State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

Hurricane Irma: Resources for Journalists

hurricane irma seen from space
Hurricane Irma, as seen on September 3, 2017. Photo: NASA

As Hurricane Irma batters the Caribbean with winds up to 185 miles per hour, Earth Institute experts stand ready to answer questions about hurricane physics, emergency response, recovery efforts, the role of climate change in creating strong storms, and more. Feel free to reach out to our scientists directly.  If you need help reaching someone, please contact: Kevin Krajick, | 212-854-9729 or Kyu-Young Lee, | 212-851-0798.


Adam Sobel, an atmospheric scientist at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, heads Columbia’s Initiative on Extreme Weather and Climate. Author of a book on Hurricane Sandy, he assesses hurricanes and other extreme weather, and related social issues. | 212-854-6587

Suzana Camargo is a professor of ocean and climate physics at Lamont-Doherty. She is an expert on hurricanes and cyclones, their genesis, intensity, and their relationship to climate, from intraseasonal to centennial time scales. | 845-365-8640

Klaus Jacob, special research scientist at Lamont-Doherty, is expert in the consequences of coastal storms. An advisor to New York City on climate adaptation, he accurately predicted the flooding of the subways during Hurricane Sandy. | 845-365-8440

Radley Horton, a climate scientist at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, does a wide variety of interdisciplinary work on the physics of storms, their interaction with climate, and the socioeconomic risk factors. He has advised New York City and the U.S. president on climate and weather risks. | 845-365-8496

Timothy Hall, a senior research scientist at NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, assesses the physics of cyclones and hurricanes, their landfall, and their threats to coastal communities. | 212-678-5652

Steven Cohen
executive director of the Earth Institute and a former EPA official, has long studied how communities can make themselves more resilient to disasters and longer-term challenges. Contact through Alix Schroder: | 212-854-1214

Irwin Redlener, physician and director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness, is a leading thinker regarding emergency planning and response, and in dealing with the aftermaths of all kinds of disasters, including epidemics and terrorism. | 212-535-9797

Jeffrey Schlegelmilch is managing director for operations at the National Center for Disaster Preparedness, overseeing projects relating to both practice and policy relating to disasters.

A more comprehensive list of sources can be found here.

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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