Past Event

Cyclones and Storm Surges: Building a Framework for Evaluating the Climate Risk to Mumbai

January 12, 2017
9:45 AM - 5:00 PM
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Columbia Global Centers | Mumbai has organised a closed-door workshop on the subject of 'Cyclones and Storm Surges: Building a Framework for Evaluating the Climate Risk to Mumbai'. The workshop will be led by Dr. Adam Sobel, Professor in the Departments of Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics, and Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University, where he directs the new Initiative on Extreme Weather and Climate. He will be accompanied by an inter-disciplinary team of researchers.  

The workshop is designed as a day long-discussion on the risk of a catastrophic flood in Mumbai due to a tropical cyclone-driven storm surge. Such an event has not occurred in Mumbai’s modern history, but could well occur in the future, as was witnessed by New York City  where catastrophic flooding due to the landfall of Hurricane Sandy (2012) had also once seemed a remote possibility to most residents. That experience has motivated Dr. Sobel’s research.

While tropical cyclones are relatively rare in the Arabian Sea, they do occasionally strike India’s west coast. Due to Mumbai’s low-lying coastal geography and coastal infrastructure, the landfall of a severe cyclone could cause a major disaster. 

Agenda for the workshop 

9.45 am- 10.10 am: Registration and Tea Reception   

10.10 am -10.15 am: Welcome Address by Dr. Ravina Aggarwal, Director, Columbia Global Centers | Mumbai 

10.15 am- 10.45 am: Opening Remarks from Professor Adam Sobel and his team from the Initiative on Extreme Weather and Climate, Columbia University

10.45 am- 12:45 pm: Round-table Discussion with Physical Scientists with experience in Tropical Cyclones and Climate on the likelihood that a severe cyclone landfall could occur in Mumbai. 

12:45 pm- 1:30 pm- Lunch 

1.30 pm-3:30 pm: Round-table Discussion with Urban Experts (including Disaster Management officials, Housing experts, Planners, Community-based Organisations and Public Policy Experts) on Mumbai’s Pattern of Development and Potential Vulnerabilities

3:30 pm to 3:45 pm: Tea Break

3:45 pm-5:00 pm: Charting A Way Forward