  Alex Halliday will be moderating the discussion. Register here.  And speaking of Dan, a special congratulations for landing a $75K award from Columbia Data Science Institute for their project titled "Application of Gaussian Mixture Regression to Obtain Useful, Actionable Air Pollution Data from Consumer-Grade, Low-Cost Monitoring Devices".  His project team will develop and apply a novel algorithm to a fast-growing global network of low-cost air quality sensors, thereby empowering communities to better understand their air pollution exposure and ultimately take action. 

On January 27th, you might consider watching “Ice Edge – Indigenous and Scientific Ways of Knowing", a film launch and discussion chronicling the pioneering five-year collaborative research project “Ice Bridges” between the Native Village of Kotzebue along Alaska’s Chukchi Sea with scientists from LDEO and the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Guests include Documentary Filmmaker, Sarah Betcher of Farthest North Films, Elder Advisory Council members Ross Schaeffer, Bobby Schaeffer and Cyrus Harris (contingent on availability), Alex Whiting, Environmental Program Director, Native Village of Kotzebue, Donna Hauser, Marine Mammal Scientist, UAF International Arctic Research Center, and Christopher Zappa, a Lamont Research Professor. You can register here

I wrap up by drawing your attention to a lovely tribute and obituary for our colleague Lisa Goddard, former Director of IRI who passed away last week after a long battle with cancer.  Her service was on Tuesday and she was laid to rest in Valhalla, NY, a fitting spot for a hero and warrior who used science to better the lives of the underserved around the world.  May she rest in peace. 

Best, Mo 

=================== 

LAMONT IN THE MEDIA: FEATURED NEWS 

Tackling Climate Change Is Art, Not Just Science, Christian Science Monitor, January 17, 2022, Quotes Lamont student Caroline Juang and Ben Mylius of the Columbia Climate Imaginations Network. 

Tonga volcano eruption created puzzling ripples in Earth’s atmosphere, Nature, January 18, 2022, The imagery and data collected from the eruption has been “spectacular” and has presented scientists with an exciting opportunity, says Vicki Ferrini, a marine geophysicist at Columbia University in New York City. But she adds that she and others remain deeply concerned for the people of Tonga, particularly given the absence so far of detailed information on the scale of the disaster. 

Pacific Volcano: Science Will Explain Event’s Ferocity, BBC, January 17, 2022, "This is a possibility, for sure," commented Dr Vicki Ferrini from Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.  "In data we collected in 2016, you could see a lot of big solidified chunks that looked like they had slid down the side of the volcano in the past. So, with an explosion of this size, you certainly wouldn't be surprised if further large sections of consolidated material had moved.  "The good thing is we have the baseline data to make a comparison when we go back in, but only when it's safe." 

6 Things You Need to Know About Climate Change Now, Columbia Magazine, January 14, 2022, Cites/quotes Wally Broecker, Radley Horton, Adam Sobel, Marco Tedesco, Lamont-Doherty; Columbia Climate School and Alex Halliday, Maureen Raymo, Ruth DeFries, Jason Bordoff; Christian Braneon, Cynthia Rosenzweig, GISS; Geoffrey Heal, Wolfram Schlenker, Earth Institute; John Furlow, IRI; Alex DeSherbinin, CIESIN. 

What Old NYC Lumber Can Tell Us About Climate History, Columbia Magazine, January 14, 2022, By Kevin Krajick, Earth Institute/Columbia Climate School. 

BLOGS 

High Winds, Rough Seas, and Winch Problems By Cecilia McHugh, January 20, 2022, Researchers studying earthquake hazards in the Caribbean faced several challenges at sea, from rough weather to equipment failures. 

Mapping Offshore Faults in Kingston Bay By Cecilia McHugh, January 19, 2022, Motion along these faults is associated with the 1907 Kingston earthquake, which shook the capital of the island with a magnitude of 6.2 

Into the Sundarban Mangrove Forest and Back By Michael Steckler, January 18, 2022, For the last week of our trip, we traveled by boat to reach the sites where we are measuring subsidence in the Sundarban Mangrove Forest and nearby embanked islands. 

From Barisal to Khulna By Michael Steckler, January 13, 2022, We continued to service our GNSS and RSET-MH equipment measuring land subsidence in coastal Bangladesh. Long distances, poor roads and slow ferries made for very long days, but we were able to complete the work at the sites. 

Marco Tedesco: Snow Man By Marie DeNoia Aronsohn, January 13, 2022, Although his parents wanted him to become an electrical engineer, Tedesco felt drawn to a life of research. Then he fell in love with snow. Now he is among the most well-respected and quoted polar experts in the world. 

The R/V Pelican Sets Sail, and Data Collection Begins By Cecilia McHugh, January 16, 2022, Researchers are mapping the seafloor and subseafloor between Haiti and Jamaica, to evaluate the potential for earthquakes. 

Hello Friends,  I write this newsletter with a heavy heart. As many of you have likely already heard, our colleague and friend Dr. Lisa Goddard passed away on Thursday after a long battle with cancer. Lisa joined the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI) as an Associate Research Scientist in 2000. She rose through the ranks, serving as Director of IRI from 2012 through 2020. In addition, she was an Associate Adjunct Professor in the Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences. As a longtime member of the Lamont community, Lisa was a force in campus decision-making. Her leadership has ensured both the strength of IRI and the Lamont campus for years to come. 

    As a scientist, Lisa was a pioneer in applying climate science to societal needs—climate services. Her work on seasonal prediction and near-term climate forecasting has both moved the scientific conversation forward and improved the lives of millions of people around the world. She developed the Post-docs Applying Climate Expertise Program (PACE), a national program that connects recent climate Ph.D. recipients with decision-making institutions. In addition to her service at Lamont, Lisa took a leadership role in national and international scientific initiatives and institutions, including the National Academies of Sciences Board of Atmospheric Sciences Committee. 

    Our campus has lost a champion, a visionary, a leader and a friend. My deepest sympathies go out to her husband David, her sons Sam and Matthew, and to the many people whose lives she touched as a mentor, a colleague and a friend.  

    Sadly, Mo

===================

LAMONT IN THE MEDIA: FEATURED NEWS

Extreme Rainfall Driven by Climate Change Hampering Global Economy: Research, IANS (India), January 12, 2022, Article on a study co-authored by Lamont adjunct Anders Levermann.

Rainy Days Harm the Economy, Science Daily, January 12, 2022, Article on a study co-authored by Lamont adjunct Anders Levermann.

More rainy days from climate change could dampen economic growth: Study, ABC News, January 12, 2022, Article on a study co-authored by Lamont adjunct Anders Levermann; comment by EI postdoc Kai Kornhuber.

Humans Reached Faroe Islands Centuries Earlier Than Thought, National Science Foundation, January 12, 2022, Settlement of Faroe Islands Study by Lorelei Curtin, William D’Andrea

Irish Monks Could Have Been First Settlers on North Atlantic Faroe Islands, Gript (Ireland), January 11, 2022, Settlement of Faroe Islands Study by Lorelei Curtin, William D’Andrea.

‘Sticky’ Ice Sheets May Have Led to More Intense Glacial Cycles, Eos, January 5, 2022, Article on research by Lamont scientists Steven Goldstein and Maayan Yehudai.

BLOGS

From Barisal to Khulna, By Mike Steckler, January 13, 2022, “We continued to service our GNSS and RSET-MH equipment measuring land subsidence in coastal Bangladesh. Long distances, poor roads and slow ferries made for very long days, but we were able to complete the work at the sites.”

Dhaka and Beyond, By Mike Steckler, January 11, 2022, “After a week of meetings and a wedding in Dhaka, we headed back to the field to service equipment measuring land subsidence in Bangladesh.”

    Hello Friends, Happy New Year!  And there is no sugar-coating this—omicron has brought with it ever more misery and gloom.  Our collective depression over the state of the pandemic is palpable.  One of the few silver linings I see is some satisfaction in following the science, which gives me, at least, some semblance of feeling in control.  To that end, I’ll draw your attention to the excellent guest editorial in Thursday’s New York Times by our Senior Associate Dean and Earth Institute Faculty Chair Jeff Shaman.  Jeff, an epidemiologist, projects omicron infections to peak in the first to third weeks of January. 

    Moving on to comings and goings, this week Edie Miller accepted a new position as Associate Dean, Budget and Finance in the Columbia Climate School.  Virginia Maher also accepted a position as Director of Human Resources in the Climate School.  I’ll note that the early commitment of Climate School leadership to maintain a strong presence on the LDEO campus is allowing for significant career advancement opportunities without having to leave our fair and verdant campus.  I’d also like to introduce the new Senior Executive Assistant within the Directorate, Ms. Naomi Hornedo who joins us from the CU Irving Medical Center and brings decades of experience working at Columbia University.  Welcome Naomi!  We are thrilled to have you join our team.

    In addition to checking out the January 6th version of Lamont’s monthly newsletter,please go to Lamont’s website to see the 2021 Annual Report from the Observatory. Under the theme “Meeting the Moment. The Solutions Science Imperative”, the report highlights the scope of Lamont’s scientific exploration, educational programs, institutional financial information, and major honors and awards to Lamont’s scientific staff.  Please note this is our first foray into an on-line annual report, a growing trend across the university.  Check out the features, storytelling and videos and tell us what you think.  This was one of Marie Aronsohn’s last big projects before decamping to her new communications leadership position as Director of Strategic Communications at Barnard College.

    Looking ahead to next week, on January 13th the popular Earth Institute K-12 Education program hosted by Cassie Xu, Associate Director of Non-Degree Education and Outreach Programs at the Earth Institute, starts the semester with a presentation by Margie Turrin, Director of Educational Field Programs and Laurel Zaima, Education and Outreach Coordinator, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory on “Using Tools to Explore the Changes of the Polar Regions”. RSVP here. Visit the K-12 Education website for the full semester program.

    In closing, enjoy the snow, enjoy the weekend.  Recent graduate Lorelei Curtin, Lamont Research Professor Billy D’Andrea and their carefully collected sheep poop continue to dominate the news cycle.  So hygge your home office, cuddle up with a nice cup of tea, and dive into the news links below.

    Best, Mo

===================

LAMONT IN THE MEDIA: FEATURED NEWS

Policymakers should consider changes in nature of land: professor Steckler, New Age, January 6, 2022, “University of Columbia Lamont Research professor Michael S Steckler at a seminar said that Bangladesh’s policymakers should consider with importance the changes in natural environment, life of the people and its economy due to changes in the nature of land in recent years.”

Sedimentary Evidence and DNA Shows Faroe Islands Were Inhabited 300 Years Before the Vikings, Guardian Magazine, December 31, 2021, Settlement of Faroe Islands Study by Lorelei Curtin, William D’Andrea.

Faroe Islands Settled Before Vikings Arrived, New Research Shows, Sci News, December 30, 2021, Settlement of Faroe Islands Study by Lorelei Curtin, William D’Andrea.

Year in climate: Extreme weather events prove climate change is already here, ABC News, December 28, 2021, The damage done to the Northern hemisphere this year alone has been "devastating," Jason Smerdon, a climate scientist for Columbia University's Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory, told ABC News.  "So this is just one more piece of bad news and lots of events that are impacted by global warming," Smerdon said.

The Faroe Islands: Not Discovered by Vikings, Norse Reign, December 26, 2021, Settlement of Faroe Islands Study by Lorelei Curtin, William D’Andrea.

Can Scientists Develop an Icy Sanctuary for Arctic Life?, Science News for Students, December 22, 2021, Article features research by Lamont oceanographer Robert Newton and colleagues.

Ancient Sheep Poop Suggests People Were on the Faroe Islands 300 Years Before the Vikings, CBC (Canada), December 21, 2021, Settlement of Faroe Islands Study by Lorelei Curtin, William D’Andrea.

Ancient Sheep Poop Tells the Tale of the Faroe Islands’ First Inhabitants, Smithsonian Magazine, December 21, 2021, Article features research led by Lamont PhD Lorelei Curtin and paleoclimatologist Billy D’Andrea.

Can Scientists Develop an Icy Sanctuary for Arctic Life?, Science News for Students, December 21, 2021, Last Arctic Ice Refuge Study by Bob Newton

Remote North Atlantic Islands Were Inhabited Centuries Earlier Than Thought, Science Alert, December 20, 2021, Settlement of Faroe Islands Study by Lorelei Curtin, William D’Andrea.

Drilling into the Climate of Human Origins, American Scientist, December 19, 2021, Article features research by Lamont postdoc Rachel Lupien, paleoclimatologist Kevin Uno, paleoceanographer Peter de Menocal, and colleagues.

There Were People in the Faroe Islands Before the Vikings, Researchers Believe, Forskning (Norway), December 19, 2021, Settlement of Faroe Islands Study by Lorelei Curtin, William D’Andrea

The Faroe Islands Were Settled in the Sixth Century, Researchers Find, Medievalists, December 18, 2021, Settlement of Faroe Islands Study by Lorelei Curtin, William D’Andrea.

Ancient Poop Suggests Someone Colonized the Faroe Islands Before the Vikings, ZME Science, December 17, 2021, Article features research led by Lamont PhD Lorelei Curtin and paleoclimatologist Billy D’Andrea.

New Evidence Confirm That the Vikings Weren’t the First to Arrive at the Faroe Islands, Mysterious Universe, December 17, 2021, Settlement of Faroe Islands Study by Lorelei Curtin, William D’Andrea.

Evidence for the Earliest Human Occupation of the Faroe Islands, Nature Asia, December 17, 2021, Article features research led by Lamont PhD Lorelei Curtin and paleoclimatologist Billy D’Andrea.

Celtic Explorers Reached the Faroe Islands 350 Years Before the Vikings Landed, The Times, December 17, 2021, Article features research led by Lamont PhD Lorelei Curtin and paleoclimatologist Billy D’Andrea.

Warmer Winters Can Wreak as Much Havoc as Hotter Summers, Say Scientists, The Guardian, December 17, 2021, Article quotes Earth Institute climate scientist Kai Kornhuber and Lamont natural hazards expert Chiara Lepore.

1,500-Year-Old Evidence of Livestock Found on Faroe Islands, Archaeology , December 17, 2021, Settlement of Faroe Islands Study by Lorelei Curtin, William D’Andrea.

Who Were the First Faroese?, Orkney News , December 17, 2021, Lamont-Doherty – Settlement of Faroe Islands Study by Lorelei Curtin, William D’Andrea.

Study: Risk of overlapping heat waves grows in Northern Hemisphere, Axios, December 17, 2021, Article quotes Kai Kornhuber, Postdoctoral Research Scientist at the Earth Institute

Arctic Fires Are Melting Permafrost That Keeps Carbon Underground, Bloomberg News, December 16, 2021, “In the future we might expect to see an outsized influence on thaw from the fires that will likely increase," said Róisín Commane, a Columbia University assistant professor who studies atmospheric composition and wasn’t involved in the new study. 

Ancient Eruptions Reveal Earliest Settlers of Faroe Islands, Eos, December 16, 2021, Article features research led by Lamont PhD Lorelei Curtin and paleoclimatologist Billy D’Andrea.

British or Irish Settlers Could Have Beaten Vikings to Faroe Islands  (runs 27:23-29:53), BBC 6 O’Clock News, December 16, 2021, Settlement of Faroe Islands Study by Lorelei Curtin, William D’Andrea. (Various iterations of the story also appear on dozens of new aggregator sites)

BLOGS

Clearing the Air: Decarbonization Technologies Take a Giant Step Forward, January 06, 2022, “Research from Columbia’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory is being used to pull CO2 out of the air.”

EI LIVE K12: RSVP for Our Winter/Spring 2022 Sessions, “Our popular video series for students, educators, and parents returns with an exciting lineup from January to June.”, January 03, 2022

Back to Bangladesh at Last, Mike Steckler, January 02, 2022, “I am finally back in Bangladesh after a pandemic hiatus. I need to repair precision GPSs that failed over the last few years. They are measuring tectonic movements for earthquake hazard and land subsidence, which exacerbates sea level rise.

Spring 2022 Internship Opportunities, “The Earth Institute is offering undergraduate, graduate and PhD students with opportunities to intern in various departments and research centers.”, December 20, 2021

Spring 2022 Undergraduate Research Assistant Opportunities, “Undergraduates from Columbia will be able to serve as research assistants on projects related to sustainable development and the environment.”

Crucial Antarctic Glacier Likely to Collapse Much Earlier than Expected, December 17, “Despite being far away, the poles and their changes have and will control the climate on our planet, and hence our own society,” says climate scientist Marco Tedesco of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and Columbia University’s Climate School. “The collapse of Thwaites can catalyze sea level rise, therefore accelerating the damage to our society by climate change,” he adds.

2021 Director's Reports

Hello Friends,  It is so hard to know what to write in this moment.  Many of us had two lovely weeks in our family bubbles, with a blissful decrease in Zoom meetings and email, and came back excited (I hope) to reconnect with our students, colleagues, and co-workers.  But on Wednesday we were assaulted with yet another egregious example of the racism and hypocrisy that is so woven into the fabric of our society.  It is painful to think about.  It is painful to watch.  Although I know that there is a segment of society that will be apologists—saying the equivalent of “boys will be boys”—we all know that only white boys can get away with the terrorist meetings and planning and weapon stockpiling that occurred over the last weeks, culminating in Wednesday’s shocking attack on the seat of U.S. government.

     Which brings me to Lamont.  The twin scourges of racism and sexism imbue all of society, including our workplaces, in ways we consciously appreciate (Wednesday) but also often don’t consciously appreciate.  Certainly, women, the LGBTQ community and racial minorities are more conscious of the subtle and not so subtle behaviors and signs of disrespect, including condescending explanations, pompous declarations, being ignored, etc.  If there was ever a time to be a little humble and self-reflective, it is now.  I know many of my white colleagues are keenly aware of the “invisible backpack of privilege” we carry and are allies, even if flawed, in this struggle to build a better, more equitable world.  In just this past fortnight, three of my male colleagues have pulled together proposals to advance diversity programs and hiring on our campus.  There will be many more opportunities for us all to pull together, in the same direction, in the year ahead.

     For the last six months, I have been on the sidelines watching the work of our DEI Task Force.  They have mindfully approached their task guided by the question “What is the Dream?”.  That report will be delivered soon and I hope we can all pitch in and use it as a roadmap to turn The Dream into The Reality—to continue to evolve our campus culture towards one that is actively anti-racist, fully inclusive and always respectful.  A place where Lamont is the best scientific playground in the world, for all of us.

     Other news of the week:

     A few months ago, I was remembering a paper by the famously creative geochemist Cesare Emiliani who wrote decades ago about how viruses might have been responsible for many of the extinctions in the geologic record.  Imagine my delight when receiving this paper from Special Research Scientist Enrico Bonatti giving a shout-out to Cesare’s newly topical hypothesis—very interesting.

     In another paper published this week in Nature, graduate student Jordan Abell, with Gisela Winckler, Bob Anderson and Tim Herbert, use sediments from the North Pacific Ocean to reconstruct variability in the Northern Hemisphere westerlies during the Pliocene. By quantifying dust fluxes to two sites separated by thousands of kilometers, they find that during the warm Pliocene, the westerly winds were located closer to the poles and were weaker than during the later Pleistocene glacial period. These findings suggest that observed poleward shifts in the westerlies over the last several decades may continue with anthropogenically-induced global warming.  As Shakespeare so eloquently said, “Past is prologue”.  The press release can be found here.

     We may not have the famous Lucy Jones, but we do have up-and-coming seismology graduate student Theresa Sawi!  Theresa was recently interviewed by Audrey Puente on Fox5 about earthquakes in the NY region.  The segment aired six times, three each on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. Folks who missed it can see it here.  Theresa, you were terrific!

     In other news, the newly formed Lamont Education Advisory Group, led by CU alumnus and friend of Lamont Frank Gumper, is about to have its first meeting. Their charge is to further the educational mission of the LDEO by providing valuable and necessary input for educational research, programming, and outreach. The committee will guide and advise the development and implementation of K-to-grey educational initiatives at Lamont, as well as the Columbia Climate School. These education and outreach activities reflect an intrinsic and broadly acknowledged need to bring our science message to the world outside of Lamont's gates. Such activities contribute to the public's awareness of the environmental challenges faced by society, and contribute to the education of the next generation of citizens and scholars.  I could not be more supportive of this effort.  

     I also want to give a shout-out to another volunteer effort being led by Carol and Greg Mountain and Hannes and Mary Ann Brueckner, all long-time members of the Lamont community.  They have volunteered to help excavate and catalog the decades of archives stored on the third floor of Lamont Hall in anticipation of that building’s eventual renovation.   Lamont is indeed fortunate to have so many people willing to pitch in and contribute, in so many ways, to our continued success and growth. 

     Finally, I’ll end with one last shout-out and a request.  First, thank you to all the B+G staff, especially Andy Reed and Howie Matza, who worked on campus through the holidays keeping an eye on things.   And second, please don’t hesitate to send news of notable goings-on in 2021.  I write about the events I hear about, so please send word of successes and milestones, large and small.

     Please have a safe and peaceful weekend.   Mo

 

===================

 

LAMONT IN THE MEDIA: FEATURED NEWS

 

Scientists Tracked Arctic Animals' Movements for Three Decades. This Is What They Found.

SciTech Daily

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Article on research co-authored by Lamont ecologist Natalie Boelman, wildlife ecologist Scott LaPoint, and Ph.D. Ruth Oliver.

 

Coastal Resilience in the Hudson Valley

Future Cities

Friday, January 1, 2021

Interview with Lamont geophysicist Klaus Jacob.

 

COVID-19 Brought Emissions Way Down in 2020, but What Will Hhappen When the Pandemic Is Over?

ABC News

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Article quotes Lamont climate scientist Jason Smerdon.

 

More Catastrophic Brahmaputra Flooding Feared

The Business Standard

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Article on study led by Lamont Ph.D. Mukund P. Rao.

 

Climate Change in 2020 Caused Some of the Worst Environmental Disasters in History

WNYC

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Interview with Lamont climate scientist Jason Smerdon.

 

From the Atlantic Hurricane Season to Wildfires in the West: How 2020 Weather Shattered Records

ABC News

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Article quotes Lamont climate scientist Jason Smerdon.

 

New York Could Experience a Damaging Earthquake

FOX 5 NY

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Article quotes Lamont graduate student Theresa Sawi.

 

Keeping Up with Fast Pace of Attribution Science

Yale Climate Connections

Monday, December 21, 2020

Article features Climate Attribution Database created by Sabin Center and Lamont.

 

Celebrating Marie Tharp

Science Magazine

Friday, December 18, 2020

Article features pioneering Lamont geologist Marie Tharp.

 

Corn Syrup Reveals How Bubbles Affect Lava’s Flow

Eos

Friday, December 18, 2020

Article on research by Lamont Ph.D. student Janine Birnbaum and colleagues.

 

Why an ‘Operation Warp Speed’ Approach Is Needed for Climate Change

Forbes

Friday, December 18, 2020

Article cites research by Lamont Ph.D. Colin Raymond (now NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory postdoc), Lamont climate scientist Radley Horton, and colleague.

 

Why Brahmaputra Flood Risk Is 38% Higher than Thought Times of India

Times of India

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Article on study led by Lamont Ph.D. Mukund P. Rao.

 

Stunningly Preserved ‘Cretaceous Pompeii’ Fossils May Not Be What They Seem

Live Science

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Article features research led by Lamont intern and Columbia undergraduate Elaine Chen.

 

BLOGS

 

Will Global Warming Bring a Change in the Winds? Dust from the Deep Sea Provides a Clue.

January 06, 2021

A new study traces three-million-year-old winds to help predict future circulation patterns.

 

2020: A Year of Discovery at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

December 28, 2020

Despite the pandemic putting fieldwork on pause, the observatory contributed new knowledge about the planet, its inner workings, and its future changes.

 

Earth Networks Take Interdisciplinary Work to the Next Level

December 21, 2020

Working across the university, the Earth Networks will focus on climate mobility, environmental justice, habitable planets, and sustainable food systems.

 

A Year in Review: What to Take Forward From 2020

December 21, 2020

Columbia students and faculty consider the lessons that can be learned from this year to move toward a more equitable and sustainable future.

 

Spring 2021 Earth Institute Research Opportunities for Undergrads

December 16, 2020

Undergraduates from Columbia and Barnard will be able to work with distinguished faculty on research projects related to sustainable development and the environment.

Hello Friends,  Sorry about missing last week.  Max ate my final draft.  But seriously, this is a very stressful time with finals, AGU, the graduate student strike, the Climate School administration transition, omicron surging, holidays—everyone should be gentle with themselves, especially if some things have to slide.  Self-care is the most important priority, along with recognizing how long we have all been under the unrelenting stress of the pandemic.  Reach out if you need help.  Please. 

    I want to give a special shout of support to my colleagues on the first floor of Seismology who have now been displaced by Hurricane Ida by almost four months.  The remediation work is ongoing with unfortunate bumps in the road, but we are hopeful it will be done soon.  One person that has worked tirelessly on behalf of the SGT division during this crisis is the Division Administrator Bonnie Bonkowski.  For that and so much more she was recently awarded the Distinguished Staff Award of the Columbia Climate School.  Her nominators wrote, “Bonnie Bonkowski is an outstanding, experienced, and trusted Division Administrator (DA),” and her citation “commended (her) for going above and beyond what is asked of you, lifting burdens from others, and taking on daunting tasks such as restoring the division after the flooding following Hurricane Ida.”  Congratulations Bonnie! 

    You may have noticed that our new LDEO website went live earlier this week. We welcome your feedback, ideas, and collaboration on new content and features. We also encourage everyone to update their Climate School directory profiles (https://www.earth.columbia.edu/users/all) and research projects (https://www.earth.columbia.edu/projects). These provide the source information for the LDEO website. Please contact our webmaster Tara Spinelli ([email protected]) with your comments and questions.  

    Staff Associate Margie Turrin wrote to remind us that, throughout December, the International Thwaites Glacier Collaboration (ITGC), will be running a virtual Antarctic Festival Month to honor the signing of the Antarctic Treaty on December 1st, 1959.  The treaty, 62 years ago this month, established the framework for international collaboration, science, and management of this fragile continent. Lamont team members Indrani Das, Frank Nitsche, and Margie Turrin are included in festival science videos and activities, including "Ask A Scientist".   

    If you have a great idea for a summer intern project studying Antarctica or elsewhere, the deadline looms.  The Lamont Summer Intern Program is soliciting projects for undergraduate students in its 2022 program. RFP here open till December 20th. 

    Now here is a benefit I never realized we had:  511NY Rideshare's Guaranteed Ride Program (GRP). The Guaranteed Ride Program covers the cost of travel from work in case of an emergency. This benefit is available to 511NY Rideshare members who work at Lamont and commute sustainably (using carpool, vanpool, shuttle, bike, bus, train, or walking) at least twice per week. To learn more about the Guaranteed Ride Program please visit  511NY Rideshare GRP. Register for 511NY Rideshare Guaranteed Ride Program here.  Lamont will enter you to win a $25 online reward card! 

    And speaking of specialized modes of transportation, a group of Columbia undergraduates from Mechanical Engineering has been working at the Machine Shop for the past few weeks using our welding facility and the Maker Space to fabricate parts for their project—to design and build a Race Car. They brought the car up to Lamont yesterday and are testing it around the Machine Shop. Nick Frearson says that it looks and sounds great!  Vroom.... 

    Thank you to everyone who came to the reception in honor of William B. F. Ryan, Special Research Scientist, to celebrate his election as a Foreign Fellow at the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei in Rome. The Accademia is one of the oldest European scientific institutions, founded in 1603, with one of its original members being Galileo Galilei. In addition to myself, Roger Buck, Suzanne Carbotte, Kim Kastens, and Alberto Malinverno all shared stories and tributes to Bill.  Alberto dubbed Bill Ryan "Linceo" or he with the lynx eyes, “an animal whose sharp vision symbolizes the observational prowess that science requires”.   

    I am also pleased to announce the addition of two new staff to the Climate School's Office of Research, which as you know is being led by Marley Bauce, our Associate Dean for Research who began in October.  Michael Shelter is the new Assistant Director of Research Initiatives responsible for running internal seed funding programs that catalyze high-risk research collaborations, and who will project manage interdisciplinary teams towards successful federal grant proposals.  Previously, Michael was the Administrative Manager within EVPR supporting research operations and proposal development. Our second new hire is Natalie Trotta who will be the Senior Manager of Faculty Development, responsible for launching workshops, training, mentorship programs, and other events that facilitate the professional growth and community interdependency across Lamont and the Climate School. Most recently, Natalie was the Senior Manager of Interschool Projects at the Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute.  From Marley, “Of course, we're building the airplane while flying it, and it will take some time to develop the programs, policies, and procedures, but we are on the case, and are excited to support you. Michael and Natalie will begin their first few months doing listening tours of Lamont's research community, and we encourage you to reach out for time to meet them over coffee.”   

    I’ll end with a science shout-out to a collaborative study published this week in Nature Communications, Earth & Environment and led by Lamont scientists Lorelei Curtin and Billy D’Andrea. They report that people were on the Faroe Islands by 500AD, centuries before the accepted Viking settlement period in the 9th century. They determined this by pinpointing and dating the first occurrence of sheep DNA and lipids from livestock feces in a lake sediment core they collected from the Faroes. While it remains uncertain who these first occupants were (St. Brendan?), it seems likely they were British Islanders rather than the Norse—and that they liked travelling with their sheep.  But did they have sheepdogs?  Inquiring minds want to know. 

    Wishing everyone an exceptionally lovely, much-needed break and I will write again in the new year.  Happy Holidays! 

    Mo 

=================== 

LAMONT IN THE MEDIA: FEATURED NEWS  

 

The Meridian Chaser: Ricocheting Between Climate Divides Old and New 

Sierra 

December 15, 2021 

Features Lamont scientist Richard Seager. 

  

Deadly Tornadoes Bring Heartbreak and Questions About Resiliency and Climate Change 

NPR  

December 15, 2021 

Interviews with Lamont scientist Chiara Lepore and Columbia scientist Michael Tippett. 

  

Tornados: Their Habits and Relation to Climate Change  

El Tiempo (Spain)  

December 14, 2021  

Quotes Lamont scientist Chiara Lepore.  

  

What Does Climate Change Have to Do With Deadly Tornadoes in America?  

24/7 News (Turkey)   

December 14, 2021  

On the other hand, tornadoes seem to concentrate in fewer days. When they form, they “tend to contain more” at the same time, explains Chiara Lepore, a researcher at Columbia University. And “this has consequences in terms of damage,” he stresses.   

   

Giant Cracks Push Imperiled Antarctic Glacier Closer to Collapse  

Nature  

December 14, 2021  

“We have been expecting that ice shelf to fail, and that’s one of the reasons that there has been such a coordinated international effort to study Thwaites — it’s big and important, but it’s also been clearly poised on the brink of change,” says Kirsty Tinto, a geophysicist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in Palisades, New York, who has studied Thwaites. The latest work, she says, reveals more about how ice shelves fail. “Understanding those processes helps us to understand not just Thwaites, but also all the rest of Antarctica, past, present, and future,” she added.   

   

Enchanted Princess Cruise Ship Christened in Video Ceremony  

Cruise Critic   

December 14, 2021  

Lamont scientist Vicki Ferrini named ‘godmother’ of ship.   

   

Rising From the Antarctic, a Climate Alarm  

New York Times   

December 13, 2021  

Map data provided by Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.   

   

Enchanted Princess: New Medallion-Class Princess Ship Officially Named  

Cruise Trade News  

December 13, 2021  

Lamont scientist Vicki Ferrini named ‘godmother’ of ship.   

   

Princess Cruises Debuts Original Show With Naming of Enchanted Princess  

CruiseHive  

December 13, 2021  

Lamont scientist Vicki Ferrini named ‘godmother’ of ship.   

  

Are Tornadoes Linked to Climate Change? The Science Isn’t Yet Definite  

Agence France-Presse   

December 13, 2021  

What's more, when tornadoes do form, the outbreaks have become more clustered, even though the sum total across the year is about the same, said Chiara Lepore, a researcher at Columbia University.  

(wire service report; widely syndicated across the world)  

   

Scientists Are Working to Figure Out How Climate Change Influences Tornadoes  

NPR All Things Considered   

December 13, 2021  

Interviews with Lamont-Doherty scientist Chiara Lepore and Columbia Climate scientist Michael Tippett.   

  
Global Warming Can Set the Stage for Deadly Tornadoes  

Inside Climate News   

December 13, 2021  

Quotes Lamont scientist Chiara Lepore and Columbia scientist Michael Tippett.   

   

Science Is Cautious About Linking Tornadoes to Climate  

El Economista (Mexico)   

December 13, 2021  

Quotes Lamont scientist Chiara Lepore.   

   

Science Is Cautious Before Linking Tornadoes to Climate Change  

The Canadian (Canada) – Dec 13, 2021 n the other hand, tornadoes seem to concentrate in fewer days. When they form, they “tend to contain more” at the same time, explains Chiara Lepore, a researcher at Columbia University. And “this has consequences in terms of damage,” he stresses.   

   

Are Tornadoes Linked to Climate Change?  

The Australian  (Australia)  

December 13, 2021  

What's more, when tornadoes do form, the outbreaks have become more clustered, even though the sum total across the year is about the same, said Chiara Lepore, a researcher at Columbia University.  - What to expect next? -  Scientists, therefore, can only study changes in the conditions potentially favorable to them forming.  But it's still difficult to infer how this would translate to more tornadoes, said Lepore, the study's lead author.  However, very violent tornadoes will remain "rare events," rather than a "new normal," he predicted.    

  

Do Environmental Protection Laws Only Work When The Economy Is Doing Well?  

Forbes   

December 10, 2021  

Ben Bostick, an associate professor at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, takes exception to this thesis, fearing it is the wrong approach. “One of the things in our society that we’ve done is created a dichotomy. Either you are for the economy or for the environment.  “It creates this idea that permeates all society on various levels. By definition, there is an economic cost to an environmental protection and similarly, there is an environmental benefit to an economic loss. Both of which are probably not necessarily well-grounded in the basics,” he said.   

  

IFLScience Meets: Marine Biologist Sylvia Earle "The Greatest Era Of Exploration Is Just Beginning"  

IFL Science   

December 9, 2021  

“One woman who was is justifiably credited with great breakthroughs in terms of ocean mapping, Marie Tharp, as a graduate student could not accompany her scientific colleagues to go out and take the measurements that led to defining the Mid Atlantic Ridge; seafloor spreading plate tectonics; this whole revolution about understanding the nature of the earth. She had to wait until the calculations that her male colleagues assembled came back and then she crunched the numbers. She made the images, but she never got to gather the evidence herself.”  

   

Interview With Shashank Samala, Founder Of Heirloom Carbon Technologies  

Clean Technica   

December 8, 2021  

“I went down the rabbit hole of mineralization. I talked to lots of professors in that field, and eventually landed on Peter Keleman, who had a few great ideas on mineralization. Mineralization just means using rocks to capture CO2 out of the air. Many people are not aware that carbonates in the earth’s crust is the largest carbon sink we have. Period. More than biomass, more than trees, more than the ocean. Rocks have the most CO2 sequestered. How? Over geological time frames, these carbonates captured CO2 out of the air, and it was important to maintain the carbon balance of our atmosphere, just like how biomass helps maintain the carbon balance.”  

  

Marie Tharp, the Woman Who Drew the Map of the World as We Know It Today  

El Confidencial (Spain)   

December 9, 2021  

Profile of the Lamont scientist.  

  

Can Greenland Be Saved From Mining and Climate Change?  

The Hill  

December 8, 2021  

Some scientists like Marco Tedesco, a research professor at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, called his camp ”Little Venice.” Some models indicated increased snow over the next two decades or more but then the rain would come. Now the rain has come.  The melting glaciers would have humbled even the most diehard skeptics.  

  

Princess Cruises Names Godmothers of New Ship  

Cruise Radio   

December 6, 2021  

Lamont scientist Vicki Ferrini named ‘godmother’.  

  

Could Future Hurricane Seasons See Storms More Rapidly Intensify? 

Miami Herald  

December 1, 2021 

“They’re very hard to forecast. We know when they happen, we know the conditions where they tend to happen but it’s very hard to say this storm is going to have rapid intensification and when,” said Suzana Carmago, a research professor in the division of ocean and climate physics at Columbia University. “There’s a lot to be understood.” 

 

BLOGS 

 

Humans Reached Remote North Atlantic Islands Centuries Earlier Than Thought 

December 16, 2021 

It was long accepted that the Vikings were the first people to settle the Faroe Islands, around 850 A.D. until traces of earlier occupation were announced in 2013. But not everyone was convinced. New probes of lake sediments clinch the case that others were there first. 

Study of West Antarctica’s Deep Past Reinforces Vulnerability to Melting 

December 15, 2021 

The continent’s western ice sheet turns out to once have been much bigger than previously thought. This implies that the now smaller version could waste quick 

Three Questions About Last Weekend’s Devastating Tornado Outbreak 

December 14, 2021 

Natural hazards expert Chiara Lepore explains some of the factors that contributed to making the outbreak uncommonly dangerous. 

Reactions That Store Carbon Underground Can Cause Cracking. That’s Good News. 

December 14, 2021 

A laboratory experiment found that as CO2 solidified, it caused the rock around it to crack. In real reservoirs, this process could open up space to pump in more CO2. 

American Geophysical Union 2021: Key Events From the Columbia Climate School 

December 07, 2021 

A guide to some of the most provocative talks at the world’s largest gathering of earth and space scientists.

    Hello Friends,  A short note to send us all off to a long weekend of relaxation and, if we are lucky, yummy comfort food with family.  As one of my children is in mandatory pre-travel quarantine this week, we had an early family Thanksgiving two weekends ago.  This holiday is such an important moment to pause and reflect on what we are grateful for in our lives and to appreciate and support the struggles of those fighting, across our communities and nation, for better wages, healthcare, representation, economic and social justice and more.  And of course, our ongoing work and activism on behalf of our beautiful planet Earth who can’t raise her own voice except through an increasing frequency of natural disasters and extinctions in response to our meddling with Mother Nature.

    In the last ten days I’ve been fortunate to meet and greet numerous folks engaged in these efforts.  This past Monday we welcomed our new state Senator Elijah Reichlin-Melnick to a tour of Lamont.  Senator Reichlin-Melnick represents the 38th district, which includes most of Rockland County and parts of Westchester County and he is deeply committed to climate causes and environmental justice.  We toured the Core Repository, Andy Juhl’s Marine Biology lab, and the Tree Ring Lab where Andy, Nikki Davi, Laia Andreu-Hayles, and myself all helped lay out the critical science going on in our groups.  We ended in the Directorate where we discussed the future of off-shore wind energy with Dave Goldberg, Lamont’s Deputy Director.  I think this was a great first step in working with our local representative and we all walked away thinking he would be a great partner in the efforts to build a more sustainable and scientifically-informed future.  Thank you everyone who contributed to the success of this visit, especially Louise McMath who led the planning effort.   

    Last Friday I also attended a meeting with Deputy Secretary of Energy David Turk organized by the EVPR office of Jeannette Wing.  Scientists from across CU presented lightning talks about clean energy initiatives and we were able to learn more about DOE’s energy research priorities.  I followed this meeting with another meeting on Saturday, hosted by mutual colleagues, of a small group of locally-based DOE finance folks.  We focused our discussion on the types of partnerships that could be built between funding agencies, the university, and the finance sector.  What is the basic Earth and climate science research needed to inform and facilitate the clean energy transition?  All of these events were nicely capped by Monday’s presentation in the Columbia Climate School’s Earth Series that presented “Energy Transition Imperative: How Do We Get There From Here?” with Alex Halliday and Jason Bordoff, two of the founding Deans of the Columbia Climate School (and Alex of course also has his lab on the Lamont campus). 

    Moving to campus updates, I am pleased to report that we received 100 applications to the LDEO post-doctoral fellowship program.  Please look for the email from Ben Bostick with instructions on how to engage with the candidate review process.  With respect to the AGU Fall meeting and the annual LDEO reception, Stacey Vassallo from Development writes: “Although we would have liked to have held our traditional in-person reception at this year’s Fall AGU meeting, this is not possible due to the continued restrictions.  We hope to gather again next year in Chicago.” 

    A few shout-outs to the impactful work being done on campus: to Lamont Research Professor Bruce “The Lobbyist” Shaw, congratulations on being part of a team that was awarded the prestigious HPCwire Editor’s and Reader’s Choice Award in 2021 for “Best Use of HPC (high-performance computing) in the Physical Sciences”. Based on Bruce’s work, the study used supercomputers to simulate almost a million years of California earthquakes in order to better understand present-day risk.  You can read more about the study here.  Lamont Research Professor Einat Lev also shared a spectacular thermal video of the La Palma eruption taken by Lamont’s new drone’s camera.  And there are many more great stories at links below.

    On November 18th Lauren Ritchie, Columbia University undergraduate and founder of The Eco Justice Project, hosted Columbia Climate Conversations: The Sustainable Fashion Revolution, a discussion at the "intersection of food, climate change, and justice".  I appreciated the parting advice of one of the panelists—“Sustainable fashion is a life style, being intentional, consuming less, upcycling, thrifting, buying new and loving what you have”.  We follow this advice in our household with Patagonia’s Wornwear website and Eileen Fisher Renew being two family favorites to source clothing.  And have I mentioned my eyeglasses are made out of recycled ocean plastic?  (Yes Mo, you’ve mentioned that a million times.). And finally, DEES Professor Adam Sobel wrote a sobering article about the recent COP26 meeting in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists reminding us all of the U.S.’s culpability in the climate crisis we are in.  You are right Adam, it is sad. 

