Lamont Weekly Report, January 21, 2022

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 Serieswill 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 







Christian Science Monitor 

January 17, 2022 

Quotes Lamont student Caroline Juang and Ben Mylius of the Columbia Climate Imaginations Network. 



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. 


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." 


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. 


Columbia Magazine  

January 14, 2022 

By Kevin Krajick, Earth Institute/Columbia Climate School. 




January 20, 2022 

Researchers studying earthquake hazards in the Caribbean faced several challenges at sea, from rough weather to equipment failures. 


By Guest Blogger 

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 


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. 


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. 


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. 


By Guest Blogger 

January 16, 2022 

Researchers are mapping the seafloor and subseafloor between Haiti and Jamaica, to evaluate the potential for earthquakes.