New York University (NYU)

With a shared passion for the planet and research around climate change, VoLo Foundation supports The Courant Institute and made a five-year commitment in 2020 to support a doctoral fellow at NYU’s Courant’s Center for Atmosphere Ocean Science (CAOS). In September of 2020, Laure Zanna began working alongside VoLo Doctoral Fellow Andrew Brettin to focus on developing data-driven models to understand and predict sea level extremes on the Gulf of Mexico and the U.S. East Coast. 

Credits: Brettin and Zanna, work in progress (NYU, Courant)

Figure 1: Extreme values of sea level anomalies at selected U.S. East Coast cities and predicted extreme values using a neural network. Left panels: 1-year return levels of sea level anomalies in meters from preindustrial control simulations from GFDL CM2.6 (a climate model) over model years 0185-0200. The maps of the one-year return levels exhibit large values where ocean turbulence is dominant and on the continental shelves, where atmospheric storm surge becomes prominent.

Right Panels: Time series of sea level anomalies at specified cities (blue; Miami, New York, New Orleans) along with 1-year return levels computed using the Peaks-Over-Threshold method (dashed black line). Red lines show neural-network predicted return levels trained on shelf width, shore-normal and longshore surface wind speed anomaly standard deviation, and sea level pressure anomaly standard deviation. Green line shows predicted return levels based on a simple linear model with the same features.


VoLo Foundation trustee, David S. Vogel, said this about the partnership, “Understanding sea level change is critical to climate focused solutions. My family and I consider it an honor to give to this important initiative. With the growing awareness of the threat from rising seas, these findings will benefit researchers for years to come and could lead to solutions for slowing sea level rise. To support this work at my alma-mater, and even my parent’s alma-mater, creates generational impact. My wife -Thais Lopez Vogel- and I, through VoLo Foundation, are proud to partner with NYU to make it happen.”


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