    I’ll end by sharing an excerpt from a lovely letter (a real paper letter) I received this week from Dr. Jeff Fox, a former Lamonter and also former director of the Ocean Drilling Program.  He sent me an oil-bearing core sample (encased in acrylic) from DSDP Leg 1, Site 2 from the Gulf of Mexico that, if you think about it, is definitely not what you want to tap into from a scientific drill ship.  The good news, of course, is that nascent ocean drilling program did not cause a Deepwater Horizon-type disaster, and that after five decades of operations, the ocean drilling programs have never caused any sort of environmental degradation in the deep sea, let alone a disaster.  It is a safety record we can be proud of.  Jeff also wrote: “Based on my readings of the LDEO Weekly Report on matters arising at the Observatory, it suggests to me that you are spread so thin as to transmit light as you and the Directorate Team keep a steady hand on the tiller assuring Lamont’s productive scientific trajectory.  The summary of the contributions made on a weekly basis is remarkable regarding breadth and diversity.  I get exhausted just reading about these achievements and am reminded how lucky I was to pass through the LDEO portal.”

    Hear, hear!  Thank you, Jeff.  And I want to especially thank this week the Directorate Team, including Dave Goldberg, Miriam Cinquegrana, and Nicole DeRoberts especially.  Let us all take a few days off and thicken back up!

Have a peaceful break.  Mo

===================

LAMONT IN THE MEDIA: FEATURED NEWS

 

Why Did Glacial Cycles Intensify a Million Years Ago?

National Science Foundation 

November 24, 2021

Article on a study by Lamont researchers Maayan Yehudai and Steven Goldstein.

 

Greenland saw record ice loss from calving icebergs and ocean melt over the last year

The Washington Post 

November 23, 2021

“The long-term past two decades have shown us the incredible wrongness in calling ‘glacial pace’ something slow,” said Marco Tedesco, a research professor at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University.

 

Once Shunned in Antarctica, Women Are Doing Crucial Polar Research

Scientific American

November 18, 2021

Cites Lamont scientist Indrani Das.

 

COP26 Highlights an Infuriating, Depressing, Miserable Situation. And Yet…

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists,

November 18

By Lamont scientist Adam Sobel.

The Tales Trees Tell, From History to Climate Change

Christian Science Monitor

November 17, 2021

Features Lamont Tree Ring Lab Director Ed Cook.

 

Cutting Carbon Emissions Means Changes in Daily Lives by Embracing Technology

Washington Post

November 16, 2021

Features Lamont’s Education and Outreach Coordinator Laurel Zaima.

 

Scientists Are Racing to Save the Last Ice Area, an Arctic Noah’s Ark

Science News

November 15, 2021

Article features Bob Newton, Senior Research Scientist at Lamont, and colleagues.

Where Covid-19’s Death Grip Slipped

SciTech Daily

November 15, 2021

Article on research led by Lamont scientist Lex van Geen.

 

What Can I Do to Further Climate Progress?

Inside Climate News

November 15, 2021

Interview with Lamont scientist Jason Smerdon.

2 Ivory Smugglers Captured in International Operation, U.S. Says

The New York Times

November 12, 2021

“We found that most of the ivory was less than three years old,” Kevin Uno, a paleoecologist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University, said. “That’s bad news for elephants and good for governments because they’re there safeguarding their stockpiles”, Kevin added.

 

The ‘Last Ice Area’ May Provide an Arctic Refuge in a Warming World

Smithsonian

November 11, 2021

Last Ice Area Study by Bob Newton, Senior Research Scientist at Lamont, and colleagues.

 

BLOGS

Where Covid-19’s Death Grip Slipped (Briefly)

November 15, 2021

Geochemist Lex van Geen works at the intersection of public health and environmental risks. His research on natural arsenic contamination in groundwater has alerted the world community to this insidious danger over two decades.

How Close Are We to Climate Tipping Points?

November 11, 2021

“As world leaders gather at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, to take bolder action against climate change, human activity has already warmed the planet 1.1°C above pre-industrial levels.”

    Hello Friends,  How many people enjoyed the swooping approach up the back entrance yesterday?  It was gracious and grand (potholes aside) with radiant colors from all fall foliage.  A big thanks to Andy Reed and his team, and Howie Matza and bus crew, for pivoting our transport procedures on a moment’s notice and getting the front entrance of Lamont repaved in time for winter.  The facilities crew has been short-handed for months, as we push forward with filling empty positions, and I am deeply appreciative of the incredible job they are doing.  We are also trying to fill a senior executive assistant position in the Directorate, as well as our Assistant Director for DEIA position.  I can tell you that it is a tough, tough hiring landscape out there, seemingly in every field. 

    Thank you to everyone who showed up Wednesday for the presentation by Federal Science Partners co-founders Meg Thompson and Joel Widder.  For those who missed, we forwarded a link to the recording and background materials.  The major message I took away was that there has never been a better time to reach out to your program managers and discuss future plans.  As a former early- and even mid-career researcher I’ve heard this advice before, but actually doing that (um, am I supposed to cold-email them???) often seemed far beyond my comfort zone.  If that sounds familiar, please reach out to Marley Bauce in the new Office of Research—maybe we can even get a small informal group together to discuss such connection strategies.  Lamont also has the benefit of having a number of former program managers, from various agencies, on our staff who are always happy to share their experiences and advice.  And knowing Marley, he will probably have a memo with action items on my desk before the ink is dry on this newsletter. 

    Next week, another Town Hall will discuss the organizational structure for the Climate School’s launch year as well as projects and initiatives being put in place to support our research community. And I very much doubt the ink will be dry on those PowerPoint slides when they are presented.  Every day the Climate School team is working on myriads of issues trying to push this ambitious, audacious endeavor forward.  Each day we are asking, “How does this best advance knowledge, scholarship, science, people, student experiences, and more?”.  The vast number of moving parts and the gargantuan size of this task can make it feel overwhelming—but I also know from conversations with colleagues outside of Columbia, that the world is incredibly impressed at the scale of Columbia’s ambition in attacking the problem of global sustainability and climate change.  I’m honored and humbled to be a part of this process.  Please register here for the Town Hall.

    On Monday, I met with one of Lamont’s biggest supporters, the Vetlesen Foundation and Maurizio Morello.  Each year we provide a report on LDEO’s annual activities and research ambitions and thank the Monell Family in particular for their ongoing support.  The Vetlesen Foundation also supports and underwrites the Vetlesen Prize, which is administered by LDEO and Columbia University and given out every three years.  It is essentially the Nobel Prize of Geosciences and was won most recently by Dr. Anny Cazenave for her work on geodesy and sea level.  In the new year we will begin the process of finding the next worthy recipient of this prestigious award and I will be reminded again of the generosity and support of the Vetlesen Foundation.  Some of you know this but Lamont’s first ship, the Vema, was given to Lamont by the Vetlesen family and the name of the ship was a combination of the names Vetlesen and Maude, Ambrose Monell’s grandmother.  Ambrose and I both were delighted to be sent this amazing and beautifully executed virtual exhibit titled “Voyagers of the R/V Vema. A quarter of a Century of Geophysical Research at Sea”, recently published by the American Institute of Physics.

    Two more announcements—please join me in wishing Marie DeNoia Aronsohn, our former Director of Strategic Communications, all the best in her new position as Director of Strategic Communications for Barnard College. She will transition to her new role at Barnard on Monday. Marie, thank you for all your outstanding contributions to Lamont over the past 4.5 years!  Not to mention the many video do-overs you gave me.  We will all miss you and wish you well in your next professional adventure within Columbia.  (And all media inquiries should be directed to Kevin Krajick until we are able to secure Marie's replacement.)

    Also, last semester, members of LDEO, CIESIN, and IRI started a “pod” of the national NSF-funded Unlearning Racism in Geoscience (URGE) program designed to promote anti-racism on campus. Building on the success of last semester’s Development phase, the URGE members at Lamont would like to invite newcomers to Lamont, or those who could not participate in the spring, to join “to improve our deliverables during the national URGE Refinement phase next spring.”  Please consider engaging with this important institutional effort. To participate or even just receive updates, please complete this Google form. You can learn about the initial stage, as well as the future of the program here. Or join via Slack here.

    This morning I enjoyed hosting the graduate students of the Climate and Society program on a Core Lab tour, peppering them with stories of manganese nodules, nannofossils, and nautical adventures. It reminds me to thank everyone who has been helping with ongoing tours of campus for downtown Columbia University leadership, students, and staff.  On Wednesday this week, that included Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Jim Glover and Executive Director, Project Management Kathryn Lattimer.  Within the Directorate we are always happy to facilitate tours and deeply appreciate the time Lamonters contribute to this effort.

    I’ll end with some nature numbers:  five hundred more daffodils planted this week; approximately ten days ago when the trees in the Lamont sanctuary forest stopped photosynthesizing, about 15 days later than usual (thanks Mukund!); and approximately a million lady bugs that descended on the campus this week.  They were literally flying into our faces during my patio meetings these past few days.

    Better than a swarm of locusts!   Have a lovely weekend.  Best, Mo

===================

LAMONT IN THE MEDIA: FEATURED NEWS

Scientists Explain Climate Change a Million Years Ago

Sciences et Avernir (France)

November  11, 2021

Article on a study by Lamont researchers Maayan Yehudai and Steven Goldstein.

 

Scientists Overturn a Million-Year-Old Climate Change Theory

EFE (Spain) 

November 10, 2021

Article on a study by Lamont researchers Maayan Yehudai and Steven Goldstein.

 

Major Climate Shift a Million Years Ago Linked to Ocean Currents

Earth.com 

November 10, 2021

Article on a study by Lamont researchers Maayan Yehudai and Steven Goldstein.

 

Researchers Explore Why Glacial Cycles Intensified a Million Years Ago

Azo Cleantech

November 9, 2021

The researchers analyzed cores of deep-sea sediments taken in the south and north Atlantic, where ancient deep waters passed by and left chemical clues. "What we found is the North Atlantic, right before this crash, was acting very differently than the rest of the basin," said lead author Maayan Yehudai, who did the work as a PhD. student at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.

 

Weather or Not: How You Can Fight Climate Change

ABC NY 

November 8, 2021

Interview with Lamont scientist Radley Horton.

 

Something Big Happened to the Planet a Million Years Ago

SciTech Daily 

November 7, 2021

Article on a study by Lamont researchers Maayan Yehudai and Steven Goldstein.

 

Voyages of the R/V Vema

American Institute of Physics 

November 7, 2021

Extensive multimedia exhibit on Lamont’s R/V Vema.

 

What's behind climate talks' key elusive goal

Associated Press

November 7, 2021

“It’s physically possible (to limit warming to 1.5 degrees), but I think it is close to politically impossible in the real world barring miracles", Columbia University climate scientist Adam Sobel said. “Of course we should not give up advocating for it”, he added.

 

The Truth About Carbon Capture Technology

Popular Science

November 5, 2021

“There has been a lot of work on how to separate that carbon dioxide from other gases,” Peter Kelemen, a professor of earth and environmental sciences at Columbia University, says. “Once you have it, of course, you have to store it someplace.” From Kelemen’s perspective, storage and sequestration are “pretty much synonymous,” except sequestration is used when the storage of the carbon dioxide is “essentially permanent” through methods like geological storage. The Norwegian  Sleipner Project in the North Sea, for example, stores dense carbon dioxide fluid under pressure in a pore space under the seabed, Kelemen says. 

 

Melting Greenland Ice Linked to Rising Seas

Fox Weather 

November 4, 2021

Interview with Lamont scientist Marco Tedesco.

 

BLOGS

Why Did Glacial Cycles Intensify a Million Years Ago?

November 8, 2021

“A new study suggests that a million years ago, glaciers began sticking more persistently to their beds, triggering cycles of longer ice ages. Here, ice discharged from Iceland’s Breiðamerkurjökull glacier on its way to the Atlantic ocean.”

    Hello Friends,  Last week I had the pleasure of being a guest at Reid Hall in Paris, one of the Columbia World Centers.  I gave a public talk at the Institute for Ideas and Imagination, which if you think about that name, how can one not be a little bit dazzled and impressed?  So much of our life in academia is the pursuit of ideas, preferably with a large dose of imagination tossed in.  At the Institute, writers and creative artists come together for a year-long dialogue and fellowship.  I was there to share my knowledge of climate science, a topic of intense interest to most scholars today, no matter what their field.  I am extremely grateful to Center Director Brune Biebuyck and Institute Associate Director Marie d’Origny for their wonderful hospitality during my stay.  They are actively looking for more scientists to engage with and their online portal for applications for the 2022-23 Fellowship cycle is now open.

    Now I’m back in town and the rest of the Climate School co-Deans, along with a number of our Lamont colleagues, are off in Glasgow taking part in COP26, an international conference focused on the global challenge of rapidly decarbonizing our future.  Yesterday, CU hosted a panel on “Turning Ambition into Action”, with Mary Nichols, Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Center on Global Energy Policy; Peggy Shepard of WeAct; Catherine McKenna, Canadian Minister of Environment and Climate Change; as well as Jason Bordoff and Alex Halliday, Deans of the Columbia Climate School. Here is the twitter thread and the video will eventually be posted to Climate School website, along with all CU COP related content here.

    One of LDEO’s postdocs, Catalina Sanchez-Roa, a scientist in Lamont’s Seismology Geology and Tectonophysics Division who is working on decarbonization, is also currently at COP26.   She wasn’t granted permission from Columbia until the middle of last week, and after obtaining a whirlwind special visa that she picked up on Friday, she flew to Glasgow on Saturday.  Her Twitter feed has lots of fun stuff, including this pic of the mythical “emergency passport”.  Nice to know these unicorns actually do exist!  And of course, if you haven’t seen this video—who doesn’t love a good dinosaur?

    Cue up the Town Halls—information is a-flowing!  On November 10th, from 3:00 - 4:00 PM, Federal Science Partners co-founders Meg Thompson and Joel Widder will host a virtual town hall on “Briefing on Federal Science Funding for FY 2022”.  Our eyes and ears on the ground in D.C. will fill us in on the latest crazy going on in a government arena trying to build-back-better.  A Zoom link will be forthcoming.  Also hold the date on November 17 at 1:00 PM for a Town Hall hosted by the ever-popular Climate School Co-Founding Deans.  We will be discussing the organizational structure for the School’s launch year as well as projects and initiatives being put in place to support our research community. Please register here.

    Note also we have extended the application deadline of the Lamont Postdoctoral Fellowship to next Friday, November 12.  Fellowships are open to candidates who have recently completed their PhD or expect to complete their degree requirements by September 2022. Please be sure to share this opportunity via email or social media!

    Please also join me in congratulating Christine Chesley who today successfully defended her thesis on “Marine electromagnetic studies of the Pacific Plate and Hikurangi Margin, New Zealand”.  Christine plans to continue her research on the tectonics and faulting of the seafloor as a WHOI Postdoctoral Scholar with Dr. Rob Evans. 

    Finally, I want to thank Art Lerner-Lam and Cassie Xu for joining me in our annual meeting with and presentation to the Trustees of the Doherty Foundation this week.  Walter Brown and the trustee board have been incredible supporters of our education and outreach programs over many years.  We are lucky to have so many ardent supporters of our research and educational missions, none more so than the Doherty family after which the Observatory is named.

    Wishing all a peaceful weekend.  Best, Mo

===================

LAMONT IN THE MEDIA: FEATURED NEWS

Statute of Liberty Photos Do Not Prove Sea Level Rise Is a Myth

Reuters

November 5, 2021

“The (relative) sea level rise (SLR) in NYC (Battery tide gauge) is about 1.1 inches in every decade, or about a foot in a century,” Dr. Klaus Hans Jacob, Special Research Scientist in Seismology, Geology, and Tectonophysics at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Colombia Climate School, told Reuters (here).  “A photographic comparison between 2020 and 1920 is meaningless since the daily tides in New York harbor are several feet every day, and therefore are larger than the SLR for the last 100 years,” he added.

 

Climate Change Is a Universal Problem, But It Hits Some People Harder than Others

NBC News

November 3, 2021

 

China suffering its most widespread Covid-19 outbreak since Wuhan with 19 provinces seeing new cases

Daily Mail – Nov 3, 2021

'As the atmosphere warms up, air can hold more moisture, so when storms occur, they can rain out more extreme precipitation,' said Richard Seager, a climate scientist at Columbia University. 'Chances are extremely likely that human-induced climate change caused the extreme flooding you saw this summer in places like China and Europe.'

 

Climate Change Is a Universal Problem, But It’s Hitting Some People Harder Than Others

NBC News 

November 3, 2021

Interview with Lamont scientist Radley Horton.

 

Greenland’s Ice Sheet Is Melting at Such a Fast Pace, It Is Heightening Worldwide Risk of Flooding

UK Today News

November 1, 2021

A separate observation of Greenland found its ice sheets lost 8.5 billion tons of surface mass on July 27, which is enough ice to cover Florida in two inches of water. Melting events can create feedback loops that drive further warming and melting in Greenland, according to Marco Tedesco, a climate scientist at Columbia University.  As snow melts, it exposes darker ice or ground beneath, which absorbs more sunlight rather than reflecting it back out of the atmosphere.  ‘It really positions Greenland to be more vulnerable to the rest of the melting season,’ Tedesco, research professor at Columbia University´s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, told Reuters.

 

'Ordinary People Suffer Most': China Farms Face Climate Woes.

Associated Press

November 2, 2021

“As the atmosphere warms up, air can hold more moisture, so when storms occur, they can rain out more extreme precipitation,” said Richard Seager, a climate scientist at Columbia University. “Chances are extremely likely that human-induced climate change caused the extreme flooding you saw this summer in places like China and Europe.”

 

Fall Foliage Watch: Scientists Say Climate Change Is Doing A Number On The Northeast

WCBS-TV

 November 1, 2021

Quotes Jason Smerdon of LDEO and Benjamin Cook of GISS.

 

COP26: This Is What Individuals Can Do to Slow Down Climate Change

ABC News

October 31, 2021

Features Lamont scientist Jason Smerdon.

 

'On Wall Street, there will be water': How cities will adapt to climate change

Yahoo News

October 30, 2021

Klaus Jacob has been studying climate change for more than half a century and served on the New York City Panel on Climate Change for over a decade. During that time, he told Yahoo News, he has seen "more and more severe disasters," and he has urged policymakers to prepare for far worse events to come.  Currently a Special Research Scientist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and an adjunct professor at Columbia University, Jacob warns that parts of many coastal cities, such as New York, will be regularly inundated by the end of this century.

 

Urgency pervades COP26 climate change summit as US grapples with environmental justice

USA Today 

October 29, 2021

Quotes Radley Horton of LDEO.

 

Scientists express doubt that Glasgow climate change conference will be successful

Yahoo News

October 28, 2021

“We’ve got to have a global plan that works both on the mitigation side, namely to reduce greenhouse gases as quickly as possible and get that financed internationally,” [Klaus] Jacob said, “and not just the main emitters — nations like the U.S., China, Brazil or Europe, and maybe India. But we also have to address it on the adaptation side, and just think about nations like Bangladesh or Vietnam, that have tens and hundreds of millions of people that by the end of the century will have to be moved.”

 

Floods, Flames and Heat: Images of This Year’s Extreme Weather Offer a Stark Backdrop for COP26 Climate Summit

Washington Post

October 26, 2021

“Arctic Sea Ice Is, In Fact, Disappearing,” Robert Newton, Senior Research Scientist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University, told Reuters Via Email. The late summer minimum sea ice extent has “diminished by nearly half in the last 40 years”, he said.

 

This Year’s Extreme Weather Offers A Stark Backdrop For COP26 Summit

Washington Post

Oct 26, 2012

“This was a really extreme year,” said Radley Horton, a Research Professor focused on climate extremes at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. “Right now we’re seeing the climate extremes changing so fast that that alone is demonstrating that going past 1.5 Celsius will be something we won’t adapt to.”

 

The Fate Of Arctic Sea Ice

Earthsky 

October 26, 2021

The peer-reviewed Journal Earth’s Future published these scientists’ study on September 2.  Co-author Robert Newton of Columbia University used the word “experiment” to describe Earth’s climate – and the repercussions of global warming – in the Arctic.

 

Timber Salvaged From New York City Buildings Reveals Ancient Climate

National Geographic – Oct 22, 2021

Article on research by Lamont tree-ring scientists Caroline Leland, Mukund Rao and Edward Cook.

 

‘Medicane’ Is a Real Phenomenon

CNN

October 27, 2021

"Medicanes are very much like hurricanes," says Dr. Richard Seager of Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University. He told CNN that because medicanes are "geographically confined over the Mediterranean Sea and are surrounded by land" they are typically smaller than a hurricane and often dissipate quicker.

 

Predicting Exactly When Natural Resources, Ecosystems And Species May Disappear Is Not Possible, Experts Say

Reuters – Oct 26, 2021

 

BLOGS

Communication is a two way exchange, yet all too often we forget the most critical part!

October 29, 2021

“The Hudson River is one of the most important geographical features in New York impacting the communities that lie along its banks. Despite the close proximity to the river, many of the communities along the Hudson are misinformed or know very little about the river. Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory’s Next Generation of Hudson River Educators Internship (Next Gen) provides high school students a summer opportunity to uncover the truth about the Hudson River.”

 

Tackling a 40 Million-Year-Old Conundrum

October 24, 2021

“A new study bolsters the idea that the uplift of the Himalayas and Andes that began tens of millions of years ago helped trigger the ice ages that followed.”

    Hello Friends,  It was so great to see how many people contributed to support Lamont science and scientists on Columbia University’s Giving Day!  Thanks to the generosity of Ed Botwinick and Vicki Brown, long-time supporters and friends of LDEO, Lamont had a $100,000 challenge match that was met and surpassed.  I am delighted to share that on October 20, 2021, LDEO received 163 gifts totaling $235,341. We are so deeply grateful to all for this support of Lamont’s mission and research.  In addition to donations, LDEO will win challenge funds for their spot on the leaderboard and $2,000 from this great throwback tweet by Lamont alumna Christa Farmer.  Christa thank you!  A special thanks to the Development Team who led the Giving Day efforts, as well as to all the members of our community who contributed or participated in the day’s activities.  

    Within the Directorate, we continue to strive to use our resources wisely for maximum impact, appreciating that sometimes the biggest impact can come from a free cookie and cup of coffee with colleagues.  So great that we can still be outside with nibbles enjoying this beautiful weather.  On a grander scale, we are nearing a critical milestone in the building of a new Observatory website.  Today I got a presentation of the new site and it will be awesome—far more versatile and informative, not to mention better organized, than what we have now.  A soft launch is planned for December and more info will be sent in the coming weeks.  There will be a last-minute scramble to get as much content migrated as possible, with the weak link being the content that needs input from individual scientists.  A big thanks goes to the IT and Comms teams at EI and LDEO, and especially Tara Spinelli for her Herculean efforts in making this dream become a reality. 

    The news from the federal agencies in Washington continues to be good.  Our Federal Science Partners, Joel Widder and Meg Thompson, agreed to come give a Town Hall presentation to our scientists during early November.  They plan to give an overview of the opportunities they see evolving as the federal budget process continues to trundle forward.  Keep an eye out for an email to save the date.   

    Other efforts moving forward include the buildout of the Office of Research in the Climate School.  Of course, this office is there to help us all.  Marley Bauce, formerly of the EVPR Office, is the new Director of this office and he is working hard to hire needed staff and build out new programs, including Climate School seed funding programs.  I have invited Marley to also give a town hall presentation in a few weeks, which he has enthusiastically agreed to do.  This is a great time to be connecting our LDEO strategic plan with ambitious proposals, and I am thrilled to hear that many groups are engaging in conversations around these topics.  I also want to thank Marley for his presentation at ExCom today and for the incredibly useful follow-up discussion on how we move forward with the implementation of the Lamont Strategic Vision Plan. 

    The last bit of news this week concerns the University Senate Plenary Meeting which was held earlier today.  They met to consider a resolution to amend the University statutes to allow the formation of a Faculty for the new Columbia Climate School.  I am happy to report that the resolution passed resoundingly.  This is an historic moment in the history of the University—a critical step in the formation of a new school focused on climate, Earth, and society—an action that will reverberate through the Lamont campus for decades to come.  Thank you especially to our Lamont representatives on the Senate, Billy D’Andrea, Marco Tedesco, and Sonya Dyhrman.  As we continue to move forward with the establishment of the Columbia Climate School, may it bring many wonderful and new opportunities to Lamont, IRI, CIESIN, and DEES as we work together to address the twin challenges of global warming and global sustainability. 

    In closing, enjoy this lovely weather and have a peaceful weekend.  I highly recommend reading the last blog post below about DEES Prof. Renata Wenzcovitch’s recent paper in Nature….it is pretty amazing stuff.   

    Best, Mo 

=================== 

LAMONT IN THE MEDIA: FEATURED NEWS  

What Drove Homo Erectus Out of Africa? 

Smithsonian Magazine 

October 19, 2021 

In 2020, Rachel Lupien, a postdoctoral research scientist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University, used chemical signatures in plant leaf waxes preserved in the sediments of the Turkana Basin to identify a sudden shift in climate—from arid to humid and rainy—that roughly coincides with the rise of this technology. 

 

Tree Rings Reveal a 700-Year Record of Flooding in Bangladesh 

Eos 

October 15, 2021 

By Lamont scientists Mukund Rao and Ben Cook. 

  

The Future of Fall: How Climate Change Threatens New England Foliage 

WGBH 

October 15, 2021 

Features Lamont scientists Jason Smerdon and Ben Cook. 

  

Science Communication on Trial Following a Volcanic Disaster 

Temblor 

 October 15, 2021 

By EI professor John Mutter. 

 

Polar Bears Might Go Extinct by End of the Century If Arctic Ice Continues to Melt 

Nature World News 

October 15, 2021 

Artic Study by Robert Newton, Senior Research Scientist, Lamont-Doherty Earth   Observatory 

 

Polar bears could vanish by the end of the century, scientists predict 

Live Science

October 14, 2021 

"Unfortunately, this is a massive experiment we're doing," study co-author Robert Newton, a senior research scientist at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, said in a statement. "If the year-round ice goes away, entire ice-dependent ecosystems will collapse, and something new will begin." 

 

The Arctic May Lose Its "Last Ice Area" This Century  

Earth.com 

October 14, 2021

 

Warming Climate Threatens Arctic Ocean's Last Ice Area; Could Vanish by 2100 Along With Creatures That Rely on It 

The Science Times 

 October 13, 2021 

 

BLOGS 

Alumni Spotlight: Sharelle Pampo Copple 

October 19, 2021

Sharelle Pampo Copple is a recent alumna of the Sustainability Science (SUSC) program (‘21). “Sharelle has witnessed the effects of coral bleaching firsthand. This experience is what initially sparked her passion for climate change and sustainability.” 

 

Data Scientist Garima Raheja Is Addressing the Environmental Justice Issues of Air Pollution 

October 19, 2021

“After spending most of her childhood in New Delhi, India — one of the most polluted cities in the world — air pollution had become a fact of life for Garima Raheja.” 

 

Quantum Phase Transition Is Detected on a Global Scale in the Deep Earth 

“Scientists have for the first time documented areas in the deep earth where materials have undergone changes on a subatomic level. There, crushing pressures apparently are bringing about a long hypothesized but until now unproven quantum phase transition called a spin crossover, which affects the magnetic state of a key deep-earth mineral.” 

    Hello Friends,  Isn’t October great!?  I’d give it the best month award any year.  I received some good news from downtown yesterday.  The campus federal indirect cost return rate has been revised upward by 1.5%, which will put more money into our operating budget next fiscal year. The fact that this news made me so happy makes me worry I have a bad case of directoritis. 

    In other news from Washington D.C., the National Academies recently released a new report on Next-Generation Earth Systems Science at the National Science Foundation. Quoting Federal Science Partners, “The report concludes that to explore the complex interactions between the natural world and society and enhance our understanding of Earth’s systems — the atmosphere, hydrosphere, geosphere, cryosphere, biosphere, and the individuals, institutions, and technologies that respond to and influence these dynamics — the National Science Foundation should create a next-generation Earth systems science initiative.  The report says NSF’s next-generation Earth systems science initiative should innovate, advance, and nurture an integrated research approach for the field. This will require NSF to place an increased emphasis on research inspired by real-world problems while maintaining its strong legacy of curiosity driven research across many disciplines — and to enhance the participation of social, engineering, and data scientists, and strengthen its efforts to include diverse perspectives in research.”   

    It is hard to read this and not appreciate how aligned this vision is with the strengths of the Lamont Campus, especially as the Climate School continues to expand and deepen our transdisciplinary connections across the university.  This all bodes very well for us, especially as we maintain a parallel commitment to increasing diversity, and diverse perspectives, on our campus. 

    Thank you to everyone who engaged with Lamont Open House this week.  So many great events unfolded online over the last few days.  It was my pleasure to introduce a lively moderated discussion on wind power with Dave Goldberg, Robin Bell and Róisín Commane.  So often our work unfolds in exotic distant locations of great natural beauty, but Róisín’s work in our backyard of NYC was an informative and (dare I say) entertaining exposé of just how awful and polluting the power delivery grid of this great city is.  We have a long way to go to a cleaner, more sustainable future and hopefully offshore wind will help blow us along that path.   

    Big shout-outs go to Kevin Uno, Kailani Acosta, Cassie Xu, Stacey Vassallo, Christine McCarthy, Yves Moussallam, Jacky Austermann, Chris Zappa, Marie deNoia Aronsohn and so many more who contributed to the success this year’s Open House.  I especially appreciate your efforts given that the level of pandemic fatigue seems to be at an all-time high.   

    But let’s not let pandemic fatigue lead to wallet fatigue!  Next Wednesday, October 20th, is the one, the only, Columbia Giving Day—a 24-hour online event where a community of alumni, students, parents, friends, neighbors, faculty, and staff come together to show their support for our great institution.  I am delighted to share that Lamont supporters Ed Botwinick and Vicki Brown have, once again, donated a $100,000 challenge match this year.  This means that all gifts will be matched dollar for dollar up to $100,000.  Ed and Vicki, we at Lamont thank you for your tremendous generosity.  I hope everyone will visit the Lamont Giving Day page and show your support on October 20th.  Of course, your help in getting the message out with likes, retweets, and shares of Lamont’s social media posts is also appreciated.  Let’s surpass last year’s total together! 

    Also next week, on October 18th at 6:00 PM, Columbia Climate School Earth Series will present “Going to Extremes: Global Hazards and the Path to Resilience", a conversation moderated by Alex Halliday, Founding Dean of the Columbia Climate School, with the participation of Suzana Camargo, Marie Tharp Lamont Research Professor, Jeff Schlegelmilch, Research Scholar and the Director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at the Columbia Climate School, and Daniel Zarrilli, Special Advisor for Climate and Sustainability at Columbia University. Please mark your calendars and register here

    I’ll wrap up by reporting that I observed a Red-backed Salamander (Plethodon cinereus) on a campus walk yesterday.  It was on cement but it was heading toward the grass and, presumably, a more hospitable amphibian home.  Fun fact, they have no lungs—they breathe through their skin.  Linda Pistolesi of CIESIN also observed something interesting on a walk across campus this past week—a Spotted Lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula).  This is a highly invasive and destructive species that should be reported when spotted.  It is hard for me to even write this, but the recommended action is death-by-stomping.  For more information on this invasive go here.  We apparently are near ground-zero in Rockland County. 

    From the Cornell Cooperative Extension site: “Orangeburg is the site of the largest current infestation in Rockland County. The other infestation in Sloatsburg is significantly smaller. The point of origin for the Orangeburg Infestation is the intersection of the Joseph B Clarke Rail Trail and Route 303. It is imperative for people who are within three miles of this location to check their cars, any shipments they are involved with, and person for any Spotted Lanternflies. Any instances should be reported and then killed. The easiest way to kill them is by swatting them or stomping on them. Currently, this site is being treated with pesticides and circle traps to lower the population of Spotted Lanternfly present.” 

    Pancrustacean hexapod invertebrate death sentences aside, have a peaceful weekend.    

    Best, Mo 

=================== 

LAMONT IN THE MEDIA: FEATURED NEWS  

Arctic summer-sea ice covers less than half the area it did in early 1980s and may not last to 2100 

Daily Mail 

October 13, 2021 

''If the year-round ice goes away, entire ice-dependent ecosystems will collapse, and something new will begin.',' Robert Newton, a research scientist at Columbia's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory said in a statement.    

  

What Drove Homo Erectus Out of Africa? 

Sapiens

October 13, 2021 

Quotes Lamont grad student Rachel Lupien. 

  

Sea Levels Will Rise, But Decisions at COP 26 Will Determine How Much 

The Energy Mix

October 13, 2021 

Cites research at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. 

  

Scientists Find Evidence of Manmade Warming Going Back to Early 1900s 

ZME Science

October 13, 2021 

Story on research coauthored by Lamont scientists Ben Cook and Jason Smerdon. 

 

EU's Greenland Power Grab: Bloc Moves in on Arctic's 'Last Ice Area' 

Express

October 14, 2021

“GLOBAL WARMING is threatening to render the Arctic Ocean year-long ice a thing of the past, as scientists warn the region's "Last Ice Area" may collapse before the end of the century 

 

Polar Bears Could Vanish by End of This Century, Scientists Predict 

LiveScience

October 13, 2021 

  

Arctic Sea Ice May Make a Last Stand in This Remote Region 

Environmental News Network

October 13, 2021 

  

The Arctic May Lose Its ‘Last Ice Area’ This Century 

Earth.com

October 13, 2021 

  

In the Year 2100, There Will Be Tragedy in the Arctic If We Don’t Curb Emissions 

El Espectador (Spain)

October 12, 2021 

  

Ice Zone in the Arctic May Not Last This Century 

Europapress (Spain)

October 12, 2021 

(wire service report; widely syndicated) 

  

The ‘Last Ice Territory’ of the Arctic Ocean May Not Survive This Century 

Funtitech 

October 12, 2021 

  

Remaining Arctic Sea Ice May Not Last This Century 

Mashable

October 12, 2021 

  

Scientists Predict the Year That Polar Bears Will Disappear 

Inverse

October 12, 2021 

 

Why One Queens Block Has Flooded For Decades 

Gothamist

October 7, 2021 

Klaus Jacob, a geophysicist at Columbia University who studies climate change in cities, said the phenomenon has been observed across the city. "When people started to get [the city's] water supply, that’s when suddenly the water table rose, even in Manhattan," he said. "People suddenly had flooded basements." 

 

BLOGS 

Scientists and Native People Jointly Study Sea-Ice Declines Threatening Seal Hunts 

October 14, 2021

“Climate change has severely reduced the length of the seal hunting season in a rural Alaska village, potentially threatening a key feature of the community’s way of life. Several new scientific studies, designed and carried out with members of the village, give a close-up look at exactly what is happening.” 

 

Arctic Sea Ice May Make a Last Stand in This Remote Region. It May Lose the Battle. 

October 12, 2021

“Study Sees a Daunting Outlook for Year-Round Ice and Its Ecosystems” 

    Hello Friends, It is shaping up to be a lovely weekend and you hopefully can find some time to catch up on all the great science stories in the October edition of the Lamont Newsletter.  I always enjoy hearing about the projects going on around campus and was struck this week by the wide variety of topics that are incorporating machine learning and artificial intelligence into data analysis.  I’d like to take a campus census on this and will send out an email request next week. 

    In the meantime, I was pretty amazed at the story about the undergraduate research project of Jasper Baur who is now a graduate student with LRP Einat Lev at LDEO.  Jasper uses drones with various imaging capabilities to search for and identify land mines, at a fraction of the cost of typical minefield remediation.  With their miniaturized sensors they can even find insidious plastic landmines, like the Russian-made PFM-1 mine which apparently can be dropped en masse from airplanes and flutters gently to the ground.  Setting aside how horrific it is to drop explosive toy-like objects from the sky, thank goodness scientists like Jasper are thinking deeply about this problem.  With his co-authors, he published a paper in the Journal of Conventional Weapons Destruction, possibly a first at Lamont.  And what is even more amazing, his team used machine learning to train their systems to be as accurate as possible.  Jasper, I’m not sure I’d recognize you on campus given the small picture in the story—please introduce yourself if/when we cross paths.

    The stories in the newsletter complemented some great talks this week.  From Geoff Green’s inspiring Summer Stars lecture to the recording session in Monell Auditorium for some of the terrific science talks being prepared for Open House at Home next week.  Ahoy Christine McCarthy, does Earth generate paperclip heat?  If you want to understand that question you will have to listen to her talk about the search for life on the outer planets!  Open House is on October 13 – 14th, with programming that includes an exciting virtual and interactive lineup of events, including K-12 activities, panel discussions, lectures, and more.   Visit the Open House website for details.  While the event is free and open to the public, we greatly appreciate a $5 suggested donation. Learning from world-renowned researchers about their latest discoveries….priceless!

    Two more notable lectures happened yesterday, on October 7th.  I hosted and moderated a presentation by renowned artist Mark Dion on his latest art installation opening today on Governors Island, The Field Station of the Melancholy Marine Biologist.  (sigh…)  Mark’s new “folly” transforms one of the island buildings “into an abandoned research outpost, filled with scientific objects, instruments, artifacts, and samples. As visitors peer through the building’s windows, they witness a scene preserved in time—a moment, Dion explains, ‘where somebody studying the natural world realizes that the future is not looking so good…that we are going to lose a great amount of the natural wonders that have been here in previous centuries.’ The work invites reflection on the tools and methodologies through which audiences seek to understand the world around them, while inviting visitors to imagine the life of a solitary researcher faced with the realities of a dark future with declining ocean health impacted by climate change.”  It’s not so hard for me to imagine.

    Lamont Research Professor Mike Kaplan also gave a lecture yesterday at the Eighth Annual Scarsdale High School Global Citizenship Day, in Westchester County.  Mike shared his billing with me:   "Mr. Kaplan, of Columbia University, will explore the changing climates in the Arctic and Antarctic and the connections to global climate change."  Indeed—well done Mr. Kaplan!  And thank you to Mike and everyone who engages in the critical work of educating the next generation of global citizens.

    I am also pleased to officially announce the opening of Lamont’s Lightboard Studio on the first floor of the Geoscience building (opposite the DEES office). The Lightboard Studio was created to help faculty, researchers, and staff produce high-quality videos of their lectures, presentations, and tutorials. The lightboard is “a glass chalkboard pumped full of light. It’s for recording video lecture topics. You face towards your viewers, and your writing glows in front of you”.  A huge thanks goes to the IT department, especially Phil Fitzpatrick and Golam Sarker; to the B and G crew for creating a cool black studio room; to post-doc Oana Dumitru and graduate student Claire Jasper for building a website and making the studio user-friendly; and finally, to DEES Professors Jonny Kingslake and Bärbel Hönisch, for their two engaging sample presentations "Ice Shelf Melting” and "The Other CO2 Problem", respectively, that can give you a sense of what is possible.  Please visit the Studio website for more details.

    Lastly, a few bits of news-you-can-use.  Columbia University will be offering free flu vaccines from October 4 –29.  More details and schedule here.  Bright Horizons is planning to reopen on October 18th. And we are hoping that COVID testing will be back at Lamont next week.  Thank you very much to Howie Matza and his team for helping to make that happen.  Finally, the Lamont Climate Center is accepting submissions for the fall 2021 Requests for Proposals until Monday, November 1. For detailed information and updated guidelines please visit the Climate Center website.

    In closing, I hope you can all join me today for the Friday colloquium presenting “A close look at Earth’s largest carbon isotope excursion”, by Jon Husson of the University of Victoria.

    Have a peaceful weekend.  Best, Mo

===================

LAMONT IN THE MEDIA: FEATURED NEWS

Why the Nobel Prizes in medicine, physics, chemistry, and economics are flawed

Vox

October 6, 2021

We’ve done episodes in the past about Vera Rubin and Henrietta Leavitt and Marie Tharp. They all made huge contributions to science, and none of them ever won Nobels. Which is obviously part of a larger, longer-term problem of sexism in science, but the Nobels don’t help.

 

As Climate Changes, Floodplain Maps a Potential ‘Weak ‘Link’

Scripps TV

October 5, 2021

“There are a lot of people who may be underestimating their risk,” said Radley Horton, a research professor at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University’s The Earth Institute. “With climate change, there's more heat in the atmosphere and a warmer atmosphere can hold more moisture.”

 

Welcome to Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

Columbia News,

October 4, 2021

 

NYC’s Old Buildings a Source of Historical Data

Frontiers in Ecology and Environment

October 4, 2021

Article on research by Lamont scientists Caroline Leland and Mukund Rao.

 

The Megadrought in the Western US Is Entering Its 22nd Year. The Causes Are Partly Natural, Partly Produced by Humans.

Neue Zurcher Zeitung (Germany)

October 1, 2021

Features Lamont scientist Jason Smerdon.

 

Drought and Wildfire Concerns Worsen at California’s Largest Reservoir

Weather.com

September 30, 2021

Quotes GISS scientist Ben Cook.

 

Impacts of Ida Expose Underlying Environmental Health Disparities

Columbia Spectator

Sep 30, 2021

Quotes Lamont professor Art Lerner-Lam and EI professor John Mutter.

 

Risk of oil spills may rise as climate change creates more monster storms

ABC News

Sep 29, 2021

The Greenland ice sheet, the biggest contributor to sea level rise, has added about 10 millimeters to ocean levels over the last 15 years alone, Marco Tedesco, a polar scientist specializing in Greenland for the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University, told ABC News.

 

BLOGS

Now-Extinct Giant South American Sloth Likely Devoured Meat With Its Vegetables

October 7, 2021

 

Attribution Science: Linking Climate Change to Extreme Weather

October 4, 2021

 

Recap of Climate Week NYC 2021 at Columbia

October 4, 2021

 

EI LIVE K12 Is Back for the Academic Year

September 30, 2021

   Hello Friends, What a spectacular week of fall weather! Wednesday afternoon on the Director's patio was a lovely setting to meet so many of our new, and not so new, Postdoctoral Research Scientists. I was struck by the incredible diversity of subjects and homelands represented in this cohort - this is how you build a global network of colleagues. Thanks to the cafeteria for the delicious nibbles. I also had a Zoom meeting on Wednesday afternoon discussing the impacts of climate change on professional sports with a number of the World Cup-winning USA Women's Soccer Team (who by the way, are also fighting the good fight).

