Thesis Defense – Emily Sarafian
Apr 24 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am

Geophysical and Petrological Constraints on Ocean Plate Dynamics

PAOC Colloquium: Simona Bordoni (Caltech) @ 54-915
Apr 24 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

A new perspective on an old problem: understanding the observed variability of the South Asian monsoon

Recent theoretical advances indicate that the South Asian monsoon (SAM) should be viewed as an energetically-direct cross-equatorial Hadley circulation, with the monsoonal precipitation primarily occurring in its ascending branch, rather than as a large land-sea breeze circulation. In this talk, we explore the implications of these emerging theories for the observed variability of the SAM on seasonal and longer time scales. We start by using the atmospheric moisture budget to introduce a novel objective index for the onset and retreat of the SAM, which robustly captures the expected seasonal transitions in precipitation and winds and eliminates the need for arbitrarily selected thresholds. Using this index, we show how the SAM onset and retreat are associated with a coherent set of seasonal transitions in circulation, jet streams, precipitation, energetics, and momentum balance throughout the SAM sector. We also use the atmospheric moisture budget to define a new index for the SAM strength on interannual time scales. We show that interannual variability in SAM net precipitation is primarily caused by variations in winds rather than variations in humidity, and that strong monsoons are associated with a northward expansion of the overturning circulation and a decreased near-surface land-sea thermal contrast, in disagreement with the traditional view of the SAM as a sea-breeze circulation. We also find teleconnections between SAM strength and temperatures, winds, and momentum and energy transports in the southern hemisphere extra tropics, which suggest new directions for future research to improve our understanding of the mechanisms involved in SAM variability.

Special Seminar – Doug Hemingway @ 54-915
Apr 24 @ 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Douglas Hemingway, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of California at Berkeley

About the Speaker: I am currently a Miller Fellow at the University of California Berkeley, hosted in the Department of Earth and Planetary Science by Michael Manga. I completed my PhD in August of 2015 in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at the University of California Santa Cruz. My PhD advisors were Ian Garrick-Bethell and Francis Nimmo. My dissertation committee also included Gary Glatzmaier and Jasper Halekas.


Seminar at 3PM in room 54-915 | Reception to follow

Questions? email provaire@mit.edu

PAOC Colloquium
Apr 24 @ 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
How Free Enterprise Can Solve Climate Change
Apr 25 @ 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Former Congressman Bob Inglis (R-SC) traveled to Antarctica and Greenland as a member of the House Science Committee during his second 3-year term in Congress (2005-10) and became convinced that climate change was a problem and needed action. In July 2012, he founded and launched RepublicEn (republicEn.org), which is centered on conservative principles and a free-enterprise solution to climate change. Inglis will talk about how free enterprise and a “tax swap” can deliver the innovation to solve our climate change issues and lead the rest of the world.

Lecture is free and open to the public: EVENT WEBSITE

About the Speaker

Bob Inglis was elected to the U.S. Congress in 1992, having never run for office before. He represented Greenville-Spartanburg, South Carolina, from 1993-1998, unsuccessfully challenged U.S. Senator Fritz Hollings in 1998, and then returned to the practice of commercial real estate law in Greenville, S.C. In 2004, he was re-elected to Congress and served until losing re-election in the South Carolina Republican primary of 2010.

In 2011, Inglis went full-time into promoting free enterprise action on climate change and launched the Energy and Enterprise Initiative (“E&EI”) at George Mason University in July 2012. E&EI is a 501(c)(3), tax-exempt, educational outreach that lives to demonstrate the power of accountable free enterprise. E&EI believes that climate change can be solved by eliminating all subsidies, including the implicit subsidy of the lack of accountability for emissions. By creating a level playing field in which all costs are transparently “in” on all fuels, E&EI believes that the free enterprise system will deliver innovation faster than government regulations could ever imagine. Full bio at http://www.republicen.org/about.

About the Series

The Environmental Solutions Initiative 2017 People & the Planet Lecture Series presents individuals and organizations working to advance understanding and action toward a humane and sustainable future.

DLS – Luca Caricchi, Universitié de Genève
Apr 26 @ 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

EAPS Department Lectures (DLS) are weekly term-time talks given by leading thinkers across the earth, atmospheric and planetary sciences. Lectures take place in MIT Building 54 room 915 at 3:45 pm weekly on Wednesday afternoons unless otherwise noted.


Thursday Faculty Lunches – Dan Rothman @ 54-915
Apr 27 @ 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm
Thursday Faculty Lunches @ 54-915
Apr 27 @ 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm
Graduate Lecture Series – Dan Rothman @ 54-915
Apr 28 @ 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm

The GLS is open to all EAPS Graduate Students, Researchers and Postdocs


Graduate Lecture Series @ 54-915
Apr 28 @ 8:30 pm – 9:30 pm

The GLS is open to all EAPS Graduate Students, Researchers and Postdocs