Lamont Weekly Report, October 12, 2018

    Four weeks after the widespread flooding from Hurricane Florence, a broad swath of the southeastern U.S. was hammered by Hurricane Michael, which made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane along the Florida Panhandle on Wednesday, passed through half a dozen states, and headed out to sea earlier today ( Suzana Camargo was quoted in a Henry Fountain story Wednesday in The New York Times ( on the relation between climate change and the severity, intensification rate, precipitation levels, and storm surge effects of hurricanes, and Adam Sobel was quoted in a related Times story the next day(

    On Wednesday, we distributed the October issue of Lamont’s monthly electronic newsletter ( The issue has articles about Lamont Open House, links to five stories on recent Lamont science, a video on the Lamont Core Repository, a link to Lamont’s page for Columbia Giving Day (October 24), and a link to 14 media stories from last month that mention Lamont science or quote Lamont scientists.

    Yesterday and today, Kerry Key’s group hosted a workshop for his Electromagnetic Methods Research Consortium ( in Low Memorial Library. The workshop featured scientific presentations on recent advances in electromagnetic imaging methods, tutorials on new software, and talks on applications of the group’s methods to the anisotropy of oceanic lithosphere, subduction zone structure, offshore aquifers, and subglacial lakes. Attendees included representatives of the companies that have joined the Consortium.

    Also yesterday, Ethan Coffel, Radley Horton, and Colin Raymond published an opinion piece in The New York Times ( on heat waves in a changing climate, particularly scenarios in which heat and humidity rise in deadly combinations. The article, well illustrated with images and accompanying graphics, was tied to the release Monday by the United Nations of a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change ( on the expected impacts of global warming by 1.5° above pre-industrial levels.

    Yesterday evening, Lamont hosted a reception for a number of the Observatory’s neighbors and area community leaders. One of the goals of the reception was to provide an opportunity to describe, in a setting more relaxed and personal than that of Open House, some of the local, national, and global perspectives of Lamont’s programs in research, education, and outreach.

    The Hudson River Environmental Society will hold their Annual Awards dinner on Thursday next week (, and one of the featured awardees will be Margie Turrin, who is to receive the organization’s Outstanding Educator Award for the many science education programs she has developed and run for groups from K-12 students, to college undergraduates, and informal education audiences of all ages.

    The proliferation of tents across campus herald tomorrow’s annual Lamont Open House ( Local media such as Nyack News & Views are advertising the event (, and their Earth Matters column Wednesday featured the work of Lex van Geen, Franziska Landes, and Sabina Gilioli on the testing of local soils for lead contamination (, a new focus at Open House this year. Although there is some chance of morning rain, the afternoon weather looks to be more promising, and we can hope for a turnout that exceeds last year’s attendance of nearly 4000 visitors.

    Before tomorrow, our Earth Science Colloquium speaker this afternoon will be geologist Jay Ague, the Henry Barnard Davis Memorial Professor of Geology and Geophysics at Yale University ( Jay will be speaking on “Decarbonation during plate convergence and collision: Implications for the deep carbon cycle.” I hope that you will be able to converge on Monell Auditorium, without collision, to join me for his talk.