    Lots is going on but the big announcement this week is that two of our colleagues were elected to fellowship in the American Geophysical Union, an honor reserved for fewer than 0.1% of the membership. They embody "AGU's shared vision of a thriving, sustainable, and equitable future for all powered by discovery, innovation, and action. Equally important is that they conducted themselves with integrity, respect, diversity, and collaboration while creating deep engagement in education and outreach." Please join me in congratulating DEES Professor and department chair Jerry McManus and Special Research Scientist (and former LRP) Kim Kastens! When I was a grad student at LDEO from 1983 to 1989 Kim was one of only two female scientists working in the entire campus (that I was aware of and who weren't graduate students, a cohort that was ~50% women). I didn't know her but she definitely had that mythic unicorn quality about her. "How far we have come!" said the female director, "and how far we have yet to go to achieve full inclusiveness and equality."

    To that end, please help us in bringing opportunities such as the Lamont Postdoctoral Fellowship to a wide audience—the deadline is Nov. 5th.  While the candidates we successfully recruit to LDEO are some of the brightest and most promising stars in the fields of Earth and Climate Science, it is not true that you have to have published a Science or Nature paper to be competitive.  That is an urban myth.  Creativity, promise, ambition, hard work, and strong letters can be your secret sauce.  Finally, it bears repeating that the Lamont community values diversity and inclusion, and encourages applications from members of underrepresented minority groups.

    Also with a Nov. 5th deadline is the call for nominations for the Excellence in Scientific, and Technical/Administrative Mentoring and JEDI awards. “The Mentoring Awards recognize the importance of mentoring both for individuals and for our institution. In particular, the JEDI award, established last year, recognizes leadership in advancing DEIA including raising awareness, addressing DEIA within the Lamont Community, and advocating for minority/marginalized groups on campus.” Please send your nomination letters to Vicki Ferrini by November 5.

    Before leaving the issues of diversity and inclusion, I want to give a plug for next week’s Summer Stars Lecture with polar educator Geoff Green, founder and president of the Students on Ice Foundation. I was lucky enough to get to know Geoff on a few Arctic expeditions that brought dozens of youth between 16 and 22 on an immersive scientific, natural, and cultural voyage in the sub-Arctic seas between Nunavut and Greenland.  About a third to a half of the youth, and many of the trip leaders, artists, and elders, were from Innuit and First Nation communities.  Every now and again in one’s life you encounter a true and inspiring leader seemingly able to move mountains (and most certainly move the needle).  Geoff is one of those people.  He creates environments and experiences that encourage leadership, engagement, and ambition and which are truly transformative to those lucky enough to take part—especially the youth that then go out and change the world.  Indeed, “SOI inspires new perspectives, ideas, connections and collaborative solutions for a nature-positive world. The outcome is a global network that takes action and contributes to building healthy communities and a sustainable future for people and our planet.”  I’m so pleased Geoff agreed to come talk to us and if you are interested in DEIA, co-production, climate activism or just a masterclass in leadership, please tune in on October 5th at 4pm.  Register here by October 4.

    Today is a big day for the Lamont campus and the Climate School.  It is the first official day of operations for the Columbia Climate School’s Office of Research, with new Director Marley Bauce, formerly of the EVPR office.  We are still building out and anticipate many big announcements to come, but the important thing to know is that we are already helping investigators go after big grant opportunities.  Pre-award help is us!  Please be patient while we build out a website and more, but also keep an eye on the emails being forwarded from Andrew Miller, the office’s Associate Director of Grants Development.  For instance, the Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Program for early career faculty provides funding up to $170k per year for three years. Proposals are accepted in a large number of research areas including Arctic and Global Prediction, Coastal Geosciences, Physical Oceanography, and Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning.  The program deadlines are 10/15/21 for technical or general pre-proposal inquiries with full proposals due 10/29/21.

    A belated congratulations to Athena Nghiem, who on Sept. 22nd successfully defended her PhD thesis on “Exploring the scales of environmental variability in redox processes and groundwater arsenic distribution through data-driven approaches”. Athena will be pursuing a Postdoctoral Fellowship at ETH Zurich.  Cassie Xu is excited to announce the 2021-22 Columbia Climate School, Earth Institute E-LIVE K12 Series, which brings educational content for K12 students, educators, and parents. For more details and a schedule of the program click here.  Finally, graduate students Arianna Varuolo-Clarke and Claire Jasper are happy to announce the return of TG at 4:30 PM after colloquium as of today.  To comply with Covid regulations TG will happen in Comer, on the 1st-floor deck.  TG is also seeking volunteers to run the weekly gathering; please contact Arianna and Claire if you are interested.

     With that, I’ll wrap up with the good news that COVID positivity rates on campus are dropping this week, with only 0.5% of tests returning positive.  Hopefully, that is a trend that will continue…forever!

    Have a peaceful weekend.   Best, Mo

===================

LAMONT IN THE MEDIA: FEATURED NEWS  

Risk of Oil Spills May Rise as Climate Change Creates More Monster Storms 

ABC News 

September 29, 2021 

Quotes Lamont scientist Marco Tedesco.

 

Climate Change Is a ‘Freight Train’ Making Some Places Too Dangerous to Live   

USA Today

September 29, 2021 

Features Lamont scientist Klaus Jacob. (viewable by subscription only) 

  

How tropical storms and hurricanes have hit U.S. shores with unparalleled frequency 

The Washington Post

September 29, 2021 

Quotes Lamont scientists Suzana Camargo and Mingfang Ting. 

 

Two Indigenous-Led Studies in Alaska Hint at How Future Low-Ice Seasons Could Affect  Arctic Communities 

Arctic Today 

September 28, 2021 

Article on research co-led by Lamont scientist Chris Zappa. 

 

Blazing a Trail in Volcano Research 

Fox 5 TV

Septeber 24, 2021 

Profile of Lamont scientist Terry Plank. 

 

Northeast US one of the fastest warming areas: study 

The Hill 

September 24, 2021 

“Some of the biggest [population] centers in the U.S. are suffering the greatest degree of warming,” said Karmalkar, who conducted the study with Columbia University climate scientist, Radley Horton.  

 

U.S. Northeast Coast Faces Rapid Warming 

Guardian (UK) 

September 24, 2021 

Article on research coauthored by Lamont scientist Radley Horton. 

 

BLOGS 

Why the U.S. Northeast Coast Is a Global Warming Hot Spot 

September 23, 2021 

A sharp rise in temperatures on land is linked to unusual heating of the Atlantic Ocean, and changes in wind patterns that send that warmth westward. 

    Hello Friends,  The back-to-school vibe is all around us, turbo-charged by the back-from-the-pandemic vibe.  As I walked around campus this week, I’ve had numerous conversations with folks and nearly all touch on some aspect of “I didn’t expect to feel so moved by coming back to work”.  Many of us didn’t appreciate how much we were missing our colleagues and extended human contact. 

    And this is not just the start of a new school year, this is the start of a year that promises to bring an almost unimaginable increase in funding sources at the federal level for climate and resiliency research.  For a soft-money institution like Lamont, this means attention must be given.  Nearly every federal agency that touches on Earth and climate science, resiliency, and environmental justice is expecting a huge budget increase.  The NSF budget alone could increase by an additional $30 billion!  Topics ranging from blue carbon research, to applications of artificial intelligence, to civilian climate corps, to coastal and ocean resiliency programs, to clean energy investments and carbon capture, to environmental health, to ecosystem health, to ocean charting and mapping are all seeing a huge bump in potentially available funding.  Investments in STEM training, underserved communities, and facilities are also being written into the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act would could be signed into law as early as next week.  Following on that is the even larger Reconciliation Bill, in the trillions.  All of which is to say that in my forty-year career as a scientist I have never seen an emerging opportunity like this for Earth researchers.  If you have a dream, now is the time to make it a reality.   

    I don’t have to tell you our world is facing a crisis of almost unimaginable proportions.  Our research has never been more relevant or crucial to society.  This is a moment when we should all be thinking big about our science.  What could I do with a million dollars?  What could a highly skilled team do with $10M?  How can I marshal the full might of Columbia University and the new Climate School to achieve something at a scale that I might never have imagined before?  And, perhaps quite logically, what resources are there to help me go big?  As Director and Dean, I can answer the last question.  We are actively working to build out the pre-award admin support teams needed to get proposals written, through the system, and submitted—we know we are understaffed.  This includes a goal of bringing more help to the divisional level, the Observatory level, and the school level.  Indeed, we are in the process of building out a Climate School Office of Research which will be based both on the Lamont campus and downtown.  In the coming weeks we will continue to communicate the changes underway and the new resources being made available, along with regular Washington updates.  Please also remember we all have access to the EVPR Office which also facilitates the submission of large ambitious proposals like the LEAP STR proposal that just got funded.  But most importantly, if you have an idea and want some feedback, please come talk to me!   

    As we wrap up climate week, I was inspired by so many great events and talks. On Wednesday, the Columbia Climate School hosted “Plan 2030: Pathway to Decarbonize Columbia University's Campuses” moderated by Dan Zarrilli, Special Advisor for Climate and Sustainability, and panelists that included Jason Smerdon, Lamont Research Professor.  Along with an updated decarbonization plan, Columbia University pledged that all future Campus construction and renovations will be fossil-free.  I spent almost two hours today talking with Dan Zarrilli about the future of our campus (after he toured the Ida damage with CU’s Dave Greenberg, Executive Vice-President of Facilities, and Gerry Rosberg, Senior Executive Vice-President of the University).  It is my sincere hope that Lamont can become a proud centerpiece of Columbia’s ambitions to transition to a net-zero campus. 

    Two other tremendous Climate Week talks were “The Great Pivot: Climate Action and the Financial Sector” moderated by Alex Halliday and including Satyajit Bose, Professor of Practice, Columbia University, Michelle Dunstan, Chief Responsibility Officer, AllianceBernstein, and Radley Horton, Lamont Research Professor, and "Code Red: Vulnerability to Extreme Heat, Floods, and Displacement" with CIESIN researchers Alex de Sherbinin, Carolynne Hultquist, and Cascade Tuholske, and moderated by Bob Chen, CIESIN’s Director and Senior Research Scientist.  I’m reminded every day how central our research is to the full spectrum of societal issues including finance, health, security, and of course, climate justice. 

    I have some congratulations to pass on.  On Thursday, Bill Ryan, Special Research Scientist in the Marine Geology and Geophysics Division and mentor extraordinaire, was elected a Foreign Member of the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, the world’s oldest (1603!) scientific society.  Amongst its earliest members was Galileo Galilei.  He will be honored at a ceremony on November 12 at the Academy headquarters in Rome (also known as the Corsini Palace).  Dig out the tux Bill, I think it is going to be fancy! 

    Congratulations also to Elise Myers who on Monday successfully defended her PhD thesis on “Improving Modeling and Monitoring of Waterborne Sewage Contamination: Particle Association and Water Transparency Impacts on Fecal Pollution Persistence”.  Elise will be working as a consultant in the Washington, D.C. office of the Boston Consulting Group, specializing in climate change, development, and public sector work with the long-term goal of working on water quality and human health issues. 

    Finally, congratulations to Gisela Winckler who was selected as a “Seeding Diversity Fellow” as part of an NSF-funded project led by Prof. Jason Chen at the University of William and Mary. “The program aims to embed DEI in the core values and practices in the Geosciences in general, and in academic departments and institutions in particular. This program is a customized learning experience to teach skills that can help effect change in organizations. The team at Lamont includes Vicki Ferrini and Jenny Middleton.” 

    I’ll share that a highlight of my week was hosting Jorge Otero-Pailos, Professor and Director of Historic Preservation, and Mark Rakatansky, Adjunct Associate Professor, and their graduate students from the Joint Architecture-Preservation Advanced Studio at Columbia’s Graduate School of Architecture Planning and Preservation on a tour of our campus.  Thank you to Billy D’Andrea and the group of Lamont graduate students who also helped facilitate the visit. Our campus is the focus of their semester project “Enacting Our Environmental Entanglements: Innovation/Renovation at the Columbia Climate School’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory”.  This studio usually focuses somewhere old and fabulous in the world (like the Corsini Palace?) but the pandemic brought them to us!  I’m really looking forward to seeing how this group reimagines a Lamont campus of the future. 

    I’ll wrap up by thanking Róisín Commane, Assistant Professor in DEES, for a terrific colloquium talk, “Combustion in cities: Not all plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will improve air quality”.  I am going to spend my weekend on two projects: investigating induction cooktops and perfecting the acronym generator that we are going to need with all the amazing and ambitious research projects I see in Lamont’s future.   

    Have a peaceful weekend.  Mo 

=================== 

LAMONT IN THE MEDIA: FEATURED NEWS 

How an Ancient Irrigation Method Makes Sustainable Life Possible in the U.S. Southwest 

CounterPunch

September 24, 2021

 

Research Shows How Climate Change Affects Global Agriculture 

EcoDebate (Brazil)

September 24, 2021 

Article on research by Lamont researcher Corey Lesk. 

 

Blazing a Trail in Volcano Research 

FOX 5 NY 

September 23, 2021 

 

Increased Heat-Drought Combinations Could Damage Crops  

Smart Water

September 22, 2021  

Article on study led by Lamont researcher Corey Lesk.  

 

Ida’s Torrential Flooding Highlights Calls for More MTA Climate Resiliency  

Columbia Daily Spectator

 September 21, 2021  

“I think [storm surge and torrential rainfall] have to be treated separately, [as] they affect different localities of the transportation system,” professor Klaus Jacob, who has been affiliated with the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory for over 50 years and serves as a special research scientist, said. “And in the case of the subway system, it affects entirely different entrances and stations of the subway system, so they should be handled by the same department within the MTA, but they need to be considered separately in their nature to be effective.”  Jacob has many ideas for simple strategies that can mitigate the impact of rainfall.  “For instance on entrances, you don’t just go down into an entrance, you would first step up a couple of steps, [making] a mini levee system that surrounds this entrance,” Jacob said.  

  

At Columbia’s New Climate School, a Professor Talks Extreme Weather, Inequality, and (Not) Colonizing Mars  

West Side Rag

September 21, 2021  

Q&A with Climate School professor Jason Smerdon.  

  

What a Pension Provider Should Bring to Responsible Investing  

Global Banking and Finance 

September 21, 2021  

Cites AllianceBernstein project with Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.  

  

Crop Yields Drop as Heat-Drought Season Rises  

Nature World News

September 21, 2021  

Article on study led by Lamont researcher Corey Lesk.  

  

Warming Impact on Crops Exacerbated by Water  

Nature Food

September 2021  

Article on research led by Lamont researcher Corey Lesk.  

  

How Old Is This Old House?  

The New York Times

September 17, 2021  

Dendrochronology has been a critical tool in climate research for more than a century, allowing scientists to study long-term changes in weather by measuring the size of tree rings. At Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, dendrochronology has been used to study the impact of climate change on tropical trees in the Andes and evergreens in the Alaska tundra, among other things.  Over time, computer technology has vastly increased the amount of data that can be used to analyze ring patterns, making the process much more accurate, said Edward R. Cook, a research professor at the observatory. 

 

BLOGS 

Lamont Open House at Home  

September 23, 2021  

Join us for fun, informative events and activities right from home!  

  

When Record-Breaking Is the Norm: Mitigating the Impacts of Extreme Rainfall Events in a Changing Climate  

September 21, 2021  

Rainfall extremes this year affected millions.  

  

Increased Heat-Drought Combinations Could Damage Crops Globally, Says Study  

September 20, 2021  

Staple crops may see magnified adverse effects when warming climate drives away soil moisture.  

  

Harnessing Drones, Geophysics and Artificial Intelligence to Root Out Land Mines  

September 20, 2021 

    Hello Friends, The week that the American Geophysical Union announces its annual prizes is always fun.  Who is there?  Any of my friends or colleagues?  Who are the early career stars we should invite to the colloquium?  And so on….  The Observatory is proud to have many honorees this year!  DEES Professor Ryan Abernathey is the recipient of the Charles S. Falkenberg Award which honors “an early to mid-career scientist who has contributed to the quality of life, economic opportunities, and stewardship of the planet through the use of Earth science information and to the public awareness of the importance of understanding our planet.”  Congratulations to Ryan who shared with us that “the award reflects a shift in my trajectory towards data, cyberinfrastructure. LDEO and DEES have been an ideal home from which to undertake this evolution.”  The announcement last week of the LEAP STC award to Ryan and colleagues is further testament to his innovative and ground-breaking research directions in data science merging with climate science.

    AGU also announced that Peter Kelemen of DEES is the recipient of The Harry H. Hess Medal, which is “given annually to a senior scientist in recognition of outstanding achievements in research on the constitution and evolution of the Earth and other planets”.  Peter shares that “I’m super happy about this, thrilled to be associated with Harry Hess and with previous recipients such as Alex Halliday!”.  Lamont Assistant Research Professor Chia-Ying Lee received the 2021 Natural Hazards Early Career Award and Jordan Abell, who defended his PhD thesis this past July, is the recipient of the Harry Elderfield Student Paper Award by AGU.  Finally, DEES Professor Bärbel Hönisch has been named this year’s Cesare Emiliani Lecturer.  Not a bad showing Lamont!  Congrats to all!

    In other news, Lamont Associate Research Professor Indrani Das has been appointed as a member of NASA’s Earth Science Advisory Committee and Research Scientist Angela Slagle was featured in PBS Nova “Can Turning CO2 to Stone Help Save the Planet? Out of Our Elements.”  And today, Senior Research Scientist Vicki Ferrini “participated in a panel discussion with John F. Kerry, Jane Lubchenco, and other experts on how an ambitious initiative to map US waters and advance ocean-based climate solutions ties into international projects like Nippon-GEBCO", which Vicki helps lead.

    Hopefully everyone is also looking ahead to Climate Week starting next Monday.  The Columbia Climate School is partnering with The Climate Group to help sponsor and participate in this event.  Running from September 20-26, Climate Week NYC will convene climate leaders and activists to discuss the climate crisis in the weeks leading up to the 26th UN Climate Change Conference, or COP26, later this fall in Glasgow.  You can find a full schedule of events here including many that include LDEO, CIESIN, and IRI scientists.

    Today our colloquium series kicks off with a lecture on “The interactions between ice sheets, sea level and solid Earth in Antarctica”, with Natalya Gomez from McGill University. Again, join me in thanking the colloquium committee—Tanner Acquisto, Jasper Baur, Claire Jasper, Joohee Kim, Celeste Pallone, Madankui Tao, and Nicolás Young as Faculty Coordinator—for lining up an engaging selection of talks for this semester. For other upcoming talks, visit the colloquium website.

    Some people have contacted the Directorate asking that we reiterate the CU mask policy in your Weekly Report.  We are happy to do that and the full protocols can be found here. Specifically, "all Columbia affiliates must continue to wear masks at all times in indoor settings in Columbia facilities, regardless of vaccination status. Vaccinated individuals may remove masks and not physically distance only in outdoor settings on Columbia’s campuses. Unvaccinated individuals must continue to wear masks both indoors and outdoors. Face coverings may be removed by individuals in single offices or bedrooms when no other individuals are present and the door is closed, or when eating (while maintaining 6 feet physical distancing). Face covering can also be removed by classroom instructors or American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters to facilitate communication while maintaining 6-foot distance. These are the only exceptions to the requirement for face covering on Columbia’s campuses.”  And I think the point that was unclear is that, if you are masked, there is no requirement for six-foot distancing inside university facilities.

    It was great to hear from multiple people this week how much they appreciated the level of activity on campus.  I couldn’t agree more—so great to see so many people around.  And, of course, that includes the snakes and turtles.

    Have a peaceful weekend.  Mo

===================

LAMONT IN THE MEDIA: FEATURED NEWS

Congratulations to the 2021 AGU Union Medal, Award, and Prize Recipients

Eos

September 15, 2021

Article features Lamont geologist Peter Kelemen, physical oceanographer Ryan Abernathey, and former postdoc Elizabeth Barnes.

 

Tipping point: After Ida's Wakeup Call, Eyes Turn to Preserving Wetlands, Building Walls

Rockland/Westchester Journal News

September 15, 2021

Article quotes Lamont climate scientist Adam Sobel.

 

Fall Foliage Threatened by Invasive Species

Times Union

September 14, 2021

Article quotes Lamont climate scientist Benjamin Cook.

 

2021 AGU Section Awardees and Named Lecturers

Eos

September 10, 2021

Article features Lamont geochemist Bärbel Hönisch, climate scientist Chia-Ying Lee, and PhD Jordan Abell.

 

Columbia to Launch $25 Million AI-based Climate Modeling Center

Columbia News

September 9, 2021

Article features new climate modeling center co-led by Lamont climate scientist Galen McKinley.

 

How Next-Generation Models Will Leverage Big Data and AI for More Accurate Estimates of Future Climate

Columbia News

September 9, 2021

Interview with Lamont climate scientist Galen McKinley.

 

BLOGS

A Journey Into an Alaskan Volcano

September 14, 2021

A Columbia Climate School Ph.D. student recounts a research expedition into an active volcano in the Aleutian Islands.

 

Experts Weigh In on Hurricane Ida and Deadly Flash Floods in New York City

September 10, 2021

Experts from the Columbia Climate School have provided their insights and perspectives to journalists across the country trying to make sense of Hurricane Ida.

 

A New Center Will Study Ocean Chemical-Microbe Networks and Climate Change

September 09, 2021

Fast turnover of carbon between seawater and microbes is a fact, but how it works is largely a black hole. This projects aims to shed light.

 

Columbia to Launch $25 Million AI-Based Climate Modeling Center

September 09, 2021

A new venture will leverage big data and many disciplines to create better estimates of future climate.

    Hello Friends,  I have to start by sharing the excitement I have felt over the last three days, seeing so many of our colleagues back on campus.  Many of you I have not seen for almost 18 months.  And so many new faces as well—welcome everyone! 

      I also have some very exciting news to share.  Yesterday a group of our climate scientists, led by Profs. Pierre Gentine (joint DEES/SEAS), Galen McKinley (DEES), and Ryan Abernathey (DEES), were awarded a $25M five-year NSF Science and Technology Center grant to use machine learning and the methods of artificial intelligence to build better climate models.  Their modeling center will combine Earth observations with new computational methods to improve our ability to predict future climate change. From no less than President Bollinger himself, “Until climate models can offer more precise projections, at the regional level where planning decisions are made, it will be difficult to make the billion-dollar investments needed to adapt.  I can think of no better university than Columbia, with its interdisciplinary focus, to lead the way in tackling the climate prediction problem.”  Congratulations to all the researchers on the Lamont campus who helped move this proposal forward, and especially Galen and Ryan!

      And, as if that wasn’t exciting enough, another of our researchers, DEES Prof. Sonya Dyhrman, is a co-PI and partner with another NSF STC grant (only six were awarded nationally) led by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.  The Center for Chemical Currencies of a Microbial Planet will study the chemicals and chemical processes that underpin ocean ecosystems.  I’d like to think that this is the “Peter deMenocal effect” but I know the PIs all spent years (literally) competing for these huge and prestigious STC grants.

      In other great news, Sean Kinney just successfully defended his PhD thesis “Re-evaluating the timescale of rift and post-rift magmatism on the Eastern North American Margin via zircon U-Pb geochronology”. Sean will stay at Lamont and continue on as a Postdoctoral Research Scientist working on a project he helped to craft and get funded.

      Last week, on September 2, DEES and Lamont welcomed the new cohort of graduate students with a tour of our campus.  It was my pleasure to welcome everyone personally on the Directorate patio.  Later that day I went downtown to join a reception for the inaugural students in the Columbia Climate School’s Climate and Society Program.  Retired Lamonter and “Earth Elder” Mark Cane founded this masters degree program 16 years ago, well ahead of its time—the program has now moved to the Columbia Climate School, its new and very natural home.

      This week several divisions announced their scheduled topical seminars for the fall semester.  You can find the list of seminars by division in the “events” section of our website.  Next week, the PALSEA meeting on "Improving understanding of ice sheet and solid earth processes driving paleo sea level change” organized by DEES Assistant Professor Jacky Austermann, and which was supposed to be held in person at Lamont, will be held virtually. The meeting will be held Monday-Thursday (Sept. 13-16th), 8.30am - 12.30pm EDT each day, on zoom. If anyone is still interested in attending this meeting (full program), you can still register today to receive the zoom link.       Finally, in thinking about seminar speakers, please reflect on our Observatory-wide initiative to diversify the gender and racial composition of the speakers brought to Lamont. Graduate student and DEI Task Force co-chair Kailani Acosta, a hero of this initiative, shared a graph of the results of this effort for 2019 and 2020. Kailani adds, “Thank you all for your recommendations and for continuing to prioritize inviting speakers from historically excluded groups! The seminar organizers would like you to continue sending your suggestions for seminar speakers from underrepresented backgrounds. Please add your suggestions to ongoing the list of URM seminar speaker recommendations.

      In other news, we continue to work closely with Bright Horizons in an effort to reopen a safe and vibrant daycare center at our on-campus facilities.  Unfortunately, due to low enrollment, Bright Horizons has pushed the reopening to Monday, October 18. They are currently expanding their marketing efforts in the local community, hoping to reach the minimum of 15 families needed to run a sustainable operation.  Please reach out to Edie Miller if you have any questions or want to learn more.

      Hurricane Ida is long gone but, unfortunately, we are still dealing with the aftermath of extensive flooding in the Seismology, Paleomagnetics, and Butler (Admin) Buildings.  While the Facilities team continues to work with specialized remediation contractors, and Jim Davis and Meredith Nettles are helping to find office space for those in Seismology that need to relocate in the short term, I want to reflect on the bigger picture at Lamont.  I am painfully aware of how mismatched the quality of our infrastructure and buildings are to that of our scientists, in their extraordinary research, knowledge, and impact on the world.  The space we work in, where we spend most of our days, is so crucial to our quality of life and the inspiration we take from our surroundings.  Yet, a good number of our buildings are decaying, inefficient, ugly, and even constructed quickly and cheaply without true foundations (a tennis court…really?).  I’m talking about you Seismology and Butler!

      These, and other buildings, need to be replaced by a beautiful, net-zero modern structure equal to the importance of the mission we are trying to achieve here.  Other buildings (Lamont Hall or Oceanography, for instance) need complete renovations to achieve the same ambitions.  Often people ask me, “How do we advance the science at Lamont?” and it is hard for me not to think and talk about the appalling state of so many of our buildings.  I just want everyone to know there is probably not a day I don’t think about this.  Last Saturday, at a garden party, I was talking with Nick Frearson, who many of you know. We were talking about what it would take to transform the Lamont campus into a fabulous “Googleplex” of Earth and climate science.  Nick said, “But it’s already the Google campus, you just can’t tell by looking at it.  You have to look under the hood.”  I love that thought and know it to be true.  But so many here deserve better space and we will strive to make it happen.  Many wonderful opportunities are ahead of us and our science and impact has never been more relevant to society and the health of our planet.  In the meantime, I feel your frustration—not just the folks coping with the flooding aftermath in Seismo and Butler, but everyone who has had to struggle with infrastructure challenges on top of compounding pandemic issues.

      I’ll end with my usual tip of the hat to the natural world.  No, I will not report on the town hall meeting held in the Rose Garden last night by all the Lamont groundhogs (topic: the alien invasion).  It is to recount a lovely hour I spent yesterday morning, in the rain, with tree ring scientist Nikki Davi and contemporary artist and Syracuse Professor Sam Van Aken who might be best known for his “Tree of 40 Fruits”, a grafted tree that combines 40 different types of stone fruit from around the world.  His art is the perfect intersection between science, sustainability, nature, technology, and an audacity of imagination.  Currently, a grove of these magical trees is planted on Governors Island (The Open Orchard), and if you wanted to give one as a xmas present to your loved one it would only set you back $28,000.  Sam was excited by Nikki’s guided tour of the Tree Ring Lab and we were impressed at his deep knowledge of fruit trees (no surprise there).  We have a number of different apple trees in our orchard in front of Lamont Hall, including (from Sam) a Golden Russet and an Alexander-Russian.  The apples are ripening now and if you happen to be walking by and feel like trying one, the Golden Russets are delicious.  And, who knows, maybe we can lure Sam and his mesmerizing trees back for an arts and sciences collaboration someday soon. 

      Have a peaceful weekend, Mo

===================

LAMONT IN THE MEDIA: FEATURED NEWS

A New Indigenous-Led Study Documents How Ice Loss Is Changing Seal Hunts

Arctic Today

September 7, 2021

Article on research by Lamont postdoc Nathan Laxague, oceanographer Ajit Subramaniam, graduate student Carson Witte, physical oceanographer Christopher Zappa, and colleagues.

 

Climate Change and Its Impact on New York City

1010 WINS

September 3, 2021

Interview with Lamont geophysicist Klaus Jacob.

 

Why NYC Was So Unprepared For Hurricane Ida’s Flash Flooding

Gothamist

September 3, 2021

Article quotes Lamont climate scientist Adam Sobel.

 

Floods, Fires, and Extreme Heat: Disaster Pile-ups Are the New Norm

The Verge

September 3, 2021

Article quotes Lamont climate scientist Radley Horton.

 

Please Stay On The Grass: More Absorbent Streets Could Mean Less Catastrophically Flooded Subways

Streetsblog NYC

September 3, 2021

Article quotes Lamont postdoc Mona Hemmati.

 

Scientist on the Subway: Suzana Camargo, PhD

Scientist on the Subway

September 3, 2021

Profile of Lamont climate scientist Suzana Camargo.

 

Why the New York Subway Keeps Flooding—and What to Do About It

Gizmodo

September 2, 2021

Article quotes Lamont geophysicist Klaus Jacob.

 

The NYC Subway Is Going to Flood A Lot and There's Nothing We Will Do About It

VICE

September 2, 2021

Article quotes Lamont geophysicist Klaus Jacob.

 

MTA’s Resiliency Efforts No Match for Flash Floods, Gov. Hochul Says

City Limits

September 2, 2021

Article quotes Lamont geophysicist Klaus Jacob.

 

Why Was Ida So Devastating as It Flooded the Northeast U.S.?

AP

September 2, 2021

Article quotes Lamont climate scientist Adam Sobel.

 

Climate Scientist: This Is a Dystopian Moment

CNN

September 2, 2021

Opinion by Lamont climate scientist Adam Sobel.

 

Why Was Ida So Deadly in the New York, New Jersey Area, 1000 Miles from Landfall?

WABC TV

September 2, 2021

Article quotes Lamont climate scientist Adam Sobel.

 

A Subway Flood Expert Explains What Needs to Be Done to Stop Underground Station Deluges

The Conversation

September 2, 2021

Article by Lamont geophysicist Klaus Jacob.

 

Hurricane Season Intensifies

BBC

September 2, 2021

Interview with Lamont climate scientist Suzana Camargo.

 

Hurricane Ida Aftermath: Here’s How Climate Change Is Making Hurricanes More Devastating

ABC News

September 1, 2021

Article quotes Lamont climate scientist Jason Smerdon.

 

Hurricanes Are Getting Scarier

CNN

September 1, 2021

Opinion piece by Lamont climate scientist Suzana Camargo.

 

Is California in a Megadrought?

KQED

August 31, 2021

Interview with Lamont climate scientist Richard Seager.

 

Scientists Detail Role of Climate Change in Ida's Intensity

The Hill

August 31, 2021

Article quotes Lamont climate scientist Suzana Camargo.

 

Perfect Storm: City Facing Deluge of Extreme Weather

Crain's New York Business

August 31, 2021

Article quotes Lamont climate scientist Adam Sobel.

 

As a Preview of Future Hurricanes, Ida Is ‘Very Scary.’

The New York Times

August 31, 2021

Article quotes Lamont climate scientist Suzana Camargo.

 

"Great Adventure of the Ice": Hidden Wonders Unearthed Beneath Greenland's Ice Sheet

Nature World News

August 30, 2021

Article quotes Lamont postdoc Guy Paxman.

 

Ghostly Satellite Image Captures the Arctic 'Losing Its Soul'

Grist

August 30, 2021

Article quotes Lamont polar scientist Marco Tedesco.

 

NJ's New Normal: More Storms, More Rainfall, More Often. Thank Climate Change

NorthJersey.com

August 30, 2021

Article quotes Lamont climate scientist Suzana Camargo.

 

Warming Trends: Best-Smelling Vegan Burgers, the Benefits of Short Buildings and Better Habitats for Pollinators

Inside Climate News

August 28, 2021

Article on study led by Lamont tree-ring scientist Nicole Davi.

 

Episode 56. Monsoons

The Sweaty Penguin

August 27, 2021

Interview with Lamont climate scientist Michela Biasutti (begins at 37:45).

 

Ghostly Satellite Image Captures the Arctic 'Losing Its Soul'

Atlas Obscura

August 27, 2021

Article quotes Lamont polar scientist Marco Tedesco.

 

Scientists Sailing to Gulf of Alaska to Deploy Gear to Map Seafloor

Ketchikan Daily News

August 27, 2021

Article features research cruise aboard Lamont's RV Marcus G. Langseth.

 

Greenland Ice Sheet's Melt Ponds Tell the Story of an Unusual Summer

Axios

August 26, 2021

Article quotes Lamont polar scientist Marco Tedesco.

 

'This Mine Dodged a Bullet': Massive B.C. Landslide Exposes New Era of Climate Risks

The Nawhal

August 26, 2021

Article quotes Lamont seismologist Göran Ekström.

 

BLOGS

Faculty Spotlight: Yutian Wu, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory Researcher and ESP Climatology Professor

September 08, 2021

Wu started her career in mathematics before coming to Lamont and applying it to climate change and atmospheric processes.

 

A Morning That Shook the World: The Seismology of 9/11

September 08, 2021

Seismologist Won-Young Kim heard the first reports of the World Trade Center attacks in his car as he drove to Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, on the west bank of the Hudson River 21 miles north of the attacks. Soon, he was inundated by calls from government officials and reporters. In the initial chaos, it was unclear exactly what had hit, and when; had the seismographs picked up anything?

 

Personal Interviews Gain Insights to Community Perspectives

September 06, 2021

Interviews provide an emotional and thoughtful connection to others through discussing and sharing over topics that they might never have a chance to discuss otherwise.

 

Hurricane Ida: Resources for Journalists

August 30, 2021

Disaster experts within the Earth Institute are available to answer questions from the media about hurricane physics, the role of climate change in creating strong storms, and more.

 

Issues of Inequity Explored By the Next Generation of Hudson River Educators

August 29, 2021

When it comes to access to nature and environmental protection of these resources, environmental resources are all too often not allocated equitably.

      Hello Friends,  The end of the summer is nigh.  And weirdly, I feel that little knot in my stomach that came with going-back-to-school as a child.  We’ve shared (remotely) such a profoundly bizarre last 18 months, filled with stress, anxiety, loss, a complete disruption of routine but, hopefully, some small moments of grace within it all.  But now we must all return to work/school.  I imagine there is a lot of anxiety out there right now and I hope we can all be a little gentle with each other as we try to navigate back to yet another new normal. 

      The covid requirements and guidelines can seem ever-changing and the directorate will be sending out a dedicated email next week with the most up-to-date information.  We will also be sponsoring a Town Hall on Sept 3rd at noon, and our ambassadors Nicole deRoberts and Kaleigh Matthews are just an email or phone call away. Everyone coming to our campus will be vaccinated with the exception of a very small number with medical or religious exemptions.  Currently everyone should be masked inside, except teachers who can be unmasked when lecturing if six feet away.  More info to come but I think the most important thing we need to remember is how safe our campus has been and how our commitment to safety should keep it that way.  Please also share any concerns you have with the directorate.  We want to be as responsive as possible and make this crucial step back to normalcy as stress-free as possible.

      All of that said, I am personally so excited to see people back on campus and am more than happy to sacrifice my furry, featured, and scaled animal sightings as we humanoids reassert our dominion over the landscape of our campus.  While we postponed the all-hands barbecue in an abundance of caution, the Directorate does plan to host regular small gatherings with groups on campus, starting in September and with the graduate students, and then the post-docs.  I know an inspiring line-up of talks will also be happening, including two more summer stars lectures that have drifted into fall (it’s summer somewhere?).  And I hope the TGIF crowd comes back to life—if any financial assistance is needed from Directorate, please reach out. 

      Many fascinating science “things” have happened lately including two amazing finds that were forwarded to my office.  The first is the largest Mg nodule I have ever seen which was unearthed by Repository Curator Nichole Anest in the warehouse, and the second is the first seismograph taken with a Lamont seismometer placed on the lunar surface by Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins.  Both are very cool and I will bring them out onto the patio during the aforementioned social events. 

      DEES professor Adam Sobel was quoted extensively in the media as Hurricane Henri roared through last week.  I want to extend him a personal thanks for up-to-the-minute advice on the height of the likely storm surge in the Hudson River.  We had a SWAT team led by Margie Turrin and Andy Reed, ready to evacuate the Hudson River Field Station at a moment’s notice.  Also quoted in the New York Times and elsewhere was Marco Tedesco commenting on the first ever rainy day at the summit of the Greenland ice sheet.  Yes, file that under depressing news we saw coming.

      In the opposite of depressing news, DEES Professor and Chair Sidney Hemming and Associate Research Scientist Stephen Cox received an exciting notice from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. Sid and Stephen are the recipients of an over $2 million grant titled “Next Generation Mass Spectrometer for Noble Gas Geochronology” which they will use to push the frontier of analytical beastiness and build a better mass spec.  And as any self-respecting geochemist knows, new measurement capabilities open up incredible new frontiers of questions that can be pursued.  Congrats Steve and Sid!

      Congratulations also to DEES graduate student Nicholas Bock who successfully defended his thesis on “Drivers of variability in the structure and function of marine microbial communities: From cell physiology to the global environment”And also to Sandra Braumann who received the 2020 Montafoner Science Award for an article titled "Holocene glacier change in the Silvretta Massif (Austrian Alps) constrained by a new 10Be chronology, historical records and modern observations". The article is part of Sandra’s PhD project and it was prepared in collaboration with Joerg Schaefer from Lamont. Joerg added "Sandra is finishing her PhD at BOKU Vienna and she has been spent a lot of time with us at Lamont, she also has a scientific home here. She is a wonderful young scientist, a rising star in Glacier and Climate Science in the Alps, and a role model, as she is the first in her family to go to college and into academia."

      Another feted article by Lamont Research Professor Alberto Malinverno was published by AGU and titled “A Late Cretaceous-Eocene Geomagnetic Polarity Time Scale (MQSD20) that steadies spreading rates on multiple mid-ocean ridge flanks”.  It ranked among the journal’s top 10% most downloaded articles in 2020. Congratulations Alberto!  And to all Cenozoic Paleoceanography alumni out there, please note another key contribution to the crucial canon of chronology!

      Once again in the running for coolest mom in the world, Lamont Associate Research Professor Einat Lev was interviewed for an article in the August 23 issue of The New Yorker titled “Chasing The Lava Flow In Iceland”. Einat was over there with her 8-year-old daughter (“It was “an extreme ‘bring your child to work’ opportunity,””) sampling and observing the Fagradalsfjall volcano.  No doubt it will be a “What I did this Summer” essay that will be hard to top!

      I want to end by acknowledging the passing of two long-time members of the Lamont family.  Ken Peters, who worked in the Tree-Ring Laboratory, passed on August 16, 2021. He was a very talented applied mathematician, computer programmer, and quirky friend to all at the lab. Before beginning work at the TRL in the late-1970s, Ken worked for Marcus Langseth on the analysis of Apollo 15 lunar heat flow data. After being hired by the TRL to take on some mathematical programming challenges, Ken was asked by Ed Cook to look at an interesting paper about “Smoothing by Spline Functions” to see how it could be applied to the processing of tree-ring data. Although not described as a low-pass digital filter, Ken immediately saw that conceptual connection to the smoothing spline and spent a considerable amount of time deriving its precise theoretical filtering properties. This result is explained in detail in “The Cubic Smoothing Spline as a Digital Filter” (K. Peters and E. Cook, LDGO Technical Report No. CU-1-81/TRL), which led to the smoothing spline becoming the most widely used filtering and smoothing method in dendrochronology worldwide. Ken continued to contribute his innovative mathematical insights into tree-ring analysis methods throughout his longtime collaboration with Ed. His mathematical talent greatly contributed to the development of the TRL as an innovative world leader in dendrochronology and he will be greatly missed by all who knew him well.

      The second, extremely sad loss is that of Bruce E. Baez, a member of our Facilities staff and known to many as "Buddha", who passed away on Saturday, August 14th. “He had a contagious smile and a laugh that was heard for miles. Bruce was a lifetime member at both Piermont and Tappan Volunteer Fire Departments. He worked as a specialty mechanic at Lamont-Doherty for 32 years.”  A number of deeply moving tributes to Bruce have been circulated on email over the last two weeks.  He truly was a person who made you happier just being around him and I know many of us on campus will miss him for a long time to come.

      Truly a moment to reflect on friendships and family in an uncertain, unpredictable world. 

      Mo

===================

LAMONT IN THE MEDIA: FEATURED NEWS

How City Design Is Making Heat Waves Deadlier - Cheddar Explains

Cheddar

August 24, 2021

Video features Lamont climate scientist Radley Horton.

 

Rise and Fall of Water Blisters Offers Glimpse Beneath Greenland’s Thick Ice Sheet

Science Daily

August 23, 2021

Article on study co-authored by former Lamont glaciologist Timothy Creyts.

 

Climate Change: The "Alarming" Rain Recorded for the First Time in One of the Highest Points of Greenland

BBC News Mundo

August 23, 2021

Article quotes Lamont glaciologist Indrani Das.

 

Unprecedented Central Asia Warming Confirmed by New Way of Analyzing Tree Rings

SciTech Daily

August 22, 2021

Article on study led by Lamont tree-ring scientist Nicole Davi.

