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Ice MeltingAmerican Geophysical Union 2022: Key Research From the Columbia Climate School

American Geophysical Union 2022: Key Research From the Columbia Climate School

American Geophysical Union 2022: Key Research From the Columbia Climate School

Here’s a guide to notable research presentations and other events from the Columbia Climate School on the Dec. 12-16 meeting of the American Geophysical Union, the world’s largest gathering of earth and space scientists. The meeting takes place in Chicago and online across the globe. For details about press registration and how one can access events, go to the meeting’s Press Center.

Presentations listed below are in chronological order. Presenters’ names link to their contacts; presentation numbers link to the formal abstracts. Times listed are U.S. Central. (Note: When you call up an abstract, the time displayed may default to your individual local time should you attend remotely.) All locations are on the McCormick Place Convention Center. Unless otherwise noted, scientists are at our Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO).

More info: science news editor Kevin Krajick, kkrajick@ei.columbia.edu +1 917-361-7766

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Predicting Droughts and Floods within the Panama Canal
Braddock Linsley, LDEO
The Panama Canal uses water stored in reservoirs to operate its locks; droughts can bring restrictions on ship drafts, while floods can damage  infrastructure. Is there a technique to predict these events to assist manage the canal? Linsley and colleagues studied the chemistry of corals in Pacific Ocean water off the isthmus to provide you with month-by-month measurements of river flow into the ocean from 1719 to 2018. They show that distant volcanic eruptions appear to act in concert with El Niño events in a way that ought to help scientists predict swings in rainfall for the region.
Monday Dec. 12, 14:45-18:15 | Poster Hall A | A15H-1331

Extreme Weather, Dark Tweets
Kelton Minor, Data Science Institute

Minor analyzed every day weather across the planet alongside 7.7 billion tweets from 190 countries between 2015 and 2021. He found that users’ exposure to extreme rainfall or heat consistently correlated with more negative sentiments, in comparison with days of normal weather. The trend could possibly be accelerating; the deadly western North America heat wave and western Europe floods of 2021 each produced way more negative sentiments than did previous extreme events. As extremes multiply, the world’s overall mood may darken further, suggests Minor.
Tuesday Dec. 13, 8:00-9:00 | Online only | GH21D-02

Drinking, Drugging and Heat
Robbie Parks, Mailman School of Public Health
Parks and colleagues looked into whether periods of hotter than average temperatures affect hospitalizations for substance abuse. From 1995-2014, they found that extreme heat across Recent York state indeed drove every day increases in alcohol-related admissions, with the very best correlations outside of Recent York City. Surprisingly, for cannabis, cocaine, opioids and sedatives, the result was the other: Lower than average temperatures correlated with more extreme use.
Tuesday Dec. 13, 9:00-12:30 | Poster Hall A | GH22B-0605
Background: Rising Temperatures May Increase Fatal Accidents

The Coevolution of Humans and Water
Upmanu Lall, Columbia Water Center
On this wide-ranging invited talk, Lall will explore how Homo sapiens evolved in relation to Earth’s water, and the way we and water may co-evolve over the subsequent 100 to 1,000 years or longer. Water from glaciers, rivers, lakes, the atmosphere and ocean currents distributes energy, microbes and manmade chemicals to all parts of the planet—yet our understanding of it is usually coupled only to our own immediate needs. Will humans proceed to shape the planet to their will, or will nature reassert herself? In either case, what role will water play?
Tuesday Dec. 13, 11:10-11:20 |McCormick Place E354b | H23A-01

Can Precariously Perched Boulders Gauge Earthquake Risk?
Charles McBride, William Menke, LDEO

Earthquakes are a threat to the Recent York City area, but no truly major ones have occurred in historical time, and nobody knows the utmost magnitudes of ancient events. Near the town, researchers are studying giant boulders dropped by glaciers 15,000 years ago, in positions unstable enough that earthquakes could tip them over. 3D models of the boulders are allowing them to calculate the forces it will take to dislodge them, ruling out quakes of those size or larger. McBride presents preliminary results.
Tuesday Dec. 13, 14:45-18:15 | Poster Hall A | T25 D-0153
Story on the project

Tropical Dendrochronology: Beyond Tree Rings
Arturo Pacheco-Solana,
Dendrochronologists have assembled year-by-year records of climate going back a whole lot or thousand of years in lots of regions, however the tropics remain largely a black hole, because trees there don’t form annual rings. Lamont-Doherty scientists have been working to beat these limitations. Pacheco-Solana discusses efforts within the Bolivian Andes, where samples from quite a lot of distant areas are being analyzed with latest techniques, including the anatomy of cell structures and radiocarbon isotopes.
Tuesday Dec. 13, 8:00-9:00 | Online only  | GC21A-02
Related talk: Recent tree-growth chronologies from the Bolivian Amazon
Tuesday Dec. 13, 15:42-15:53  |  McCormick Place S502ab  | GC25B-06
Background: Studying old-growth trees in Bolivia

Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory Reunion Party
A yearly reunion brings together a whole lot of Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory staff and alumni going back a long time who’ve gone on to research positions the world over. Plenteous foods and drinks. All members of the press corps are welcome—a terrific likelihood to make contacts, hear about latest work, and rejoice.
Tuesday Dec. 13, 6:30-8:30pm, Hilton Chicago, 720 South Michigan Ave., Continental Room

