Message from
the Director
Maureen E. Raymo
Dear Friends,
The past year has been extraordinary in many ways. We have seen the devastating effects of our planet’s climate: record-setting storms, deadly wildfires, and in the United States, the hottest June, July, and August ever. We have continued to battle a pandemic that has harmed so many of us, and has greatly disrupted our teaching and research mission. At the same time, we have seen how high-quality science can provide solutions to some of humanity’s most pressing challenges.
I have hope that this year will be a turning point for climate action. We are seeing new commitments from companies and governments to cut emissions, hasten our energy transition, and invest in smart solutions. Yet there is much, much more to be done, and the world needs the best science to make the best choices. I am proud to continue to lead the world’s premier geoscience research institution at this critical moment.
At Lamont, the past year has been one of opportunity and discovery. We are embracing the Observatory’s position in the newly created Columbia Climate School. The Climate School will unite many different areas of expertise across the University and marshal the full expertise of Columbia to address the climate problem. Lamont’s outstanding scientists—who have led Earth and climate discovery for more than seven decades—will be its scientific research heart. I have been appointed Co-Founding Dean and will continue to lead the Observatory as we build out new research capabilities of the School.
We continue our critical work to become a more diverse and inclusive institution. Our focus is to support the inclusion and success of historically underrepresented groups in geoscience; ensure a research and teaching environment free from explicit and implicit discrimination and bias; and create a safe and welcoming campus where everyone thrives. As a global leader in the geosciences, Lamont has a responsibility to lead. You can read more about our efforts and our progress on the next pages.
Our scientists have continued their research and their field work, in every corner of the globe. In this report, you'll read about several of our scientists and their work, so I’ll highlight just one. Mingfang Ting, an atmospheric scientist, has shed new light on how air currents high in our atmosphere may be changing—and how those changes may make a region drier or wetter in the coming decades. This work could be critical to understand how climate change will affect growing seasons across the globe.
Lamont’s scientific research remains relevant to the challenges of today: we're finding new links between climate change and extreme storms, improving models of where the water from melting polar ice will end up, and leveraging technologies such as artificial intelligence to refine climate models. These investigations and more will make Lamont and the Columbia Climate School the place the world turns to for evidence-based climate solutions.
I hope you find the stories in this volume inspiring, knowing that our community continues to generate the knowledge we need to make smart decisions for our future. Please enjoy Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory's annual report for 2021.
Sincerely,
Maureen E. Raymo Director, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory Co-Founding Dean, Columbia Climate School G. Unger Vetlesen Professor of Earth and Climate Science
Message from the Director
Maureen E. Raymo
Dear Friends,
The past year has been extraordinary in many ways. We have seen the devastating effects of our planet’s climate: record-setting storms, deadly wildfires, and in the United States, the hottest June, July, and August ever. We have continued to battle a pandemic that has harmed so many of us, and has greatly disrupted our teaching and research mission. At the same time, we have seen how high-quality science can provide solutions to some of humanity’s most pressing challenges.
I have hope that this year will be a turning point for climate action. We are seeing new commitments from companies and governments to cut emissions, hasten our energy transition, and invest in smart solutions. Yet there is much, much more to be done, and the world needs the best science to make the best choices. I am proud to continue to lead the world’s premier geoscience research institution at this critical moment.
At Lamont, the past year has been one of opportunity and discovery. We are embracing the Observatory’s position in the newly created Columbia Climate School. The Climate School will unite many different areas of expertise across the University and marshal the full expertise of Columbia to address the climate problem. Lamont’s outstanding scientists—who have led Earth and climate discovery for more than seven decades—will be its scientific research heart. I have been appointed Co-Founding Dean and will continue to lead the Observatory as we build out new research capabilities of the School.
We continue our critical work to become a more diverse and inclusive institution. Our focus is to support the inclusion and success of historically underrepresented groups in geoscience; ensure a research and teaching environment free from explicit and implicit discrimination and bias; and create a safe and welcoming campus where everyone thrives. As a global leader in the geosciences, Lamont has a responsibility to lead. You can read more about our efforts and our progress on the next pages.
Our scientists have continued their research and their field work, in every corner of the globe. In this report, you'll read about several of our scientists and their work, so I’ll highlight just one. Mingfang Ting, an atmospheric scientist, has shed new light on how air currents high in our atmosphere may be changing—and how those changes may make a region drier or wetter in the coming decades. This work could be critical to understand how climate change will affect growing seasons across the globe.
Lamont’s scientific research remains relevant to the challenges of today: we're finding new links between climate change and extreme storms, improving models of where the water from melting polar ice will end up, and leveraging technologies such as artificial intelligence to refine climate models. These investigations and more will make Lamont and the Columbia Climate School the place the world turns to for evidence-based climate solutions.
I hope you find the stories in this volume inspiring, knowing that our community continues to generate the knowledge we need to make smart decisions for our future. Please enjoy Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory's annual report for 2021.
Sincerely,
Maureen E. Raymo Director, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory Co-Founding Dean, Columbia Climate School G. Unger Vetlesen Professor of Earth and Climate Science
Writer/Editor: Marie DeNoia Aronsohn I Contributing Editors: Tara Spinelli and Marian Mellin I Contributing Writer: John Palmer I Design: Carmen Neal
Columbia Climate School Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory Annual Report FY2021
© 2021 by The Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. All rights reserved.
Writer/Editor: Marie DeNoia Aronsohn Contributing Editors: Tara Spinelli and Marian Mellin Contributing Writer: John Palmer Design: Carmen Neal
Columbia Climate School Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory Annual Report FY2021

© 2021 by The Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. All rights reserved.