 

‘Unprecedented’: Rain Falls at Greenland Ice Summit for First Time

The Age

August 21, 2021

Article quotes Lamont glaciologist Indrani Das.

 

Determining Where Henri Will Make Landfall is a Major Challenge. New York Is a Possibility.

The New York Times

August 20, 2021

Article by Lamont climate scientist Adam Sobel.

 

Henri Is Unlikely to Be Another Superstorm Sandy. Here’s Why.

The New York Times

August 20, 2021

Article by Lamont climate scientist Adam Sobel.

 

It Rained at the Summit of Greenland. That’s Never Happened Before.

The New York Times

August 20, 2021

Article quotes Lamont polar scientist Marco Tedesco.

 

Rain Falls at Greenland Ice Summit for First Time on Record

Reuters

August 20, 2021

Article quotes Lamont glaciologist Indrani Das.

 

Rain Falls for First Time at the Summit of Greenland’s Ice Sheet

Fox23 News

August 20, 2021

Article quotes Lamont polar scientist Marco Tedesco.

 

New Dataset Can Help Explore Issues at the Crossroads of Racial, Social and Climate Justice

Azo Cleantech

August 20, 2021

Article on dataset created by Lamont polar scientist Marco Tedesco, postdoc Carolynne Hultquist, and CIESIN's Alex de Sherbinin.

 

The Most Influential Women in History of Science

24/7 Wall St.

August 19, 2021

Article features pioneering Lamont geologist Marie Tharp.

 

The World Is Starting to Pivot on Climate. It’s Not Enough.

Barron's

August 16, 2021

Commentary by AllianceBernstein chief responsibility officer Michelle Dunstan, Columbia Center for Sustainable Investment diretor Lisa Sachs, and Columbia Climate School senior advisor to the deans Art Lerner-Lam.

 

Chasing the Lava Flow in Iceland

The New Yorker

August 16, 2021

Article features Lamont volcanologist Einat Lev.

 

Article cites research by Lamont paleoclimatologist Dorothy Peteet.

Alaska Native News

August 13, 2021

Article cites research by Lamont paleoclimatologist Dorothy Peteet.

 

Lava from Bali Volcanoes Offers Window into Earth’s Mantle

Eos

August 13, 2021

Article quotes Lamont volcanologist Terry Plank.

 

Geophysics Professor Sails North in Search of Deep-Sea Answer

Alaska Native News

August 13, 2021

Article on research by Lamont PhD geophysicist Bernard Coakley.

 

Warfare, Not Climate, Is Driving Resurgent Hunger in Africa, Says Study

Science Daily

August 12, 2021

Article on research led by then Columbia IRI postdoc Weston Anderson with Lamont climate scientist Richard Seager, postdoc Fabien Cottier, and other Columbia and NYU colleagues.

 

BLOGS

Upcoming Scientific Fieldwork: 2021 and Beyond

August 24, 2021

Earth Institute researchers are in the field studying the dynamics of the planet on every continent and every ocean. Here is a list of projects.

 

A New Dataset Could Aid Climate Justice Research

August 19, 2021

Researchers have combined information about social vulnerability with data on mortgages, evictions, and threats from climate change. The new dataset will be freely available to other researchers.

 

New Way of Analyzing Tree Rings Confirms Unprecedented Central Asia Warming

August 17, 2021

Researchers have reconstructed temperatures in Mongolia all the way back to 1269 C.E., showing that recent temperatures are the warmest the region has seen in eight centuries.

 

Fall 2021 Internship Opportunities

August 16, 2021

The Earth Institute is offering undergraduate, graduate and PhD students opportunities to intern in various departments and research centers in a variety of administrative, communications and research roles.

 

Fall 2021 Undergraduate Research Assistant Opportunities

August 16, 2021

The Earth Institute is offering undergraduate students research assistant opportunities during the fall 2021 semester.

 

Warfare, Not Climate, Is Driving Resurgent Hunger in Africa, Says Study

August 12, 2021

A 2009-2018 analysis of 14 countries teases out the factors behind reversals in food security. Conflict, not drought, is behind much of it.

     Hello Friends,  As the dog days of summer continue, the heat continues to build.  I hope everyone can find someplace cool to relax this weekend.  The campus is quietly ticking along with its skeleton crew of scientists and students.  Last Friday, on August 6th, the Lamont Summer Interns completed their internship program with thirty virtual poster presentations on their summer projects, conducted under the dedicated guidance of their research mentors. Bill Menke shared a few snapshots of the presentations. Congratulations to all the interns on a job well done and a huge thanks to Dallas Abbott and Mike Kaplan who successfully coordinated and co-managed a virtual program during another challenging year. From Mike Kaplan, “I am already getting great feedback from some interns, saying that they had a fantastic summer despite having a virtual program. One intern even told me she is going to look into transferring to DEES/LDEO!” Again, congratulations to all the interns and their mentors!

     Two graduate students successfully defended their theses this week.  On August 3, Carly Peltier successfully defended her Ph.D. on "The precise timing and character of glaciations in Patagonia from MIS 6 to the Little Ice Age”. Carly’s next step will be as a Frontiers of Science Fellow at Columbia University. On August 12, Colleen Baublitz defended her Ph.D. thesis on "Variability in tropospheric oxidation from polluted to remote regions”. This fall Colleen will be starting a postdoctoral position researching ammonia flux measurement and modeling in the EPA's Office of Research and Development.

     Also this week, Adjunct Senior Research Scientist O. Roger Anderson received a  Life Time Achievement Honorary Membership Award (2021) from the International Society of Protistologists (ISOP) for his contributions to research in eukaryotic microbiology. The names of honorees are published in perpetuity in a list within each volume of the Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology. The citation from the Society stated: “This Award is given with respect to a lifelong commitment and significant contributions to the field of protistology in the field of microbial physiological ecology, as well as your dedicated service to the Society. In your many roles, including President of the Society and Associate Editor of the Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology, member of the ISOP Executive Committee, and numerous other commitments to the ongoing work of the Society, you are highly respected by your colleagues worldwide.”  We are proud of you Roger—congratulations on this very special recognition from your peers!

     And speaking of stars, I am delighted to announce the upcoming talks in the Summer Stars Lecture Series (they are sliding a little into fall in hopes that more will be back in the work groove after the semester starts).  Seasons aside, on September 24th, the second lecture in the series will feature Bernard Ferguson, an award-winning Bahamian poet, essayist, and MFA candidate at New York University. Bernard’s writing has been published in The New YorkerThe Paris ReviewThe Cincinnati Review, and elsewhere. He is working on a book about Hurricane Dorian and the climate crisis. Then, on October 5th, join us for the third and final lecture with polar educator Geoff Green, founder and president of the Students on Ice Foundation. SOI is an award-winning Canadian organization leading educational expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic for students, educators, and researchers from all over the world.  Geoff is especially known for his engagement and partnership with Canada’s Inuit and First Nation communities. 

     In other announcements, CIESIN Director Bob Chen shared information on the new Google Group that has been set up to support informal discussion and information sharing about EVs and Plug-in Hybrid EVs (PHEVs) on campus. If anyone is willing to serve as one of the managers or owners of the group, please contact Bob Chen.  For more information about the group, click here. All operational issues should be directed to Lamont Buildings and Grounds.

     Our “CFO” Edie Miller also shared the great news that Lamont-Doherty Child Development Center, managed by Bright Horizons, is getting ready to re-open and start welcoming back families on September 13th, 2021. Register here for the Family Information Session on August 18 at 12:00 pm. If you are ready to register your child, please visit Bright Horizon’s website. For questions about the center or enrollment, please contact [email protected]. Please note we have negotiated an income-based sliding tuition scale and are increasing our subsidy of the daycare center even further.

     As annual report season approaches and we work towards the launch of our new website, we invite your new and ongoing contributions of field, research, and campus photos so we can better feature your work. You'll find our easy submission form here. Got video? Contact Tara Spinelli. Thanks to inspiration from Joaquim Goes, everyone who has submitted photos since our original request back in February through August 31 will be entered for a chance to win an LDEO t-shirt (10 winners will be drawn at random from all participants). Thank you for all of the amazing photos you have already provided, and we're looking forward to many more!

     In research news, Adjunct Associate Research Scientist Nathan Laxague and Lamont Research Professor Chris Zappa’s article “The Impact of Rain on Ocean Surface Waves and Currents” was in AGU’s top 10% most downloaded articles in 2020.  Lamont Research Professor Mingfang Ting co-authored a paper out in Science Advances on July 30, “North Atlantic Oscillation in winter is largely insensitive to autumn Barents-Kara sea ice variability, which re-examines the causal relationship between sea ice and the North Atlantic Oscillation in the presence of strong internal atmospheric variability.  This is work led by a visiting student to Lamont who worked with Mingfang right before the pandemic, Peter Siew, and who will now be re-joining us in September as a postdoc.

     Sadly, this year’s Lamont Open House will again be a virtual event, taking place over two days on October 13 and 14th. It will consist of a series of TED-style talks by our scientists, panel discussions, and K-12 activities. Some events will be live and some prerecorded. Although we would have liked to have held our traditional Open House on campus, this is not possible due to the continued restrictions. However, being virtual has had the advantage of enabling us to reach a much larger global audience of K-12 students, families, teachers, scientific community members, media, and potential donors. In fact, last year’s Open House received over 15,000 views.  More information on content to follow – watch this space!

     I’ll end with the usual tip-of-the-hat to our Lamont wildlife park. The absolute highlight was a scheduled tour of Lamont’s Sanctuary Forest for Stacey Vassallo and myself led by Brendan Buckley.  As we waited for Brendan in front of Monell we saw almost the entire Tree Ring Lab trekking up the hill towards us!  As a group, we continued to the woods where Mukund Palat Rao, Milagros Rodriguez-Catón, Arturo Pacheco-Solana, Laia Andreu-Hayles and Nikki Davi showed us how they were sampling the trees weekly, monitoring the carbon fluxes and tree productivity and growth, and much more.  It was a super fun mini-expedition into our own backyard and everyone was excited about possible STEM projects based in the forest. Other nature highlights were: Tom Burke of facilities wrangling a copperhead off the Directorate patio (both Max and I nearly stepped on it and I’m still having nightmares about what would have happened if Max had been bit); a bald eagle teaching his/her offspring to hunt over the Palisades (I’d swear that is what they were doing); and two very young looking deer (yearlings?) with a spotted baby fawn coming and going all week.  It is such a joy to walk around this campus.  It’s all part of our secret sauce—along with our fierce determination, entrepreneurial spirit, collaborative approach to solving Earth’s great mysteries, and general all-around brilliance (and no, you are not an imposter).

     Have a restful, cool weekend.

     Mo

===================

LAMONT IN THE MEDIA: FEATURED NEWS

Ancient Sea Level Rises May Have Been Fairly Minimal

Climate News Network

August 12, 2021

Article on study by Lamont team including Blake Dyer, Jacqueline Austermann, William D’Andrea, Roger Creel, Michael Sandstrom, Miranda Cashman, Alessio Rovere, and Maureen Raymo.

 

IPCC Scientists Still Haven’t Cracked Africa’s Biggest Climate Mystery

Quartz

August 12, 2021

Article quotes Lamont climate scientist Richard Seager.

 

How North American Cities Are Bracing for More Heatwaves

BBC

August 11, 2021

Article quotes Lamont climate scientist Radley Horton.

 

Keeping Arsenic Out of Rice

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

August 11, 2021

Article cites research by Lamont geochemist Lex van Geen.

 

Marie Tharp: Mapping the Ocean Floor

Library of Congress Blog

August 9, 2021

Article features pioneering Lamont geologist Marie Tharp.

 

Some Irreversible Changes to the Climate Can Still Be Headed Off, Report Says

National Geographic

August 9, 2021

Article quotes late Lamont geochemist Wally Broecker.

 

The Climate Change Crisis Is Already Here, But There’s Still a Chance to Prevent the Worst

Quartz

August 9, 2021

Article quotes Lamont climate scientist Richard Seager.

 

Sea Level May Not Have Been as High in the Past as Previously Thought, According to a Study

Europa Press

August 9, 2021

Article on study by Lamont team including Blake Dyer, Jacqueline Austermann, William D’Andrea, Roger Creel, Michael Sandstrom, Miranda Cashman, Alessio Rovere, and Maureen Raymo.

 

Future Sea Level Rise: What Are We Missing, and How Much Should It Scare Us?

SciTech Daily

August 9, 2021

Article on study by Lamont team including Blake Dyer, Jacqueline Austermann, William D’Andrea, Roger Creel, Michael Sandstrom, Miranda Cashman, Alessio Rovere, and Maureen Raymo.

 

It’s Grim

The Atlantic

August 9, 2021

Article quotes Lamont climate scientist Benjamin Cook.

 

Danger Signs in the Increase in Extreme Weather

Radio Health Journal

August 8, 2021

Interview with Lamont climate scientist Radley Horton.

 

Warming Trends: Penguins in Trouble, More About the Dead Zone and Does Your Building Hold Climate Secrets?

Inside Climate News

August 7, 2021

Article on study co-led by Lamont tree-ring scientists Caroline Leland and Mukund Palat Rao.

 

Unusual Bloom in the Arabian Sea

Earth.com

August 5, 2021

Article cites research by Lamont biogeochemist Joaquim Goes and biological oceanographer Helga do Rosario Gomes.
 

'When Will the Megadrought End?' Is the Wrong Question to Ask

Mashable

August 4, 2021

Article quotes Lamont climate scientist Benjamin Cook.

 

How Low Can You Go?

Vox Unexplainable

August 4, 2021

Episode features pioneering Lamont geologist Marie Tharp and marine geophysicist Vicki Ferrini (begins at 13:00).

 

Record Wildfires and Heat Sweep Across Greece, Threatening Historic Sites

Gizmodo

August 4, 2021

Article quotes Lamont climate scientist Yochanan Kushnir.

 

The Mega-Financing That Demonstrates Lenders' Belief in New York's Future

Real Estate Capital News

August 4, 2021

Article cites study co-led by Lamont tree-ring scientists Caroline Leland and Mukund Palat Rao.

 

How the Tokyo Olympics and Its Ban on Spectators Will Affect the Environment

ABC News

August 2, 2021

Article quotes Lamont climate scientist Jason Smerdon.

 

The ‘Swell’ Job of Sorting Out New Zealand’s Unusual Earthquake Patterns

Atlas Obscura

August 2, 2021

Article on research by Lamont PhD student Christine Chesley, geophysicist Kerry Key, former Lamont postdoc Samer Naif, and colleague.

 

How the Tokyo Olympics Could Affect Climate Change

Good Morning America

August 2, 2021

Article quotes Lamont climate scientist Jason Smerdon.

 

Climate Change Fears Spur More Americans to Join Survivalist Schools

NBC News

August 1, 2021

Article quotes Lamont climate scientist Jason Smerdon.

 

The Oldest Tree in Eastern US Survived Millennia – but Rising Seas Could Kill It

Guardian

August 1, 2021

Article quotes Lamont alumni plant ecophysiologist Angelica Patterson and ecologist Neil Pederson.

 

Greenland: Enough Ice Melted on Single Day to Cover Florida in Two Inches of Water

Guardian

July 30, 2021

Article quotes Lamont polar scientist Marco Tedesco.

 

Greenland Experienced 'Massive' Ice Melt This Week, Scientists Say

Reuters

July 30, 2021

Article quotes Lamont polar scientist Marco Tedesco.

 

Climate Change Is Driving Deadly Weather Disasters From Arizona To Mumbai

NPR

July 29, 2021

Article quotes Lamont climate scientist Radley Horton.

 

Climate Crisis Catches Power Companies Unprepared

The New York Times

July 29, 2021

Article cites work led by Lamont climate scientist Radley Horton.

 

Deadly Heat Waves and the Raising Climate

KCBS Radio

July 29, 2021

Interview with Lamont climate scientist Radley Horton.

 

BLOGS

Columbia Climate School Named University Partner for Climate Week NYC 2021

August 11, 2021

The newly founded school will play a key role in the week’s events.

 

Some Past Sea Levels May Not Have Been as High as Thought, Says Study of Rising and Sinking Landmasses

August 09, 2021

A time similar to our own saw catastrophic sea-level rise. But exactly how catastrophic?

 

Staff Spotlight: David Phelan, Business Manager

August 06, 2021

As the business manager on the Earth Institute communications team, David keeps the department running smoothly and is always ready to help a colleague in need.

 

Making Up for Lost Time: Earth and Climate Scientists Get Back Out Into the Field

August 05, 2021

Lamont’s field season typically sees as many as 50 to 60 expeditions, which take researchers to all corners of the globe. As pandemic restrictions begin to lift, teams are picking up where they left off.

 

New York City’s Hidden Old-Growth Forests

August 02, 2021

Scientists are uncovering centuries of climate data and human history from giant old timbers saved from demolished structures.

    Hello Friends,  Our months of uncertainty continue.  Our gains in community safety are slowly being undermined by the delta variant.  Asymptomatic positive testing numbers are creeping up at CU after many months of declining numbers.  Monday will bring the deadline for vaccine compliance—the Lamont campus currently leads relative to the other four CU campuses, though we are still only at about 80% compliance.  People who have not yet uploaded proof that they are vaccinated, or in the process, will soon be contacted.  The university has made it clear that vaccination is a condition of employment, whether you are working on campus or remotely.  Employees who do not have an exemption and are not vaccinated will be subject to disciplinary actions up to termination and/or salary suspension starting in early September.  It is a university-wide commitment to our collective safety we all must honor.  Please direct any questions or concerns to HR, our COVID Ambassadors Nicole deRoberts or Kaleigh Matthews, or Art Lerner-Lam.

      More uplifting news (as in better news) is that it is increasingly looking like our Bright Horizons Daycare will reopen in early September.  Working together with BH and the provost’s office, we anticipate that the daycare fee schedule will now be on a tiered structure based on family income.  We really hope this allows everyone on our campus access to high quality daycare at their place of employment.  The greater the enrollment, from both Lamonters and the community, the more likely it will be that we can preserve the tiered fee structure model designed to help grad students, postdocs, etc.

      As we look ahead to fall, I hope everyone is also thinking about potential colloquium speakers.  To that end, please join me in thanking the outgoing members and welcoming the new members of the Colloquium Committee.  This year’s committee includes Nicolás Young as faculty coordinator, and student members Tanner Acquisto, Jasper Baur, Claire Jasper, Joohee Kim, Celeste Pallone, and Madankui Tao. We extend our gratitude to outgoing members Kevin Uno, Coordinator, and graduate students Shannon Bohman, Alexandra Balter, Clara Chang, and Sarah Giles for their time and considerable efforts to bring outstanding virtual talks during a challenging year. 

      August is generally a pretty quiet time of year in academia, however, I can report that our very own Kailani Acosta is the newly elected Student Member-at-Large of the Governing Board of the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation (CERF).  Congratulations Kailani!  Lamont Associate Research Professor Indrani Das also received good news, from AGU: her article, Multi-decadal basal melt rates and structure of the Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica using airborne ice penetrating radar, was in the Journal of Geophysical Research’s top 10% most downloaded papers in 2020!  The study estimates basal melt rates underneath the Ross Ice Shelf using images from two airborne radar datasets from the ROSETTA project, combined with satellite velocity and ice sheet modeling-based estimates of ice shelf strain rates. Indrani’s team identified five hotspots at the ice shelf front and used an ocean circulation model to conclude that the ocean was responsible for the inferred higher basal melt underneath the ice shelf in at least three of the hotspots. The most mysterious continent continues to reveal its secrets.

      In other research news, we see forward progress on the ultra-hip and scientific “Plus Pool”, an inspiring collaboration between art, engineering, and science in New York City.  We also have DEES Professor Adam Sobel’s great editorial take on the “Merchants of Doubt”, the oil and gas industry.  LRP Radley Horton was all over the “airwaves” this week discussing wet bulb temperatures and the rising risks of extreme heat.  Indeed, I learned that an app now exists, Carrot, that determines wet bulb temperature and will warn you “when it’s so hot that going outside could cause you to simply drop dead.”  Yikes—and not good.  Many more interesting articles lurk below, explaining the science behind heat domes, Germany’s dramatic floods, drought, wildfires and more.  I see this media list below, and read these articles, and I am once again inspired that the Columbia Climate School is centering “Disaster Resilience” as one of its four major programmatic priorities.  How do we help communities anticipate, prevent and recover from ever increasing climate disasters worldwide?  Our scientists will be central to this ambitious transdisciplinary initiative in the coming months to years.

      I’ll end with a shout-out to Sheean Haley and the pollinator garden team.  It truly is marvelous and well worth a walk over to the side of the New Core Repository building.  The gardens are flourishing and are routinely covered in bees of many types, moths, and butterflies.  I especially appreciate the plant labels and aspire to put some of these species in my own garden. 

      In closing, whether you are puttering in your own backyard or heading to the ocean or hills to escape the heat, I wish you all a relaxing and peaceful weekend.

       Best, Mo

===================

LAMONT IN THE MEDIA: FEATURED NEWS

Cool Idea from Another City: New York’s Water Filtering ‘Plus Pool’

Evening Standard

July 29, 2021

Article references work of Lamont researchers.

 

Beyond Human Endurance

Washington Post

July 28, 2021

Article quotes Lamont climate scientist Radley Horton and cites research co-authored with Lamont PhD Colin Raymond and colleague.

 

Could a Surfside Building Disaster Happen on the NY or NJ Coast?

Gothamist

July 26, 2021

Article quotes Lamont geodynamicist Jacqueline Austermann and geophysicist Klaus Jacob.

 

Wet-Bulb Conditions

BYU Radio

July 26, 2021

Interview with Lamont climate scientist Radley Horton.

 

Big Oil's Lies Are 'Criminal, Unforgivable

Energy Mix

July 25, 2021

Article on op-ed by Lamont climate scientist Adam Sobel.

 

Wet-Bulb Temperature Is Important, Climate Experts Say. So, What Is It?

Washington Post

July 24, 2021

Article quotes Lamont climate scientist Radley Horton and CIESIN postdoc Cascade Tuholske.

 

Air Pollution Is Harming People in the Global South at an Alarming Rate. A Climate School Project Wants to Help.

Columbia News

July 23, 2021

Interview with Lamont climate scientist Dan Westervelt.

 

How Severe Is the Megadrought in the West?

The Hill

July 23, 2021

Opinion piece by Lamont climate scientists Jason Smerdon and Ben Cook with bioclimatologist Park Williams.

 

Weather App Now Warns You When It's Hot Enough to Drop Dead

Futurism

July 23, 2021

Article quotes Lamont climate scientist Radley Horton.

 

8 Ways Life Would Get Weird on a Flat Earth

Live Science

July 23, 2021

Article quotes Lamont geodesist James Davis.

 

Extreme Weather Globally May Only Get Worse

WNYC - The Brian Lehrer Show

July 22, 2021

Interview with Lamont climate scientist Adam Sobel.

 

See How Wildfire Smoke Spread Across America

The New York Times

July 21, 2021

Article quotes Lamont atmospheric scientist Róisín Commane.

 

This Summer Could Change Our Understanding of Extreme Heat

National Geographic

July 20, 2021

Article quotes and cites research co-authored by Lamont climate scientist Kai Kornhuber.

 

How Climate Change Fuels Extreme Weather

Columbia Energy Exchange

July 20, 2021

Interview with Lamont climate scientist Adam Sobel.

 

Columbia Climate School: Investors Must Prepare for ‘Multi-Hazard’ Climate Risk

ESG Clarity

July 19, 2021

Article on partnership between Columbia Climate School and AllianceBernstein quotes Lamont climate scientist Radley Horton.

 

‘It Is All Connected’: Extreme Weather in the Age of Climate Change

The New York Times

July 16, 2021

Article quotes Lamont climate scientist Kai Kornhuber.

 

Experts Fear Germany’s Deadly Floods Are a Glimpse into Climate Future

National Geographic

July 16, 2021

Article quotes Lamont climate scientist Kai Kornhuber.

 

BLOGS

What It’s Like at Columbia Climate School in the Green Mountains

July 19, 2021

The immersive and exciting program took students through deep dives into climate science and live problem-solving simulations.

Hello Friends, The Director’s Weekly Report will be fortnightly until September.

I hope you’re enjoying the summer!

Best wishes,

Mo

    Hello Friends,  This will be a short and sweet summer missive.  First, it was so fun and inspiring to hear John Cook’s first Summer Stars lecture yesterday and learn about how one can inoculate oneself against fake news.  So cool to see the dozens of places across the nation, and indeed world, where his cartoons and gamification of cognitive science are being used in classrooms to combat mis-information about climate change.  If you missed the lecture, the recording will be available shortly.

     Second, the campus celebrated two “big deal” scholarly achievements this week.  Carlos Martinez successfully defended his thesis on “Seasonal Climatology, Variability, Characteristics, and Prediction of the Caribbean Rainfall Cycle”. Carlos will be going to the National Center for Atmospheric Research beginning this fall to join the prestigious NCAR Advanced Study Postdoctoral Program. Jordan Abell also successfully defended his thesis “Earth, Wind, and Water: Plio-Pleistocene Climate Evolution in East Asia and the North Pacific".  Jordan’s thesis covers a variety of timescales, from the Pliocene to the modern, and stretches from the windiest place on Earth (the stony Hami desert) to sediments of the deep Pacific Ocean. Jordan's work showed that the westerlies, globally, were weaker and more poleward in the warmer world of the Pliocene, an analogue for present and future climate change. Jordan was awarded a prestigious NSF postdoctoral fellowship and he will join the University of Arizona in September.

     Also this week—a big shout-out to Senior Research Scientist Vicki Ferrini who has agreed to serve as our first ever Associate Director for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI).  Reporting to the LDEO Director, the AD for DEI is responsible for promoting visionary DEI initiatives across the Observatory. Vicki will work closely with the Assistant Director of Academic Affairs and Diversity, as well as the community at large, to ensure a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment at Lamont.   

     More news you can use, especially if you have young children and live near Piermont—our  Lamont Hudson River Field Station is back up and running their summer programming.  Margie Turrin and Laurel Zaima would love the Lamont community's help in sharing the word. Each summer weekend they are running Science Saturdays from 11-3PM outside on the end of the Piermont pier. This is a chance to engage the public with science and Lamont. Over the coming weeks they will be seining for fish and talking about Hudson River biology, collecting short push cores and talking about the stories in the sediments, and running some nature scavenger hunts to connect the public and children with the ecology and history of the pier.  Saturday July 31st will be a particularly special day as the Lamont team joins in an annual estuary-wide event, The Hudson River Fish Count.  Note that all events are being held outside so thunderstorms will cancel. And if you have not personally weighed in on topics to include for our planned interactive wall display of Hudson River stewards use this link to do so!  We are collecting feedback throughout July and would love your input.   

     After a month and a half at sea, last Sunday Suzanne Carbotte, Brian Boston and their colleagues aboard Langseth arrived in Seattle, concluding their investigation of the Cascadia Subduction Zone.  During their study, Suzanne and her team used the Langseth’s advanced seismic imaging capability in an ambitious study to provide a regional-scale characterization of the structure and properties of the Cascadia megathrust fault and accretionary wedge, spanning nearly the full length of the subduction zone. While they were surveying, an extensive array of 760 land seismometers and 114 ocean bottom seismometers were deployed to record the Langseth’s soundings and enable an integrated off-shore-onshore high-resolution characterization of the deeper parts of the subduction zone beneath North America. The study was an epic success and will support improved understanding of earthquake and tsunami hazards in the Pacific Northwest.  Suzanne, this was also a logistical and organizational tour de force—you are amazing!

     At the opposite side of the Pacific, a complementary study on the behavior of subduction zones, “Fluid-rich subducting topography generates anomalous forearc porosity, was just published by Christine Chesley.  I mention it because it is a significant accomplishment for a number of reasons: first, Christine is a graduate student; second, the paper was published in Nature (woot woot!); and third, an accompanying News and Views article discussed the paper’s significance.  Congrats Christine!  I’m not sure what it is about your paper title above, but I really like it.

     With that I will sign off for the weekend.  It must be July because I ate my first campus raspberries today—get them before the deer.  I remember when I was a graduate student there were giant blackberry bushes at the bottom of the hill behind Lamont Hall—we would collect pints and pints of berries and whip up summer daiquiris.  There were a lot fewer deer around back then.  

     Please read the Federal Science Partners report I will circulate separately.  Lots of good info about what is coming out of the funding agencies in D.C.  And of course, don’t forget the many more news updates below!

     Have a peaceful weekend.  Mo

===================

LAMONT IN THE MEDIA: FEATURED NEWS

As Hurricane Season Worsens, Where Do We Go Next?

PBS Peril & Promise

July 15, 2021

Interview with Lamont climate scientist Suzana Camargo (begins at 25:55).

 

Toxic Mercury May Be Deposited in Forests in Much Greater Quantities

Tech Explorist

July 12, 2021

Article on study by Lamont atmospheric scientist Róisín Commane and colleagues.

 

Flash Flooding, Other Recent Rough Weather Underscores Vulnerability of NYC Infrastructure

WPIX TV

July 12, 2021

Interview with Lamont scientist Klaus Jacob.

 

A Lake in Antarctica Suddenly Drains

Labroots

July 11, 2021

Article on study by Lamont glaciologist Jonathan Kingslake, PhD student Julian Spergel, and colleagues.

 

The Science of Heat Domes and How Drought and Climate Change Make Them Worse

Washington Post

July 10, 2021

Article quotes Lamont postdoc Jane W. Baldwin.

 

In Antarctica, a Lake’s Disappearance Might Offer Clues About Melting Ice Shelves

Washington Post

July 10, 2021

Article on study by Lamont glaciologist Jonathan Kingslake, PhD student Julian Spergel, and colleagues.

 

Thursday’s Downpour Could Have Been Worse for the Subway System

Gothamist

July 10, 2021

Article quotes Lamont geophysicist Klaus Jacob.

 

As Rising Seas Erode Buildings, It's Getting Riskier to Live on the Coast

USA Today

July 9, 2021

Article quotes Lamont geophysicist Klaus Jacob and climate scientist Adam Sobel.

 

'A Default Sewer System': Subway Flooding Is Bigger Than Just the MTA

The City

July 9, 2021

Article quotes Lamont geophysicist Klaus Jacob.

 

Why the New York Subway Has a Water Problem

The New York Times

July 9, 2021

Article quotes Lamont geophysicist Klaus Jacob.

 

These Videos of New York Subway and Apartment Floods Will Fill You with a Medium Amount of Existential Dread

Esquire

July 9, 2021

Article quotes Lamont climate scientist Adam Sobel.

 

Episode 52. Tropical Cyclones

The Sweaty Penguin

July 9, 2021

Interview with Lamont climate scientist Suzana Camargo (begins at 25:55).

 

Big Oil's Lies About Climate Change—A Climate Scientist's Take

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

July 9, 2021

Opinion piece by Lamont climate scientist Adam Sobel.

 

The Link Between Silent Earthquakes and Undersea Mountains Sliding Beneath the Earth's Crust

Stuff

July 8, 2021

Article on research by Lamont PhD student Christine Chesley, geophysicist Kerry Key, former Lamont postdoc Samer Naif, and colleague.

 

Subduction Zone Mystery: Do Mountains Beneath the Sea Fuel Silent Earthquakes?

New Zealand Herald

July 8, 2021

Article on research by Lamont PhD student Christine Chesley, geophysicist Kerry Key, former Lamont postdoc Samer Naif, and colleague.

 

Scientists Now Racing to Study Heat Conditions that Spontaneously Kill Humans

The Hill

July 8, 2021

Article quotes Lamont climate scientist Radley Horton and cites research co-authored with Lamont PhD Colin Raymond and colleague.

 

The Trace of a Giant Tsunami as High as 243 Meters Gives Researchers Goosebumps

World Today News

July 8, 2021

Article on study by former Lamont postdoc Ricardo Ramalho, climate scientist Gisela Winckler, geochemist Joerg Schaefer, and colleagues.

 

Families Living Near Notre Dame Are Suing Paris for Allegedly Downplaying Lead Pollution that Resulted from the 2019 Blaze

Art News

July 7, 2021

Article cites study led by Lamont geochemist Lex van Geen.

 

Top Climate Scientists Aren't Too Hot on Fox's Weather Channel

Daily Beast

July 7, 2021

Article quotes Lamont climate scientist Richard Seager.

 

New Study Helps Explain 'Silent Earthquakes' Along New Zealand's North Island

ScienceDaily

July 7, 2021

Article on research by Lamont PhD student Christine Chesley, geophysicist Kerry Key, former Lamont postdoc Samer Naif, and colleague

 

Surfacing New Clues: Water’s Impact in Undersea Earthquakes

Georgia Tech Research Horizons

July 7, 2021

Article on research by Lamont PhD student Christine Chesley, geophysicist Kerry Key, former Lamont postdoc Samer Naif, and colleague.

 

Families Living Near Notre Dame Are Suing Paris for Allegedly Downplaying Lead Pollution that Resulted from the 2019 Blaze

Art News

July 7, 2021

Article cites study led by Lamont geochemist Lex van Geen.

 

Top Climate Scientists Aren't Too Hot on Fox's Weather Channel

Daily Beast

July 7, 2021

Article quotes Lamont climate scientist Richard Seager.

 

BLOGS

Study Shows Forests May Take in Far More Toxic Mercury Than Thought

July 12, 2021

Atmospheric mercury in gaseous form appears to be adding heavily to the load.

 

Searching for Faults from Afar

July 12, 2021

Researchers are using ocean-bottom and land-based seismometers to record the R/V Marcus Langseth’s soundings from afar, to better understand the potential impacts of large earthquakes in the Cascadia region.

 

Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory: Milestones in Climate Science

July 09, 2021

Much of the modern understanding of climate change is underpinned by pioneering studies done at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. Here’s a timeline of significant studies.

 

Collecting More Than Just Seismic Data Along the Cascadia Fault

July 08, 2021

While researchers search for a megathrust fault off the Pacific Northwest coast, they are also helping to map the seafloor in high resolution and detect underwater methane seeps.

     Hello Friends,  After my big shout-out last week, I am sheepishly asking you to save a new date, September 22nd, for the all-Lamont BBQ.  I would also like to remind everyone that our first Summer Stars Lecture will be on July 15 next week.  It will feature John Cook, Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the Climate Change Communication Research Hub at Monash University. I have known of John’s work in climate communications for many years, possibly almost a decade, and there are probably few people in the world who have thought as deeply about the climate communication challenge as he.  Please come enjoy this special event by linking here: Registration required by July 13.

    And speaking of registering, everyone should be thinking about uploading their vaccine information if they haven’t already.  Everyone on the research, instructional, and science support staff at Lamont (indeed across the entire university), including postdocs and students, are expected to be back on campus full-time on September 7th.  The stated deadline to have your vaccine proof uploaded is by August 2nd.  Some relevant info:

    “There are several resources available to help faculty and staff understand the requirement and submit their information. These include:

     I was briefed this week that of the 460 staff members at LDEO, our compliance rate is exactly 50%.  Please let’s try to push that number up quickly—Lamont leads….right?  Keep in mind that exemptions to the vaccine requirement for religious or medical reasons can be pursued through formal channels.  Likewise, permission to continue to work remotely can also be pursued through formal channels.  “For more details on how to request telecommuting arrangements, including the proposal form, and to read the complete telecommuting policy, visit the Human Resources website.”

     Next Thursday, July 15th, we will also be hosting a Lamont Town Hall.  We will review the rapidly changing COVID guidelines as well as back to campus guidance. 

     Speaking of people back on campus, it was great to see such a broad cross-section of the community at the going away party for Kuheli on Wednesday.  Kuheli, you leave Lamont in a much better place for you being here.  Certainly in the Directorate we are committed to building on all the DEIA progress this community has made and expect to have more news in this area soon.  In addition, Alicia Roman, Earth Institute Executive Director, sent an email drawing our attention to an upcoming EI DEIA Workshop: “It can be difficult to lead constructive conversations around race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, and other aspects of identity at work. As the Earth Institute engages in its diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism (DEIA) initiatives, you may find yourself managing conflict among your staff or feel unprepared to facilitate challenging discussions.  On Thursday, July 22 from 11:30am – 12:30pm, the Earth Institute is hosting a workshop on “Leading Difficult Conversations.” The workshop will be led by experienced facilitators Bodi Regan and Allegra Chen-Carrel from the Morton Deutsch International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution (MD-ICCCR) at Teachers College. In this workshop, they will discuss best practices for leading effective conversations around DEIA, and engage in interactive activities designed to practice these important skills. Please RSVP here: https://events.columbia.edu/go/DEIA. You will be sent the Zoom log-in details after registering.”

     Turning to science, I’d like to draw people’s attention to a paper, Contrasting drivers and trends of ocean acidification in the subarctic Atlantic, published posthumously by Taro Takahashi.  His colleague Bob Anderson writes: “Back in the 1980s Taro Takahashi helped start a time series of observations of subarctic ocean chemistry near Iceland.  The decades long record shows the clear effects of anthropogenic carbon dioxide on ocean chemistry.  The paper, published this week in Scientific Reports, including a nice tribute to Taro at the end, can be found at the following URL.”  I’ll quote some of that tribute here:  “The materialistic outline above does not explain cooperation which lasted for decades. The key element there was Taro ́s modest wisdom and deep knowledge which he shared in an atmosphere of equality. His responses to notes on data and interpretations were always detailed and constructive. This spirit of cooperation was likewise felt in exchanges with Taro ́s able LDEO technical personnel.”  I know that Taro’s old office in Comer is slowly being emptied—whoever gets to move in will be surrounded by some pretty amazing scientific karma.

     In other science news, Benjamin Cook is quoted extensively in an article about climate’s impact on the elegant trogons of Arizona.  Say what?  Were they in Game of Thrones?  You have to follow the link to find out what a trogon is.  I’m also left wondering what a scruffy trogon looks like.  Finally, of many other interesting articles below, the one on the development of the fluxgate magnetometer is an especially fascinating review of Earth science history, submarine warfare, and Lamont’s role in plate tectonic revolution.  It discusses the chain of events and inventions that led to Walter Pitman’s collection of the “magic profile”.  If you want to see the original “magic profile” after reading this article, come visit me—it is framed outside the Director’s office.

     Have a peaceful weekend.   Best, Mo

===================

LAMONT IN THE MEDIA: FEATURED NEWS

Scientists Disagree on Climate Change Pushing Trogon's Decline

Tucson.com

July 5, 2021

Article quotes Lamont climate scientist Benjamin Cook.

 

In Antarctica, a Huge Lake Disappeared in the Space of Three Days

Geo

July 2, 2021

Article on study by Lamont glaciologist Jonathan Kingslake, PhD student Julian Spergel, and colleagues.

 

Massive Antarctic Lake Disappears in Just a Few Days

Gizmodo

July 2, 2021

Article on study by Lamont glaciologist Jonathan Kingslake, PhD student Julian Spergel, and colleagues.

 

A WWII Submarine-Hunting Device Helped Prove the Theory of Plate Tectonics

Science News

July 2, 2021

Article references Lamont geologists Walter Pitman and James Heirtzler.

 

Research Ship Works to Predict the Next 'Big One' as West Coast Overdue for Earthquake

Fox News

July 1, 2021

Article on research led by Lamont marine geophysicist Suzanne Carbotte aboard R/V Marcus G. Langseth.

 

Limited Air Pollution Data Hampers Development of Policies

Jomo Kenyatta University

July 1, 2021

Article features work of Lamont climate scientist Dan Westervelt.

 

Climate Change: From Heating Human Bodies To Baking The Earth

Clean Technica

July 1, 2021

Article quotes Lamont and UCLA bioclimatolgist Park Williams.

 

Fighting Climate Change Might Have Just Gotten Easier

Scientific American

July 1, 2021

Article co-authored by Lamont PhD Brenda Ekwurzel.

 

BLOGS

New Study Helps to Explain ‘Silent Earthquakes’ Along New Zealand’s North Island

July 07, 2021

Underwater mountains may help to dampen movements along faults that otherwise have the potential to generate large earthquakes.

 

Looking Out for Marine Mammals

July 06, 2021

When using sound to search for an undersea fault, researchers must take special precautions to protect dolphins, whales and other vulnerable species.

 

Seismic Data on Deck: Sounding for the Cascadia Megathrust Fault

July 01, 2021

Using sound and a 7.5-mile-long streamer towed behind the boat, scientists can collect a tremendous amount of data from under the seafloor.

    Hello Friends,  Wow, has the last year flown by!  After nearly fifty newsletters, untold Zoom meetings, and more than a few gray hairs, my greatest desire is to see us all back on campus in September.  As fun as it has been watching baby woodchucks cavorting outside my office window all day, all week, I would trade that for the hustle and bustle of colleagues in a New York minute.  So many changes and even more to announce this week.  We officially welcomed Dave Goldberg into his new role as Deputy Director and I am greatly appreciative of the time he has taken over the last month to thoughtfully transition into his new role.  Art Lerner-Lam has moved up in the world and is expanding his leadership of educational and executive programming in the new Climate School.  Art, we wish you the best and thank you for your many years of service to Lamont.  Kuheli Dutt is wrapping up her legion of projects as she prepares to move on to MIT and I want to remind everyone that there will be a special going away party for her next Wednesday at 3pm in the Cafeteria. There will be sweets, drinks, and good company.

