A Change in the Weather: New England prepares for the next 100 years

Just prior to the one-year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy and the Yale Climate and Energy Institute (YCEI) convene a panel of experts to discuss how New England is preparing for a future that includes rising sea levels, changing hydrology, migrating public health vectors and the threat of stronger storms.

Billed as a traditional town hall meeting, the event provides a venue for academic and municipal leaders tasked with responding to last year’s hurricane and preparing for climate-driven change to share advances and proposed responses with the public.  Speakers include:

  • Katie Scharf Dykes, Deputy Commissioner for Energy at the Connecticut Dept. of Energy and the Environment (DEEP), former Deputy General Counsel at the White House Council on Environmental Quality.
  • Marion Mollegen McFadden, HUD’s Sr. Counsel for Disaster Relief and most recently Acting Exec. Director of the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force.  
  • Professor Kerri Emmanuel, from MIT who has developed a model estimating the threat of storm surge from land-falling hurricanes such as the one that devastated New England last year.
  • Professor Ronald Smith, from Yale University has published on a variety of atmospheric science topics including atmospheric dynamics, regional climates and satellite remote sensing. He directs the Yale Center for Earth Observation.
  • Asstisant Professor Alexander Felson is jointly appointed between Yale’s School of Architecture and Forestry and Environmental Studies. In New York City he led the design and construction of the country’s largest constructed urban forestry experiment.   His work integrates ecological understanding and research methods with urban design and land development such as the Coastal Resilience Plan for Guilford, Connecticut.

The inter-disciplinary panel reflects the character of the YCEI and its approach to studying and responding to climate change.  YCEI Director Mark Pagani will announce plans to work with the University of New Hampshire, University of Massachusetts and MIT to develop high-resolution climate model simulations using projected CO2 trends to evaluate the probable range of regional temperature and hydrological projections for the Northeast over the next 100 years. Intended outcomes include applying climate results to assess changes in regional ecology, agriculture, disease vectors, storm frequency and intensity, as well as the development of mitigation and adaptive strategies for Yale University and surrounding communities.

Anthony Leiserowitz, Director of the Yale Project for Climate Change Communication, will moderate the panel held in Kroon Hall at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Science at 195 Prospect Avenue. Plans call for accommodating an anticipated overflow crowd in an adjoining lounge and auditorium.

For more details contact the YCEI Communications Director at 956.236.4985.