State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

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Adam Sobel: Preparing for the Next Big Storm


Superstorm Sandy was a wake-up call for a lot of people in New York City, including Adam Sobel, who’s spent more than two decades studying the physics of weather and climate. He spent a lot of time during and after the storm talking to the media about what was happening, and why. He says the intense public interest made clear to him the need to find ways to apply the esoteric physics of atmosphere and oceans so we can be better prepared for the next extreme event.

Sobel is a research scientist and professor in the Department of Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics, the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences and the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. He directs the Columbia Initiative on Extreme Weather and Climate. In this latest in our video series, Sobel talks about the hard work of predicting extreme and rare weather events, and how he came to study in this field.

Banner featuring a collage of extreme heat images.

Recent record-breaking heat waves have affected communities across the world. The Extreme Heat Workshop will bring together researchers and practitioners to advance the state of knowledge, identify community needs, and develop a framework for evaluating risks with a focus on climate justice. Register by June 15

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