     I would also like to introduce a new member of my leadership team, Josh Wolfe, who will be working part-time with me with a special focus on the Climate School.  I know many of you know Josh from his years working freelance around Columbia and the Earth Institute.  Among other things, Josh is also President and co-founder of the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund, an advisory board member for 500 Women Scientists, and a nationally recognized expert on energy and communications.  He can be reached at [email protected]

     Finally, thank you to Andy Juhl and Robin Bell for stepping into the Associate Director jobs in BPE and MGG respectively.  These are hugely important roles on campus that provide a critical link and guidance between the central administration and the scientists on the ground, so to speak.  They have the sometimes-conflicting roles of being advocates for divisional needs and individuals while also embodying the leadership of the Observatory and its accompanying responsibility to fiscal oversight and the highest standards of scholarly excellence.  It is not an easy job.  My favorite standing meeting is the fortnightly Associate Directors Council where we wrassle with the issues and problems of the moment and the ADs act as a vital sounding board and source of advice for the Directorate.  And of course, I have to close this loop by giving my deep thanks to Rosanne D’Arrigo and Roger Buck who served their divisions so exceptionally for so many years.  This rotation reminds me of an old Girl Scout song (substituting “ADs” for “friends” ;-):

     Make new ADs, but keep the old,

     One is silver, and the other’s gold.

     The campus continues to get busier.  On Tuesday a news crew from Fox 5 NY came to campus to shoot a profile on Terry Plank and her ground-breaking work in volcanology. The story is the second in a series on women in science inspired by our "Extraordinary Women" e-newsletter.  It is so great to be getting this level of exposure out in the world!  Today, NOVA (PBS) is working on an episode about “Turning CO2 into Stone” for a new digital PBS Terra Science series, Out of Our Elements. This episode will highlight Lamont’s path-breaking research on carbon storage in oceanic basalt and their crew will be filming with Research Scientist Angela Slagle in the Core Repository and Comer building.

     This week Science magazine featured a major article about the ongoing cruise of the R/V Marcus Langseth in the northeast Pacific.  As the title says, “A Megaquake Will Someday Strike the Pacific Northwest. This Ship Could Figure Out How Bad It Will Be.”  LRP Suzanne Carbotte and her colleagues discuss risk, the mysteries of subduction zones, and the challenges of working at sea.  Another article in this month’s July Newsletter, “Earth, Wind, and Fire: Summer Extremes Ahead”, focuses on Lamont scientists’ research on how climate change is increasing the odds for a severe life-threatening summer, accompanied by an active hurricane season, and potentially devastating wildfires.  This research could not be more timely with the “heat dome” settled over the west.  The world is waking up to the reality of a warmer world and it is critical that we continue  to get the science out there to the public.  Thank you Marie DeNoia Aronsohn for such a great article in such a great issue.

     I’m very proud to announce that DEES Professor Sid Hemming was named the 2021 recipient of the Geological Society of America’s Laurence L. Sloss Award. The award is given annually in recognition of outstanding contributions to the interdisciplinary field of sedimentary geology.  Congrats Sid! 

     And Sid’s intellective accomplishment reminds me of the multitude of reasons and people we have to celebrate when we come back together in September (remember, unless you have Dean’s level approval, you must live within two-hour radius of campus at that time).  Please save the date, Wednesday September 15th, for a blow-out Lamont barbeque of unimaginable proportions!  Bruce Springsteen has agreed to play!  Just kidding.  But we will have music, we will have speeches, we will have food and beer by the gallons.  Come one, come all!  Bring the wee ones too.  And if you are interested in bringing your musical talents to bear on the festivities, please contact Lamont’s concert promoter Billy D’Andrea.  All other questions, suggestions, and requests can be routed through our events maven, Miriam Cinquegrana.

     With yet another three-day weekend ahead it’s starting to feel a bit like I’m back in Australia—universal 4-day work week for all!  Have a fireworks and potato salad filled weekend and throw a few shrimp on the barbie.

     Best, Mo

===================

LAMONT IN THE MEDIA: FEATURED NEWS

A Megaquake Will Someday Strike the Pacific Northwest. This Ship Could Figure Out How Bad It Will Be

Science

June 30, 2021

Article on research led by Lamont marine geophysicist Suzanne Carbotte aboard R/V Marcus G. Langseth.

 

Scientists Warn of Climate Change Intensifying Heat Waves

The Hill

June 30, 2021

Article quotes Lamont postdoc Jane W. Baldwin.

 

Sudden Disappearance of Giant Antarctic Lake Leaves Massive Crater – 200 Billion Gallons of Water Gone

SciTech Daily

June 29, 2021

Article on study by Lamont glaciologist Jonathan Kingslake, PhD student Julian Spergel, and colleagues.

 

Everything We Know About the Huge Lake that Suddenly Disappeared in Antarctica

La Vanguardia

June 28, 2021

Article on study by Lamont glaciologist Jonathan Kingslake, PhD student Julian Spergel, and colleagues.

 

A Huge Ice-Covered Lake Has Suddenly Disappeared in Antarctica

Telecinco

June 28, 2021

Article on study by Lamont glaciologist Jonathan Kingslake, PhD student Julian Spergel, and colleagues.

 

Rare Winter Event Makes Lake Disappear in Antarctica

Olhar Digital

June 28, 2021

Article on study by Lamont glaciologist Jonathan Kingslake, PhD student Julian Spergel, and colleagues.

 

A Conversation on Building Safe Spaces for the LGBTQ+ Community in the Geosciences

Nature Communications

June 25, 2021

Interview with Lamont postdoc Benjamin Keisling.

 

Why This Drought Scientist Has Packed Her ‘Runaway Bag’

Daily Beast

June 25, 2021

Article quotes Lamont climate scientist Jane W. Baldwin.

 

Half the Country Is Facing an Apocalyptic Summer

Live Science

June 25, 2021

Article quotes Lamont climate scientist Benjamin Cook and bioclimatologist Park Williams.

 

The 44 Percent: New Baldwin Interview, Climate Gentrification and Trick Daddy

Miami Herald

June 25, 2021

Article quotes and cites research led by Lamont polar scientist Marco Tedesco.

 

BLOGS

Observations While on Quarantine in Newport, Oregon

June 30, 2021

Before embarking on a 6-week voyage to scan for Cascadia’s megathrust fault, the research team had to quarantine for two weeks in a hotel.

 

Searching for the Megathrust Fault at Cascadia

June 29, 2021

Researchers have set sail to find and map a fault that causes giant earthquakes in the Pacific Northwest.

 

Summer Forecast: Dangerous Heat, Fire, and an Active Hurricane Season

June 28, 2021

Climate change may be loading the dice for a tough summer.

 

Scientists Track the Sudden Disappearance of an Antarctic Ice-Shelf Lake

June 24, 2021

A rarely seen phenomenon may not bode well for the future survival of the ice.

     Hello Friends,  Hope you all had a lovely three-day weekend for Juneteenth last week. Lots of announcements have been piling up!  On Tuesday, Lucy Tweed successfully defended her PhD on “Coupling the Thermodynamics, Kinetics and Geodynamics of Multiphase Reactive Transport in Earth’s Interior”. Lucy’s immediate plans are getting her chapters submitted as papers, and start applying for postdoctoral fellowships.  Congratulations Lucy!  Thank you also to Mingfang Ting for inviting me to the OCP group’s outdoor celebration of Yochanan Kushnir’s retirement and Arlene Fiore’s move to MIT.  Also feted was Jane Baldwin, a Lamont postdoc fellow who is leaving for a tenure-track Assistant Professor position at UC Irvine. I was also delighted to meet, in person, Robert Pincus—a newly hired LRP in the OCP division.  He is an expert in atmospheric radiative transfer and will be officially starting on July 1.

     On Wednesday, Robin Bell hosted a visit from Randy Fiser, AGU’s CEO and Executive Director since August of 2020.  He was deeply impressed with the diversity of scholarship on the campus. Thanks to everyone who engaged with his visit and especially to all the students and post-docs who showed up for cookies and coffee on the lawn.  He really enjoyed engaging with you and hearing your concerns.  Also this week, Ajit Subramaniam was re-elected to serve on the Board of the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO).  #lamontleads.  In addition, Columbia's second Managed Retreat Conference has clearly met a community need, with more than 950 registrants, including more than 80 journalists and close to 300 speakers. The four-day conference featured over 50 sessions on topics as varied as: decolonizing research, non-coastal hazards, receiving communities, lessons learned in Northwest Europe, photography and the arts, migration modeling, finance, and infrastructure.  Radley Horton reports that two already-evident takeaways are that, 1) a stronger focus on climate justice issues has brought added energy to the conference, and 2) participation across the government and non-profit sectors this year matched that from academia.  Thank you, Radley, for sending this summary and for organizing such an impactful conference!

     I am happy to announce that we will be hosting the virtual Summer Stars Lecture Series again this year. The Summer Stars Lecture Series will feature three inspiring speakers whose work focuses squarely on the intersection of our humanity, nature, sustainability, and the Earth.  The first event in the series will take place on July 15 at 4:00 PM, and will feature John Cook, Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the Climate Change Communication Research Hub at Monash University. John is the founder of the Skeptical Science website, one I have valued as a handy resource for years, and I look forward to his talk.  Invite your cranky uncle!  Registration required.

     Thank you to Bob Anderson who followed up on the-how-many-oceans question.  He writes that Dave Karl of the University of Hawaii led the effort in the late 1980s or early 1990s to have the Southern Ocean designated by name as a unique ocean.  “He applied to whatever international body it is that is officially responsible for such names, and as I remember they agreed that the Southern Ocean should be considered as a separate ocean.  [In] that sense, Earth has had five oceans thanks to Dave Karl. However, the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR), the international nongovernmental organization that oversees Geotraces, considers earth to have just one ocean because they are all interconnected. So perhaps a more appropriate question is not whether the earth has four oceans or five, but does earth have one ocean or five?”  Equally perplexing is, if it is one, what is that ocean’s name?

     I was reading a letter of recommendation in a postdoc dossier this week and the writer, now a professor of Earth sciences in California, ended her letter by saying, “I became a geologist because I was so inspired at age 10 when I went to a Lamont Doherty open house! Not kidding! I hope that you still do these and if so, [person X] would be a great asset!”  That made my day. And more good news, the hiring freeze is lifted!  Hooray!  And full retirement contributions for officers of research and administration will be restored in a month!  Hip Hip Hooray! 

     Many exciting research stories can be found below and, unfortunately, I won’t have time to read them all until this weekend.  However, Jonny Kingslake did give me a heads up about a new GRL paper that graduate student Julian Spergel and he are co-authors on. Kevin Krajick put together a State of the Planet blog post on it here. The paper reports some incredible satellite observations of the drainage of a large meltwater lake through an Antarctic Ice Shelf.  A very cool effect of the lake drainage was that the ice shelf rebounded upwards as the weight of the water was removed from the floating ice. This, in turn, had an effect on the surface hydrology and led to the formation of a new channel incised downwards through the ice surface as a lake created by the rebound overtopped the rebounded ice dam.  The paper uses two new high-resolution datasets (IceSAT-2 and WorldView imagery) and Jonny went on to say “the level of detail they provide into these processes is just incredible – it actually sent a shiver down my spine the first time I saw the final version of the figures and it struck me how beautiful these data are!”  I look forward to reading this paper on bouncing ice sheets.   #dataisbeautiful

     Finally, Dave Walker writes in his own patois:

     “funny you should say about goslings
     none on the lower sparkill this year in contrast
     to previous years with several sets
     have only seen 4 individuals on the pier and none at ldeo
     the carp are also very late to return to the sparkill
     have only seen one so far this year - last week”

     It’s almost poetry. And, hmm, an ecological mystery is obviously afoot.  But even though no baby geese espied on campus (to my knowledge), I’ve seen a turkey hen with twelve poults, a doe with a baby fawn, and a land beaver/woodchuck/groundhog/whistle-pig with a chuckling/pup/kit outside of Monell in the last week.  And of course, lots of kittens* straying from their fluffle.  Have I mentioned I love the internet?

     Enjoy tonight’s potentially stunning strawberry moon rise.  I will be watching it with a number of my nautically-inclined Lamont colleagues, who have kindly invited me to a viewing party at the Nyack Yacht Club (which also runs tremendous community sailing programs). 

     Best, Mo

*baby rabbits

===================

LAMONT IN THE MEDIA: FEATURED NEWS

How Heat Waves Form, and How Climate Change Makes Them Worse

Vox

June 24, 2021

Article quotes Lamont climate scientist Jane W. Baldwin.

 

Sea-Level Rise - What's Coming, and How Business Can Help Minimise It - a Chat with Prof Maureen Raymo

Climate 21

June 23, 2021

Interview with Columbia Climate School co-founding dean and Lamont director Maureen Raymo.

 

Signs of Geological Activity Found on Venus

BBC News

June 22, 2021

Article on study co-authored by Lamont geophysicist Sean Solomon.

 

As Seas Rise, Coastal Communities Face Hard Choices Over 'Managed Retreat'

Thomson Reuters Foundation

June 22, 2021

Article references Columbia Climate School conference co-chaired by Lamont climate scientist Radley Horton.

 

Scientists Might Have Spotted Tectonic Activity Inside Venus

MIT Technology Review

June 21, 2021

Article on study co-authored by Lamont geophysicist Sean Solomon.

 

The Hill's Equilibrium: Should We Stay or Should We Go?

The Hill

June 21, 2021

Article quotes Lamont climate scientist Radley Horton.

 

'Managed Retreat' from Climate Disasters Can Reinvent Cities so They’re Better for Everyone – and Avoid More Flooding, Heat and Fires

The Conversation

June 21, 2021

Article references Columbia Climate School conference co-chaired by Lamont climate scientist Radley Horton.

 

How a Heat Dome Is Pushing Extreme Temperatures to New Heights in the West

Washington Post

June 18, 2021

Article quotes Lamont climate scientist Jane W. Baldwin.

 

Why Venus Is Soon to Be the Most Exciting Place in the Solar System

Gizmodo

June 18, 2021

Article quotes Lamont volcanologist Einat Lev.

 

What Tree Rings Reveal about America's Megadrought

Guardian

June 17, 2021

Article features research by Lamont scientists Park Williams, Edward Cook, Jason Smerdon, Benjamin Cook, Kasey Bolles, Seung Baek, and colleagues.

 

'Megadrought' in West Directly Linked to Climate Change, Experts Say

ABC News

June 17, 2021

Article quotes Lamont climate scientist Richard Seager.

 

Assessing Human Habitability and Migration

Science

June 17, 2021

Commentary by Lamont climate scientist Radley Horton, CIESIN geographer Alex de Sherbinin, and colleagues.

 

Doubling Earth's Energy Imbalance

BBC

June 17, 2021

Interview with Lamont climate scientist Richard Seager (15:46-27:05).

 

Is the American West in a Megadrought?

The Economist

June 15, 2021

Article quotes and cites research by Lamont climate scientist Jason Smerdon with Park Williams, Edward Cook, Benjamin Cook, Kasey Bolles, Seung Baek, and colleagues.

 

Magma Pockets Lie Stacked Beneath Juan de Fuca Ridge

Eos

June 14, 2021

Article features study led by Lamont marine geophysicist Suzanne Carbotte.

 

Ice Shelf Disintegration Accelerating Pine Island Glacier Descent Toward Sea

UPI

June 11, 2021

Article features study co-authored by Lamont and British Antarctic Survey oceanographer Pierre Dutrieux.

 

Are We Prepared for Earthquakes in Sylhet?

The Daily Observer

June 11, 2021

Article by Lamont visiting scholar Md. Shofiqul Islam.

 

Carbon Levels Hit Historic High Despite the Pandemic and Recession

Wisconsin Public Radio

June 11, 2021

Interview with Lamont oceanographer and carbon cycle scientist Galen McKinley.

 

BLOGS

Which Areas Will Climate Change Render Uninhabitable? Climate Models Alone Cannot Say

June 17, 2021

Understanding how people will respond to climate dangers depends not only on top-down data, but also on bottom-up community engagement.

 

Explore This Map of Land and Sea Features Named After Trailblazers at Lamont

June 14, 2021

The legacies of many of our researchers are recorded not only in the history books, but also in the mountains, canyons, and islands that now bear their names.

    Hello Friends,  A big shout-out to Lamont Research Professors Billy D’Andrea and Marco Tedesco who were elected to the University Senate this week!  The third seat was filled by Daniel Wolf Savin, a Senior Research Scientist in the Astrophysics Laboratory.  To have this level of representation and voice on the senate is a huge benefit to the Lamont campus, to the EI, and to the emerging Climate School.  Billy and Marco write “Thanks to everyone who turned out to vote us both into the University Senate. As was pointed out earlier today, this is a testament to the power of organization and strategizing among the Professional Research Officers on our campus — PROs have more influence than we typically realize. We will serve the best we can in the interest of our fellow Research Officers at Columbia and, obviously, within the Earth Institute and our Lamont Community.”  Save those campaign buttons—they will be collectors’ items someday!

     On June 8, Lamont published its monthly newsletter under the header: “Celebrating the Oceans that Sustain Us All – World Oceans Day 2021”.  In an engaging video by Marie DeNoia Aronsohn, Lamont Scientists describe their research to “understand and conserve our oceans — vital to life on Earth—and connect ocean science with the needs of society”. Also featured is Pod of the Planet Episode 16: World Oceans Day 2021 entitled “Mapping the Mysterious Deep”, hosted by Marie DeNoia Aronsohn and Francesco Fiondella.  Marie speaks to Vicki Ferrini, marine geophysicist at Lamont, about the oceans and Seabed 2030, a collaborative project between the Nippon Foundation and GEBCO to map the entire ocean floor by 2030.

     This week AGU featured in its June newsletter a new paper titled “Online labs to introduce undergraduate students to scientific concepts and practices in tree-ring research” by Adjunct Senior Research Scientist Nicole Davi, IRI Director of Communications Francesco Fiondella, DEES PhD Candidate Rose Oelkers, and colleagues. Their paper, which was published in the  Journal of Geoscience Education, presents online labs that guide undergraduate students in exploring the field of dendrochronology and learning about the significance of scientific methods and findings. To learn more, visit their education website Tree-Ring Expeditions (TREX).  I love the idea of offering more programming like this as we continue to develop the concept and reality of our Lamont Sanctuary Forest. 

     For me, this week has also included numerous meetings getting ready for the presentation by the Co-Founding Deans of the Climate School to the CU Board of Trustees tomorrow.  One of the goals listed in our final slide, “The Climate School in Ten Years”, is that Lamont has become a net-zero campus, an ambitious and aspirational undertaking.  To that end, I conducted two tours of our iconic campus in the last week.  One with Dan Zarrilli who has recently joined Columbia as Special Advisor on Climate and Sustainability Issues.  Some may recognize him as the former Chief Climate Policy Advisor in the NYC Mayor’s Office.  The second was yesterday with Professors Amale Andraos and Jorge Otero-Pailos of the Columbia Graduate School of Architecture Planning and Preservation, where Amale is also the Dean.  All were deeply impressed by the campus and its long-storied history and are enthusiastic about engaging in a visioning and planning process for its future.  I have already sent our energy usage data to Dan and Jorge is planning to make the Lamont campus a focus of his fall graduate design studio class, which is an incredible opportunity for us to engage in wide-ranging and creative thinking about the future of our campus. From Jorge, “In my experience, the best studios result from very involved "clients", so the more you tell us about what you want, the better the work will be.” Time to think big fellow Lamonters.

     Under comings and goings, I’d like to thank two of our Associate Directors who will be stepping down on July 1.  First is LRP Rosanne D’Arrigo who has capably led the BPE division since at least before I arrived in 2011—Rosanne, speaking also as a BPEer, you have been an exceptional advocate and leader of our division and I know I speak for all of us in thanking you for your service.  Andy Juhl has graciously agreed to step into the giant shoes Rosanne leaves behind.  Secondly, LRP Roger Buck of MGG is also stepping down and I believe he also has been AD since before I arrived.  Roger, your unfailing good cheer and advocacy for your division was equally notable.  You are a hard act to follow but Robin Bell will be stepping into the AD role on July 1.  Robin, it won’t quite be at the level of running the American Geophysical Union, but I could not be happier that you agreed to take on this important leadership role at Lamont.

     In science news, we now need to confront our own Pluto problem—are there four oceans or five on our planet?  What do we teach our children?  Does an ocean need to be bounded by continents?  I’m reading that five is the new four, but I’ll be canvassing opinions from our oceanographers, possibly starting with aquatic exploress of the deep, Vicki Ferrini.  

     In Eos, an article by postdoc Jane Baldwin was highlighted this week.  Jane demonstrated how some simple adjustments to model orography can lead to dramatic improvements in how General Circulation Models (GCM) reproduce the crucial Intertropical Convergence Zone of the atmosphere.  This insight will lead directly to improvements in the ability of GCMs to predict future climate.  Many other links below reference the continuing extreme drought conditions in the west and the fast approaching forest fire season.  Thank you, Jason Smerdon, Park Williams, Ben Cook, Ed Cook, Kasey Bolles, Seung Baek, and so many others for the critical research you do, from mapping the Holocene drought history in the west, to projecting future climate trends and impacts.

     Finally, if you missed the spectacular partial eclipse of the sun yesterday, here are some images taken by Lamonters Neville Shane and Arturo Pacheco-Solana.  The celestial occultation reminded me how much I am looking forward to April 8th, 2024, when the Great American Solar Eclipse will swing across much of the central U.S., then over upstate NY and northern New England.  Lucky me, my daughter will be living in the path of totality which is less than 200km wide.

     Did anyone ever see a gosling?  I’ve seen baby groundhogs, baby rabbits, and baby turkeys in last week, but no goslings.  I’m stumped.  Have a lovely weekend.

Mo

===================

LAMONT IN THE MEDIA: FEATURED NEWS

How Many Oceans Are There on Earth? National Geographic Now Says Five.

Washington Post

June 10, 2021

Article quotes Lamont marine geologist and geophysicist Frank Nitsche.

 

Hoover Dam Reservoir Hits Record Low, in Sign of Extreme Western U.S. Drought

Reuters

June 10, 2021

Article quotes Lamont climate scientist Benjamin Cook.

 

Scientists Reveal the Wild History of Earth’s CO2 Since the Dinosaurs Died

Mashable

June 10, 2021

Article quotes Columbia Climate School co-founding dean and Lamont director Maureen Raymo.

 

Raising Central American Orography Improves Climate Simulation

Eos

June 9, 2021

Article on study led by Lamont climate scientist Jane W. Baldwin.

 

Megadrought in the Western United States

ARD

June 8, 2021

Article quotes Lamont climate scientist Jason Smerdon.

 

New Records of Singapore's Sea-Level History Going Back 10,000 Years

SciTech Daily

June 4, 2021

Article quotes Columbia Climate School co-founding dean and Lamont director Maureen Raymo.

 

Utah Drought Is So Bad, the Governor Appeals for 'Divine Intervention'

Mashable

June 4, 2021

Article quotes Lamont climate scientist Benjamin Cook.

 

We Are in for an Especially Sh**ty Fire Season, and It's Already Begun

SFist

June 4, 2021

Article quotes Lamont bioclimatologist Park Williams.

 

Scientists Establish New Records of Singapore's Sea-Level History

Science Daily

June 4, 2021

Article quotes Columbia Climate School co-founding dean and Lamont director Maureen Raymo.

 

California’s Epic Drought Is Parching Reservoirs and Worrying Farmers

Bloomberg

June 3, 2021

Article cites research by Lamont scientists Park Williams, Edward Cook, Jason Smerdon, Benjamin Cook, Kasey Bolles, Seung Baek, and colleagues.

 

BLOGS

Pod of the Planet Episode 16: World Oceans Day 2021

June 08, 2021

Today we’re celebrating World Oceans Day with a deep dive into an international project to map the entire seafloor.

 

A Brief History of Ocean Research at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Past and Present

June 08, 2021

In honor of World Oceans Day on June 8.

 

Celebrating World Oceans Day

June 07, 2021

Happy World Oceans Day!

 

Pod of the Planet Episode 15: Flying Into the Eye of the Volcano

May 28, 2021

In this episode, Kevin Krajick talks with volcanologist Einat Lev about her recent trip to study and film Iceland’s spectacularly erupting Fagradalsfjall Volcano.

   Hello Friends,  I’ll start with a walk down memory lane.  Retired Lamont scientist and historian John Armbruster reminded me last week that last Friday was the 70th anniversary of the official dedication of Lamont Geological Observatory.  Work was already well underway in Lamont Hall and Maurice Ewing was the Founding Director.  I have been reading Naomi Oreskes’ fascinating book “Science on a Mission” about the early days of the three major oceanographic institutions, Lamont, Scripts, and Woods Hole.  Cold war submarine warfare needs for better navigation maps and better understanding of sonar signal transmission in the ocean drove huge government block grants to these institutes, including navy ship support.  Central to all this research was an ongoing debate/battle/negotiation over whether the massive amounts of observational data collected should be classified.  Much of it was and Naomi discusses how that impacted the pace and unfolding of the plate tectonic revolution.  I look forward to reading more this weekend.

    As I wrote earlier in the week, Prof. Art Lerner-Lam will be stepping down as Deputy Director of Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory on July 1, 2021.  I am deeply grateful to Art who agreed to stay on temporarily when I stepped into the role of Interim Director in July of last year. Art has worn many hats at Lamont over the decades, starting as a junior researcher, carrying out ground-breaking work as a seismologist, capably leading Lamont as Deputy Director, and even stepping in as Interim Director about a decade ago.  More recently, I know we are all grateful for his incredible dedication in guiding our campus through the pandemic, especially during those early dark days fraught with uncertainty and fear—his was a steady calm voice in a chaotic world.  I am also glad to say that Art has agreed to continue as the campus COVID liaison as we navigate our return to “normalcy” in September.  

    Please also join me in congratulating DEES faculty member Prof. Maya Tolstoy who was named Dean of the University of Washington School of the Environment.  Maya plans to start in January and is now the third DEES faculty member who has taken over leadership of a major national Earth and ocean centered research institution in the last 12 months.  #Lamontleads!

    Also moving on is Assistant Director for Academic Affairs and Diversity Kuheli Dutt who has accepted a position at MIT where she will be leading efforts on diversity, equity, and inclusion for MIT’s School of Science, comprised of 6 departments, 5 interdisciplinary programs, and 5 centers. She will be reporting directly to and serving as an advisor to the Dean of the School.  As evidenced by the many emails circulating over the last week, her presence and efforts at Lamont over the last decade have led to innumerable changes that improved work life for so many members of our community.  Kuheli’s work facilitating open discussion of critical issues of diversity, equity, justice, racism, and inequality has been crucial to advancing our campus culture.   Her data-based research has had a global impact in shining a light on inequities in the geosciences and hundreds, if not thousands, of people have benefitted from the seminars and workshops she has led.  Kuheli, you helped set Lamont on a new path and we will not fail to build on the strong foundation you leave behind.  

    And I cannot fail to pass on, from Kuheli, a reminder that this is LGBTQ+ Pride Month.  Please check out the Columbia Resources to Promote LGBTQ+ Inclusion which includes a CU LGBTQ+ Resource Guide, info on how to be a Visible LGBTQ+ Ally, and LGBTQ+ themed Zoom backgrounds. Also check out Upstander and Allyship: Addressing Hate and Violence on June 16th, 2:00-3:00pm. And here is some info on New York City Pride Month Events including the Annual NYC Pride March on June 27th. We hope to be guided and informed by these resources as we make Lamont as inclusive as possible for our LGBTQ+ colleagues.  Note that “You are welcome here” stickers are always available in the Directorate—just email Miriam C. if you want one or some.

    On May 21 Columbia Climate School State of the Planet featured a personal essay titled “Watching My Dad Die With Optimism Changed My Outlook on Climate Change” by CIESIN post-doc Cascade Tuholske.  His article was originally published in Outside magazine.  It came out during my week off but is so moving a tribute that I want to share the link here.

    In State of the Planet, Pod of the Planet Episode 15: “Flying Into the Eye of the Volcano”, Kevin Krajick interviews Einat Lev about her recent trip to visit Fagradalsfjall volcano in Iceland, along with aerial videos from its eruption.  Closer to home, on June 10 at 4:00 PM, join LIVE K-12 hosted by Cassie Xu and featuring “The Ice That Made Manhattan” with Michael Kaplan, Lamont Research Professor. In this session Mike will talk about “clues that scientists look for, to know that the New York City region was covered by an ice sheet, or the evidence that was left behind across the surrounding area”. Register here.

    At the end of another week filled with meetings concerning Lamont, the Climate School, DEES and everything else, one meeting stood out.  Peter Kelemen and Dave Goldberg were part of an elite group of university researchers briefing the Columbia Climate Board of Advisors, President Bollinger, and other “top brass” on the cutting-edge work being done in the area of decarbonation at LDEO and Columbia University.  The creative and multifaceted approaches being developed to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere give me hope that we can bend the curve downwards and start lowering atmospheric CO2 in next decade.  A terrific explanation of the methodology Peter and his colleagues are pioneering can be found in this article in the MIT Technology Review.

    Last but not least, be on the lookout while driving on campus—it’s turtle crossing season at Lamont.  Joaquim Goes spotted this old snapper crossing the road near Marine Biology and Geoscience.

    Have a lovely weekend.   Mo

===================

LAMONT IN THE MEDIA: FEATURED NEWS

2021 Could Be One of the Driest Years in a Millennium, and There’s No Relief in Sight

PBS Newshour, May 28

 

ESG in Action: Investing Lessons from Climate School, Class of 2021

AB Insights, May 27

 

A Startup Using Minerals to Draw Down CO2 Has Scored Funding—and Its First Buyer

MIT Technology Review, May 26

     Hello Friends,  Lots of exciting research news piled up while I was away, so I will dive right in.  We can collectively celebrate two of our students finishing up their theses this week.  Daniel Bishop successfully defended his PhD on "Attributing the Causes of a Century of Hydroclimatic Change in the United States”. Dan will be working as an Atmospheric Scientist at a catastrophe risk modeling company in Boston starting later this summer.  Elizabeth Min successfully defended her PhD on “Quantifying the Effects of Herbivores and Climate Change on Arctic Tundra Carbon Cycling”.  Dan and Elizabeth, we wish you the best in all your future endeavors—congratulations!

     Postdoctoral Research Scientist Alexandra Boghosian won a 2021 Lotos Foundation Prize award in the Arts and Sciences. Robin Bell nominated Alexandra for her collaborative work “translating ice sheet data sets and knowledge into different media—including drawings, tangible models, dance and gestural languages, and 3D immersive spaces using mixed reality”.  Lamont Research Professor Jim Davis was interviewed for an article in Popular Mechanics called “The Case for the 59-Second Minute and Why It Could Wreck Us”.  Jim, as if we don’t have enough to worry about! 

     The Heising-Simons Foundation has awarded LDEO a $995K grant for Paul Olsen and his team’s project, “Solar System dynamics from continental climate rhythms and interactions with radiative forcing, 200-240 Ma”.  This project derives astronomical parameters from instrumental records of climate proxies from lake strata and examines how the expression of the orbital rhythms are modulated by atmospheric CO2. This is a component of a larger multi-institutional project funded by the foundation, “Leveraging the Geologic Record to Constrain Solar System Evolution, Earth-Moon Dynamics, Paleoclimate Change, and Geological Time” that also includes our own Alberto Malinverno, as well as Linda Hinnov (George Mason University), Steve Meyers (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Lorraine Lisiecki (UC Santa Barbara) Richard Zeebe (University of Hawaii), Greg Laughlin (Yale University), and Rocio Caballero-Gill (Mazak Academic Coaching, LLC).  Congrats Paul! 

     Another recently funded project that is off and running is the Greenland Rising project, the brainchild of Kirsty Tinto and Jacky Austermann.  This project is working to co-produce knowledge to guide adaptation to changing sea level in four communities around Greenland.  Lamont's partnership with the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources has grown tremendously through the pandemic with deep engagement in the communities, ranging from hunters to fisherpeople to students in classrooms and in the field. Dave Porter and Margie Turrin have been visiting classrooms around Greenland virtually while our partners shared in person the puzzles and glacier goo often seen at Open House.  Tide gauges have been installed and multi-beam mapping has begun around some of the partner communities, all by local collaborators.  And most exciting, Secretary of State Antony Blinken was briefed on the project by both NSF and our partners when he visited Greenland last week. 

     On behalf of LRPs William D’Andrea and Marco Tedesco, who are running for seats on the Columbia University Senate, I encourage you to vote for a LDEO representative. Many more details are in their email to the community, but the key point is that of the 108 voting senate seats, only six are reserved for Professional Research Officers (PROs) and three of these are currently open for new representatives.  Within LDEO, IRI, and CIESIN, the Lamont campus is home to 148 PROs, yet we do not have a single representative on the University Senate. Please look for the email with the ballot link and vote!

     In other numbers, 2021 will be the 67th anniversary of the Twenty-Five Year Club at Columbia—a club to which individuals are inducted who have been with the University for at least a quarter century. This year will welcome the following Lamonters into the club: Brendan Buckley, Suzanne Carbotte, Steven Chillrud, Claudia Giulivi, Maribel Respo, Roseanne Schwartz, Lex van Geen, Xiaojun Yuan.  Collectively, you have been here 200 years!

     Graduate student Elise Myers was interviewed for a series of pieces about women scientists by Audrey Puente, a meteorologist with WNYW-TV in New York City, and producer.  This series was inspired by our "Extraordinary Women" newsletter.  DEES professor Göran Ekström emailed a recent story about another landslide that he and his colleagues detected. This (and many other) landslides are happening as a consequence of glacier retreat with, sometimes, devastating local impacts. 

     This week’s EI LIVE K-12, hosted by Cassie Xu, featured “Rock You Like a Hurricane”, with Lamont Research Professor Chia-Ying Lee. Chia-Ying introduced students to the science of hurricanes including “how hurricanes form, develop, grow, and change” as well as what scientists know (and don’t know) about this year’s hurricane season (predicted to be bad!). On June 3 at 4:00 PM, all learners are invited to “There Goes that Boom Boom Pow!” with Senior Staff Associate Nick Frearson. Nick will be talking about volcanic eruptions and how scientists analyze volcanic data to identify patterns and forecast eruptions. You can register here.

     But wait!  There’s more!  On June 7, 2:00- 3:30 PM The Earth Institute/Columbia Climate School’s Communications Department invites you to join “Field Photography” with John Bulmer, a New York-based and internationally well-known professional photographer specializing in environmental images. Topics in this course will include: basic camera function, shooting in the field best practices, how to build a narrative, and basic lighting concepts. The session is open to the Columbia community and you can register here.  I attended a similar workshop with photographer Paul Nicklen once and it was incredibly useful in thinking about how I took pictures in the field.  You can be the star of next year’s graduate student calendar!

     We are two steps closer to a net zero campus this week with the installation of a pair of electric vehicle charging stations on campus, next to Borehole and Oceanography.  Both are Chargepoint stations, similar to those downtown, and can handle charging two cars at a time.  The funding for this project was provided by a generous gift from the Sprague Foundation, made in honor of Frank Julian Sprague, an electrical engineer who built the first electric engine that could handle a variable load and thus could pull trains and raise elevators at a steady rate.  I am told that the advent of Sprague's trolleys gradually ended horse-drawn trolleys and, more importantly, the piles of manure they left behind. By using these stations, we can put less carbon dioxide “manure” into the atmosphere.  Indeed, if cars pooped out carbon turds instead of invisible odorless CO2 we probably wouldn’t be in the pickle we are in today.  We would have transitioned to more advanced technologies decades ago.

     Is it Snakes on a Plane?  Or Snakes in the Lab?  This week’s animal adventure starred a poisonous copperhead.  And where did all the geese go?  I haven’t seen one all week.  Lastly, another batch of (inexpensive) outdoor chairs (in Vema Blue) are being scattered about campus.  Enjoy the beautiful weather, the graceful rose garden (peonies and irises in bloom), the majestic tulip tree behind Lamont Hall (putting on its annual show of “tulips”), the influx of colleagues back to campus, the return of volleyball, and, most of all, enjoy the long Memorial Day weekend.

     Best, Mo

===================

LAMONT IN THE MEDIA: FEATURED NEWS

Hidden in African Diamonds, a Billion-Plus Years of Deep-Earth History

National Science Foundation

May 25, 2021

Article on study co-authored by Lamont geochemists Yaakov Weiss, Cornelia Class, Gisela Winckler, Steve Goldstein, and colleagues.

 

Dust from the Deep Sea and Future Wind Patterns

Meteored

May 24, 2021

Article on study by Lamont PhD student Jordan Abell, climate scientist Gisela Winckler, geochemist Robert Anderson, and colleague.

 

Atlantic Hurricane Season Expected to Be 'Above Normal' This Year

Independent

May 24, 2021

Article quotes Lamont climate scientist Suzana Camargo.

 

Could America be Headed for Another Dust Bowl?

Mother Jones

May 24, 2021

Article quotes Lamont climate scientist Benjamin Cook.

Maureen Raymo is on vacation this week.  Please enjoy the links to articles and posts below.     

Nicole deRoberts

===================

LAMONT IN THE MEDIA: FEATURED NEWS

2020 Was a Record-Breaking Hurricane Season. NOAA Will Announce What to Expect in 2021.

ABC News

May 20, 2021

Article quotes Lamont climate scientist Jason Smerdon.

 

Little Bubbles in Diamonds Give a Glimpse of What Happened in the Deep Earth

BBC Newsday

May 19, 2021

Interview with Steve Goldstein on study co-authored with fellow Lamont geochemists Yaakov Weiss, Cornelia Class, Gisela Winckler, and colleagues (31:12-36:00).

 

Megadrought Ravages the American West, Climate Change Worsens the Situation

Nature World News

May 19, 2021

Article quotes Lamont climate scientist Benjamin Cook.

 

New Research Finds that Climate Models Mostly Get It Right

KPBS

May 18, 2021

Article on study co-authored by Lamont hydrologist Martin Stute.

 

During the Last Ice Age, Global Cooling Dropped the Temperature on Land 11 Degrees

Science 2.0

May 17, 2021

Article on study co-authored by Lamont hydrologist Martin Stute.

 

California Is Headed Toward Another Brutal Wildfire Season

Mother Jones

May 16, 2021

Article quotes Lamont bioclimatologist Park Williams.

 

Episode 113 - Paleoclimate

Common Descent Podcast

May 15, 2021

Interview with Lamont postdoc Rachel Lupien.

 

Gazing Into a Diamond's Flaws Has Revealed Hidden Clues About How Our Planet Formed

Science Alert

May 14, 2021

Article on study co-authored by Lamont geochemists Yaakov Weiss, Cornelia Class, Gisela Winckler, Steve Goldstein, and colleagues.

 

See the Grim Climate Graphs Censored by Trump

Mashable

May 13, 2021

Article quotes Lamont climate scientist Benjamin Cook.

 

As the Climate Warms, Could the U.S. Face Another Dust Bowl?

Yale Environment 360

May 13, 2021

Article quotes Lamont climate scientist Benjamin Cook.

 

Strong Quake, Small Tsunami

Science Daily

May 13, 2021

Article references work aboard Lamont's RV Marcus G. Langseth.

 

BLOGS

Columbia World Projects Issues New Report on Carbon Capture and Storage

May 20, 2021

The report identifies opportunities and challenges in implementing new technologies that could reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide levels worldwide.

     Hello Friends,  I’d like to use the next month or two to update the campus on activities being guided by the Lamont Strategic Plan.  Lifting heavily from the text of the plan, I’ll start with the core values that were set out as our guiding principles.  They are:

  • Excellence in Earth system science research
  • Leadership in innovation and discovery
  • Community-wide commitment to diversity, inclusivity, and equity
  • Foundational science that informs societal solutions
  • Education at all levels of society

     Our strategic vision outlines the Observatory’s institutional commitment to lead the science and create the transdisciplinary partnerships needed to address urgent environmental challenges such as global warming. The plan outlines a bold approach that maintains our commitment to fundamental science as the engine of new discoveries so vital for practice-oriented solutions.  The plan also makes clear that the research and education ambitions of Lamont cannot be considered independently from structural issues such as diversity, inclusion, equity, anti-racism, financial security, and sustainability.

     To the above ends, the strategic plan outlined four main themes: Diverse and Collegial Lamont focused on diversity, inclusion and equity; Secure Lamont focused on financial stability of the observatory and its people; Sustainable Lamont, focused on moving us toward a net-zero campus; and Impactful Lamont, focused on promoting research excellence, especially across the ten priority research themes identified in the plan.

     This week I will focus on Diverse and Collegial Lamont, coincident with the release of the Directorate response to the DEI Task Force report.  Our shared mission is to “build and maintain the most diverse, welcoming, innovative geoscience research and  teaching community through evidence-based methods.”  This is the stated DEIA goal, an ambition that will only be achieved through leadership at all levels of the Observatory combined with engagement across our community. 

     The DEI Task Force report is optimistic and forward-thinking in scope, articulating a dream of Lamont that is inclusive, free of bias, and welcoming—a campus where everyone can achieve their full potential. It is our roadmap moving forward.  And, while the Task Force was doing its work, the Directorate too was at work.  We have made numerous meaningful changes to our campus, to regulations, procedures, and guidelines, and more over the past ten months.  Examples include: changing protocols such that more people will have the opportunity to serve in leadership roles on committees such as Excom and the Associate Directors Council; changing internal forms to be gender-inclusive; including disability access info on campus maps and on-line; changing guidelines for search committees in ways that maximize the possibility of finding the best, most diverse talent; establishing the JEDI award; working with DEES to nominate and support URM candidates for diversity hiring programs at the university level; modifying guidelines for promotion pathways in ways that lead to improved job satisfaction outcomes; successfully competing for multiple university level grants to promote DEIA activities on our campus.  And more.  Our planned actions for the future, following the recommendations of the task force, are outlined in the document circulated earlier this week.

     You wouldn’t have to be a genius to surmise that the role of Lamont Director is challenging and often requires hard choices and unpopular decisions to be made.  These decisions need to be guided by scientific considerations and financial considerations, balancing the needs of individuals with the collective needs of the Observatory, but they also need to be fair and just.  More than anyone, the team in the Directorate sees the full scope of what happens on campus—what individuals are achieving, the status of everyone’s grants and finances, the contributions and leadership roles people make and play in a myriad of different obvious and not-so-obvious ways.  In the end, the highest goal I can aspire to is having the trust of my colleagues, your confidence that I am committed to the goals of a just, equitable, impactful, and secure Lamont and working every day to make that happen.

