Thursday, July 10, 2014

Carbon Pricing webinar, from the MIT Climate CoLab

Announcement from the MIT Climate CoLab:

Webinar with former US Secretary of State George Shultz and former Congressmen Bob Inglis and Phil Sharp

Join us tomorrow for an informational webinar on how a national carbon price can be implemented in the United States, hosted by the Advisors of the U.S. Carbon Price contest: former US Secretary of State George Shultz and former Congressmen Bob Inglis and Phil Sharp.
They will discuss major political challenges facing carbon pricing in the US and the strengths and weaknesses of various policy approaches.  Attendees can ask questions on the topics discussed and about the carbon price contest.
Friday, July 11, 2014, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM EDT
- George P. Shultz, former U.S. Secretary of State
- Bob Inglis, former U.S. Representative (R-SC) and current Director of the Energy and Enterprise Initiative
- Phil Sharp, former U.S. Representative (D-IN) and current President of Resources for the Future

The webinar is free and open to the public, and provides an exciting opportunity for contest participants and others considering submitting a proposal by the July 20th deadline, to ask questions and get feedback from advisors who will also be serving as judges.

The webinar will cover several prominent issues in the news on carbon pricing in the US, including:

• Discussion of the Clean Air Act regulations on carbon pollution that the Obama Administration released in early June.

• Perspectives on the Supreme Court ruling in late June, which struck down the Tailoring rule, yet reaffirmed the EPA’s mandate to regulate carbon under the Clean Air Act.

• Thoughts on the major political challenges facing carbon pricing in the US, and the strengths and weaknesses of various policy approaches.

• Open Q&A with Advisors from webinar participants on the topics discussed and the contest.  
 go here to register 


Thursday, May 29, 2014

Second Conference on Atmospheric Biogeosciences

Missed this one:


Second Conference on Atmospheric Biogeosciences, 12–15 May 2014, Portland, OR
      The Second Conference on Atmospheric Biogeosciences, sponsored by the American Meteorological Society, will be held 12–15 May 2014 at the Crowne Plaza Portland Downtown Convention Center, Portland, Oregon. The conference theme is “Human Impacts on the Earth-Atmosphere System—Past, Present, and Future” Abstracts related to Atmosphere-Biosphere Interactions are welcome for submission by 24 January 2014.

      This conference is organized by the AMS Board on Atmospheric Biogeosciences and will be jointly held with the 31st AMS Conference on Agricultural and Forest Meteorology. Preliminary programs, registration, hotel, and general information will be posted on the AMS Web site by mid February 2014.

      The goal of the conference is to showcase the diversity in research in the field of biosphere-atmosphere interactions. More specifically, the conference is directed toward improving our understanding how the earth-atmosphere system evolves under changing environmental pressures. Sample abstract topics include: atmospheric fluxes of greenhouse gases and other trace gases from ecosystems due to anthropogenic activities; historic perspectives on the human ecological footprint; impacts of biosphere emissions and/or the carbon, nitrogen, and hydrologic cycles on climate and air quality; new techniques or instrumentation in atmospheric biogeosciences; the use of stable isotopes as indicators of biogeochemical processes; the use of remote sensing to monitor terrestrial biosphere changes; and theory and simulation of coupled biophysical, biogeochemical, and ecological processes. The conference will also honor Ray Leuning’s contribution to the atmospheric biogeosciences.
       For additional information please contact the Atmospheric Biogeosciences co-chairs Dr. Tim VanReken ( and Laura Edwards ( or the Agricultural and Forest Meteorology co-chairs Dr. April Hiscox ( and Dr. Joe Alferi ( (11/13)

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Climate Informatics Workshop 2014 - Boulder

The amount of observational and model-simulated data within the climate sciences has grown at an accelerating rate since the early 1980s. The increasing amount of available data creates many opportunities for researchers in machine learning and statistics to partner with climate scientists in the development of new methods for interdisciplinary knowledge discovery.
Climate informatics broadly refers to any research combining climate science with approaches from statistics, machine learning and data mining. The Climate Informatics workshop series, now in its third year, seeks to bring together researchers from all of these areas. We aim to stimulate the discussion of new ideas, foster new collaborations, grow the climate informatics community, and thus accelerate discovery across disciplinary boundaries.
The format of the workshop seeks to overcome cross-disciplinary language barriers and to emphasize communication between participants by featuring tutorials, invited talks, panel discussions, posters and break-out sessions. The programs of previous workshops can be found here (CI 2013, CI 2012, CI 2011). We invite all researchers interested in learning about critical issues and opportunities in the field of climate informatics to join us, whether established in the field or just starting out.

