Adam Sobel, Author at State of the Planet

Adam Sobel is a Professor at Columbia's Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. He studies the dynamics of weather and climate, with an emphasis on extreme weather events, and he is Director of Columbia's Initiative on Extreme Weather and Climate. His book on Hurricane Sandy, Storm Surge, was published in 2014.

Recent Posts

plants in glass containers

How the Biden Administration Can Revitalize the Sciences

Three goals for the Biden administration as it seeks to put science-based responses at the center of its policy initiatives.

by |January 28, 2021
Satellite imagery of Nisarga

Nisarga Could Be the Strongest Storm to Hit Mumbai in 70 Years

Major cyclone landfalls in this region are rare, but they could become more common and more dangerous under climate change.

by |June 2, 2020
logo for deep convection podcast

New Podcast Lets You Eavesdrop on Conversations Between Climate Scientists

‘Deep Convection’ is a podcast about climate, science, and life.

by Adam Sobel and Melanie Bieli |March 9, 2020

As Louisiana Floods, Measuring the Climate Change Effect

The heavy rains and flooding in Louisiana have been devastating. Can we attribute the severity of it to climate change? How you measure that depends on the questions you ask.

by |August 17, 2016

Rapid-Fire Cyclones over the North Indian Ocean

With Chapala’s destructive landfall in Yemen just a couple of days in the past, a second tropical cyclone, Megh, has just formed in the Arabian Sea. This one is not forecast to become anywhere near as intense as Chapala did—though we know intensity forecasts can be wrong, as they were at early stages for both Chapala and Patricia.

by |November 5, 2015

Joaquin? There’s No Perfect Forecast, So Stay Tuned

What will Hurricane Joaquin do? The science of predicting that is getting better, but still uncertain. The debate today is over whether there will be a U.S. landfall now in five or more days’ time or not; 30 years ago there would have been no point in even having that discussion.

by |September 30, 2015

New York, New Orleans, Charlottetown and Everywhere Else

The disaster in New Orleans was almost uniquely awful in modern American history. But even if Katrina isn’t likely to happen everywhere, something can happen almost anywhere—including, we now know, New York. And further to the north and east.

The Extreme Pacific Climate Now

The climate over the tropical Pacific is in an extreme state at the moment. That explains some of the extreme anomalies affecting the United States right now. It also gives us a window through which we can glimpse how even more dramatic and long-term climates of the distant past might have worked.

by |July 14, 2015

Why This Climate Scientist Is Taking to the Streets

In my early years I didn’t talk about the politics of global warming much. I didn’t bring it up with friends or family, let alone engage in any public way. It seemed to me unseemly for a scientist to be vocal on a political issue related, even indirectly, to his own research. Wouldn’t that be an indication of bias, of a lack of scientific impartiality? But I have changed my mind.

by |September 19, 2014

We Don’t Know All About Hurricanes–But We Know Enough to Act

Sandy instantly brought a new kind of national media attention to the influence of global warming on weather disasters. After several years of near-silence on climate from our political leaders and the mainstream media, the renewed attention is profoundly welcome.

by |November 19, 2012