     Turning to the news of the week and continuing in the DEIA theme. This past Monday we had the EI anti-racism talk and panel discussion: What Comes Next? Addressing Racism in Our Workplace. Panelists included: Cassie Xu (EI), Jenny Middleton (LDEO), and Yohana Tesfamariam Tekeste (IRI), with opening remarks by Alicia Roman and closing remarks by Alex Halliday. Kuheli Dutt gave a presentation and moderated the panel in front of 160 virtual attendees, a testament to how many want to engage and learn more on this topic.  Next week, on May 18 at 5:30 PM the Columbia Center for Science and Society will be hosting an event titled “Indigenous Activism and Environmental Justice in the 21st Century” with University of Montana Professor Rosalyn LaPier and chaired by Robin Bell. You can register here

     The Directorate also hosted a Town Hall event yesterday to update the campus on Covid protocols, initial return to work planning, and the Lamont annual budget. I’d like to thank Ben Bostick, Art Lerner-Lam, and Edie Miller for giving great presentations that were packed with information. We hope many more start returning to campus this summer as we build back the vibrant engaging research community that is the hallmark of Lamont.

     In more DEI news, the NSF-funded All-ABOARD project, under the leadership of Lamonters Sharon Cooper and Benjamin Keisling, is a project that uses off-shore experiences on ships to advance STEM training and DEI goals. All-ABOARD just announced its selection of four inaugural teams that will be participating: Coastal Carolina University, University of South Florida, Salisbury University and West Virginia University. Through a series of innovative and interactive webinars and a unique sea/land retreat, these teams will work to build community and resilience while advancing DEI initiatives at their institutions. 

     Additional DEIA work is being undertaken by Cassie Xu, Dannie Dinh and Suki Wong who created a new group [email protected], open to anyone who wants to join (you don’t need to identify as Asian-American Pacific Islander). The goal is to continue the conversation about the Asian-American experience, both from personal perspectives as well as within academia, and provide an ongoing safe community space where all Earth Institute staff, faculty, and students can come together. Through different media forms (books, papers, poetry, movies, art, etc.), the group hopes to create opportunities to have meaningful conversations on a monthly basis, virtually. If you are interested in joining this informal group, please fill out this short Google Form by Friday, May 14. All are welcome.

     I imagine some might be wondering at this point where our scientific research stands with all this seemingly relentless focus on DEIA?  The answer is that we are all enriched, including our science, by the progress we are collectively making towards our goal of a more diverse and inclusive campus. Optimism, career satisfaction, ambition, risk-taking, headspace for creative endeavors all increase when one feels valued, seen, and included.  Indeed, data presented by Edie yesterday showed our proposal submission rate increased substantially over the last year.  Likewise, the impactful research of our scientists continues to be highlighted in myriads of ways in the media, week in and week out.

     I know this missive is getting quite long but I want to give a shout-out to two publications this week that illustrate the enormous power of noble gases to illuminate climate and earth science. The first study was led by Yaakov Weiss (ex-Lamont Fellow and ARS, now faculty at Hebrew University) who wrote a beautiful paper about using helium isotopes in diamonds to understand the history of the Earth billions of years ago.  Just out in Nature Communications, it is also accompanied by a nice write up by Kevin Krajick. Who doesn't love diamonds, messengers from the deep Earth?

     The second study was led by Alan Seltzer (a Lamont/CU undergrad '14, now at WHOI) who used noble gases from groundwater as a paleo thermometer to point to greater cooling in low latitudes during the last glacial maximum (thus inferring higher climate sensitivity).  This paper is just out in Nature, and is featured in another of Kevin's write-ups.  Indeed, two noble efforts!

     And lastly, for readers of this newsletter who might not have received yesterday’s all-campus email, John G. Goddard, a long-term Geochemistry employee (1965 - 2001), passed away on May 6th.  John was a wonderful colleague and a great human being.  An obituary (which will be updated as the family finalizes funeral plans) can be found here.  You may send cards, etc. to Mary Goddard (John's wife) at 214 North Broadway, Nyack, NY 10960.

     Have a peaceful weekend, Mo

===================

LAMONT IN THE MEDIA: FEATURED NEWS

Deep-Earth History Hidden within African Diamonds

The Nation

May 12, 2021

Article on study co-authored by Lamont geochemists Yaakov Weiss, Cornelia Class, Gisela Winckler, Steve Goldstein, and colleagues.

 

Cheap Sensors Provide Missing Air Quality Data in African Cities

Eos

May 11, 2021

Article on study co-authored by Lamont climate scientist Dan Westervelt.

 

Notes from an Author: Marco Tedesco on Climate Change in Greenland

National Geographic UK

May 11, 2021

Article by Lamont polar scientist Marco Tedesco.

 

Scientists Find a New Way to Tell Ages and Origins of Diamonds

Forbes

May 11, 2021

Article on study co-authored by Lamont geochemists Yaakov Weiss, Cornelia Class, Gisela Winckler, Steve Goldstein, and colleagues.

 

A Billion-Plus Years of Deep Earth History Hidden Within Diamonds

SciTech Daily

May 11, 2021

Article on study co-authored by Lamont geochemists Yaakov Weiss, Cornelia Class, Gisela Winckler, Steve Goldstein, and colleagues.

 

Deep Convection Episode 8: Suzana Camargo

Deep Convection

May 11, 2021

Interview with Suzana Camargo by fellow Lamont climate scientist Adam Sobel.

 

The Sun May Offer Key to Predicting El Niño, Groundbreaking Study Finds

Washington Post

May 8, 2021

Article quotes Lamont climate scientist Mark Cane.

 

'Megadrought' Persists in Western U.S., as another Extremely Dry Year Develops

National Geographic

May 7, 2021

Article quotes and cites research by Lamont climate scientist Benjamin Cook with Park Williams, Edward Cook, Jason Smerdon, Kasey Bolles, Seung Baek, and colleagues.

 

Water Temperature Continues to Rise with Ocean Fever; Climate Change Worsens the Situation

Nature World News

May 6, 2021

Article quotes Lamont physical oceanographer Hillary Scannell.

 

Is the Red Sea Really the Red Ocean?

Atlas Obscura

May 6, 2021

Article quotes Lamont geophysicists Roger Buck and Mike Steckler.

 

BLOGS

During the Last Ice Age, the Tropics Were Colder Than We Thought. Bad News for Us.

May 12, 2021

Gases collected from ancient groundwater provide a compelling portrait of how much past temperatures have swung back and forth.

 

Hidden Within African Diamonds, a Billion-Plus Years of Deep-Earth History

May 11, 2021

Fluids trapped within the stones are helping researchers reconstruct the deep history of the continent, and eventually maybe others.

 

All-ABOARD: Changing Minds and Hearts at Sea

May 06, 2021

Pilot project aims to build diversity, equity, and inclusion in the geosciences via a unique ship-based professional development model.

    Hello Friends,  Spring is in full swing.  April showers have brought May flowers, as well as gardening news from the campus. The Lamont Community Garden, located opposite the New Core Laboratory, lay fallow last summer but is gearing up for a new season.  The Campus Life Committee has supported this community effort for years and reminds everyone that all gardening skill levels are welcome.  Pick some peas off dewy morning vines or harvest some tomatoes in the heat of the summer sun—enjoy a break from the office or lab and meet new colleagues. I’m told that tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, green beans, herbs, garlic, and more are grown and that everyone who pitches in gets to share in the harvest. Time commitments are minimal, one or two days a week, so email Tyler Ellis if you'd like to be added to the gardening mailing list.

     Campus gardening efforts have also expanded this year with the recent installation of the phenanthrene-shaped pollinator gardens, also outside New Core Lab.  Installed and planted by Sheean Haley and Helen Habicht, these new gardens host a mix of native and non-native perennials (for maximum deer resistance) to support beneficial pollinators, including bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.  All the plants are identified with their genus and common names.  The gardens promise to be a colorful and architecturally-appealing addition to the walkway alongside the New Core Lab, and a delicious stopover for all kinds of pollinators migrating up and down the Hudson River corridor.

     The beginning of every month brings a new digital issue of the Lamont Newsletter.  This month’s issue highlights New Frontiers in Climate Leadership.  Numerous articles focus on the scientific accomplishments of a cross-section of our community including: Chris Zappa’s partnership with indigenous communities studying sea ice and marine life changes in Alaska; Kevin Uno’s study verifying the age of one of the earliest Homo erectus fossils; Sid Hemming’s investigations of Antarctica’s response to the northern hemisphere glaciation in the Pleistocene supported by her recent award of a Guggenheim Fellowship; and Dan Westervelt’s air quality study in Sub-Saharan Africa. Thank you to our great comms team for being an endless source of updates and insights into the incredible work of our scientists!

     Two important discussions involving the Lamont community are scheduled for next week. First, please consider registering for the anti-racism talk and panel discussion: What Comes Next? Addressing Racism in Our Workplace on Monday, May 10 from 1:00 – 2:00pm. Panelists include: Cassie Xu (EI), Jenny Middleton (LDEO), and Yohana Tesfamariam Tekeste (IRI), with opening remarks by Alicia Roman and closing remarks by Alex Halliday. Kuheli Dutt will moderate the panel. Second, on Thursday May 13th at 2:30, the Directorate will host a Lamont Town Hall to update the campus on Covid-related protocols as well as the Lamont annual budget.

     This past Monday, DEES hosted the First Year Graduate Student Colloquium. Congratulations to all 18 of our presenters: Claire Jasper, Tess Walther, Laura Penrose, Annie Leal, Casey Brayton, Raf Antwerpen, Huy Le, Fatimah Alsultan, Jasper Baur, Maheenuz Zaman, Dana Raiter, Garima Raheja, Maggie DeLessio, Miriam Nielsen, Sam Bartusek, Sarah Smith, Tess Jacobson, and Laurel DiSera!  I especially appreciated hearing about the path each of our students took to get to Lamont—it is interesting to hear what motivates a passionate commitment to pursue a singular goal for six years of one’s life.

     On Wednesday, Alex Halliday, Alicia Roman, Ruth DeFries, Jason Bordoff, and I hosted an Earth Institute and Climate School Town Hall to address questions from our community about the evolving Climate School. These meetings will continue and we are following up on questions that we did not have time to answer during the event.  Also on Wednesday, the Campus Life Committee hosted the third Spring Art Class “Making art with upcycled materials: Plastic Whale” with artist Amelia Foster. Thank you, Suki Wong and Jeff Turmelle! Finally, on May 13 at 4:00 PM, join Cassie Xu on EI LIVE K12 “A World of Change” presented by Frank Nitsche, Lamont Research Scientist, who will be talking about the melting of the Antarctic Ice Sheet – “ Why and how is it melting?”. Register here.

     This week, the Lamont pod of Unlearning Racism in Geoscience (URGE) also asked me to share that they finished up their eighth and final session on Racism and Accountability. They produced a Management Plan to synthesize the past deliverables and, after 16 weeks of focused anti-racism work, the URGE Lamont pod is looking forward to making these documents more accessible and beneficial to the wider Lamont community. Stay tuned. 

     Speaking of finishing up, Angelica Patterson, the “shotgun scientist”, successfully defended her PhD thesis this week on “Seeing the Forest for the Trees: The Physiological Responses of Temperate Trees in a Warmer World”. Angie will continue her work as the Master Science Educator at Black Rock Forest in Cornwall teaching forest ecology to K-12 students and acting as a liaison with educators from the consortium to facilitate science-based exploration of the natural world. Congratulations, Angie!

     More good news is that Lamont Research Professor Brendan Buckley’s Fulbright award has been re-awarded after a cancellation last year due to the pandemic. He plans to spend six months in Vietnam at the beginning of 2022 to conduct a course called “Forest Response to Climate Change in the Vietnamese Highlands”, a follow-up to the research he has been performing in the area for two decades.  He will also be leading a number of workshops and meetings. A renewed congratulations to Brendan!

     Finally, a gosling update, by request…still no sightings but the geese have been less prevalent around campus. I think this means that they are in the nesting incubation phase.  Because inquiring minds always want to know more, I actually did a little poking around the internet and found this informative short article from The Cornell Lab of Ornithology.  I did not know that geese mate for life with a very low “divorce” rate or that the eggs will incubate for 25-28 days.

     And a parting plug for science communicator extraordinaire…watch Radley Horton’s informative WABC-TV interview here!

     Happy Mothers Day and have a peaceful weekend, Mo

===================

LAMONT IN THE MEDIA: FEATURED NEWS

Fevers Are Plaguing the Oceans — and Climate Change Is Making Them Worse

Nature

May 5, 2021

Article quotes Lamont physical oceanographer Hillary Scannell.

 

Weather or Not with Lee Goldberg: Episode 1 - Changing Climates

WABC-TV

May 3, 2021

Episode features Lamont climate scientist Radley Horton.

 

Marie Tharp

Sci-Illustrate Stories

May 2, 2021

Illustrated profile of pioneering Lamont geologist Marie Tharp.

 

AllianceBernstein Unveils Groundbreaking Collaboration with Columbia Climate School

Street Insider

April 28, 2021

Article on partnership between Columbia Climate School and AllianceBernstein.

 

AllianceBernstein Unveils Groundbreaking Collaboration with Columbia Climate School

Barron's

April 28, 2021

Article on partnership between Columbia Climate School and AllianceBernstein.

 

BLOGS

Enhancing Sustainability Education in China’s Secondary Schools

May 04, 2021

Researchers who are developing environmental curriculum tailored to students in China share their findings so far.

 

Columbia Climate’s Hot 23

April 30, 2021

The news agency Reuters produced a list of top climate scientists. Columbia researchers comprise a significant number.

Hello Friends,  It has been two very special weeks in a row, first with Earth Week and now with Commencement Week.  Several awards were given at this week's undergraduate Class Day, including the following DEES departmental honors: to Anna Ledeczi, in recognition of her outstanding undergraduate accomplishments as well as participation and leadership in DEES; to Roger Creel, the Best TA Award; and to our professorial colleague Meredith Nettles, the Best Professor Award!  DEES department chair Jerry McManus tells me a few more awards are in the offing, including the Walter Pitman Award, but they must follow the complete submission of grades.  Stay tuned!

     In addition, the impressive accomplishments of DEES graduate student Elise Myers have made it to yet another Weekly Newsletter. Elise is a recipient of the 2021 Campbell award. The Campbell award is presented by Columbia University to a graduating student from each school in recognition of leadership and “Columbia spirit”. Congratulations, Elise!

     As the world continues on its path back to normalcy, I’m happy to report that the on-campus Covid transmission rate is still zero.  Fingers crossed it stays that way.  Last week, Columbia made an announcement that the Covid vaccine will be mandatory for all students. The university is continuing to urge faculty and staff to get vaccinated as well. Looking forward, Columbia is planning for increased campus densities. While we await further announcements regarding returning to campus, an email this week updated our community on spring and summer 2021 travel restrictions and guidelines for visitors participating in academic activities. A “Return to Campus Updates” forum is scheduled for Tuesday, May 4, at 4 PM to inform Columbia faculty and staff on the most recent protocols for accessing campus as well as information on summer and fall terms.  Register here.

     A second Town Hall, this one focused on the Earth Institute and Climate School, will occur on Wednesday, May 5, at 9 AM, hosted by Sir Alex Halliday. Participants will include the fabulous Climate School Co-Founding Deans—Ruth DeFries, Jason Bordoff, and myself—along with Earth Institute Executive Director Alicia Roman.  Bring your coffee and bring your questions (which can be submitted in advance here). Flying pigs, cold hell, hen’s teeth…establishing a new school is a rare event at a university.  Having a ringside seat to the process even rarer.  Being in the ring, rarer still!  The challenges are great, but the opportunities greater.  We have a unique opportunity at Lamont and our vision for the future should be limited only by our imagination. 

     On April 26, Earth Institute LIVEK12 hosted by Cassie Xu, featured “Tropical Tales of Polar Ice” with DEES Assistant Professor Jacky Austermann. The presentation took students on a virtual trip to the Caribbean Islands to learn what rocks and fossils found in this area tell about past and future changes in sea level.  Next week, on May 6 at 4:00 PM, LIVE K12 will present Lights, Camera, Robots: Exploring the Earth’s Final Frontiers, with Senior Research Scientist Vicki Ferrini, focusing on how scientists and engineers study the deep oceans.  Cassie, when I think about what you are doing, my mind always turns to how many young minds and spirits you must be inspiring!  This is truly where the pipeline starts and the scientists and explorers of tomorrow are minted.

     Speaking of the STEM pipeline, on Monday, DEES will host the First Year Graduate Student Colloquium. This is always a fun event which will start with Jerry McManus’s welcoming remarks at 10:00 AM, and close with remarks by me 3:45 PM.  All eighteen first-year students will give presentations on their initial and planned research, as well as offer us glimpses into their backgrounds, hobbies, and motivation to study Earth science.  Please see Kevin Uno’s Friday email for full schedule and Zoom link.

     Our Lamont scientists and students win grants all the time, but every now and again it is particularly special.  Lamont Associate Research Professor Christine McCarthy was awarded two NASA grants this month—an impressive accomplishment! They both were in response to a call for NASA COLDTech: Autonomy, Communications, and Radiation-Hard Devices, specifically for “technology to enable communication through many kilometers of ice” on ocean worlds, such as Europa and Enceladus.  Christine is a co-Investigator on two multi-institution teams, with each grant totaling ~$1.5 million. In both projects, Christine’s group will be testing the mechanical and optical performance of communication tethers under icy moon conditions.  Yup, that’s right—her team can create icy moon conditions, characteristic of the farthest reaches of our solar system, right here on campus.  That is pretty darn cool and a real testament to the sophistication of the labs Christine and her team have been building over the last few years, back behind the pond.

     This has been a prodigious week for successes and I’ll wrap up with two more.  First, the global investment firm AllianceBernstein and the Columbia Climate school have come to a three-year partnership to research the relationship between climate science and investment, a partnership nurtured and brought to fruition through the tireless efforts of Deputy Director Art Lerner-Lam.  This agreement culminates a partnership that began in 2019 with a groundbreaking curriculum that examined the intersectionality of climate change and investment decisions.

     Secondly, Reuters released a hot list of top 1000 climate scientists in the world that included an astonishing number of Lamonters and other Columbia colleagues.  These included Ed Cook, Richard Seager, Park Williams, Yochanan Kushnir, Mark Cane, Mingfang Ting, Suzana Camargo, Rosanne D’Arrigo, Lorenzo Polvani, Radley Horton, and Adam Sobel. Others at Columbia included James E Hansen, Anthony G. Barnston, Upmanu Lall, Xueshun Chen, Stephen E. Zebiak, Michael K. Tippett, and Andrew W. Robertson.  I guess one might say we have a pretty good foundation for a climate school!  #Lamontleads.

     In closing, on Thursday I observed a kettle of about 30-35 black vultures circling in the air right outside of my Monell office.  Standing on the edge of the cliff, they were so close I could hear the beat of the air beneath their wings.  I have never seen anything like it and it seemed ominously prophetic, indeed Hitchcockian.  Well, I made it through the week unscathed and they moved on so maybe all is well in our Lamontian world.  Still no goslings.

     Have a peaceful weekend.  Best, Mo

===================

LAMONT IN THE MEDIA: FEATURED NEWS

Why Aren’t More Moon Craters Named for Women?

The New York Times

April 27, 2021

Article references pioneering Lamont geologist Marie Tharp.

 

Earth Day 2021 – Restore Our Earth

Voice of America

April 23, 2021

Interview with Lamont climate scientist Benjamin Cook.

 

BLOGS

Tracking the Impact of Climate Change in Alaska

April 28, 2021

Sea ice is rapidly melting off the northwest coast of Alaska, endangering the Indigenous population. Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory researchers joined forces with the local community to understand how climate change is affecting their region.

 

Landmark Program Joins Investors with Scientists to Confront Climate Change

April 28, 2021

A major firm will facilitate the engagement of commercial enterprise with the university’s global climate and sustainability research.

 

Why Nature Is Good for Us: An Illustrated and Animated Guide

April 22, 2021

Earth Day is a time to celebrate the natural world. Being in nature can improve our mood and our mental and physical health. Plus, natural areas do a lot of work for us.

 

The Rights of Nature — Can an Ecosystem Bear Legal Rights?

April 22, 2021

And if rivers and lakes had rights, could that help in the fight against climate change?

 

Columbia University Releases New Plan to Reach Net Zero Emissions by 2050

April 22, 2021

The plan provides a set of strategies and benchmarks, grounded in science, for Columbia to achieve its ambitious sustainability goals.

    Hello Friends,  By now, maybe you’ve heard this week’s big news—the spring turtle migration has begun!  Keep your eyes peeled driving in to Lamont…that small leaf-sized spot in the road could be a baby snapper. 

     And, of course, I also became Director of Lamont, dropping the interim moniker.  This is truly a duty and honor that I am happy to accept. I want to thank the hundreds of people that have sent me messages over the last few days—I have appreciated each one.  I also want to thank President Bollinger in particular for his faith and confidence in me, and for asking me to take on this role, along with the role of Co-Founding Dean of the Climate School.  The establishment of the Columbia Climate School is going to bring many changes, and also many opportunities.  I invite the entire Lamont community to work with me, to make sure we build a future that better supports our researchers in their scientific pursuits, that expands our view of what and how scientific research can be done, that is inclusive and supportive of all, and that centers Lamont in the global discussion about the future of our planet. 

     Together we must find ways to enhance financial security for our scientists and staff, promote essential investment in our campus and infrastructure, and nurture a robust role for Lamont staff in the governance of the new school. We have to look to the future, down the road, and think about what we want that future to be.  Now is a unique opportunity for creativity as NSF looks to grow and the focus on climate and climate solutions is everywhere.  We can work together to implement our Vision Plan that provides a framework for Lamont’s next phase.

     Let us also build on our influential and storied past as we move forward.  If you look at my twitter feed this week, you’ll see my new Marie Tharp tote bag highlighting yet another children’s book that will inevitably inspire dozens, if not hundreds, of youngsters to pursue their dreams and adventures.  I know that if Marie were here now, she would welcome the changes that have propelled LDEO forward over the past few decades. 

     On the broader national stage this week, I think we all heard the collective sigh of relief on Tuesday when news of the guilty verdict in the George Floyd murder trial was released.  While the decision gives us hope for the future, in the words of Vice President Kamala Harris, “A measure of justice isn’t the same as equal justice. This verdict brings us a step closer, and the fact is we still have work to do.” We all need to internalize that message, individually and collectively, as we continue with anti-racism efforts. Let me use this opportunity to reaffirm Lamont’s Commitment to Anti-Racism and Institutional Change and to work persistently towards fulfilling this commitment.  I was also deeply moved by President Bollinger’s message on the verdict, concluding with, “I have waited for legal judgments before, but none has been more important than this one today, in a state court in Minnesota, to recommitting the society to removing the practices of invidious discrimination against Black Americans.” 

     From Marie Tharp to Kamala Harris to Michelle Obama, another inspiring pioneer, imagine my excitement when I saw Michelle tweeted a link to an article that spotlighted five young women “working to protect our planet and create a brighter future for all of us”, including one of our own, intern Lauren Ritchie!  That is pretty darn cool!  Also very cool was graduate student Elise Myers being featured on CBS This Morning this week—she was discussing the pollution in the Hudson River and some of the research going on at Lamont.

     I really can’t do justice to all the media that featured Lamont scientists talking about the Earth this week. Columbia News featured an article on Lamont Research Professor Chris Zappa’s research in collaboration with the Indigenous community off of Kotzebue Sound in northwestern Alaska. Chris’s team has been working with community elders “to understand the impact that climate change has had on the area and the Indigenous way of life”. On Wednesday, the Earth Institute hosted The Climate Imperative: Meeting the Moment moderated by Jeff Berardelli, CBS News Meteorologist, with Alex Halliday and yours truly, as part of its Earth Series: Solutions for Our Changing Planet.  Afterwards, Alex, Jeff and I hosted a break-out session with some of our alumna and donors—I am always so inspired when I meet people who are not Earth scientists, yet completely get how crucial it is to preserve and maintain a healthy and sustainable planet.  How do we get everybody on that train?  Communicate, communicate, communicate.

     On Thursday, the Earth Institute series Sustain What? hosted by Andy Revkin, featured “Taking Back Earth Day Amid an Endless Greenwash Surge”. Special guests included DEES professor Adam Sobel. You can watch past Sustain What? episodes here. Also on Thursday, EI LIVE K12 hosted a special session in celebration of Earth Day.  Vicki Ferrini, Mike Kaplan, Kirsty Tinto, and Jonny Kingslake shared their food stories from the field, on land and in the ocean, along with recipes, while emphasizing the importance of minimizing waste and conserving resources when traveling to do fieldwork.

     Yet another event from Thursday was The Brooklyn Rail’s The Sound of Science: Artists and Scientists Discuss Climate Change, a “conversation and musical performances with artists, scientists, composers, musicians, and museum directors on the implications of NFTs (non-fungible tokens?), carbon capture, and the performing arts in the age of climate crisis”. Guests included Andy Revkin, and DEES Assistant Professor Jacky Austermann (who also performed with Eve Ó Donnell and Lea Luka Sikau).  Jacky, inquiring minds want to know, did you meet DJ Spooky?

     The fun continues next week on April 27 at 7:00 PM when you can join The Explorers Club: Women of the Deep, an event featuring the fearless women of the Explorers Club who explore the deep sea to increase our understanding of the oceans.  Featured guests include our very own Vicki Ferrini and Marie Tharp’s work will be featured by one of the other guests.  For a full program and livestreaming information go here.  On May 4, another event, Climate to Health: Multidisciplinary Approaches to Bridging Decisions across Scales, will “highlight an inter-Institute initiative between Columbia’s Data Science Institute, the Earth Institute, and the Zuckerman Institute to advance the science of data-driven decision making in the context of climate change”.  Participants will include Alex Halliday and Adam Sobel. Register for this event here.

     A lot going on…exciting times.  I’ll end by saying I hope everyone had a nice Earth Day.  At my house, we memorialized the day by building a compost system in our backyard.  In 8 Meaningful Actions You Can Take This Earth Day, seven other great ideas for making a global difference in your day-to-day life can be found.

     Ever forward, Mo

===================

LAMONT IN THE MEDIA: FEATURED NEWS

Five Foods that Could Disappear Forever Thanks to Climate Change

The Independent

April 22, 2021

Article quotes Lamont climate scientist Benjamin Cook.

 

Why We Need to Take Back Earth Day

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

April 21, 2021

Opinion piece by Lamont climate scientist Adam Sobel.

 

Homo Erectus: Detective Work and Geoscience Unearth Our Ancient Ancestor's African Roots

Daily Maverick

April 20, 2021

Article on study co-authored by Lamont paleoecologist Kevin Uno.

 

Humans Are Influencing Wind and Weather Patterns Across the North Atlantic by Releasing CO2

AZO Cleantech

April 20, 2021

Article on study co-authored by Lamont climate scientist Mark Cane.

 

How Bad Will California's Fire Season Be? Experts on the Threat – and What Can Be Done

Guardian

April 19, 2021

Article cites study by Lamont scientists Park Williams, Edward Cook, Jason Smerdon, Benjamin Cook, Kasey Bolles, Seung Baek, and colleagues.

 

The Future of Western Water Restrictions Is Here

Gizmodo

April 19, 2021

Article quotes Lamont climate scientist Richard Seager.

 

Humans Are Directly Influencing Wind and Weather Over the North Atlantic

Science Daily

April 19, 2021

Article on study co-authored by Lamont climate scientist Mark Cane.

 

Can We Address Climate Change by Removing Carbon Dioxide From the Atmosphere?

The Public's Radio

April 19, 2021

Interview with Lamont oceanographer and carbon cycle scientist Galen McKinley.

 

BLOGS

8 Meaningful Actions You Can Take This Earth Day

April 22, 2021

Making a difference in your day-to-day life is not only empowering, but can lead to wider cultural and societal change.

 

On the Eve of Earth Day, A Live Discussion About the Consequential Decade Ahead

April 21, 2021

Tonight’s Earth Lecture takes a hard look at climate change and the path forward.

 

How You Can Help Restore Nature on Earth Day

April 21, 2021

Consider helping to revive a degraded ecosystem by getting involved in an ecorestoration project.

 

Decades After the Oil Spill That Inspired Earth Day, Are We Prepared for the Next One?

April 21, 2021

We’ve gotten better at preventing and tracking oil spills, but oceanographers say much more progress is needed.

 

Maureen ‘Mo’ Raymo Takes on a Mighty Mission

April 20, 2021

The decorated climate scientist is named director of Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and co-founding dean of the newly launched Columbia Climate School.

 

Emotional Appeal: How Art Can Inspire Action on Climate Change

April 20, 2021

Climate science tells us how the world is changing. Climate art shapes how we choose to respond.

 

Announcing the Leadership of the Columbia Climate School

April 19, 2021

The Columbia Climate School will be co-led by four of Columbia’s most eminent climate experts: Alex Halliday, Jason Bordoff, Ruth DeFries, and Maureen Raymo.

 

Columbia Climate School Goes to the Green Mountains

April 16, 2021

This pre-college program in Castleton, Vermont, will mobilize students in grades 9–12 to take action and affect change in response to our warming planet.

     Hello Friends,  Welcome to Earth Month!  The cherry blossoms are blooming, the geese are gandering, the forsythia is flowering.  It has been a busy week, especially as we ramp up to Earth Day on Thursday April 22nd.  Thank you to everyone who has been heeding the call to help with videos, photos, and more. This week, Lamont published its monthly newsletter under the headline “Meeting the Moment: Earth Day 2021”. The newsletter includes, among other articles, an Earth Day program of events, and a compelling video message from the Earth Institute and Lamont.  Yes, compelling…as in we hope to compel you to generously support the extraordinary scientists that work on our campus.  I do think my narration skills are improving—if you do anything enough times, you get better!  And speaking of digital ways of communicating, today the IT group is installing a light board presentation system in a newly renovated studio in the Geoscience Building.  Some of you may recall the Zoom seminar given by Yemane Asmerom of the Univ. of New Mexico last fall—many of us were bowled over by his cool method of presentation.  Now we have the technology. You can be a bigger, better, and stronger speaker than you were before (is anyone getting my Six Million Dollar Man reference?).  You can see what I’m talking about here.  The new studio is in Geoscience 105, directly across from the DEES office and more info will be forthcoming.

     Yesterday we had the latest Columbia Climate Conversations event, on Disability Justice, Climate Change, and Eco-Ableism. This conversation, about disabilities in environmental and activism spaces, featured panelists Daphne Frias, Annie Segarra, and Gabi Serrato Marks. Some of you might remember Dr. Gabi Serrato Marks’ wonderful talk at Lamont in February on disability inclusion in the geosciences. Yesterday’s event was organized by Lauren Ritchie, Kailani Acosta, and Benjamin Keisling.  On Wednesday, the first Campus Life Family Art Class, organized by the Campus Life Committee, featured Making Art with Upcycled Materials: Paper Making with Amelia Foster. Amelia Foster is an American artist who studied as an environmental microbiologist at Oregon State University. Upcoming classes are: Your Life in Four Panels (April 14), Making art with Upcycled Materials: Plastic whale (April 21), and Making Art with Upcycled Materials: Patchwork Mosaics (April 28).  Reading about this family event last week made me think how much fun it could be to have an annual easter egg hunt on the Lamont Hall Lawn for all our families with small children and grandchildren.

     Other talks this week included Dr. Sarah Aarons from Scripps Institution of Oceanography speaking on “Geochemical constraints on past continental crust composition and Earth surface conditions”. Sarah is an isotope geochemist interested in tracking and understanding Earth surface processes in a variety of environments on both geologic timescales and in the modern. Her talk can be found here. This week’s DEES Seminar in Race, Climate Change, and Environmental Justice featured Dr. Robert Fullilove, Professor of Sociomedical Sciences at the Columbia University Medical Center and Associate Dean of Community and Minority Affairs.  And on Thursday, 32 senior students in the Environmental Science, Barnard College, Earth & Environmental Sciences, Sustainable Development, Ecology, Evolution & Environmental Biology, and Environmental Chemistry programs at Columbia University presented their virtual Environmental Science Senior Thesis Poster Session.  Finally, the Lamont pod of Unlearning Racism in Geoscience (URGE) finished up their sixth session on Racism and Inclusivity this week. They read three papers, watched an interview, and are working to produce Safety Plans for the lab, field, and beyond. 

     In the space where art meets science, on April 7, MANA Contemporary art center, in partnership with the Earth Institute and the Columbia Climate School, hosted “Actors from Witnesses”.  This event merged artists’ creativity with the thoughts of climate experts to explore how art can be a motivator for action and change. Lamont Research Professor Robin Bell moderated the conversation with Caroline Juang, Zaria Forman, and Jeff Frost. Caroline Juang is a STEM advocate, an artist and also a DEES student in our BPE Division. Zaria Forman is an artist who documents climate change with pastel drawings. Artist Jeff Frost trained as a firefighter to create the film California on Fire.  Also available on line, Lamont Research Professor Gisela Winckler was interviewed for CUNY TV's 'Simply Science' Climate Edition. It premiered Wednesday night, and will be shown several times over the next weeks. Here is a link to the full show on YouTube. The segment that includes Gisela (and which also features Robert Fields) starts at 8:56.

     A big congratulations goes to Angelica Pasqualini who successfully defended her thesis this week. Her dissertation on "Circulation pathways, time scales, and water mass composition in the Arctic Ocean: Results from 25 years of tracer observations" is the first to confirm from observations the detailed circulation pathways of the Arctic's intermediate waters. Among a host of important results, Angelica was able to estimate velocities and transit times for the topographically-guided boundary currents that dominate the circulation in the Arctic's Atlantic Layer.   An equally hearty congratulations goes to DEES Professor Sidney Hemmings who was selected as a 2021 Guggenheim Fellow!  She was the only fellow chosen in the Earth Sciences—truly outstanding in her field.

     As usual there are lots of interesting science links below, but my favorites are typically the profiles of my colleagues.  This week there is a NOAA profile of Lamont Research Professor Suzana Camargo and an EI profile of development staff member Marian Mellin.  Even though I know both of them, I love hearing new tidbits about their lives and their respective journeys to Lamont.

     I’d like to end by thanking some dedicated campus alumni and friends of Lamont, Mary Ann Brueckner, Hannes Brueckner, Carol Mountain and Greg Mountain.  They have begun the volunteer effort of painstakingly going through decades of archives tucked in cabinets, closets, nooks, and crannies throughout Lamont Hall.  Stay tuned and I will report back on any special finds (original Marie Tharp drawings would be nice).  Hopefully all will be in service of the long-longed for renovation of Lamont Hall. 

    Have a relaxing weekend. 

    Best, Mo

===================

LAMONT IN THE MEDIA: FEATURED NEWS

Drought Stokes Fears of Severe Fire Season in West

Axios

April 7, 2021

Article quotes and cites research by Lamont climate scientist Benjamin Cook.

 

A Vital Resource Supporting Antarctic Research

Eos

April 5, 2021

Article by Lamont scientists Suzanne Carbotte, Frank Nitsche, Neville Shane, Kirsty Tinto, and colleague.

 

Megadrought: 'Climate Change Starting to Hammer Home'

E&E News

April 5, 2021

Article quotes Lamont climate scientist Benjamin Cook.

 

Women’s History Month: Dr. Suzana Camargo Journeys from Plasma Physics to Climate Science, from Brazil to the United States

NOAA Climate Program Office

April 1, 2021

Article features Lamont climate scientist Suzana Camargo.

 

BLOGS

Earth Day 2021: What We Can Learn From the Past Year

April 07, 2021

A look back at the past year and lessons from the pandemic that might help in solving climate change.

 

Earth Month Activities at the Earth Institute

April 07, 2021

Blog posts and events to help you get informed, inspired, and involved.

 

Celebrating Earth Month

April 07, 2021

This Earth Month, explore our world-leading work and join us in our commitment to creating a more sustainable planet.

 

First Air Quality Profile of Two Sub-Saharan African Cities Finds Troubling News

April 06, 2021

A new study finds that that even when air pollution in Kinshasa and Brazzaville is at its lowest, it’s still four times higher than World Health Organization guidelines.

 

Staff Spotlight: Marian Mellin, Development Associate at Lamont-Doherty

April 06, 2021

She likes to go hiking during her lunch break and enjoys weekly Zoom calls with her sisters during the pandemic.

     Hello Friends,  This week’s science round-up has some great stories.  Lamont Associate Research Professor Anne Bécel is quoted in an article about an emerging effort to harness the power of satellite-linked cargo ship GPS systems to detect the presence and pathways of tsunamis in the ocean.  What an amazingly creative idea and perfect example of merging ocean science and technology in ways that can save lives.  The ships have something called the Automatic Identification System that continuously tracks their latitude and longitude (presumably this is what feeds into the on-line ship locator apps). But the info doesn’t include elevation since boats “presumably stay at sea level”. I can imagine any number of fascinating studies one could do with such a real-time data array and a little AI help, especially as we all know that sea level is never level!

     A similar story of “remote” sensing of Earth hazards comes from DEES Prof. Göran Ekström this week.  With the global seismic array, he recently detected the largest landslide yet for 2021, in a remote valley in Tibet.  After conveying the calculated coordinates to colleagues with satellite data, they indeed saw the visual evidence of this dramatic landslide. The scientists are now debating, as only scientists can, whether the event was the caused by the collapse of a hanging glacier with rock, or a rockslide with some ice in it. Whichever the cause, these observations inform consequential economic decisions about whether hydropower should be developed in the region.

     Cocktail party conversation alert (we wish)—did you know that the Japanese have been assiduously recording the peak bloom date for cherry blossoms since 812 CE? Charlemagne was Emperor of the West, Mamun the Great was setting up the first “university” in Bagdad, and algebra was formalized by the Arabic scholar al-Khwarizmi. Last week, on March 26th, the earliest bloom date in the entire >1200 year-long record was recorded, part of an ongoing and unrelenting trend to earlier bloom dates.  Adjunct Associate Research Scientist Ben Cook discusses this unique climate proxy record in the Washington Post and its implications for climate.  Here on campus, our cherry blossoms are still days to weeks (?) away from blooming, but the forsythia and magnolia trees are now flowering.  And multiple reports are coming in of juvenile raptor sightings.  I might mention that some of the best naturalists on campus are our building and grounds crew who spend lots of their time outdoors crisscrossing the campus.  The other day I asked Andy Reed about moving an upside-down wheelbarrow and learned that it was serving as a rabbit habitat! 

     From Carl Brenner this week, we were saddened to learn of the death of Marsha Meyer who worked at Lamont in Geochemistry and then became a fixture and valued member of the Borehole Research Group from 2000 to 2011.  Her unfailing good humor, kindness, and exuberance energized her colleagues and contributed to the success of the group’s participation in the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program. She also was an extraordinary naturalist and anyone fortunate enough to take nature walks with Marsha was treated to her encyclopedic knowledge of any and all flora and fauna encountered along the way. She was a brilliant observer of natural life and, on a nightly basis for 20 years, Marsha and her partner catalogued wildlife activity in the ponds of Tallman, taking water temperatures and noting the timing of the arrival of various amphibious species each spring. A true scientist! Because of the pandemic, no services are planned at this time; but in lieu of flowers, please send any gifts to South County Health, 100 Kenyon Ave., Wakefield, RI 02879.

     Continuing this week’s naturalist theme, graduate student Mukund Rao just let me know he was awarded both a NOAA Climate & Global Change Postdoctoral Fellowship and a European Commission Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action (MSCA) Fellowship.  This is an amazing accomplishment Mukund!  He plans to work with Troy Magney (UC-Davis), Kevin Griffin (LDEO), Josep Peñuelas (CREAF, Barcelona), and Iolanda Filella (CREAF, Barcelona) focusing on how drought and climate change impacts the forest carbon cycle.  An important part of this work will involve understanding the dynamics of photosynthesis and tree-growth in the Lamont Sanctuary Forest on our campus. Committed readers of this weekly will already know about the LDEO PhenoCam.  In addition to that capability, the group has added tree point dendrometers and a trace gas measurement network to our campus forest—the beginnings of a permanent ecological monitoring network on campus (and Mukund sends big thanks to the Climate Center for the seed funding!). He also wants us to know that if anyone else wants to join the effort to set up this ecosystem network and has ideas of other variables they would like to measure (e.g. soil chemistry?), they should contact him. Mukund also wonders if we need to get the Lamont met station back up and running? Apparently the last update was in 2018.  Does anyone know who ran this?  Finally, thank you to everyone involved in the Lamont Sanctuary effort including Arturo Pacheco, Milagros Rodríguez, Laia Andreu-Hayles, Nicole Davi, Bar Oryan, Kevin Griffin, Natalie Boelman, Johanna Jensen, Róisín Commane, and Pierre Gentine.  I know an Interim Director that needs a guided walk through this magical place!

     We had a number of terrific talks this week. For those who could not attend Kristina Douglass's Special Seminar earlier this week, you can view her talk here, archived on the Lamont livestream site.  On Saturday, April 3, at 10 am, Sid Hemming will share her research about climate changes based on ice-rafted debris in deep-sea cores off Antarctica as part of Earth2Class’s efforts to share Lamont research with middle and high school teachers, as well as students. Lastly, this week’s seminar on Race, Climate Change and Environmental Justice featured Dr. Dilshanie Perera and Dr. Miranda Massie from the Climate Museum. Dr. Perera is a Mellon Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow in Climate and Inequality. Her research and writing examine the intersection of emergent forms of risk and structural dispossession. Dr. Massie, who seven years ago left a career in social justice law to start laying the groundwork for the Climate Museum, is now the Museum's Director.

     I’ll end by reminding everyone that every April Columbia Health’s Sexual Violence Response office recognizes Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Please take a moment to check out the events for this month.