Important Dates
Friday, July 25, 2014 Poster abstracts due
Friday, August 15, 2014 Author notification
Friday, August 15, 2014 Travel fellowship notification
Friday, September 5 2014 Revised abstracts due
Thursday-Friday, September 25-26, 2014 Workshop takes place at NCAR, in Boulder, CO       

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Rutgers Evolution Journal Club news: Meteors May Have Brought Vitamin B To Earth

In this week's Rutgers Evolution Journal Club weekly news:

Meteors May Have Brought Vitamin B To Earth

Did life here begin...out there? We don't yet know and may never.
But there is compelling evidence that I might not be sitting here
writing this today, or you reading it, if not for meteorite-enabled
distribution of a simple vitamin billions of years ago.

Scientists funded by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center have found
vitamin B3, a.k.a. niacin, in a group of eight ancient, carbon-rich
meteorites. And the more pristine a meteorite is, the more B3 it contains.

Link to full text:

(posted by):
Dr. Lena Struwe | Associate Professor & Director, Chrysler Herbarium | Rutgers University |
Dept of Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources | Dept of Plant Biology and Pathology

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Aerosols on your mind - visit the NASA Giovanni-4 Portal

Just when I thought the science visualization tools from NASA couldn't get any better, I stumble across this: Giovanni-4, the Next Generation of Giovanni, with improved functionality for interactive data analysis and mapping.  This new addition to Giovanni contains certain aerosol, hydro & turbulent flux data, with more to come.  Within a few minutes of playing around in this new instance of Giovanni, I really like this direction. 

The severity of air pollution in China (and elsewhere) has received a great deal of attention lately, and NASA's suite of visualization tools are a good way to track the development of aerosol plumes, and examine the occurrences in light of industrial activity, as well as developing and prevailing atmospheric processes.  The three maps above are weekly maps for the first three weeks in March, and the extent of aerosol pollution is clear across most of eastern China.  The scale below refers to the pixel shades and their interpretation.  Optical thickness values in the 0.1 range (yellow shades) are indicative of clear skies, while values in the 0.8-0.9 range (red-brown) represent significant haze and smog.  The data in these maps was captured from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument on the NASA Terra satellite.


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

2nd International Training Workshop on Space Technology for Disaster Mitigation

I.  Background and Objectives

CAS-TWAS Centre of Excellence on Space Technology for Disaster Mitigation (SDIM) is formally established in 2013, jointly sponsored by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), and hosted by the Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth (RADI) of CAS. The goal of the Centre is to conduct much-needed research on disaster mitigation through advanced space technologies, especially space-borne Earth observation technology and provide knowledge transfer in developing countries through joint research, education, training workshop and advisory services.
In response to the needs of developing countries in disaster mitigation to tackle the natural and human-induced environmental disaster, SDIM will organize the 2nd International Training Workshop on Space Technology for Disaster Mitigation with the theme of “Earth observations for Disaster Risk Management in Developing Countries: Scientific and Practical Approach”. It has the purpose of providing a scientific and practical guide to the participants from the developing countries, with examples of good practices in implementing disaster mitigation and recommendations for actions. Experts from various national and international institutions, including TWAS, UN agencies, ICSU, GEO, etc., will share their experiences with working on disaster mitigation and Earth observation.

IIHost & Co-organizers
CAS-TWAS Centre of Excellence on Space Technology for Disaster Mitigation
Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth (RADI), Chinese Academy of Sciences
RADI is a comprehensive research institute directly under CAS. It was established on September 7, 2012, through consolidating two CAS institutes: the Institute of Remote Sensing Applications (IRSA) and the Center for Earth Observation and Digital Earth (CEODE). RADI has become an important task force in the field of Earth observation, with competence in various key areas, including space borne-airborne-ground remote sensing data acquisition and processing, basic research into remote sensing and geospatial information science, Digital Earth science platform and information analysis on global environment and resources, a competent research team covering a broad spectrum of academic disciplines, and S&T international collaboration.
This Workshop is also supported by: International Society for Digital Earth (ISDE), International Centre on Space Technologies for Natural and Cultural Heritage (HIST) under the auspices of UNESCO, and China Committee for Integrated Research on Disaster Risk (IRDR CHINA). 

