The AMS is a critically important institution for our field, unifying a diverse membership and continually redefining what it means to be an atmospheric, oceanic, or hydrologic scientist. I began my career as a theoretically oriented academic meteorologist, but my interests have broadened to include applied research on extreme weather risk, scientific communication, and interaction with the private sector. I now appreciate the AMS even more than I did before, and I am honored by the invitation to serve on the Council in this time of rapid change.
We face a political scene in which issues related to our science are urgently important, yet polarization and dysfunction often obscure the facts. We need to continually evaluate where AMS public statements or other outward-facing communications are needed, and how to make them effective. I believe that the AMS has a critical responsibility to speak on behalf of its membership about climate and weather issues that come before the public.
Though an academic myself, I believe strongly in the private sector’s importance in our field, and appreciate that the AMS explicitly embraces the private sector. In some of my own recent work I have been collaborating with a number of colleagues in the insurance industry and have found this very stimulating. On the Council I would look for ways to strengthen interactions between the private sector, academia, and government.
Finally, I believe publications will remain a challenging area for the AMS. Everything about the scientific publishing industry continues to change rapidly, including pressures toward open access as well as technological and economic changes. I see no simple solutions, but am interested to engage on this issue.
Sobel, Adam H., Professor, Columbia University, New York, New York. Born June 24, 1967, New York, New York. B.A. Physics and Music, Wesleyan University, 1989, Middletown, Connecticut; Ph.D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1998, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Professional Experience: Audio Engineer, Lavskymusic, New York, NY, 1990-1991; Research Assistant, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, Berkeley, CA, 1992-1993; Post-Doc, NOAA Climate & Global Change Fellowship, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, 1998-2000; Assistant Professor, 2000-2003, Associate Professor, 2003-2010 (tenured since 2006), and Professor, 2010-present, Columbia University, New York, NY; Consultant, World Bank, 2013-2015.
Professional Activities: Director, Initiative on Extreme Weather and Climate, Columbia University, 2015-present; National Academy of Sciences Committee on Extreme Weather Events and Climate Change Attribution, 2015-16; Section Editor, Current Climate Change Reports (section on Extreme Events), 2014-2016; World Meteorological Organization, Chapter Lead Author, Report of the 8th International Workshop on Tropical Cyclones, 2014; World Climate Research Program Grand Challenge on Clouds, Circulation, and Climate Sensitivity, Steering Group member, 2013-present; US-CLIVAR Working Group on Hurricanes and Climate, 2011-2012; Co-organizer, International Centre for Theoretical Physics Workshop on Hierarchical Modeling of Climate, July 2011, Trieste, Italy; Reinsurance Association of America Catastrophe Modeling Conference, Invited Speaker, 2015; Northeast Risk and Resilience Leadership Forum, Invited Speaker, 2014.
AMS Activities: Member, American Meteorological Society, 1995-present; Committee on Atmospheric and Oceanic Fluid Dynamics, 2005-2010 (Committee Chair, 2007-2010); Associate Editor, Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 2003-2006; Associate Editor, Monthly Weather Review, 2002; Program Committee, 27th Meeting on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology, 2005-2006.
Honors and Awards: Phi Beta Kappa, Wesleyan University, 1989; Packard Fellowship in Science and Engineering, 2000; AMS Editor’s award for Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 2009; AMS Clarence Leroy Meisinger Award, 2010; Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory Award for Excellence in Mentoring, 2010; AXA Award from the AXA Research Fund, 2013; AGU (Atmospheric Sciences Section) Ascent Award, 2014; Atmospheric Science Librarians International Choice Award (Popular Category) for Storm Surge (see publications), 2014; AMS Louis J. Battan Author’s Award for Storm Surge, 2016.
Publications: Sobel has authored 1 popular book and 13 opinion pieces (CNN, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Salon, and Times of India), authored or co-authored more than 125 peer-reviewed journal articles, and co-edited two scholarly books. Selected publications include: A. H. Sobel: Storm Surge: Hurricane Sandy, Our Changing Climate, and Extreme Weather of the Past and Future, Harper Collins, October 2014; A. H. Sobel and C. S. Bretherton, 2000: Modeling tropical precipitation in a single column. J. Clim., 13, 4378-4392; A. H. Sobel, J. Nilsson, and L. M. Polvani, 2001: The weak temperature gradient approximation and balanced tropical moisture waves. J. Atmos. Sci., 58, 3650-3665; J. C.-H. Chiang, and A. H. Sobel, 2002: Tropical temperature variations caused by ENSO and their influence on the remote tropical climate. J. Clim., 15, 2616-2631; S. J. Camargo and A. H. Sobel, 2005: Western north Pacific tropical cyclone intensity and ENSO. J. Clim., 18, 2996-3006; S. J. Camargo, K. A. Emanuel, and A. H. Sobel, 2007: Use of a genesis potential index to diagnose ENSO effects on tropical cyclone genesis. J. Clim., 20, 4819-4834; A. H. Sobel, E. D. Maloney, G. Bellon, and D. M. Frierson, 2008: The role of surface fluxes in tropical intraseasonal oscillations. Nature Geosci., 1, 653-657; A. H. Sobel, C. D. Burleyson and S. E. Yuter, 2011: Rain on small tropical islands. J. Geophys. Res., 116, D08102, doi:10.1029/2010JD014695; M. K. Tippett, S. J. Camargo and A. H. Sobel, 2012: Association of U.S. tornado occurrence with monthly environmental parameters. Geophys. Res. Lett., 39, L02801, doi:10.1029/2011GL050368; A. H. Sobel and E. D. Maloney, 2012: An idealized semi-empirical framework for modeling the Madden-Julian oscillation. J. Atmos. Sci., 69, 1691-1705. H. Zhu, M. Wheeler, A. H. Sobel, and D. Hudson, 2014: Seamless precipitation prediction skill in the tropics and extratropics from a global model. Mon. Wea. Rev., 142, 1556-1569; C.-Y. Lee, M. K. Tippett, A. H. Sobel, and S. J. Camargo, 2016: Rapid intensification and the bimodal distribution of tropical cyclone intensity. Nature Communications, DOI: 10.1038/ncomms10625.