Columbia University collaborates with Jupiter to advance the integrated modeling of severe hazards due to the combined effects of wind, rain and coastal storm-surge

University of Southern California welcomes Rich Sorkin to Center for Global Supply Chain Management Advisory Board

NEW YORK, April 09, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today, Jupiter, the leading provider of predictive data and analytics to manage risks from climate change, announced a first-of-its-kind collaboration with Columbia University’s world-renowned Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. The collaboration will focus on solving some of the biggest challenges of accurately modeling coastal hazards in a changing climate.

Central to the effort will be integrating Columbia’s climate science research with Jupiter’s innovative ClimateScoreTM Intelligence Platform. The collaboration will accelerate Jupiter’s transformation of cutting-edge academic research into actionable information for decision makers who manage risks related to severe weather and a changing climate.

“Columbia is the first of many planned partnerships between Jupiter and academic institutions at the vanguard of understanding climate change science and its impacts,” said Rich Sorkin, Chief Executive Officer, Jupiter. "Jupiter’s advanced science, data and analytics capabilities complement the deep scientific expertise of our research partners. Collaboration between these partners and our staff of renowned climatologists, hydroscientists, and weather, cloud computing and AI experts will foster productivity and innovation. Perhaps most importantly, we are accelerating the practical adoption of research."

Integrating third-party models with the Jupiter cloud-based platform will provide researchers with a much larger and more richly contextualized framework for examining data, while properly managing proprietary data ownership. Jupiter’s collaboration with Columbia will accelerate the integration of this type of model. The collaboration builds on the extensive work of the Jupiter team and university partners in creating the NSF funded Big Weather Web program. Big Weather Web Award #1450488 accelerates the use of cloud computing in atmospheric science and provides research partners, including Columbia, enhanced access to compute resources.

As part of the Community Science Program, Jupiter is committing over $300,000 to work with Lamont-Doherty on the first project. With these funds, Principal Investigators Yochanan Kushnir, a climate scientist at Lamont-Doherty, and Upmanu Lall, an engineering professor who heads the Columbia Water Center, working with Lamont-Doherty’s Jennifer Nakamura and Naomi Henderson, will lead a program to innovate on the Columbia Hurricane Interactive Track Simulator (HITS). The next generation HITS will extend the data-based, statistical simulation model of tropical cyclones to include the effects of severe wind and precipitation, two hazards that compound the damage caused by coastal storm surge. The system will also be extended to account for the impacts of natural climate variability on hurricane-related hazards.

The HITS project will be followed by at least two additional projects with Columbia. These projects, already defined and scoped, are aligned with the Community Science Program’s focus on hazard modeling in a changing climate.   

Jupiter and its network of philanthropic partners intend to invest over $1 million in Columbia research programs. “We have over 120 scientists here at Lamont-Doherty working on cutting-edge research questions relevant to informing climate risks to society, infrastructure and ecosystems,” said Peter de Menocal, Columbia’s Dean of Science and Founding Director of Columbia’s Center for Climate and Life at Lamont-Doherty. “By integrating our scientists and unique data assets with Jupiter’s leading innovation in climate and technology, this collaboration can accelerate the knowledge needed to support action in the marketplace.”  

Protecting the Global Supply Chain from Climate Risk

Jupiter is also working with the University of Southern California, leveraging the university’s deep expertise in earthquakes, risk communication and supply chain management. Jupiter’s founders and investors are supporting a new philanthropic program at USC intended to foster interdisciplinary work in the area of natural perils and risk. Rich Sorkin, Jupiter’s co-founder and CEO, will join the Advisory Board of the USC Center for Global Supply Chain Management. “Severe weather creates substantial disruptions to production facilities, shipping and critical infrastructure such as ports and airports that ripple through the global supply chain. These impacts are steadily increasing as sea levels rise, storms intensify and temperatures increase. We are extremely pleased to welcome Rich Sorkin to our advisory board. Rich’s deep expertise on the impact of natural perils on supply chains, both today and in the future, makes him the ideal thought leader on this critical issue,” explained Nick Vyas, Executive Director and Co-founder of the Center.

Jupiter is collaborating with USC across multiple departments and disciplines. According to Professor Matthew E. Kahn, Chairman of the USC Department of Economics, “Climate change will impose ever greater economic costs if families, firms and real estate owners are unprepared for the new risks they face. As we learned from Hurricane Harvey’s impact on Houston in late 2017, 'rare' natural disasters are now occurring more often. Jupiter offers an optimistic and pragmatic approach to adapting to climate risk. By combining the best climate science with a nuanced approach to communicating risk to asset owners, investors and the public sector, Jupiter will catalyze private sector and government efforts to build up our economy’s resilience in an increasingly risky world. Speaking on behalf of my colleagues at the USC Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, we are excited to collaborate with Rich and Jupiter.”

About Jupiter
Led by a team of world-renowned scientists and executives, Jupiter provides data and analytics services to better predict and manage risks from weather and sea-level rise, storm intensification and rising temperatures caused by medium- to long-term climate change. Jupiter’s ClimateScore Intelligence Platform provides sophisticated, dynamic, hyper-local, current to 50-year predicted risks from weather in a changing climate. The company’s FloodScore and HeatScore services are currently focused on climate-related risk assessment and management for New York City, South Florida and the Atlantic Coast with global expansion underway. Jupiter’s models are based on the latest science, as developed by the global Earth and Ocean Systems community.

The Jupiter Community Science Program enhances Jupiter’s commercial services to asset owners, insurance companies, investors and the public sector. These customers can use Jupiter services for applications such as site selection, design requirements, risk assessments, adaptation investments, supply chain management, insurance underwriting and risk analytics, investment valuations and shareholder disclosures.

About Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University is one of the world’s leading research centers developing fundamental knowledge about the origin, evolution and future of the natural world. More than 300 research scientists and students study the planet from its deepest interior to the outer reaches of its atmosphere, on every continent and in every ocean. From global climate change to earthquakes, volcanoes, nonrenewable resources, environmental hazards and beyond, Observatory scientists provide a scientific, rational basis for understanding the difficult choices facing humankind. Lamont-Doherty is the largest research unit of Columbia’s Earth Institute, a university-wide commitment linking earth science, economics, law, public health, and policy to inform global sustainability solutions.

About University of Southern California
The University of Southern California is one of the world’s leading private research universities. An anchor institution in Los Angeles, a global center for arts, technology and international trade, USC enrolls more international students than any other U.S. university and offers extensive opportunities for internships and study abroad. With a strong tradition of integrating liberal and professional education, USC fosters a vibrant culture of public service and encourages students to cross academic as well as geographic boundaries in their pursuit of knowledge.

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Michael Tilus