Lamont Weekly Report, August 23, 2019

    Yesterday, the American Geophysical Union announced, in an Eos article by Robin Bell, the good news that two more Lamont scientists are to be honored at this year’s Fall Meeting in December ( Maureen Raymo will receive the 2019 Maurice Ewing Medal, jointly awarded once per year by AGU and the U.S. Navy in recognition of “significant original contributions to the ocean sciences” ( Named for Lamont’s founding director, the medal has been given over the past 40 years to eight other Lamont scientists: Wally Broecker, Manik Talwani, Walter Pitman, Arnold Gordon, Richard Fairbanks, Gerard Bond, Mike Purdy, and Mark Cane.

    Moreover, Franziska Landes will receive AGU’s Science for Solutions Award. The award is given annually to a student or postdoctoral scientist in recognition of “significant contributions in the application and use of the Earth and space sciences to solve societal problems.” Established in 2012 by a gift from Peter Schlosser, the award includes a prize and an invitation to give a talk at the Fall Meeting (

    Mo and Franziska bring to five the Lamont scientists who have been singled out for honors by AGU this year, including Rosanne D’Arrigo and Lorenzo Polvani – named as 2019 AGU Fellows last week – and Jacky Austermann, who will receive the Jason Morgan Early Career Award from AGU’s Tectonophysics Section. A Marie Aronsohn story on the five laureates was posted to our web site yesterday ( To Mo and Franziska, and once again to Rosanne, Lorenzo, and Jacky, congratulations from all of your colleagues for this terrific recognition of your work!

    The Ocean and Climate Physics Division this week welcomed Spencer Hill as a new Earth Institute Postdoctoral Fellow. Spencer holds a 2016 Ph.D. in atmospheric and oceanic sciences from Princeton University. He spent three years at UCLA and Caltech studying monsoons, atmospheric Hadley cells, and the Intertropical Convergence Zone under an Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences Postdoctoral Research Fellowship from the National Science Foundation and a Foster and Coco Stanbeck Fellowship from Caltech. At Lamont, Spencer will work with Michela Biasutti and Adam Sobel on improving forecasts of Indian monsoon summer rainfall at seasonal to interannual timescales.

    On Monday, Nature Climate Change published a paper coauthored by Kai Kornhuber on the projected intensification of northern hemisphere heat and rainfall extremes in a climate 2°C warmer on average than the pre-industrial era. On the basis of multiple climate models, the study team – led by Peter Pfleiderer at Climate Analytics and Humboldt University – showed that for northern mid-latitudes the probability of warm periods (relative to seasonal-mean warming) longer than two weeks increases by 2–6%, and the probability of at least seven consecutive days of strong precipitation increases by 15–37%, compared with the present. Regional variations include an increase in persistent warm periods in eastern North America of 11–42% over the present. The projected changes in persistence are mostly avoided in a climate only 1.5°C warmer than the pre-industrial baseline. A Kevin Krajick release on the paper’s findings, rewritten from one issued by Climate Analytics, was posted Monday (, and a story appeared on Physics World ( The authors of the paper also wrote a shorter “guest post” about their results for Carbon Brief (

    On Wednesday, I met with Susan Ellingwood and Carla Cantor from Columbia’s Office of Communications and Public Affairs. Susan is the Executive Director of Public Affairs, and Carla is the Director of Communications for Science and Technology, and both were visiting the Lamont Campus for the first time. Guided by Marie Aronsohn and Francesco Fiondella from the International Research Institute for Climate and Society, they toured the Lamont Core Repository and the Polar Geophysics Lab, as well as IRI. Joined by Marie and Art Lerner-Lam, we discussed the evolving plans of Columbia’s comparatively new communications team, and how better to integrate with communications efforts at university centers, including Lamont.

    Blog postings from the recently completed International Ocean Discovery Program Expedition 383 ( to the Southern Ocean continued this week with an article by Jennifer Middleton ( In an entry posted Wednesday, one month after the end of the cruise, Jenny described a typical 24 hours aboard the JOIDES Resolution in the midst of drilling, from the particular perspective of her position as Stratigraphic Correlator on the midnight-to-noon shift.

    Lamont scientists in the news this week included Helga Gomes and Adam Sobel, quoted in a Livemint story Tuesday on climate-driven changes to marine biodiversity and the increasing threat of rising sea level, extreme rainfall events, and tropical cyclones along the western coast of India ( A Nicole deRoberts web story yesterday addressed the research of Joaquim Goes and three interns who worked this summer in his lab – Emmerline Ragoonath-De Mattos, Mariela Carrera, and Asya Surphlis – on microplastic pollution in the oceans from laundry detergents and clothing fabrics (

    Although a new heat wave is forecast this weekend for Europe – their third this summer ( – the weather in the New York City region tomorrow and Sunday is projected to be unusually pleasant for August. May all of you in the area take full advantage.