     Have a lovely weekend.

     Best, Mo

===================

LAMONT IN THE MEDIA: FEATURED NEWS

How Cargo Ships Could Help Detect Tsunamis

Wired

March 31, 2021

Article quotes Lamont seismologist Anne Bécel.

 

Red Rocks: Using Color to Understand Climate Change

Eos

March 30, 2021

Article on study co-authored by Lamont paleontologist Paul Olsen.

 

Women’s History Month: A Conversation with Dr. Allison Wing

NOAA Climate Program Office

March 30, 2021

Interview with Lamont adjunct associate research scientist  Allison Wing.

 

Thaw-Triggered Landslides Are a Growing Hazard in the Warming North

Arctic Today

March 30, 2021

Article cites research by Lamont seismologists Göran Ekström and Colin Stark.

 

Japan’s Kyoto Cherry Blossoms Peak on Earliest Date in 1,200 Years, a Sign of Climate Change

Washington Post

March 29, 2021

Article quotes Lamont climate scientist Benjamin Cook.

 

Women Pioneers in Deep Ocean Science

Monterey Bay Aquarium

March 26, 2021

Article features pioneering Lamont geologist Marie Tharp.

 

Observing a Galápagos Volcano from Buildup to Eruption

Eos

March 26, 2021

Article quotes Lamont volcanologist Einat Lev.

 

The Big Question About Iceland's 'Cute' Volcano

CNN

March 25, 2021

Article by Lamont volcanologist Einat Lev.

 

What Is Happening to the Greenland Ice Sheet?

Fair Planet

March 25, 2021

Article on research by Lamont geochemists Nicolás Young, Joerg Schaefer, and colleagues.

     Hello Friends,  It has been a quiet week.  A week to ponder what the near future will hold.  An easing of pandemic pressures?  Enhanced stress with a new virus variant?  Of course, relief that appointments for vaccines are becoming increasingly easy to schedule.  In the Dean’s Council meeting yesterday, we were told that discussions are being had and guidance will soon be forthcoming on issues ranging from summer travel policies, visitor policies, return to work policies, small gathering policies, vaccine policies and more.  How do we all come back together safely and create the synergistic and collaborative community of scholars and staff we all value and miss? 

     Report from the campus—it still feels deserted.  I sense Comer is the only building that is the least bit crowded (and many of those people are construction workers).  Here in Monell, it is typically just myself, Max (of course), and another colleague at the far end of the corridor.  Occasionally the mail is dropped off.  I typically see a few cars in front of Oceanography (and also now see the beginnings of the electric car charging station).  There are more geese on campus than I’ve ever observed, mostly paired up, and I look forward to a gaggle of goslings in April.  I’m sure the fox that lives in the cliffside below Monell is also looking forward to that.  A big fat possum walked by yesterday (pregnant?).  Today I saw a land beaver (aka woodchuck, aka groundhog) and a giant pileated woodpecker.  The deer herd seemingly continues to grow.  No fawn sightings yet, but the soccer pitch is getting incredibly well-fertilized.  The hellebore patch in the Rose Garden is in full bloom and yesterday evening was the first performance by the peepers in the pond.  The more abundant wildlife is small compensation for missing the vibrancy of our community of colleagues.

     Colleague Jonny Kingslake pointed me to the news article about the new CEO of Citibank, Jane Fraser, recently declaring Fridays off-limits for Zoom, citing mental exhaustion and Zoom fatigue.  We agreed that we (and everyone) should try to aim for Zoom-free Fridays again.  That will be my summer aspirational goal for the campus and I really hope we will also be able to have outdoor TGIF as the COVID restrictions loosen.  One last campus observation—a few have asked about the new Adirondack chairs around campus.   They were made of white cedar by a small family business in Maine called Allagash Wood Products. As part of their commitment to the planet, the company plants cedar seedlings in the forests of northern Maine, working “to ensure that a healthy forest will be available to future generations”. 

     Last week, a group of recent Earth Institute Postdoctoral Fellows discussed their Nature Sustainability paper, "Supporting interdisciplinary careers for sustainability", with Alex Halliday and Rita Colwell (first woman director of NSF) as part of the Sustain What? conversation series. In their paper, the EI Postdocs discuss the institutional policies that presently support interdisciplinary careers and highlight the remaining issues that make interdisciplinary work particularly challenging for early career scholars. They offer specific suggestions on how to improve hiring, performance reviews, funding, and the publishing process to better reflect stated support for applied, interdisciplinary work.  I really appreciated reading their paper and you can watch the Sustain What? discussion or read their paper here.

     I’d like to thank graduate student Casey Brayton for sending this update on this week’s Seminar for Race, Climate Change, and Environmental Justice.  The series welcomed Jackie Qataliña Schaeffer, an Iñupiaq woman from Kotzebue and Senior Project Manager at the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC). Jackie shared stories about how Alaska Natives on the frontlines of climate change are adapting to their rapidly changing environment. She emphasized that Alaska Natives have been stewards of the land for 10,000+ years and will continue to care for their lands, responding to environmental threats as their communities always have, with strength and resilience. ANTHC’s vision is Alaska Native people are the healthiest people in the world. If you would like to learn more about Jackie’s work at ANTHC, please check out the Center for Climate & Health website and read their Climate Assessment Reports, and subscribe to the Center for Environmentally Threatened Communities monthly newsletter to keep up to date on climate change news in Alaska. 

     Kuheli Dutt alerted us to the upcoming International Transgender Day of Visibility on 31 March 2021. This event is dedicated to celebrating transgender people and their contributions and successes, and also to raise awareness on the challenges and discrimination faced by the transgender community (including right here on our campuses). Learn more about it from the Human Rights Campaign and GLSEN resources for educators, students, and allies.  The

     Columbia School of Social Work is also sponsoring a celebration featuring performances by artists D’Lo and Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi on Thursday, April 1st at 6:30-8:30pm ET.  RSVP required. How great to have access to these free art performances during our closed-down world.

     In science/research news, many of the articles linked below cover ground we went over last week.  However, I particularly enjoyed the profile of Lamont graduate student Elise Myers (yes, that is her portrait hanging on the wall in the cafeteria!) and learning about her work on the Hudson River.  And you should all know about Einat Lev’s opinion column at CNN about the ongoing eruption of the Fagradalsfjall volcano in Iceland!

     I’ll end with a huge congratulations to two of our current graduate students who heard this week that they had won a prestigious NSF Graduate Fellowship Award.  Kudos to Claire Jasper and Caroline Juang!  (And you coincidentally have the same initials…weird.)  In addition, honorable mentions were given to Ingrid Izaguirre, Andrew Hollyday, and Casey Ivanovich.  We are so proud of and happy for you all!  Congratulations.

     Wishing you all a peaceful, restorative weekend.

     Best, Mo

===================

LAMONT IN THE MEDIA: FEATURED NEWS

Cross-Country on a Carbon Budget

Nyack News & Views

March 24, 2021

Article by environmental law professor Karl Coplan, spouse of Lamont polar scientist Robin Bell.

 

A Dip in Atmospheric Carbon May Have Facilitated Dinosaur Dispersal

Eos

March 23, 2021

Article on study by Lamont paleomagnetist Dennis Kent and colleague.

 

How the Triassic Extinction Helped Dinosaurs Take Over the Planet

Discover

March 23, 2021

Article quotes Lamont paleontologist Paul Olsen.

 

Fossils in a Forgotten Ice Core Rewrite Greenland's Icy Past

Wired

March 22, 2021

Article on study by geochemist Joerg Schaefer, paleoclimatologist Dorothy Peteet, and colleagues.

 

Earthquake Detected Near Altamont

Times Union

March 20, 2021

Article cites Lamont earthquake research.

 

The Gulf Stream Is Weakening and It Promises Stronger Storms For NY and NJ

Gothamist

March 19, 2021

Article quotes Lamont physical oceanographer Arnold Gordon.

 

Safe to Swim? Scientist’s Study of River Bacteria Motivated by Environmental Justice

Slice of MIT

March 19, 2021

Article features Lamont Ph.D. student Elise Myers.

 

Hurricanes Keep Showing Up Early — Forecasts Are Catching Up

MPR News

March 18, 2021

Interview with Lamont climate scientist Suzana Camargo.

 

Greenland Was Once Ice-free — and Seas Were 20 Feet Higher: Study

New York Daily News

March 16, 2021

Article on study by geochemist Joerg Schaefer, paleoclimatologist Dorothy Peteet, and colleagues.

 

Bet You Didn't Expect to Find Million-Year-Old Trees in Your Freezer

LabRoots

March 16, 2021

Article on study by geochemist Joerg Schaefer, paleoclimatologist Dorothy Peteet, and colleagues.

 

13 Women Who Made Scientific History

Best Colleges

March 16, 2021

Article features pioneering Lamont geologist Marie Tharp.

    Hello Friends, Lamont Research Professor Joerg Schaefer is the Where’s Waldo of scientists this week.  Here he is in Greenland discussing top-secret Operation Iceworm, nuclear missiles and ancient vegetation on Greenland.  And here he is in New Zealand investigating the Zealandia Switch mechanism that could gravely increase the rate of global warming.  And here he is in almost a dozen leading news outlets telling us all about it (see list at end).  Where will this intrepid explorer and his trusty band of co-scientists (Dorothy Peteet!  Mike Kaplan! Carolina Munoz-Saez!) show up next?  But seriously, I hope you read about Operation Iceworm and maybe also reflect on the importance of data and sample archiving and curating.  This is a perennial and ongoing logistical and financial challenge at Lamont and it is important that we not lose sight of the prize.  Namely, you never know where the next amazing discovery will come from—sometimes many decades later.  Thus speaketh a repository director!

     Other work highlighted in the media this week is that by Lamont paleoclimatologist Nathan Steiger, climate scientist Jason Smerdon, and their colleagues.  Their work explores the effects volcanic eruptions can have on climate (and you will have to brush off your Spanish).  LDEO intern and undergraduate Lauren Ritchie continues her development of Columbia Climate Conversations, a panel series that invites well-known activists to speak on topics ranging from intersectional environmentalism to disability awareness.  There is a terrific profile of her in the Columbia Spectator this week and her invitation for all of us “to incorporate sustainability into [our] lives in a way that is proportionate to [our] resources” while “holding larger corporations accountable for their disproportionate impact on the environment” really resonates.  For Lauren, being sustainable is not about being perfect, but about making progress. Amen.

     Also this week, Jason Smerdon writes “This won’t come as a surprise to any of you, but this piece [in Nature] on current academic burnout (and the asymmetries with which it is being experienced) is worth a read if you haven’t seen it.  Perhaps most helpful is the suggestions it includes for managing burnout.  Worth a read and reflection in your various centers and networks.”  Thanks for sharing Jason.  Another informative read was brought to my attention by Lamont Research Professor Alberto Malinverno—it is an article and podcast about Project Mohole and how it spearheaded the scientific ocean drilling program we still have today as well as the field of paleoceanography. Our Lamont alumna Suzanne O’Connell is prominently featured. 

     I’d also like to draw your attention to an art exhibit organized and curated by Archeology graduate student and former Lamonter Jeff Benjamin.  The art/archaeology exhibit, "The Soil Is Sentient", has been on display in Low Library at Columbia University for a year now, but has been largely inaccessible due to Covid restrictions. However, the exhibit has recently been translated into a virtual exhibit which, in itself, is a work of art. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did and note that DEES/Lamont graduate student Clara Chang also contributed to the exhibit.  My favorite part is the crafty saltine.

     Prof. Md. Shofiqul Islam arrived on campus this week to start a seven-month visit collaborating with Dr. Michael Steckler as part of a Fulbright Visiting Scholarship.  Prof. Islam is from the Department of Petroleum and Mining Engineering, Shahjalal University of Science and Technology in Sylhet, Bangladesh.  Shofiqul, I hope to welcome you in person some day in the not too far future.  Speaking of which, I was happy to read in a University-wide email from President Bollinger that CU’s goal is to have everyone vaccinated and able to return to normal University life in September.  Let us all hope that this will be the case.

     In a year filled with pain from many quarters, the latest has been this week’s deadly shooting in Atlanta which has deeply shaken us all, especially the Asian-American community at Lamont and EI. Some of the email threads, as well as last week’s Town Hall, where our Asian-American colleagues shared their thoughts and experiences, were eye-opening and relevant to us all. Here are some links and resources that I encourage you to check out, including ways to be an ally:  Anti-Racism Resources to Support the AAPI Community;  How to Support Asian American Colleagues;  There were 3,800 anti-Asian racist incidents, mostly against women; and How Racism and Sexism Intertwine. Additionally, I encourage you to sign up for the the Bystander Intervention to Stop Anti-Asian/American Harassment and Xenophobia—I plan to sign up for it myself. At stressful and disturbing times like these, remember various services and resources are available to the Columbia community, including: Counseling and Psychological ServicesMental Health Resources for Faculty and Staff; and Support Space for Asian Students. You also can report a bias incident here. And, last but not least, we should make it a priority to check in on our Asian-American colleagues during this time, and do whatever we can to make our campus (albeit virtually) as inclusive as possible. In the coming weeks, The Office of Academic Affairs and Diversity will conduct a workshop on Addressing Anti-Asian Bias. More details on that later.

     As I wrap up this week, I look forward to hearing Prof. Susan Trumbore’s talk.  She is the guest speaker for our annual Distinguished Alumni Colloquium, sponsored by the Lamont Alumni Association.  Welcome back Sue—I wish you could have come in person.  I’d also like to thank the “Earth Elders”, especially Mark Cane, Jim Hays, and Klaus Jacob, who donated funds to purchase the (sustainably grown) cedar Adirondack chairs that are now dotting the campus.  We also have a bunch of new picnic tables in various places.  Outside is the new inside!  

     As we mark one full year of the pandemic, I wish you all a peaceful and safe weekend. 

     Best, Mo

===================

LAMONT IN THE MEDIA: FEATURED NEWS

Scientists' Climate Warning after 'Grave' Rediscovery from Secret Cold War Military Base

Sky News

March 16, 2021

Article on study by geochemist Joerg Schaefer, paleoclimatologist Dorothy Peteet, and colleagues.

 

Greenland's Lost and Found Forest

Cosmos

March 16, 2021

Article on study by geochemist Joerg Schaefer, paleoclimatologist Dorothy Peteet, and colleagues.

 

Greenland Was Once Ice-free — and Seas Were 20 Feet Higher: Study

New York Daily News

March 16, 2021

Article on study by geochemist Joerg Schaefer, paleoclimatologist Dorothy Peteet, and colleagues.

 

Zealandia Switch May Be Missing Link in Understanding Ice Age Climates

Eurasia Review

March 16, 2021

Article on study by Lamont geochemist Joerg Schaefer, geologist Mike Kaplan, and colleagues.

 

A Forgotten Cold War Experiment Has Revealed Its Icy Secret. It's Bad News for the Planet.

Washington Post

March 15, 2021

Article on study by geochemist Joerg Schaefer, paleoclimatologist Dorothy Peteet, and colleagues.

 

How a Secret Cold War Project Led to Signs of Ancient Life—and a New Warning About the Future

Atlas Obscura

March 15, 2021

Article on study by geochemist Joerg Schaefer, paleoclimatologist Dorothy Peteet, and colleagues.

 

Ancient Leaves Preserved Under a Mile of Greenland’s Ice – and Lost in a Freezer for Years – Hold Lessons about Climate Change

The Conversation

March 15, 2021

Article on study by geochemist Joerg Schaefer, paleoclimatologist Dorothy Peteet, and colleagues.

 

Climate Justice Activist Lauren Ritchie, CC ’22, on Redefining Sustainability and Inciting an Inclusive Climate Action Movement

Columbia Spectator

March 15, 2021

Article features Lamont intern Lauren Ritchie.

 

Glaciers Accelerate Into the Ocean in the Getz Region of West Antarctica, Contributing to Rising Global Sea Levels

SciTech Daily

March 14, 2021

Article features study co-authored by Lamont oceanographer Pierre Dutrieux. Article features study co-authored by Lamont oceanographer Pierre Dutrieux.

 

Zealandia Switch: New Theory of Regulation of Ice Age Climates

ScienceDaily

March 12, 2021

Article on study by Lamont geochemist Joerg Schaefer, geologist Mike Kaplan, and colleagues.

 

Volcanic Eruptions Have a Strong Impact on Climate, Study Suggests

EFE

March 11, 2021

Article on study by Lamont paleoclimatologist Nathan Steiger, climate scientist Jason Smerdon, and colleagues.

 

Large Eruptions Produce a Persistent Hydroclimatic Response

Europa Press

March 9, 2021

Article on study by Lamont paleoclimatologist Nathan Steiger, climate scientist Jason Smerdon, and colleagues.

 

BLOGS

Fossil Plants at Bottom of the Greenland Ice Sheet Warn of Future Melting

March 15, 2021

The discovery of fossil plants below a mile of Greenland ice indicates that the ice sheet completely melted in the past, and suggests it could rapidly do so again.

 

The ‘Zealandia Switch’: Missing Link in Big Natural Climate Shifts?

March 15, 2021

Movements of winds in the Southern Hemisphere may be the key to waxing and waning of ice ages, says a new study.

 

Chasing Gold, Geysers and Geothermal Power With Carolina Muñoz-Saez

March 11, 2021

The postdoctoral researcher studies hydrothermal systems and will soon go to the Chilean Andes to explore how geyser activity there may be related to glacier growth and retreat over thousands of years.

Hello Friends,  A lot has been going on over the past two weeks, most obviously the arrival of warm spring weather and uplifted spirits.  This is also the time of year when graduate student admissions are in full swing and the Observatory competes for the best and brightest in the nation.  Last Friday, in my joint lab meeting with Jacky Austermann, we welcomed three prospective students, Emily, Yichen, and Mila.  Jacky had the inspired idea of asking each person in our group to say one thing they liked about Lamont after introducing themselves and their research.  Here is what the grad students, postdocs, and techs said about why they liked Lamont:

  • Bordered by two state parks—so easy to take a hike at lunch.
  • Like having the best of both worlds, living in NYC and taking a shuttle to the middle of nowhere every day.
  • Love the cafeteria food...surprisingly awesome.
  • Intellectual community at Lamont...I have colleagues at other institutions that feel pressured and stressed in their programs.  Lamont is a large community of geoscientists with a huge range of interests, but all of whom want to talk to each other.  Rate of intellectual stimulation is very high.
  • Ultra, super-cool lab facilities—clean labs and facilities like no other I’ve seen.
  • Campus is beautiful escape from city and such a critical mass of people covering breadth and depth of Earth sciences
  • Critical mass at Lamont...I’ve seen big departments vs small departments. 
  • So much sunlight in my office! 
  • I appreciate the welcoming lab group having never been to Lamont (this one is from a first-year person who, due to COVID, has never been here).
  • Lamont’s history of leadership on so many issues of climate and solid Earth.  Lots of women on faculty with families.
  • All the students that come through; hearing about projects; fascinating place and beautiful campus.
  • Research commune like no other with a real friendly, collegial feel to it.
  • I like our lab group...it’s more integrated and collaborative than what I was used to.
  • Inter-connectiveness and fluidity of the community at Lamont...lots of cross-talk and not siloed.

     As you might imagine, and as a Lamont super-fan, I was pretty proud to hear these sentiments expressed.  I share this list in hopes that it might be shared with others thinking about whether or not to come to graduate school at Lamont.  And to those in windowless offices, I’m working on that problem.  Ideally there should be no one at Lamont in a windowless office. 

     I’ve been in other productive meetings this week.  On Wednesday, Gerry Rosberg, Senior Executive Vice President of the University, and David Greenberg, Executive Vice President for University Facilities and Operations, as well as a number of other leaders from main campus, came and toured the Lamont Campus.  We paid particular focus to Lamont Hall and the Oceanography Building as candidates for future renovation to net-zero buildings on an envisioned net-zero campus. Of course, such ambitions require financial planning and for that we are lucky to have a crack team led by Edie Miller.  How crack a team are they, you ask?  Well Edie, Kim Schermerhorn, and myself also had a meeting with Bill Berger, Executive Director of Sponsored Projects Administration at Columbia, and Victoria Hamilton, who directs the Office of Research Initiatives at Columbia, as well as a number of others on Wednesday.  The purpose was to discuss the build-out of a university-wide leadership dashboard.  This would be an online financial tool to help facilitate the kind of strategic planning and tracking we are doing at Lamont and make it available across the university.  #Lamontleads

     Also on Wednesday, the Earth Institute hosted a Town Hall on Combating Anti-Asian Bias. Following an introduction from Alex Halliday, Kuheli Dutt gave a brief, but informative, presentation. The event then opened up to a discussion amongst the participants. I found this discussion to be both moving and enlightening—thank you to my Asian colleagues for sharing their lived experiences. Open dialogue like we witnessed at this event is an important step in fostering an inclusive community.

     And speaking of listening, we hear, hear, hear the calls for daycare to reopen and are working on it.  Please, please, please let Jennifer Lamp or Sheean Haley know if you would have a potential enrollee this coming spring or summer.  This is critical information we need in our discussions with Bright Horizons.  All of Columbia is concerned with the daycare issue and they recently announced the University’s Crisis Care Reimbursement Program, available from March 15 to April 16, 2021. Follow the instructions on the Work/Life Website to register for Crisis Care starting March 15th.  Central administration also reminds us that the regular Back-Up Care program is also available during this time period, if you prefer to use in-network caregivers or child care centers. If you have any questions, please reach out to the Office of Work/Life at [email protected].

     In other news around the campus…DEES Professor Galen McKinley has just been appointed by the U.S. to sit on the intergovernmental PICES Working Group on Ocean Negative Carbon Emissions. In addition, three outstanding early career scientists accepted Lamont Postdoctoral Fellowships this year.  They are: Brandon Shuck, who will work on new high-resolution R/V Langseth datasets from subduction zones to better understand the factors and mechanisms that underlie subduction zone hazards (in collaboration with Anne Bécel and Suzanne Carbotte); Alireza Bahadori, who will be investigating the link between tectonics, climate, and surface processes in rift settings using numerical models (in collaboration with Jacky Austermann); and Anne Barkley, who will be investigating charcoal deposits in sediment cores in North American temperate/boreal forests and in North Atlantic Ocean marine sediment cores, with the aim of reconstructing long-term fire activity and its impact on marine primary productivity (in collaboration with Gisela Winckler).  I want to thank the fellowship committee one last time for their dedicated efforts to this important task. 

     Marie Tharp is certainly having her moment!  This week the village of Woods Hole in Massachusetts will officially rename one of their streets Marie Tharp Lane.  From Peter “Gone-but-not-forgotten” deMenocal, “It’s wonderful to have this opportunity to bring our great institutions together to honor Marie, who contributed so much to our science and public appreciation for the oceans.”

     I’ll wrap up with a lovely update from Steven Jaret, a postdoc at Lamont who, on Tuesday and in conjunction with the NE GSA meeting, co-led a virtual field trip to Central Park. This trip highlighted his new geochemistry results from the park’s famous schist outcrops, a spin-off of work and interest initially begun by Terry Plank and Kennett Flores several years ago. The trip (over Zoom) had 35 people in attendance, including students, faculty, USGS, and state survey mappers from PA, NJ, NY, CT, and MA. They even had one student join in from Costa Rica!  Steve reports the group had a lot of great discussions and says it's nice that NYC geology is gaining interest among folks in the region. A new field guide is also being published and will be out in a larger volume of GSA field guides later this year—however, if you want it now, Steven Jaret can get you an advance copy.  I’m thinking a few fun geochemical facts could be a great way to impress a date on a romantic stroll through the park? #geeklove?

     That’s all I got.  Bring on the weekend and daylight savings.   Spring forward o clock of mine! 

     Best, Mo

===================

LAMONT IN THE MEDIA: FEATURED NEWS

Celebrating a Year of Leadership by Women

National Geographic

March 8, 2021

Article features pioneering Lamont geologist Marie Tharp.

 

For Planet Earth, No Tourism is a Curse and a Blessing

The New York Times

March 7, 2021

Article quotes Lamont climate scientist Jason Smerdon.

 

1000 Years of Droughts in America

Newsweek

March 6, 2021

Article cites research by Lamont tree ring scientist Edward Cook, climate scientist Richard Seager, and Ph.D. Celine Herweijer.

 

Satellite Data Can Help Measure Depth and Shape of Ice Shelf Fractures

AZO Cleantech

March 5, 2021

Article features study co-authored by Lamont polar scientist Marco Tedesco and postdoc Patrick Alexander.

 

BLOGS

Volcanoes May Have Large, Lasting Impacts on Global Precipitation

March 09, 2021

A new study employs natural climate archives such as tree rings to better understand volcanoes’ impacts on global rainfall patterns.

 

A Climate Scientist Rides the (Rossby) Wave of Discovery

March 08, 2021

Mingfang Ting studies the connection between planetary waves in the atmosphere and climate anomalies, such as droughts and extreme heat.

 

No Longer Just ‘Girl Talk’

March 08, 2021

Fifth graders commemorate pioneering mapmaker Marie Tharp using comics, pictures, and poems.

 

Why International Women's Day Is Still Relevant in 2021

March 08, 2021

Gender equality is an essential ingredient in building a fair and sustainable world. Today we’re publishing stories that honor the accomplishments of many of our women colleagues and highlight programs that push for gender equality every day.

     Hello Friends,  I am using Spring Break week to catch up on email and take a breath.  Your friendly action-packed newsletter will be back next week.  Until then, put on your own mask first before taking care of others.

     Have a peaceful weekend.

     Best, Mo

===================

LAMONT IN THE MEDIA: FEATURED NEWS

Then and Now: A 'Megadrought' in California

BBC

March 4, 2021

Article quotes Lamont climate scientist Benjamin Cook.

 

In the Atlantic Ocean, Subtle Shifts Hint at Dramatic Dangers

The New York Times

March 3, 2021

Interactive feature cites late Lamont geochemist Wallace Broecker.

 

California's Iconic Redwoods, Sequoias and Joshua Trees Threatened by Climate Change

CBS News

February 25, 2021

Interview with Lamont bioclimatologist Park Williams.

 

BLOGS

Yes, These Flesh-Eating Algae Are Real. And They Like Their Prey Alive.

March 03, 2021

New research suggests that photosynthetic green algae also eat bacteria on a previously unsuspected scale.

 

How Exactly Does Carbon Dioxide Cause Global Warming?

February 25, 2021

CO2 molecules make up only a small percentage of the atmosphere, but their impact on our climate is huge. The reason comes down to physics and chemistry.

     Hello Friends,  Spring is in the air—and not a moment too soon.  I think the added challenge of cold, darkness, and snow is pushing many of us to a breaking point from our already weirdly normalized pandemic (dis)equilibrium.  We are stressed, we are depressed, we are coping in ways we might not even appreciate, just out of the sheer necessity of getting through another day with parents, children, health challenges, work demands, and more.

     Things I am grateful for this week: hearing and seeing that daffodils are peaking out of the snow around campus; watching a stunningly beautiful “Aphrodite” amaryllis bloom on my windowsill; finding out that one more loved one will be vaccinated shortly (keep trying to book appointments!  At Javits yesterday they were booking same day and next day appointments); seeing caring colleagues at every level of the university working tirelessly to solve the daycare crisis, improve student life and safety, and brainstorm ways to mitigate the impact of lost productivity on the careers of our scholars.

     With respect to the Bright Horizons daycare center at Lamont—we continue to maintain the building and its certifications though we have no expectation that it will reopen this semester.  I’m told that with the current state-mandated occupancy restrictions, reopening is still financially unfeasible for Bright Horizons (who eventually had to lay off its staff).  Of course, this is a challenge that extends far beyond the campus of Lamont and it is important to recognize that things will return to normal eventually.  We remain committed to providing high quality daycare to our employees and, as more and more people are vaccinated, we will revisit this challenge on a monthly basis.  In the meantime, if you would enroll your child in Lamont daycare, please let Sheean Haley or Jennifer Lamp know.  And Sheean and Jen, thank you for being the point of contact in the community.

     This week brings a hodge-podge of announcements.  Firstly, congratulations to Anna Barth who successfully defended her thesis on “Volatiles and ascent rate of explosive basaltic eruptions”. I have no doubt that her defense was followed by some explosive eruptions of an intoxicating kind.  Anna plans to begin a postdoc with Ben Holtzman (here at Lamont) and Leif Karlstrom at University of Oregon, followed by a westward migration to UC-Berkeley for a Miller Fellowship in the fall.

     Graduate student Casey Ivanovich received the 1st prize for the student oral presentation in the American Meteorological Society’s Ninth Symposium on the Madden-Julian Oscillation and Sub-Seasonal Monsoon Variability. Her presentation title was "Influence of the Madden-Julian Oscillation on Extreme Wet-Bulb Temperature: Improving Heat Stress Predictability.” Congratulations Casey!  I also got an email from Postdoctoral Research Scientist Spencer Hill who says “Apologies for shameless self-promotion, but I had a lot of fun contributing to last week’s EI Live K-12 session, using household items to create real-world models of GFD” (which I assume means geophysical fluid dynamics).  Spencer’s contributions are part of his larger DIYnamics project which is focused on using rotating tanks to expand interest in the geosciences, particularly among URM students.  His email reminded me of my all-time favorite tank experiment, laminar flow and the reversing fluid.  Here is a link—though quite a few such videos exist—great soundtrack, hilarious comments.  And everyone, please self-promote away!  I really appreciate hearing all this stuff and never cease to be amazed. 

     I’d like to give another shout-out to the team led by Tara Spinelli who is building out a new website for LDEO.  We hope we will be transitioning to the new website by this summer.  Tara asks if I can pass along a request to help us build our collection of Lamont field, research, and campus photos.  Submit your favorites from around the world or from our campus and labs—great photography will help us present our science, scientists, campus, and staff in the most engaging ways. Learn more and submit your photos via this simple form.

     Has anyone ever wondered what happened to Lamont’s famous research vessel R/V Vema?

     Lamont’s former research vessel found new life as the windjammer S/V Mandalay which can be seen at this link.  After collecting data on a track of over 1,225,000 nautical miles in the service of science, she was bought by a private company in 1982 and put into service as a holiday cruiser in the Caribbean. Pina coladas on the poop deck? Margaritas by the mizzen-mast? However, as one more victim of the pandemic, the ship may be tying up for good. I can’t say I’m not thinking about the Woods Hole Sea Education program and what we could do with the Vema!

     The Directorate continues to work on our response to the DEI Task Force report, and the Lamont pod of Unlearning Racism in Geoscience (URGE) asked me to report that they have finished up their third session on Racism and History. They read three papers, watched an interview, and produced a deliverable on the demographic data of the employees and invited speakers on the Lamont campus.

     Finally, I’ll wrap up by encouraging you to read Adam Sobel’s excellent and no-phony-baloney opinion piece on CNN about the recent Texas weather and energy crisis.  And then close with thanks for…SPRING BREAK!!!!!  We can’t decamp to raucous (or deserted) beaches in warm climes but we can take a bit of a breather, do some final winter nesting, hygge-ing, and hibernating to recharge our batteries, and look forward, ever forward, to renewing outdoor time with friends. 

     Have a peaceful weekend, Mo

 ===================

LAMONT IN THE MEDIA: FEATURED NEWS

Climate Change Helped Some Dinosaurs Migrate to Greenland

Science News

February 24, 2021

Article on study by Lamont paleomagnetist Dennis Kent and colleague.

 

Seabed 2030 Enters New Agreement with the Global Multi-Resolution Topography Synthesis Project

The Nippon Foundation-GEBCO Seabed 2030 Project

February 23, 2021

Article features partnership with Lamont's Global Multi-Resolution Topography Synthesis Project led by marine geophysicist Suzanne Carbotte.

 

Deadly Floods in India Point to a Looming Climate Emergency in the Himalayas

Washington Post

February 19, 2021

Article quotes Lamont geochemist Joerg Schaefer, and cites research by Schaefer, Lamont Ph.D. student Josh Maurer, and colleagues.

 

A Hitchhiker's Guide to an Ancient Geomagnetic Disruption

The New York Times

February 18, 2021

Article quotes Lamont climate scientist Jason Smerdon.

 

Dust on the Wind

Eos

February 17, 2021

Article on study by Lamont graduate student Jordan Abell, climate scientist Gisela Winckler, geochemist Robert Anderson, and colleague.

 

The Phony Blame Game on Texas Weather

CNN

February 17, 2021

Opinion piece by Lamont climate scientist Adam Sobel.

 

Did Climate Change Make Dinosaurs Move Hemispheres?

BBC

February 17, 2021

Feature on study by Lamont paleomagnetist Dennis Kent and colleague.

 

Dinosaurs Take a Hike

Cosmos

February 16, 2021

Article on study by Lamont paleomagnetist Dennis Kent and colleague.

 

BLOGS

Experts Weigh In on the Deep Freeze and Power Outages in Texas

February 18, 2021

Is a failure of wind power really behind the blackouts? How can we make sure this doesn’t happen again? Earth Institute scholars have answers to these questions and more.

     Hello Friends,  This week’s science stories were all about dams and dinosaurs, including Adjunct Senior Research Scientist Dennis Kent’s work unraveling the mysterious movements of our sauropodian friends across Pangea and across the Mesozoic.  Perhaps you didn’t know that the non-descript small white building behind the Core Repository building is actually one of the leading centers of paleomagnetic research in the nation, with a history of transformative research reaching back decades.

     A big congratulations this week goes to DEES Assistant Professor Jacky Austermann who has been selected as a 2021 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow in Earth System Science. Sloan Research Fellowships are awarded yearly to 126 early-career scientists “in recognition of distinguished performance and a unique potential to make substantial contributions to their field”.  Marie wrote a lovely article to commemorate Jacky’s accomplishment here, topped by a great photo of Jacky sampling Eemian fossil reefs in Barbados.  Those same samples are being dated in Comer as I write this.

     Other honors this week go to graduate student Bar Oryan who received the news that he was selected for AGU Outstanding Student Presentation Award (OSPA) for the work he did with Lamont Research Professor Mike Steckler.  The subject of his presentation was “The Indo-Burma Detachment Geometry Constrained by an Updated Vertical and Horizontal GPS Velocity Field in Bangladesh.”  The OSPA honors are awarded for the most exceptional presentations during AGU’s Fall Meetings.  Congratulations Bar!  And another one of our early career researchers, Associate Research Scientist Dan Westervelt, was appointed as an affiliate faculty member of the Columbia University Data Science Institute. He will work with the Center for Smart Cities and Education working groups and is part of the “Data for Good” initiative. 

     We get spoiled at Lamont by the weekly parade of stimulating and thought-provoking talks and seminars available to us.  Mostly they concern scientific research, but many also delve into cross-cutting themes in the sciences.  This week I was particularly influenced by a talk in our BPE seminar by MIT’s Dr. Gabi Serrato, “Expanding Access for Disabled Geoscientists.”  If you missed it you can check out the recording here; or dip into her slides which have a very helpful tutorial, Disability 101, and can be viewed here.  All will inform our ongoing efforts to build a more accessible campus and culture at Lamont.

    Speaking of talks, I heard yesterday that there are still slots available to hear one of my favorite billionaires, Mr. Bill Gates, speak next week.  SIPA’s Center on Global Energy Policy is hosting a webinar with Gates about climate change on Tuesday, February 23, at 2:30pm. “In A Conversation with Bill Gates: How to Avoid a Climate Disaster, Gates will discuss his new book and its plan on how to avoid a climate catastrophe.”  I already have my copy in hand and plan to cuddle up on the couch this weekend for a nice long read.

    This week I sent out an email to congratulate long-serving members of our community for ten years of service at Columbia University. These decennial colleagues are: Billy D’Andrea, Indrani Das, Jim Davis, Jean Economos, Joaquim Goes, Helga Gomes, Martin Klein, Howard Koss, Eric Malikowski, George Milly, Frances Simpson, Kirsteen Tinto, and Qiang Yang. The traditional luncheon awaits in our post-pandemic world!  I will join not just as host, but also as another decadatarian (I just made that word up)—I don’t think HR realizes that I was a technician for 14 months prior to becoming a graduate student in 1983 and later returning in 2011.  The 2019 Honorees will also be in attendance.  And the great news is that Lamont’s annual entertainment budget is FAT and HAPPY.  Bring on the champagne!

    Speaking of happy budget news, this week we had our annual budget meeting where the Associate Directors and administrators in each division come together with the central financial team at Lamont (led by the Marvelous Mrs. Miller) to assemble our initial budget projections for the upcoming fiscal year (which, for the budgetary newbies out there, starts on July 1 at CU).  Many of the scientists already know about this process, having already been asked for their grants, funding, and personnel support projections for the upcoming year.  I can report that the news is good!  For the first time in eight years, we are projecting growth – approximately 5%.  Given that this exercise is typically very conservative, this is excellent and optimistic news for Lamont.  Let us all hope that better days lie ahead.  Our advocates in D.C., Joel Widder and Meg Thompson of Federal Science Partners, tell me that the Director of NSF, Sethuraman Panchanathan (or “Panch” as he is known), is actively campaigning for a dramatic increase in the NSF budget supporting increases in both award size and length (5 years vs 3 years—oh happy days, wouldn’t that be great?).  And of course, much investment will be happening around climate and sustainability across the federal government, areas where our fundamental research will be crucial in making sound decisions and investments.  Now is a time for us to be optimistic and ambitious.

    In closing, I’ll share a haiku – thank you to my Aunt Anne for the poem, Snowflake Bentley for the science, and the hard-working team in B&G for keeping our campus open and safe.

    When shoveling snow

    It’s helpful to remember

    No two are alike

    Have a peaceful weekend.  

    Mo

 ===================

LAMONT IN THE MEDIA: FEATURED NEWS

Dinosaurs Went from South America to Greenland Thanks to Less CO2

Europa Press

February 16, 2021

Article on study by Lamont paleomagnetist Dennis Kent and colleague.

 

Climate Change 200 Million Years Ago Helped Dinosaurs Walk from South America to Greenland, Study Suggests

Independent

February 15, 2021

Article on study by Lamont paleomagnetist Dennis Kent and colleague.

 

Himalayan Disaster Explained

Cosmos

February 15, 2021

Article quotes Lamont geochemist Joerg Schaefer and cites research by Schaefer, Lamont Ph.D. students Josh Maurer and Joshua Russell, climate geologist Nicolás Young, and colleagues.

 

Huge Dip in Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide 200 Million Years Ago May Have Helped Dinosaurs Migrate from South America to Greenland by Changing the Climate

Daily Mail

February 15, 2021

Article on study by Lamont paleomagnetist Dennis Kent and colleague.

 

Drop in CO2 Helped Dinosaurs Migrate from South America to Greenland

UPI

February 15, 2021

Article on study by Lamont paleomagnetist Dennis Kent and colleague.

 

Uttarakhand Dam Disaster: What Caused India's Deadly Flood?

Sky News

February 11, 2021

Article cites research by Lamont Ph.D. student Joshua Maurer, geochemist Joerg Schaefer, and colleagues.

 

BLOGS

Jacqueline Austermann: Exploring the Deep Earth, Modeling Future Sea Level

February 16, 2021

She studies Earth’s past warm periods to try to understand the future, and was just named a 2021 Sloan Research Fellow.

 

CO2 Dip May Have Helped Dinosaurs Walk From South America to Greenland

February 15, 2021

A new study identifies a climate phenomenon that may have helped sauropodomorphs spread northward across the Pangea supercontinent.

 

Celebrating International Day of Women and Girls in Science

February 11, 2021

In honor of International Day of Women and Girls in Science, meet just a few of the extraordinary women scientists of Lamont.

 

Angelica Patterson: The ‘Shotgun Scientist’ Studying How Forests Respond to Climate Change

February 11, 2021

The doctoral candidate tells us about her research and some the challenges of being a woman of color in the sciences.

 

At the Intersection of Hudson River Microbiology and Environmental Justice with Elise Myers

February 11, 2021

She’s trying predict fecal bacteria contamination of the river, and researching how environmental degradation disproportionately harms disadvantaged communities.

 

Video: Meet Some of The Incredible Women Scientists of Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

February 11, 2021

These women are helping to unravel the mysteries and mechanics of Earth.

     Hello Friends, Here is your weekly newsletter—a penny short and a day late.  Giving two 90-minute lectures in my class Cenozoic Paleoceanography was literally the straw that broke the camel’s back for me this week.  But, better late than never!

     The silver lining was the leisurely reading of the links and blog posts below this morning, with my cup of home-brewed Bunbury’s coffee.  What I appreciate about this long-standing tradition of compiling Lamont’s weekly science news is how simple it makes it for us to keep up on the relevant geoscience and climate stories of the world each week.  Rarely does a significant Earth science report circulate on the wires without someone at Lamont being asked to comment.  Plus, it is often us making the news!  Thus, we have the twin benefits of a weekly geoscience briefing document, combined with insight into what our colleagues down the hall are doing.  Not to mention the ready-made talking points that will transform thee into a scintillating conversationalist at your weekend social congregations.

     To wit.  Did you know there are three types of sounds in the ocean?  Biophony, geophony, and anthrophony – representing sounds made by living creatures, Earth processes, and humankind, respectively.  How do these soundscapes interact and impact life in the ocean?  What do you hear when you go underwater?  Will the relentless pile-driving of thousands of new off-shore wind farms impact fisheries and marine life?  Can modifications to ships significantly reduce their contributions to the marine soundscape?  Can we monitor climate change through underwater sound?  Luckily the world has scientists at Lamont and beyond to grapple with such earthshaking and resounding queries.

     I was also struck by Dave Goldberg’s comments, about the benefits of carbon air capture of CO2 versus sequestering of carbon via reforestation, in a National Geographic article about United Airlines’s announcement that it aims to be carbon-neutral by 2050.  This is a topic close to Dave’s heart and he has spent many hours and days thinking about how we might “offset” the extreme amount of air travel undertaken by scientists at Lamont (pandemic aside obviously).  I have often purchased an “offset” with my airline ticket, trying to ignore the nettlesome fact that the carbon sequestered would happen over the time scale of a tree’s life – not so practical when the situation at the poles is dire now.  Dave also points out the fruitlessness of this approach if wildfires, also increasingly common due to warming, sweep through a forested region.  So many people, connecting so many interesting dots.

