The Tropics Rule: a symposium honoring Mark Cane’s contribution to climate science (Preliminary Agenda)
Time and location: October 20-21, 2014 @ Monell Auditorium, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, Palisades, NY USA
Symposium Organizers: Richard Seager, John Chiang, Jeff Shaman, Adam Sobel, Steve Zebiak
Contact: Virginia DiBlasi (


The talks will start at 9am and end at 5pm on both days.  After the talks on Monday there will be a full reception at Lamont (with lots of food and drinks – so no need to plan on dinner).


There will also be an 8:30am bus leaving from the city on Monday morning and a 9:30pm leaving in the evening after the receiption.  


“There may still be a few minor changes to the agenda, so the posted times are subject to change"


Monday Oct 20, 2014

9:00  Introductory Remarks (Sean Solomon, Director, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory)

Day 1, Session 1: Equatorial Dynamics, a theory for ENSO, and development of seasonal prediction (Moderator: Mike Wallace, U Washington)
9:10 Steve Zebiak (Columbia): Understanding the dynamics of the tropical atmospheric circulation and ENSO
9:35 David Halpern (JPL): Observing El Niño/La Niña: Past, Present, Future
10:00 Ed Sarachik (U Washington): Building the Road to ENSO Prediction

10:30 Coffee Break


Day 1, Session 2: Outstanding Issues in Tropical Ocean-Atmosphere Interactions (Moderator: Yochanan Kushnir, Columbia)
11:00 Amy Clement (U Miami): How much does the climate vary on multi-decadal timescales and why?
11:20 Fei-Fei Jin (U Hawaii): Towards Understanding the Dynamics of El Niño Complexity
11:40 Christina Karamperidou (U Hawaii): Does El Niño variability affect warming trends in the tropical Pacific?
12:00 Eli Tziperman (Harvard): Climate response to increased CO2 - effects of explicit representation of atmospheric convection and connections with past warm and hot climates


12:20 Lunch


Day 1, Session 3: Climate Prediction (Moderator: Alicia Karspeck, NCAR)
1:20 Lisa Goddard (IRI): Practical limits of seasonal-to-interannual predictability
1:40 Ragu Murtugudde (U Maryland): Regional Earth System Predictions: Extending the Mark Cane Legacy to Decision-Making
2:00 Jeffrey Shaman (Columbia): Forecasting Infectious Disease Outbreaks
2:20 Sulochala Gadgil (IIS): Monsoon variability and prediction
2:40 Tony Rosati (GFDL): Recent Hiatus in Global Warming and the Tropical Pacific Ocean Dynamical Thermostat

3:00 Coffee Break

Day 1, Session 4: Climate and Society (Moderator: Jeff Shaman, Columbia)
3:30 Heidi Cullen (Climate Central): Communicating Climate Science
3:50 Sam White (Ohio State): Rain Prayers, Climate Reconstruction, and the Disastrous Weather of the First American Colonies
4:10 Eugenia Kalnay (U Maryland): Sustainability policies in the HANDY model
4:30 Gidon Eshel (Bard College): Science in the Impartial Service of Society: How Lessons Mark Taught Me Without Even Trying Shaped My Science Forever


5:00-9:00p      Reception

Tuesday Oct 21, 2014


9:00  Introduction

Day 2, Session 1: Outstanding issues in Paleoclimate Dynamics (Moderator: Mike Evans, U Maryland)
9:10 David Battisti (U Washington): Two outstanding gaps in the textbooks on the Dynamics of Climate
9:30 Peter Molnar (U Colorado): Eastern tropical Pacific SSTs and the salinity contrast across the Isthmus of Panamá: If the Isthmus has been there for a long time, what climate change led to the salinity contrast?
9:50 Jeff Severinghaus (Scripps): Highlights of the WAIS Divide Core
10:10 John Chiang (UC Berkeley): Role of Seasonal Transitions and Westerly Jets in East Asian Paleoclimate

10:30 Coffee


Day 2, Session 2: Role of the Tropical Pacific in Climate Change, Past and Present (Moderator: Dan Schrag, Harvard)
11:00 David Lea (UC Santa Barbara): Response of the equatorial Pacific to glacial-interglacial climate variations
11:20 Tom Koutavas (CUNY Staten Island): Tropical Pacific behavior during the Pleistocene ice age
11:40 Julien Emile-Geay (USC): Holocene constraints on tropical Pacific dynamics
12:00 Gerald Meehl (NCAR): The role of the tropical Pacific in interannual and decadal timescale climate variability


12:20 Lunch


Day 2, Session 3: The Tropics in Future Climate (Moderator: Inez Fung, UC Berkeley)
1:20 Richard Seager (Columbia): The Tropics in Future Climate Change
1:40 Mojib Latif (GEOMAR and U Kiel): Twenty-First Century Tropical Pacific Climate Change: The Big Unknown
2:00 David Neelin (UCLA): Precipitation change projections: Dangerous ranges and fast-process diagnostics
2:20 Shang-Ping Xie (Scripps): Narrowing the uncertainty of regional climate projection: A new challenge for coupled ocean-atmosphere dynamics

2:40 Coffee Break


Day 2, Session 4: Perspectives on Climate Dynamics (Moderator: Mark Cane, Columbia)
3:10 Tim Palmer (U Oxford): Regimes and Climate Change
3:30 George Philander (Princeton): On the Importance of Asking the Right Question
3:50 John Marshall (MIT): Perspectives on the role of the ocean in transient climate change.
4:10 Isaac Held (GFDL): Tropical Cyclones and Global Climate Models:  Entering a Golden Age of Research


4:30 Closing Remarks (Mark)


5:00 Symposium Ends