About me

I am an atmospheric scientist. I study weather and climate in my regular job as a professor at Columbia University, where I am directing the new Initiative on Extreme Weather and Climate. I also write and speak to broader audiences. My first book, Storm Surge, was recently published by Harper-Collins. It is about Hurricane Sandy, and issues related to it: climate change, the science behind both weather forecasts and climate projections, and how we as human beings and societies cope with environmental risks.

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2 thoughts on “About me

  1. Your oped piece re. US/China deal misses the point entirely. The POINT is that China agreed to nothing, except to increase their emissions every year for the next 15 years. They are already at almost 30% of global emissions while the US is at 16 and dropping and yet Obama promised we would do all the work. By 2030 China will be at 50% minimum and we will all be far worse off. What are you thinking? E mail me at geoffk003@gmail.com and explain to me your thinking that this was anything but a sellout of the USA—if you want. Check out the US Dept Energy and EPA charts and you will see China was at 26% in 2010. Thanks

  2. Geoff, not at all. First, China’s population is several times larger than ours so they burn much less carbon per capita. Second, total cumulative emissions are what matter most to the climate, and ours are about three times China’s. Third, we should be doing the emissions reductions Obama has committed us to in any case – and the notion that they will be bad for the economy is based on flawed assumptions. US emissions have been decreasing in the recent few years, not because of government policies but because of market-driven increasing changeover to natural gas from oil and coal. Was that bad for some reason? The stipulation that further reductions due to efficiency, renewables etc. will be economically harmful just isn’t supported by the most recent studies that have looked at the question. Fourth, China’s emissions are currently *exponentially increasing* while ours are decreasing (see recent Pierrehumbert piece in Slate) so their commitment to level them off by 2030 is a new and very big deal.

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