     Finally, Einat Lev followed up her on her perspicacious advice of last year to avoid falling into volcanoes with an in-depth Q+A about volcanoes and their predictability.  It is a quite interesting one-page primer on the state of volcano research in the world today.  It is inspiring to think that the work being done by Einat and the other volcanologists at Lamont will someday lead to better predictions of these magmatic hazards and more lives, and livelihoods, will be saved.

     In campus news, I thank everyone who attended yesterday’s Town Hall on the delivery of the DEI Task Force report. My deepest thanks go to the entire DEI Task Force membership for taking on an enormous challenge, in the middle of a pandemic, and crafting a document remarkably optimistic and forward-thinking in scope.   To me, this was no small feat.  The report articulates a dream of Lamont that is inclusive, free of bias, and welcoming.  I hope everyone on campus will read the Task Force report and reflect on how it intersects with and resonates with their own lived academic experience.  Now is the time for us all to step up and create a Lamont that is inclusive, nurturing, and respectful to all, all while carrying out world-leading, cutting-edge research on our beautiful planet. 

     Thursday was International Day of Women and Girls in Science and our comms team has worked with our scientists to create some terrific content designed to inspire girls interested in STEM careers.  Check out the Lamont’s Women in Science Flipbook created by Sunghee Kim and Kuheli Dutt and which is located on our Women in Science page.  In particular, the highlight for me was this beautiful Video on Women in Science made by the Lamont/EI media team and led by Marie DeNoia Arohnson.  It definitely brought a tear to my eye and I appreciated this message sent to me by a senior male colleague downtown that said, “A wonderful gift to my daughters and granddaughter.”  Mission accomplished.

     I’d like to draw everyone’s attention to a recent COVID-19 email to students Columbia-wide.  While addressed to students, included are helpful links to CU mental health resources as well as excellent advice on coping with the ongoing stresses of the pandemic.  Take a moment for yourself and read. 

     Finally, congratulations to Lorelei Curtin who on Thursday successfully defended her thesis, “Climate and Human History of the North Atlantic: Perspectives from Lipid Biomarkers in Lake Sediments”.  She has started a postdoc working with Bryan Shuman at the University of Wyoming using lipid biomarkers in lake sediments to understand hydrological changes in the Rocky Mountains over the Holocene.  Nicely done Lorelei!  And thank you for all you did on behalf of advancing DEIA discussions while you were at Lamont.

     Wishing you all a peaceful and relaxing weekend.

     Mo

 ===================

LAMONT IN THE MEDIA: FEATURED NEWS

Himalayan Glacier Disaster Highlights Climate Change Risks

AP

February 9, 2021

Article quotes Lamont geochemist Joerg Schaefer.

 

Watch—and Hear—the Impact Human Noises Have on Marine Life

Science

February 9, 2021

Video includes earthquake audio provided by Lamont.

 

Scientists Have Warned of Himalayan Glacier Landslides

Kompas

February 8, 2021

Article cites research by Lamont Ph.D. student Joshua Maurer, geochemist Joerg Schaefer, and colleagues.

 

Can Carbon Capture Make Flying More Sustainable?

National Geographic

February 5, 2021

Article quotes Lamont scientist David Goldberg.

 

Addressing Racism through Ownership

Nature Geoscience

February 4, 2021

Article by Lamont diversity officer Kuheli Dutt.

 

BLOGS

Celebrating the 2021 International Day of Women and Girls in Science

February 11, 2021

In honor of the day, we’re highlighting a few women who play an essential role in the Earth Institute’s work to understand how the planet works, how humans are changing it, and how to build a sustainable future.

 

You Asked: Why Is it So Hard to Predict Volcanic Eruptions?

February 09, 2021

Volcanologist Einat Lev tackles reader questions and explains how more monitoring of volcanoes could save lives.

     Hello Friends, I was very happy this week to circulate the Lamont Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force Report which I received from the Task Force co-chairs Gisela Winckler, Kailani Acosta, and Benjamin Keisling.  If you have even glanced at it, you can appreciate the depth of thought and work that went into creating this inspiring document.  I look forward to next week’s Town Hall (on Friday) where we will officially launch the next phase of our DEI and anti-racism activities—where the baton will be passed to the Directorate, and indeed all of us, to take the next lap in this ongoing journey.  I am deeply grateful for the efforts of so many committed members of our community and want to specifically thank the Task Force members here:  in addition to the three above, this includes Susana Adamo, Jacky Austermann, Robin Bell, Elva Bennett, Michela Biasutti, Benjamin Bostick, Billy D’Andrea, Nicole deRoberts, Vicki Ferrini, Jonny Kingslake, Angela LoPiccolo, Galen McKinley, Jenny Middleton, Lauren Moseley, Linette Sandoval-Rzepka, Hannah Sweets, Yutian Wu and Dominique Young.  Thank you also to Art, Kuheli, and Jerry McManus in their ex officio roles.

     You may recall that I circulated the Lamont Strategic Plan last November 16th.  (Shortly I will circulate a more nicely formatted and illustrated version.)  The challenge of translating the recommendations of these two vision documents into actions and outcomes, and thinking about how to take the next steps forward, is front and center on the Directorate’s agenda and you will be hearing more from us in the weeks ahead.  The strategic plan is already playing a critical role in guiding our development efforts, as well as our integration into the newly formed Columbia Climate School.  Having such a thoughtful and comprehensive roadmap, combined with the DEI Task Force report, is an invaluable resource as we move confidently into the future.

     As many are aware, February is Black History Month, and thank you to Kuheli Dutt for letting us know about the many relevant events and resources around the CU campus (link here).  Also at this link, you can find a slideshow “Celebrating Black Scientists” that was compiled by graduate students Arianna Varuolo-Clarke, Kailani Acosta, and Elise Myers. Thank you for sharing your slidedeck with the entire Lamont/EI community!  Kuheli also had a Correspondence piece published in Nature Geoscience this week as a follow up to her widely-cited article on racism published last year.  It is great to see such global leadership from our campus on the critical issue of racism in science.  Another group on our campus is engaging nationally with the Unlearning Racism in Geoscience (URGE) program sponsored by NSF and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute.  Lamont’s “pod”, one of 100s around the nation, finished up their first session on Racism and Definitions. They read a paper, watched an interview, and produced two deliverables, including pod guidelines and a pod agreement with the leadership of the Lamont campus.  I am happy to pass on periodic updates from the group (thanks Rachel Lupien!) in hopes that others may want to follow along in lieu of active pod participation.  The large number of Lamont pod members (~70) is testament to the importance of this subject in so many people’s professional lives.

     I hope you were able to tune in to last night’s panel on “Youth Climate Activism in Action”, part of the Columbia Climate Conversations Initiative.  Moderated by Columbia College Sustainable Development student Lauren Ritchie and organized by Benjamin and Kailani, the panelists shared their perspectives on activism, experience, and agency. A recording of the event will be posted here if you missed it.  

     A big shout-out to two of Arlene Fiore’s students, Madankui Tao and Colleen Baublitz, who won best student oral presentation awards at the AMS meeting earlier this month. They won 1st and 2nd places, respectively, in the Atmospheric Chemistry student oral presentations competition.

     Jacky Austermann welcomed a new postdoc to her group this week. Her name is Kerry Callaghan and she’s joining us after getting a PhD from the University of Minnesota. Her thesis was on “Computing water flow and storage in complex landscapes” and she’ll be working with Jacky to model groundwater and lake storage over the last deglaciation.

     I recently met with the Lamont Alumni Association Board and am happy to point everyone toward their small corner of our Lamont website which holds a new message from this dedicated group of Lamont supporters.  The group is planning two events for spring 2021, both aiming to enhance networking between our current students and alumni. From Board President Christa Farmer, “I hope you will join us in our ongoing support for LDEO and its mission. If you can think of any way you would like to get involved with the Alumni Association, please contact me or Stacey Vassallo in the Development Office.”

     Speaking of Lamont super-fans, I heard yesterday that a long-time friend of Lamont passed away recently—his name was Donald Beane and he worked in the finance sector.  I didn’t know him but he loved Lamont and made a bequest to the Observatory that came as a complete surprise.  His daughter shared with us that her father was so proud of his affiliation with Lamont and spoke of it often to her and her sister.  “(He) believed the smartest climate scientists in the world were at Lamont”—that made me smile!  Thank you, Donald, RIP.

     I’ll wrap up with a hearty HURRAH!!! for the team in Buildings and Grounds.  They have been working like mad all week to clear a mountain of snow from our roads, parking lots, buildings and pathways.  I ran into Ricky on campus yesterday and he confirmed a high level of exhaustion.  Thank you all for all you do!   And thank you to the mystery person(s) who built the snowperson in front of Marine Bio Lab, a view I enjoyed while having a socially-distanced meeting sitting in the sun on the outside rocking chairs. 

     Have a peaceful weekend. 

     Mo

 ===================

LAMONT IN THE MEDIA: FEATURED NEWS

The Terrifying Warning Lurking in the Earth’s Ancient Rock Record

The Atlantic

February 3, 2021

Article quotes late Lamont geochemist Wally Broecker.

 

Increased Tropical Cyclone Risk to Coasts

Science

January 29, 2021

Article co-authored by Lamont climate scientist Suzana Camargo.

 

Hurricanes Are Hitting Maximum Strength Closer to Land

Scientific American

January 29, 2021

Article cites research by Lamont atmospheric scientist Mingfang Ting, climate scientist Suzana Camargo, and systems analyst Cuihua Li, and quotes Camargo.

 

BLOGS

You Asked: What’s It Going to Take to Adapt to Climate Change?

February 03, 2021

Paleoecologist Kevin Uno explains how humans have been adapting to changes in climate for thousands of years, and how we need to adapt now to protect our species' future.

 

The Ice Is Disappearing at Record Speed

February 01, 2021

We’ve lost 28 trillion tons of ice globally in 24 years, from 1994 to 2017, and the implications for sea level rise could be significant.

 

You Asked: What Can We Do About Climate Tipping Points?

January 29, 2021

Climate scientist Radley Horton tackles questions about climate tipping points, and how we can tip the scales in a safer direction.

 

Mapping the Most Mysterious Planet of All: Earth

January 28, 2021

For her work toward charting the global ocean floor, scientist Vicki Ferrini has been named by the Explorer Club as one of 50 people changing the world.

     Hello Friends,  Welcome to what promises to be a very cold weekend.  Let’s break out our Bernie-gear and reflect on the fun we had with the many Bernie mitten memes circulated over the last week.  My favorite was the one of Bernie sitting, alone, in front of his poster in the cavernous AGU Poster Hall.  Too funny.

     I am happy to announce that Lamont-Doherty Senior Research Scientist Dr. Vicki Ferrini was selected as one of inaugural Explorers Club 50Fifty People Changing the World that You Need to Know About. This initiative aims “to recognize and amplify 50 remarkable explorers changing the world and extend the meaning and impact of exploration.” Despite the accomplishments of Marie Tharp and others, humanity still knows more about the surface of the Moon than we do the seafloor. Vicki is on a mission to change that and her work is focused on mapping our vastly underexplored global oceans, a crucial step to saving them from escalating environmental threats and preserving ocean health for future generations.  Vicki was selected from over 400 nominations from 48 countries in a program established to not only reflect the great diversity of exploration, but also to give a voice to trailblazing explorers, scientists, and activists doing incredible work.

     A few more details about what our colleague Vicki is doing—she has the aspirational goal to chart the entire accessible part of the ocean floor to a resolution of 100 meters or better by 2030. When she began this project in 2017, only about 6-percent of the ocean was mapped in accurate detail.  By this past summer, Vicki and colleagues had mapped a full one-fifth of the seafloor. Among Vicki’s additional distinctions: NOAA has appointed her to the Ocean Exploration Advisory Board; she was co-convener of the 2017 National Ocean Exploration Forum - "Exploration in a Sea of Data"; and she also contributes to the US Deep Submergence community as the first ever Data Manager for the National Deep Submergence Facility at Woods Hole where she was an active member of their oversight committee.   Vicki is an extraordinary maverick of exploration continues to build upon our global legacy of breakthrough discovery in the world’s oceans.  Congratulations Vicki! 

     In the OCP division, I’m also happy to announce that Lamont Research Professor Mingfang Ting was awarded the 2021 American Meteorological Society Distinguished Scientific/Technological Achievement Award in Climate Variability and Change “for important contributions to our understanding of climate dynamics, often drawing upon ingenious generalizations of the stationary Rossby wave concept.”  This citation is so intriguing and makes me want to better understand Mingfang’s research.  When I think of generalizations, I think of the mundane—indeed, a generalization: sky is blue, poles are cold, etc.  So, for a generalization to be ingenious sounds incredibly intriguing….more like an E=mc2 type generalization!  Congratulations Mingfang—I look forward to hearing more someday soon.

     But wait, there’s more!  At next week’s UN Ocean Decade Launch Meeting, hosted by the National Academies, DEES Associate Professor Ryan Abernathey is giving an invited plenary talk entitled "OceanCloud: Transforming oceanography with a new approach to data and computing".  His invitation was the result of rising to the top of a competition run by the U.S. National Committee for the Ocean Decade that called for submissions of “Ocean-Shots”, defined as ambitious, transformational research concepts that draw inspiration and expertise from multiple disciplines and aim to fundamentally advance ocean science for sustainable development. Ryan’s concept was selected from among hundreds of applications for one of the few plenary talks.  His proposal builds on his work in Pangeo for developing new ways for scientists to interact with large complex datasets, opening doors to ambitious new research questions.  Congratulations Ryan!  (And for the rest of us, the next RFP for Ocean-Shots is April 1, 2021.)

     From individual actions to the university at large, Columbia and Lamont continue to strive to make the world a better, healthier, more sustainable planet.  Columbia University just announced that it would no longer hold any direct investments in publicly traded oil and gas companies for the foreseeable future.  It also stated that the University will not make new investments in private funds that primarily invest in oil and gas companies.  I think many on our campus will find this welcome news.  Closer to home, Dave Walker, DEES Professor emeritus at Lamont, has shown that dust particles from the Norlite toxic waste incineration facility in Cohoes, NY, pose a significant health hazard to the surrounding community.  You can read more at a number of links below and listen to a podcast interview with Dave here, where he explains why the incinerator is like having a volcano in your backyard.

     In celebration of February’s Black History Month, the Directorate is sponsoring a special screening of the movie John Lewis: Good Trouble. This inspiring documentary (which I watched last year) provides “an intimate account of legendary US Representative John Lewis’ life, legacy, and extraordinary activism”. You can watch the trailer here.  Registration is required and the screening window is from February 4-7th. Log in instructions will be sent out after you register (by Wednesday February 3rd).  Thank you, Kuheli, for organizing and to John Lewis, may he rest in peace, for reminding us that “sometimes change calls for a little trouble”.

     Attention all sea-going scientists, after operating in the Pacific since late 2016, the R/V Marcus G. Langseth expects to move to the Atlantic in early 2022 to support NSF-funded science. Now is the time to get in proposals to use R/V Marcus G. Langseth in the Atlantic and adjacent seas in the 2022-2024 timeframe (e.g., at least 18 months prior to the requested start date of the cruise).  More info can be found here.  I’d like to especially encourage early career researchers to consider this opportunity.  As a Lamonter you would have incredible resources, human and otherwise, to help you craft a competitive proposal.  You can do this.  Make your scientific dreams come true!

     I’ll end with final congratulations for two newly minted doctors within our midst.  Xiaochuan Tian successfully defended his thesis “Structural and Climatic Effects of Large-Scale Basaltic Magmatism: Constraints and Insights from Geodynamic Models.” He plans to accept a postdoc at Boston College working with Professor Mark Behn and Garrett Ito on a mid-ocean ridge modeling project.  And earlier today Alexandra Boghosian successfully defended her thesis “Ice Shelf Stability: New Insights into Rivers and Estuaries using Remote Sensing and Advanced Visualization”. Congratulations to you both!

     Wishing you all a warm, peaceful and restful weekend.

     Mo

 ===================

LAMONT IN THE MEDIA: FEATURED NEWS

The Iconic Explorers Club Honors 50 Members Including 21 Remarkable Women

Forbes

January 28, 2021

Article features Lamont marine geophysicist Vicki Ferrini.

 

The Scientist Who Mapped the Seafloor: Marie Tharp | Great Minds

SciShow

January 28, 2021

Video features pioneering Lamont geologist Marie Tharp.

 

Neighbors Worry about Hazardous Dust around Norlite Plant

Times Union

January 28, 2021

Article quotes Lamont geologist Dave Walker.

 

Norlite Dust Health Risk

Sanctuary for Independent Media

January 28, 2021

Interview with Lamont geologist Dave Walker.

 

Environmental Advocates Claim New Health Threat at Norlite Plant, Officials Respond

CBS 6 Albany - WRGB

January 28, 2021

Article quotes Lamont geologist Dave Walker.

 

Searching for the Dust that Cooled the Planet

Hakai Magazine

January 25, 2021

Article on study co-authored by Lamont climate scientist Gisela Winckler.

 

Earth Is Now Losing 1.2 Trillion Tons of Ice Each Year. And It’s Going to Get Worse.

Washington Post

January 25, 2021

Article quotes Lamont polar scientist Robin Bell.

 

Revitalize the Sciences

Columbia News

January 21, 2021

Opinion piece by Lamont climate scientist Adam Sobel.

 

BLOGS

How the Biden Administration Can Revitalize the Sciences

January 28, 2021

Three goals for the Biden administration as it seeks to put science-based responses at the center of its policy initiatives.

 

You Asked: If the Science is Clear, Why Do We Need More Climate Research?

January 26, 2021

Climate scientist Gisela Winckler explains the link between climate science and solutions, and shares some of her research adventures.

 

Supercomputers Simulate 800,000 Years of California Earthquakes to Pinpoint Risks

January 25, 2021

Scientists are working to improve their calculations of earthquake danger by combining maps of known faults with the use of supercomputers to simulate potential shaking deep into the future in California.

     Hello Friends,  We come to the end of another roller coaster of a week.  Holding our breath on Inauguration Day morning.  Being inspired by an incredible youth poet.  Smiling at Bernie Sanders mittens.  Hoping for a more civil union as 2021 unfolds.  And for some of us, waiting patiently, marshalling our ideas, discussing with our DC advisory reps, and trying to read the tea leaves to see what opportunities a Biden stimulus package might present to Lamont and our emerging Climate School.  It can all feel emotionally exhausting at a time when our mental bandwidth is dominated by dealing with the ever-present and threatening pandemic.  But the light is at the end of tunnel—hang in there!

     A lovely article about Marie Tharp was published in a Science News feature on 100 years of Earth’s history that also quotes Lamont scientist Lynn Sykes among others.  The feature highlights the work of Marie Tharp, who is of course one of Lamont-Doherty’s superstars. Reading the article, I had one of those wow-I-never-thought-about-that moments—namely, why didn’t Marie Tharp make a contour map of the seafloor?  Were contours even “invented” then?  Of course they were, and Wikipedia tells me the first known contour map dates to 1584.  From the article about Marie, I learned that the U.S. Navy required all contoured bathymetry data classified due to the Cold War but the Lamont scientists, including Marie, were allowed to make a physiographic “airplane window” type map instead.  Knowing this now, I can imagine what some of the attitudes she might have encountered were—probably some pooh-pooh dismissiveness that she wasn’t making a “real” map or a rigorous scientific figure.  But, in retrospect, what an incredibly lucky turn of history.  Had she made a contour map instead of the map she did, I sincerely doubt the collective imagination and interests of millions of people around the world would have been engaged in the same way.  I remember, as a child, being shown the National Geographic version of her map by my dad and being awed by the world-circling mountain ranges rivalling the Rockies.  Somehow, it seems unlikely a contour map would have had the same global impact on society’s and scientists’ collective imaginations.

     It must be awards season because a number of honors for Lamont scientists were announced this week.  My very own postdoctoral advisee Dr. Oana Dumitru is the winner of the Quaternary 2020 Young Investigator Award.  Oana’s research interests focus on past sea-level and climate changes, as well as radiometric dating, and she received her second (!) PhD in 2019.  Her citation calls her “clearly a rising star in the field of Quaternary science”.  You can find a blog post about her latest published research below.  Now if we can just get out in the field and collect some samples! 

     Also this week, The Oceanography Society named Lamont scientist and DEES Associate Professor Ryan Abernathey as one of three recipients of their very first Early Career Award “for fundamental contributions on the role of turbulence in the ocean general circulation, and for providing our community with tools that accelerate the pace of scientific discovery.”  Marie DeNoia Aronsohn has a lovely interview with Ryan about his award online.  Here was my favorite part: “Q: What is most exciting to you about your work?  A: I love the data. I genuinely love looking at ocean data sets. Particularly, really large complex and beautiful ones that reveal these turbulent ocean processes. On a very aesthetic level, I just love to look at and work with ocean data. It’s sort of a unifying thread throughout all this work. The day-to-day motivation is about truth and beauty and these more abstract scientific ideals.”  Let us all raise a glass to Ryan and to truth and beauty in data!

     Following the success of last semester’s Seminar on Race, Climate and Environmental Justice, the class is being offered again. This semester, EESC G9810, will be run by an outstanding team of student organizers along with Gisela Winckler, Cynthia Thomson, and Adam Sobel as the faculty mentors and supervisors. As before, talks by external speakers will be held on Tuesdays from 11:40-12:55 and are open to the greater Lamont community. The schedule is posted here.  All are invited to attend but are requested to register using the RSVP link provided at the link above. 

     On behalf of Lamont I would also like to welcome two new postdoctoral scientists to our campus.  Zhonghua Zheng received his PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. During his PhD, he applied novel data science approaches to bridging the enormous scale gap between process-level aerosol microphysical modeling developed from theory and coarsely-resolved global-scale chemical modeling.  This work will help identify which aerosol mixing states are expected to dominate in different regions of the globe. At LDEO, Zhonghua will work with Prof. Arlene Fiore and Dr. Dan Westervelt on a project developing data science methodology for attributing sources of particulate matter pollution using satellite products and model simulations. 

     Also in the OCP division, Boniface Fosu is a new postdoc working with Suzana Camargo, Chia-Ying Lee, Mike Tippett, and Adam Sobel on tropical cyclone risk. Boniface comes to us most recently from Georgia Tech, after getting his PhD from Utah State in 2018. His previous work covers many topics of interest to OCP people, including several types of extreme events, ENSO, and other dimensions of climate variability and change.  Welcome Boniface and Zhonghua!

     Finally, Cassie Xu brought this New York Times article to my attention this week, assuring me that sea shanties are a “thing” right now and suggesting that Lamonters should write our own, based on our long history of sea-faring exploration, for a future sing-a-long.  I did indeed watch a saccharine yet enjoyable movie before Xmas called Fisherman’s Friends about a group of singing fishermen in Cornwall becoming top-of-the-charts superstars, so maybe this “communitarian aesthetic” really is a thing in our socially-distanced world.  Thus, at the risk of igniting another infamous Lamont email meme, here is my attempt at a LDEO shanty:

        Hey hoe, away we go, launch a drum and drink some rum,

Will we see a sediment pile, or just sail another mile,

Maybe we core instead, one-ton weight on the head,

See how the ooze does change, yes indeed the world is strange.

     Cassie, with the power invested in me as Interim Director, I hereby appoint you Curator of the Lamont Shanties.  Let us know if you get a great one! 

Wishing you all a restful weekend.   Mo

 ===================

LAMONT IN THE MEDIA: FEATURED NEWS

A Single-Celled Organism Threatens the Vast Arabian Sea and the Millions that Depend on It

Mongabay

January 20, 2021

Article on research led by Lamont marine biologist Joaquim Goes.

 

How to Disinfect Certain Kinds of Masks (N95 Respirators and Surgical Masks)

ecogreenlove

January 20, 2021

Article cites research by Lamont's Roland Yan, Steven Chillrud, Debra Magadini, and Beizhan Yan.

 

Talk with Lex van Geen: Water Quality, Testing, Research and Health

Eco Ambassadors - Center for Sustainable Development

January 15, 2021

Interview with Lamont geochemist Lex van Geen.

 

Ancient Tree Rings Shed Light on Brahmaputra Flood Risk

Mongabay

January 14, 2021

Article on study led by Lamont Ph.D. Mukund P. Rao.

 

Marie Tharp’s Groundbreaking Maps Brought the Seafloor to the World

Science News

January 13, 2021

Article features pioneering Lamont geologist Marie Tharp.

 

Shaking up Earth

Science News

January 13, 2021

Article quotes Lamont seismologist Lynne Sykes.

 

Reflections on Weather and Climate Research

Nature Reviews Earth & Environment

January 13, 2021

Article co-authored by Lamont climate scientist Indrani Das.

 

The Climate Papers Most Featured in the Media in 2020

Carbon Brief

January 13, 2021

Article features study by Lamont Ph.D. Colin Raymond (now NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory postdoc), Lamont climate scientist Radley Horton, and colleague.

 

Air Quality Improvement During COVID-19 Lockdowns Less Drastic than Previously Thought: Study

ABC News

January 13, 2021

Article quotes Lamont climate scientist Jason Smerdon.

 

Wind Patterns in a Warming World

AMS Weather Band

January 13, 2021

Article on study by Lamont graduate student Jordan Abell, climate scientist Gisela Winckler, geochemist Robert Anderson, and colleague.

 

BLOGS

Reconstructing 6.5 Million Years of Western Mediterranean Sea Levels

January 21, 2021

Researchers have reconstructed past sea levels in the western Mediterranean in new detail by sampling coastal cave formations.

 

Ryan Abernathey: Helping to Open a Universe of Data to the World

January 19, 2021

The Lamont-Doherty physical oceanographer was recently awarded early career honors from the Oceanography Society.

     Hello Friends,  Lots of news this week.  The landscape of the pandemic is changing quickly, sometimes daily.  Please note Interim Provost Ira Katznelson’s email to all regarding the virtual town halls that will occur next week about COVID-19 vaccines and distribution.  You can register for one of the sessions below: Tuesday, January 19, from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.  or Wednesday, January 20, from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.  It is very hard to predict when CU will be getting vaccine deliveries, but they have been working closely with New York-Presbyterian (NYP) Hospital and I know that some of our emeritus faculty are already being vaccinated.  NYP is also seeking volunteers to help with administering vaccines—you would work four 8-hour shifts over next few months.  You also get a vaccine.  If you are interested in serving, please go to: https://events.columbia.edu/go/VolunteerNYP and provide the information requested.  Some of our faculty have already signed up to help.

     As our CU health leaders have said: “There is light at the end of the tunnel, but we are still very much in the tunnel. Everyone—including those who were vaccinated—must continue to practice protective behavior”. It could easily be April before most of us are eligible for a vaccine, if not longer.  Hopefully everyone is managing to get their gateway test without undue hardship.

     Classes began this week for our spring semester, which for our community are still mostly on-line.  It is a good time to give a big shout-out to the gang in the DEES office in Geoscience for their always effective support of our pedagogical mission—thank you Kaleigh, Sally, Yasmin, and Monica.  In other education news, Cassie Xu has let us know that EI LIVE K12 is back for spring 2021 and she thanks those Lamonters who have signed up to do a session. “This free series, first launched in spring 2020, will continue to provide educational content for K12 students, educators, and parents for the rest of this academic year. The series will feature experts from across the Earth Institute in 45-minute live sessions where they will share aspects of their work through lectures and interactive activities. All the spring sessions are listed here.”

     And more educational resources were sent around to Lamont from last week’s Workshop of Inclusive and Culturally Competent Pedagogy in the Earth Sciences, organized and run by Lamont graduate students Jonathan Lambert, Julian Spergel, Clara Chang, Nathan Lenssen.  I had a scheduling conflict with the workshop but did go through the resources provided and found them very useful for reflection on my teaching goals.  Another new initiative, Unlearning Racism in Geoscience (URGE) has also been launched by a group of geoscience researchers who have created a curriculum of eight two-week sessions covering a wide range of issues pertaining to race and racism.  Postdoc Rachel Lupien is organizing a Lamont pod to engage with this program so please see her email of 1/13/21 if you are interested in participating.  Big picture—the depth and breadth of leadership on our campus never ceases to amaze me.  Lamont’s tagline should be “We Create Leaders!”

     On to science news….it has been a busy week here as well. An EOS report discussed graduate student Janine Birnbaum’s experiments with corn syrup to better understand lava flow.  You can see a cool video at the link above.   Janine, working with Lamont Associate Research Professor Einat Lev and visiting scientist Atsuko Namiki, carried out the work in the LDEO Fluids Lab, which is in the Machine Shop building.  Eos quoted Pranabendu Moitra, a physical volcanologist at the University of Arizona (who was not involved in the study), as saying “the research represents an effort to understand lava flow in all three of its phases: liquid, bubbly, and particle.” And also, “This (the experiment) is one of the first of its kind” and “has potential to be the basis for a lot of future research.”  Pahoehoe, you’ve met your match in Janine!

     Another great article celebrating the first anniversary of Nature Reviews Earth & Environment, asked six leading researchers investigating weather and climate “to outline notable developments within their discipline and provide thoughts on important work yet to be done.”  Lamont Associate Research Professor Indrani Das tackled the field of glaciology and former Lamont postdoc Jessica Tierney focused on paleoclimatology.  Also in the polar research group, LRP Marco Tedesco’s book,  Ice: Tales from a Disappearing World, has also been selected among the 12 best travel books of 2020 by National Geographic Traveler UK.

     And lastly, I get to my favorite article of the week, an absolutely beautiful, and beautifully illustrated, story in the NYTimes focusing on the emerging “golden age” of wildlife telemetry and which quotes our very own pioneer in this once marginal field, LRP Natalie Boelman.  What, pray tell, is wildlife telemetry?  Essentially this is animal tracking with GPS, but now on steroids.  After 20 years leading a global effort, in 2018 a scientist named Martin Wikelski realized a life’s dream when astronauts attached a dedicated wildlife tracking receiver called ICARUS to the exterior of the International Space Station.  (I always wonder what they are doing on those space walks.)

     At the same time, the same group refined tracking tag technology such that the tags are now approaching a mere gram in weight.  They can be attached to mammals, reptiles, even insects like locusts, bees, and dragonflies—and of course, Natalie’s lovely robins with their GPS backpacks might soon get much lighter loads.  As more and more animals around the world are tagged and “their faint tangle of tracks thickens and clarifies, the internet of animals blinks to life.”  How amazing—the internet of animals.  But what can we learn?  Of course, there is the obvious—the migratory response of animals to climate and environmental change, for instance.  But in 2011 Wikelski also documented correlations between goat and sheep activity on the slopes of Mount Etna and the intensity of volcanic eruptions.  “Another tracking study published in 2020 found correlations between the kinetics of farm animals in the Italian village of Capriglia and their distance from the epicenter of earthquakes.”  Either these Italian farm animals are unusually smart or a whole new chapter in hazard prediction and mitigation may be about to open up!

     Please see many more great science links below and don’t forget to read Linette’s Staff Member Spotlight.

     I’ll wrap up by pointing to the just released  Columbia University LGBTQ+ Guide: Resources to Foster an Affirming Community for LGBTQ+ Faculty, Students and StaffDennis Mitchell, the Vice Provost for Faculty Advancement issued “A Call to Action” urging “everyone at Columbia, regardless of role, career stage, or identity, to read this guide and ask the question: How can I be a better LGBTQ+ ally?” and, ultimately, help “foster a more inclusive campus climate for LGBTQ+ members of our community, and by extension, for all who work and study at Columbia.”

     With that aspirational dream, I wish you all a peaceful and restful three-day weekend. Happy Birthday, Martin Luther King Jr.

     Mo

 ===================

LAMONT IN THE MEDIA: FEATURED NEWS

Will Warming Bring a Change in the Winds? Dust from the Deep Sea Provides a Clue

NSF

January 12, 2021

Article on study by Lamont graduate student Jordan Abell, climate scientist Gisela Winckler, geochemist Robert Anderson, and colleague.

 

Riots in the Capitol. Is This Who We Are?

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

January 8, 2021

Opinion piece by Lamont climate scientist Adam Sobel.

 

Marie Tharp, the Scientist Who Revolutionized Geology

Il Bo Live

January 8, 2021

Article features pioneering Lamont geologist Marie Tharp.

 

Climate Change Could Take Weather Patterns Back to the Pliocene

Grist

January 7, 2021

Article on study by Lamont graduate student Jordan Abell, climate scientist Gisela Winckler, geochemist Robert Anderson, and colleague.

 

The Westerly Winds Are Changing, and the Consequences Are Unknown

Earth.com

January 6, 2021

Article on study by Lamont graduate student Jordan Abell, climate scientist Gisela Winckler, geochemist Robert Anderson, and colleague.

 

Global Warming to Keep Driving Winds Poleward, Deep Sea Dust Suggests

UPI

January 6, 2021

Article on study by Lamont graduate student Jordan Abell, climate scientist Gisela Winckler, geochemist Robert Anderson, and colleague.

 

Dust Preserved Deep Beneath the Oceans for Five Million Years Confirms Climate Change Is Pushing Westerly Winds towards the Earth's Poles

DailyMail

January 6, 2021

Article on study by Lamont graduate student Jordan Abell, climate scientist Gisela Winckler, geochemist Robert Anderson, and colleague.

 

BLOGS

Far-Drifting Antarctic Icebergs Are Trigger of Ice Ages, Scientists Say

January 13, 2021

Large numbers of icebergs that drifted unusually far from Antarctica before melting into ocean waters have been key to initiating ice ages of the past, says a new study.

 

Staff Member Spotlight: Linette Sandoval-Rzepka

January 12, 2021

She is a division administrator at Lamont and one of the 2020 recipients of the Earth Institute Distinguished Staff Award.

 

Annual Report

January 08, 2021

Our 2020 Annual Report highlights our accomplishments from July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020.

 

EI LIVE K12 Is Back for Spring 2021

January 08, 2021

Our popular video series for students, educators, and parents returns with an exciting lineup from January to June.

     Hello Friends,  It is so hard to know what to write in this moment.  Many of us had two lovely weeks in our family bubbles, with a blissful decrease in Zoom meetings and email, and came back excited (I hope) to reconnect with our students, colleagues, and co-workers.  But on Wednesday we were assaulted with yet another egregious example of the racism and hypocrisy that is so woven into the fabric of our society.  It is painful to think about.  It is painful to watch.  Although I know that there is a segment of society that will be apologists—saying the equivalent of “boys will be boys”—we all know that only white boys can get away with the terrorist meetings and planning and weapon stockpiling that occurred over the last weeks, culminating in Wednesday’s shocking attack on the seat of U.S. government.

     Which brings me to Lamont.  The twin scourges of racism and sexism imbue all of society, including our workplaces, in ways we consciously appreciate (Wednesday) but also often don’t consciously appreciate.  Certainly, women, the LGBTQ community and racial minorities are more conscious of the subtle and not so subtle behaviors and signs of disrespect, including condescending explanations, pompous declarations, being ignored, etc.  If there was ever a time to be a little humble and self-reflective, it is now.  I know many of my white colleagues are keenly aware of the “invisible backpack of privilege” we carry and are allies, even if flawed, in this struggle to build a better, more equitable world.  In just this past fortnight, three of my male colleagues have pulled together proposals to advance diversity programs and hiring on our campus.  There will be many more opportunities for us all to pull together, in the same direction, in the year ahead.

     For the last six months, I have been on the sidelines watching the work of our DEI Task Force.  They have mindfully approached their task guided by the question “What is the Dream?”.  That report will be delivered soon and I hope we can all pitch in and use it as a roadmap to turn The Dream into The Reality—to continue to evolve our campus culture towards one that is actively anti-racist, fully inclusive and always respectful.  A place where Lamont is the best scientific playground in the world, for all of us.

___________________________________________________________________________

     Other news of the week:

     A few months ago, I was remembering a paper by the famously creative geochemist Cesare Emiliani who wrote decades ago about how viruses might have been responsible for many of the extinctions in the geologic record.  Imagine my delight when receiving this paper from Special Research Scientist Enrico Bonatti giving a shout-out to Cesare’s newly topical hypothesis—very interesting.

     In another paper published this week in Nature, graduate student Jordan Abell, with Gisela Winckler, Bob Anderson and Tim Herbert, use sediments from the North Pacific Ocean to reconstruct variability in the Northern Hemisphere westerlies during the Pliocene. By quantifying dust fluxes to two sites separated by thousands of kilometers, they find that during the warm Pliocene, the westerly winds were located closer to the poles and were weaker than during the later Pleistocene glacial period. These findings suggest that observed poleward shifts in the westerlies over the last several decades may continue with anthropogenically-induced global warming.  As Shakespeare so eloquently said, “Past is prologue”.  The press release can be found here.

     We may not have the famous Lucy Jones, but we do have up-and-coming seismology graduate student Theresa Sawi!  Theresa was recently interviewed by Audrey Puente on Fox5 about earthquakes in the NY region.  The segment aired six times, three each on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. Folks who missed it can see it here.  Theresa, you were terrific!

     In other news, the newly formed Lamont Education Advisory Group, led by CU alumnus and friend of Lamont Frank Gumper, is about to have its first meeting. Their charge is to further the educational mission of the LDEO by providing valuable and necessary input for educational research, programming, and outreach. The committee will guide and advise the development and implementation of K-to-grey educational initiatives at Lamont, as well as the Columbia Climate School. These education and outreach activities reflect an intrinsic and broadly acknowledged need to bring our science message to the world outside of Lamont's gates. Such activities contribute to the public's awareness of the environmental challenges faced by society, and contribute to the education of the next generation of citizens and scholars.  I could not be more supportive of this effort.  

     I also want to give a shout-out to another volunteer effort being led by Carol and Greg Mountain and Hannes and Mary Ann Brueckner, all long-time members of the Lamont community.  They have volunteered to help excavate and catalog the decades of archives stored on the third floor of Lamont Hall in anticipation of that building’s eventual renovation.   Lamont is indeed fortunate to have so many people willing to pitch in and contribute, in so many ways, to our continued success and growth. 

     Finally, I’ll end with one last shout-out and a request.  First, thank you to all the B+G staff, especially Andy Reed and Howie Matza, who worked on campus through the holidays keeping an eye on things.   And second, please don’t hesitate to send news of notable goings-on in 2021.  I write about the events I hear about, so please send word of successes and milestones, large and small.

     Please have a safe and peaceful weekend.   Mo

===================

LAMONT IN THE MEDIA: FEATURED NEWS

Scientists Tracked Arctic Animals' Movements for Three Decades. This Is What They Found.

SciTech Daily

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Article on research co-authored by Lamont ecologist Natalie Boelman, wildlife ecologist Scott LaPoint, and Ph.D. Ruth Oliver.

 

Coastal Resilience in the Hudson Valley

Future Cities

Friday, January 1, 2021

Interview with Lamont geophysicist Klaus Jacob.

 

COVID-19 Brought Emissions Way Down in 2020, but What Will Hhappen When the Pandemic Is Over?

ABC News

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Article quotes Lamont climate scientist Jason Smerdon.

 

More Catastrophic Brahmaputra Flooding Feared

The Business Standard

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Article on study led by Lamont Ph.D. Mukund P. Rao.

 

Climate Change in 2020 Caused Some of the Worst Environmental Disasters in History

WNYC

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Interview with Lamont climate scientist Jason Smerdon.

 

From the Atlantic Hurricane Season to Wildfires in the West: How 2020 Weather Shattered Records

ABC News

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Article quotes Lamont climate scientist Jason Smerdon.

 

New York Could Experience a Damaging Earthquake

FOX 5 NY

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Article quotes Lamont graduate student Theresa Sawi.

 

Keeping Up with Fast Pace of Attribution Science

Yale Climate Connections

Monday, December 21, 2020

Article features Climate Attribution Database created by Sabin Center and Lamont.

 

Celebrating Marie Tharp

Science Magazine

Friday, December 18, 2020

Article features pioneering Lamont geologist Marie Tharp.

 

Corn Syrup Reveals How Bubbles Affect Lava’s Flow

Eos

Friday, December 18, 2020

Article on research by Lamont Ph.D. student Janine Birnbaum and colleagues.

 

Why an ‘Operation Warp Speed’ Approach Is Needed for Climate Change

Forbes

Friday, December 18, 2020

Article cites research by Lamont Ph.D. Colin Raymond (now NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory postdoc), Lamont climate scientist Radley Horton, and colleague.

 

Why Brahmaputra Flood Risk Is 38% Higher than Thought Times of India

Times of India

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Article on study led by Lamont Ph.D. Mukund P. Rao.

 

Stunningly Preserved ‘Cretaceous Pompeii’ Fossils May Not Be What They Seem

Live Science

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Article features research led by Lamont intern and Columbia undergraduate Elaine Chen.

 

BLOGS

Will Global Warming Bring a Change in the Winds? Dust from the Deep Sea Provides a Clue.

January 06, 2021

A new study traces three-million-year-old winds to help predict future circulation patterns.

 

2020: A Year of Discovery at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

December 28, 2020

Despite the pandemic putting fieldwork on pause, the observatory contributed new knowledge about the planet, its inner workings, and its future changes.

 

Earth Networks Take Interdisciplinary Work to the Next Level

December 21, 2020

Working across the university, the Earth Networks will focus on climate mobility, environmental justice, habitable planets, and sustainable food systems.

 

A Year in Review: What to Take Forward From 2020

December 21, 2020

Columbia students and faculty consider the lessons that can be learned from this year to move toward a more equitable and sustainable future.

 

Spring 2021 Earth Institute Research Opportunities for Undergrads

December 16, 2020

Undergraduates from Columbia and Barnard will be able to work with distinguished faculty on research projects related to sustainable development and the environment.