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Thu Jan 18 // 7:00 pm

Convergence: Coastal Cities Confront Rising Seas

Presented by Caveat


In just the past few months, researchers have discovered that ice sheets in Greenland and the Antarctic are collapsing, which will cause global sea level to rise higher and faster than previous models predicted. What does this mean for coastal cities like New York, where average high tides could conceivably be higher than the water rose during Hurricane Sandy? What do we know about ice sheet collapse and what are cities doing to prepare? Who will be most affected and why?

Hosted by Meehan Crist, writer-in-residence in Biological Sciences at Columbia University, Convergence is a live show and podcast that brings together two people from vastly different fields to explore how emerging science and tech will affect culture, society, and politics in the near future. Together with a curious and often passionate audience, Meehan and her guests grapple with the questions we need to ask today to help shape the future we want tomorrow. Each event brings out themes and ideas missing when conversations stay siloed.

Join us for a conversation about sea level rise and NYC at Caveat on Thursday, 1/18. Show at 7pm. Now with food as well as drinks! 
This month: ice sheet researcher Robin Bell of Columbia's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (yes, her bio includes an Antarctic mountain named after her and the fact that she rides an electric motorcycle) will join Daniel Zarrilli, Senior Director of Climate Policy and Programs and Chief Resiliency Officer of New York City to ask: How will rising seas change coastal cities? 

Doors 7:00pm, show 7:30pm. 21+

Robin Bell has coordinated ten major aero-geophysical expeditions to Antarctica and Greenland, studying what makes ice sheets collapse.  She has discovered a volcano beneath the West Antarctic ice sheet, several large lakes locked beneath 2 miles of ice and demonstrated that ice sheets can thicken from below. She has led a team to map the Hudson River from Staten Island to Albany and had an Antarctic Mountain named for her. During the International Polar Year, Bell lead a major expedition to Antarctica to explore the last unknown mountain range on Earth, the Gamburtsev Mountains and discovered that water hidden beneath the ice sheet runs uphill. Her team is presently exploring the Ross Ice Shelf, a floating piece of ice the size of France that covers the least known piece of ocean floor on our planet.

Daniel Zarrilli Daniel Zarrilli is the Senior Director of Climate Policy and Programs and the Chief Resilience Officer for the City of New York, overseeing the administration’s integrated action on climate change mitigation and adaptation, as well as the coordination of the City’s OneNYC program. In this role, Daniel launched the City’s $20 billion climate adaptation program and recently aligned NYC with the 1.5C target of the Paris  Agreement. Until recently, he served on NOAA’s advisory committee for the Sustained National Climate Assessment, fulfilled a three-year term on FEMA’s National Advisory Council, and recently advised the State of Louisiana on its 2017 Coastal Master Plan update. Previously, he was Senior Vice President for Asset Management at the New York City Economic Development Corporation and worked at Bechtel Infrastructure Corporation. Daniel is a Professional Engineer in the State of New York and holds an MS in Civil and Environmental Engineering from MIT and a BS in Civil Engineering from Lehigh University. Follow @dzarrilli

Meehan Crist
is writer in residence in biological sciences at Columbia University. Previously, she was editor at large at Nautilus and reviews editor at The Believer. Her writing explores the intersection of science, culture, and politics: from sensory deprivation tanks and the KUBARK manual to cephalopod consciousness and climate change. Her work has appeared in publications such as the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Atlantic, the New Republic, Tin House, Lapham’s Quarterly, London Review of Books, Scientific American, and Science. You can find her online at meehancrist.com or on Twitter @meehancrist.