Science & Technology

Marco Tedesco: Snowman

Quoted from the story of Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory 2021 Annual Report..

Marco Tedesco on the Russell Glacier, southwestern Greenland, summer 2018. (Kevin Classic / Research Institute for Humanity and Nature)

Glaciology was not an obvious career path for Italian-born Marco Tedesco. His parents, who grew up in Avellino on the hillside near his hometown of Naples, had very different expectations for him. Get your degree and get a job. Tedesco noticed another plan. Today, Tedesco is one of the most respected and quoted polar experts in the world, traveling 11 times to Greenland and 2 times to Antarctica (I have never visited the mountains many times). .. I wrote a book, Hidden Life of Ice: Dispatch from the Disappearing World (National Geographic and The Washington Post’s Best Travel Book of 2020); Published approximately 150 peer-reviewed research papers.

He builds his passion for studying snow and ice as a kind of love story. His father was a construction supervisor and worked 10 hours a day in all kinds of weather. Tedesco studied electrical engineering at the University of Naples and was on the path that his parents thought would lead to a high-paying job in the industry, but he was attracted to his research life.

“I have always been fascinated by science and academic careers. No one in my family has done that, so there is no history. I got my PhD in Florence. I didn’t enter at first. He decided to prepare to apply again, but a month later his college adviser called him. “My adviser said,” See, we have a project on snow. Are you interested?’Of course. And that was my key. I started working on snow. I started working on it. I fell in love with work. I went into the mountains and basically married this medium. “

Eventually, he received his PhD in Italy from the Italian National Research Council in Florence, focusing on the interaction of electromagnetic waves and snow particles for satellite applications.

“On the first day of my PhD, my adviser came to me with three books totaling about 1,000 pages and told me to return to him when I finished absorbing them. He had only a desk and a lamp, and even a computer. “Three months later, Tedesco finished reading the book, drafted his first dissertation, and went to his adviser.

In 2002, Tedesco began his research appointment at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, leaving Aberino and moving to Washington, DC.

“I had a thousand dollars in my pocket, and my wife was pregnant with our first daughter,” Tedesco said. He also commute to work every day for an hour and a half one way in the city. He spent time reading and writing on the train and bus, learning to speak and write better English.

In 2008, Tedesco moved to City University of New York (CCNY) as an assistant professor and was promoted to associate professor in 2012. At CCNY, he founded and oversaw the Cryosphere Processes Laboratory and was National’s Rotation Program Manager. Science Foundation from 2013 to 2015. In January 2016, Tedesco joined Lamont. Here, we continue to study the dynamics of seasonal snow cover and ice sheet surface properties, including extraplanetary biology of ice surfaces and global climate change, which contributes to economically, real estate, and socially vulnerable populations. We are pursuing fieldwork to investigate the impact.

Many of Tedesco’s works and writings Significant decline in Arctic ice.. During the summer of 2021, Tedesco and other climate scientists recorded seven times the normal daily melting rate.

A heat wave in mid-August caused the first recorded rainfall at the summit camp, the highest point on the ice sheet. 7 billion tons of water fell on the ice sheet. Tedesco called the rain event unique and alarming.

“In my life, I didn’t expect it to rain at the summit, which is why it’s called the dry snowfall of Greenland,” he said. “The Arctic system imbalance is screaming that significant changes are occurring, characterized by multiple events rather than a single snapshot. This is based on an understanding of models and physical processes. Consistent with what we expected. A process known to accelerate thawing in Greenland and the Arctic has been going on for some time and is thoroughly focused on atmospheric CO2 levels. It’s unlikely that things will turn around because it can’t be stopped easily without some intervention. “

Tedesco is very concerned about the rate at which the expected changes to polar ice will occur.

“Changes are happening even faster than the most disastrous predictions suggest.”

Of particular concern is the unfairness that results from climate change. In many cases, the communities with the lowest greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming are those who suffer the most severe climate impacts.

In the summer of 2021, Tedesco et al. Published a socio-economic and physical housing eviction risk (SEPHER) dataset. Integrate socio-economic information with risks from wildfires, droughts, coastal and river floods, and other hazards, as well as financial information from real estate databases and ethnic, race, and gender data. The goal is to explain the economic vulnerabilities associated with the housing market that explain racial, gender, and ethnic factors so that interested parties can take appropriate action. Protect vulnerable people.. SEPHER covers the entire United States, and Tedesco has created one of the pillars of this project, which requires public access to all data.

“This tool aims to quantify an objective analysis of the role of climate impacts in social and racial injustice, such as climate gentrification and migration or climate injustice. . “

Tedesco will embark on his next expedition to Greenland in 2022. He and Lamont paleoclimatologist Brendan Buckley go to the forests of southern Greenland to sample annual rings and work to reconstruct Greenland’s climate in the 1800s.

“We want to know what happened before we measured things,” he said. Trees can live for hundreds or even thousands of years, so they can experience a variety of environmental conditions. Tree rings can indicate the weather for each year of tree age and tree life. “The plan is for Erik the Red to arrive and reach the only land within 6 miles of Greenland, near a place we have named Greenland as we know it today. Will be! “

The pandemic has forced the postponement of this field survey scheduled for last year. Pandemics and many of their limitations are also something for Tedesco, given the type of global cooperation needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and stop some of the most devastating future climate impacts. Illuminated anxiety.

“As a seed, we couldn’t come with masks and vaccines. If we couldn’t come with such a big and imminent threat. [as COVID-19]How can you convince people that you need to take action for future generations? In this regard, the pandemic has been superseded by questions about the world around me. “

But Tedesco is optimistic, especially when considering the power of the new generation and the ability to adopt a lifestyle that considers economic aspects, sustainability, moral and ethical values.

Marco Tedesco: Snowman

https://news.climate.columbia.edu/2022/01/13/marco-tedesco-snow-man/ Marco Tedesco: Snowman

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