The 13th Climate Mitigation Initiative Annual Meeting

Holly Welles ・ High Meadows Environmental Institute

2014 meeting participants (Photos: Frank Wojciechowski)

Researchers, postdocs, and students presented posters during lunchtime on a variety of topics including: net negative carbon transportation, forest carbon budgets, crop and pasture burning, leaf respiration and photosynthesis, carbon impacts of aerosol transitions, downscaling tropical cyclone activity, and the social cost of carbon.

Meeting participants listening to civil and environmental engineering graduate student Mary Kang present her research findings on methane leaks from abandoned oil and gas wells.

From left to right: Thomas Fröelicher, recipient of 2013 CMI Best Paper Award for Postdoctoral Research Fellows; Ellen Williams, chief scientist at BP; and Sarah Batterman, also a recipient of the 2013 CMI Best Paper Award for Postdoctoral Research Fellow.

The Carbon Mitigation Initiative (CMI) held its 13th annual meeting at Princeton University on April 15 and 16, 2014. More than 90 participants gathered to discuss CMI’s most recent initiatives in the areas of low-carbon energy and carbon storage, storage, and policy. Attendees included Princeton faculty and students and colleagues from BP, the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL), Harvard’s Energy Technology Innovation Policy Program (ETIP), Rutgers Energy Institute, the U.S. Department of Energy, and Resources for the Future.

At the meeting, CMI lead investigators reported on recent research advances in ocean and terrestrial carbon science, geothermal energy, and risk analyses for below-ground CO2 and methane. Two new members of the Princeton faculty were invited to introduce their work on energy-efficient buildings and battery technology. In the first of two deep dives, three representatives from the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory provided an update on climate science including “certainty,” simulation tools, and evaluation of extreme events. For the second deep dive, three CMI advisory council members presented an overview of the current Washington and international policy scene.

During an evening reception on April 15th Ellen Williams, chief scientist at BP, awarded the 2014 CMI Best Paper Award to two Princeton postdoctoral students: Sarah Batterman and Thomas Fröelicher.

Batterman, a postdoc in Lars Hedin’s lab, was selected for her paper “Key role of symbiotic dinitrogen fixation in tropical forest secondary succession” in recognition of its original contributions to the understanding of the tropical carbon sink and the role of nitrogen-fixing tree species. The paper was published in Nature in 2013. Fröelicher, a former postdoc of Jorge Sarmiento, was selected for his paper “Continued global warming after CO2 emissions stoppage” in recognition of its original contributions using new model calculations to show that even if carbon dioxide emissions come to a sudden halt, the Earth’s atmosphere could continue to warm for hundreds of years. The paper was published in Nature Climate Change in 2014.

Led by CMI Co-Directors Stephen Pacala and Robert Socolow, the group has grown since its formation in 2000 to include over 70 researchers who have published over 700 peer-reviewed articles. CMI aims to lead the way to a compelling and sustainable solution of the carbon and climate change problem.

For additional information about CMI’s current research, see the newly released CMI 2013 Annual Report and 13th CMI annual meeting presentations.