Lamont Weekly Report, February 14, 2020

    This week the Geochemical Society and the European Association of Geochemistry announced the good news that Sidney Hemming has been elected a 2020 Geochemistry Fellow. The honor is reserved for “outstanding scientists who have, over some years, made a major contribution to the field of geochemistry.” Geochemistry Fellows at Lamont elected in earlier years include Bob Anderson, Steve Goldstein, Alex Halliday, Peter Kelemen, Terry Plank, and Dave Walker. Congratulations, Sid!

    On Monday, Lucas Gloege successfully defended his Ph.D. thesis on “Global ocean carbon dioxide flux mapping techniques: Evaluation, development, and discrepancies.” Lucas’s committee included his advisor, Galen McKinley, as well as Ryan Abernathey, Bob Anderson, Pierre Gentine from the Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering, and Tian Zheng from the Department of Statistics. Lucas has accepted a postdoctoral position with Pierre Gentine’s group to work on the application of machine learning to models of climate and the global carbon budget. Kudos to Dr. Gloege!

    This week the Ocean and Climate Physics Division welcomed Postdoctoral Research Scientist Cheng Zheng. Cheng received his Ph.D. late last year from Stony Brook University, where his thesis was a combined numerical and observational study of the impact of the Madden Julian Oscillation on storm activity in North America. At Lamont, he will be working with Yutian Wu and Mingfang Ting on interactions between the tropics and the Arctic, physical pathways of tracer and moisture transport to the Arctic, and Arctic climate change.

    Last week, Radley Horton coauthored, with Michael Burger and Jessica Wentz from the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, a paper in the Columbia Journal of Environmental Law on the law and science of climate change attribution. In the paper the team described the state of attribution science for climate change and extreme climate events, the role of attribution science in recent litigations and government policy activities, and future promising directions for both climate change attribution and climate change law. A summary of the article and its findings was posted to our web site last Friday.

    On Monday afternoon, the White House released the President’s budget for federal fiscal year 2021, and as with prior budgets from this administration there were deep cuts to many federal science programs. Relative to levels approved by Congress and the President for fiscal year 2020, the budget for the National Science Foundation is trimmed in the President’s budget by nearly 7%, that for science programs at NASA by 12%, that for NOAA by 14%, and that for the U.S. Geological Survey by 24%. For the past three years Congress has largely ignored the President’s budget and set their own priorities, but mandated caps in defense and non-defense spending for 2021 will limit options for budget increases.

    Tuesday was the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. For the occasion, Kuheli Dutt drew attention to the Lamont Women in Science slide show exhibited at our most recent Open House and available on our web site as a pdf file. Depicted in the slide show are Laia Andreu-Hayles, Jacky Austermann, Robin Bell, Michela Biasutti, Mélody Braun, Suzana Camargo, Suzanne Carbotte, Elizabeth Case, Miranda Cashman, Genevieve Coffey, Róisín Commane, Renata Constantino, Rosanne D’Arrigo, Indrani Das, Nicole Davi, Ruth DeFries, Solange Duhamel, Sonya Dyhrman, Vicki Ferrini, Arlene Fiore, Alessandra Giannini, Lisa Goddard, Julia Gottschalk, Sidney Hemming, Sophie Hines, Bärbel Hönisch, Annika Johansson, Alexandra Karambelas, Kim Kastens, Carol Knudson, Chia-Ying Lee, Michelle Lee, Einat Lev, Ludda Ludwig, Naomi Manahan, Christine McCarthy, Galen McKinley, Jennifer Middleton, Elisabeth Nébié, Julie Oppenheimer, Dorothy Peteet, Paulina Pinedo-Gonzalez, Terry Plank, Lucy Profeta, Sarah Ramdeen, Maureen Raymo, Naomi Saunders, Donna Shillington, Hannah Sweets, Julia Tejada, Mingfang Ting, Maya Tolstoy, Margie Turrin, Maria Tzortziou, María Uriarte, Arianna Varuolo-Clarke, Gisela Winckler, Yutian Wu, Maayan Yehudai, Xiaojun Yuan, and Laurel Zaima. A story on women scientists in the Earth Institute – including Dallas Abbott, Rosanne D’Arrigo, and Mingfang Ting – was posted to our website on Tuesday.

    A Columbia News story last Friday on sustainable clothing included a photo of Robin Bell, Rosanne D’Arrigo, Nicole Davi, and Mo Raymo in science-themed dresses at last December’s AGU Fall Meeting and comments by Robin on new opportunities for the fashion industry to contribute solutions to climate change. A record high temperature for the Antarctic summer was set on Thursday last week at the northern tip of the Antarctic peninsula, and Mo Raymo was quoted in a New York Times story posted Saturday on the milestone. Jane Baldwin, in turn, was quoted in a CNN story Tuesday about the health threats of increasingly frequent days with heat extremes. A National Catholic Reporter story that same day on Australian wildfires and climate tipping points quoted a Twitter comment from Park Williams.
    This afternoon’s Earth Science Colloquium will be given by seismologist Catherine Rychert, an Associate Professor in Geophysics with the National Oceanography Centre Southampton at the University of Southampton. Catherine will be speaking on “The dynamic lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary: Results from the PI-LAB (Passive Imaging of the Lithosphere-Asthenosphere Boundary) experiment.” I hope that you will feel more dynamic than passive and join me in her audience.