III.  Date & Place
Date: 03-13 June, 2014
Place: Beijing, China 

IV.  Participants
The training workshop will bring together early- and mid-career scientists from developing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America wishing to increase scientific knowledge of disaster mitigation and space technology. The policy makers and managers from developing countries are also welcome to apply for participating in the workshop. As the number is limited to 20 people, only those who are qualified can be selected as formal participants. Female applicants will be given priority.  

V.  Application:
Conditions: early- and mid-career scientists, policy makers from developing countries with background of space technologies or disaster mitigation as an advantage; skills of fluent English communication required.  
(1) Applicants fill in the attached application forms and submit them to the SDIM Secretariat at or by fax +86-10-8217-8104. Application deadline is 4 April, 2014.
(2) The selection group will routinely examine the applications and notify the applicants of the decisions before 20 April, 2014. Invitations will be sent to the selected applicants for visa formalities at the same time. 

VI.  Financial Assistance
Those applicants who have been selected will be provided round-trip international airfares between their home countries and Beijing (economy class), and the local expenses such as board and lodging, field tour, local transportation, etc. during the Workshop. 

VII.  Language
The language of the Workshop is English. Knowing or speaking some Chinese will be an advantage.  

VIII.  Topics
  • Introduction of Space Technology for Disaster Mitigation and Disaster Risk Situation in Developing Countries
  • Spatial Data Receiving and Processing
  • Theory and Practice of Remote Sensing
  • Data Management of Space Technology for Disaster Mitigation
  • Disaster Risk Management Processes
  • Assessment of Disasters Risk
  • Application of Prevention and Mitigation Strategies
  • Principles and Concepts of Recovery and Reconstruction 
IX.  Lecturers
The lecturers will be composed of well-known experts on space technology for disaster mitigation from China and the world. 

X.  Workshop Awards
  • All workshop participants will receive a one-year membership to the International Society for Digital Earth.
  • We will track the performance of participants and ensure that the training is accomplishing its goals. The best workshop participants will be provided travel grants for attending or presenting research at future seminars or conferences to be organized by SDIM.  

Monday, February 24, 2014

Monitoring China's Air Quality

Beijing Air Quality Note

Bad air in China is intensifying, as evidenced by the recent recording of the Air Quality Index (AQI) in Beijing reaching 450, as reported in an article morning (Beijing Choking on Air Pollution).  An AQI above 300 is considered hazardous.  I've written before about how utilization of NASA data can track air pollution episodes.  In addition to point and non-point source pollution, there is an atmospheric component that is related to the severity of these high-AQI events.  When the NASA data is coupled with short and medium term weather forecasts, simple early warning systems can be developed to identify potential harmful events before they occur.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Call for Papers: The 20th International Congress of Biometeorology (ICB2014)

 Call for Papers: The 20th International Congress of Biometeorology (ICB2014)

The International Society of Biometeorology will hold its 20th International Congress of Biometeorology (ICB2014) in Cleveland, Ohio, USA from 28 September - 1 October 2014. ICB2014 is co-sponsored by the American Meteorological Society (AMS). 

ICB2014 embraces all areas of biometeorology, with a focus primarily on the theme "Adaptation to Climate Risks". Over the past two decades, climate and meteorological science has been increasingly integrated with biological, ecological, and social science to develop more sophisticated means to identify climatological risks and to provide the operational framework to deal with these risks on biota, from microorganisms to humans. This has led to unprecedented cooperation between atmospheric and social scientists from a broad array of disciplines. The theme reflects local and regional environmental priorities, and fosters an international comparison of risk analyses and associated intervention and evaluation activities. 

Among the general paper and poster sessions, there will be a number of special sessions: 

  • human health challenges in a world with increasing climate variations
  • agriculture and forest biometeorology
  • extreme event warning methodology and implementation
  • national and local governmental responses to potential climate risk
  • climate challenges in the developing world
  • risk communication
  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and atmospheric hazard vulnerability
  • historical trend analysis and an evaluation of changes in extreme event frequencies
  • Universal Thermal Climate Index
  • phenological evaluation of climate change and variability
  • climate and tourism
  • animal response and adaptation to a changing climate
  • contribution of livestock to climate change and mitigation
  • aerobiology and human health
  • aging in a changing climate
  • water-borne disease and climate 

  • For full details visit