The 2022 Pakistan Floods and 2021 North American Heat Wave: Common Drivers?
Mingfang Ting, LDEO
Ting’s group has been studying the connections of maximum weather to large-scale atmospheric currents and the long-term impacts of warming temperatures. On this invited talk, she is going to discuss the forces behind the astonishing 2021 heat wave that broke records by tens of degrees within the western United States and Canada, and the unprecedented 2022 floods that devastated Pakistan. Such extreme weather could also be attributable to interconnected aspects that operate over farflung regions, she suggests.
Wednesday Dec. 14, 11:45-11:50  | McCormick Place E450a  |  Abstract

Whither Ukrainian Refugees?
Michael Puma, Center for Climate Systems Studies

Humanitarian agencies and governments face the daunting task of anticipating where resources ought to be positioned for distribution to refugees, and nothing speaks louder to this than Russia’s war against Ukraine. Puma and colleagues have modeled the recent movements of tens of millions of Ukrainians to surrounding countries, and their routes. The model shows promise for anticipating movements on regional and native scales that could possibly be applied to other crises.
Wednesday Dec. 14, 14:45-18:15  |  Poster Hall A  | GC351-0801

Greenland Is Rising From the Ocean
Margie Turrin, LDEO
Sea levels are rising across much of the world, due partially to melting of the Greenland ice sheet. But in Greenland itself, sea levels are falling, as land previously depressed by ice is slowly rebounding upward This may occasionally soon grow to be a major problem for coastal communities whose only technique of travel is thru increasingly shallow adjoining waters. Turrin and colleagues are working directly with residents to map the submarine landscape in wonderful detail, predict how it should change, and design adaptations. Tinto describes the method, and progress to date.
Thursday Dec. 15, 9:00-12:30  | McCormick Place Poster Hall A  |OS42C-1206

Boreal Forests Nearing a Thermal Tipping Point
Mukund Palat Rao, LDEO
The far north is warming so rapidly that Siberia has recently seen summer temperatures of as much as 100 degrees F. Experiments by Rao and colleagues show that a number of degrees more, and the Siberian larch, a keystone of northern Russia’s ecosystem, may now not give you the chance to photosynthesize. It could occur in the subsequent 20 to 30 years, Rao warns, with cascading effects on the environment and carbon cycle on this vast region.
Thursday Dec. 15, 14:45-18:15 | McCormick Place Poster Hall A | B45G-1793

In a Warmer World, Simultaneous Crop Failures Look More Likely
Kai Kornhuber, LDEO
Kornhuber and colleagues recently identified a pattern of systematic meanders within the Northern Hemisphere’s jet stream which have caused simultaneous crop-destroying heat waves in multiple regions of the world. Climate change may amplify these waves and make them more frequent in major breadbaskets. Now, in latest work, they suggest that while climate models accurately reproduce such atmospheric patterns, they underestimate associated surface anomalies, and thus the resulting potential future damage to crops.
Thursday Dec. 15, 15:12-15:21 | McCormick Place S503ab | GC45C-04
Newly IDed Jet-Stream Pattern Could Imperil Global Food Supplies

Resetting the Clock on the World’s First Nuclear Explosion
Paul Richards, LDEO

Richards, a pioneer in seismological detection of nuclear tests, looks back at Trinity, the world’s first atomic explosion, on July 16, 1945 in Recent Mexico. It was originally estimated that the detonation took place at 5:29 am, but attributable to the failure of radio timing devices, that was inside a window of about 25 seconds. By reanalyzing old-fashioned seismograms of the event (literally, wiggles on paper) using modern digital methods, Richards and colleagues have pinpointed the time to inside a number of tenths of a second.
Friday Dec. 16, 9:00-12:030 | Poster Hall A  | S52E-0089

The U.S. Water Table 100 Years From Now
Kerry Lee Callaghan, LDEO
U.S. water tables of the longer term might be affected by multiple uncertain aspects, including human usage; how precipitation patterns change; rises in sea level; and topographic changes because the land itself slowly rises or sinks attributable to isostatic rebound from the tip of the last ice age. Water tables could correspondingly rise or fall depending on locale, causing water shortages or surfeits. Callaghan presents a spread of scenarios for various regions through 2100.
Friday Dec. 16, 9:00-12:30 | Poster Hall A | GC52H-0244

Way forward for the U.S. Southwest Drought
Richard Seager, LDEO
Seager and colleagues way back predicted the U.S. western drought, and remain on the forefront of studying it. Of their latest research, they are saying that whatever happens, the region is unlikely to return within the foreseeable future to the relatively wet a long time of the twentieth century, due each to long-term warming climate and the operation of cyclic sea-surface temperature patterns within the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. The most effective-case scenario, they are saying: Ocean cycles will push precipitation up a bit, but never again to where it was; within the worst case, shifting ocean patterns will make the region even drier than it’s now for a long time to return.
Friday Dec. 16, 9:35-9:46 | McCormick Place S502ab | GC52C-04
Background: Imminent Transition to a Drier Southwest

Higher CO2 May Affect Plant-Based Allergies
Lewis Ziska, Mailman School of Public Health
It has been suggested that warming temperatures may increase human vulnerability to plant allergies, as growing seasons lengthen and ranges of allergenic plants spread. But rising atmospheric CO2 in and of itself also influences what number of plants grow, since it changes their physiology for higher or worse. On this invited talk, Ziska looks at how more CO2 may influence plants and a spread of ailments they produce, including contact dermatitis (think poison ivy), reactions to airborne pollen, and food allergies.
Friday Dec. 16, 16:47-16:58 | McCormick Place S503ab | GC56C-01
Related talk: Higher CO2 May Reduce Nutrient Value of Crops
Tuesday Dec. 13, 9:05-9:17 |McCormick Place N426ab | U22A-01

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(917) 361-7766

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(917) 370-1407


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