Climate Science & Investment Conference

Ice Sheets and Sea Level Rise: Implications for Coastal Property

How can advances in climate science research be used to reduce investment risk and improve returns? What is the most current and useful research on ice sheet and sea level rise trends, and what are the near term implications for coastal property? How will these trends affect returns, creating both risks and opportunities for investors and business leaders?

This forum—a joint effort by the Tamer Center for Social Enterprise and the Paul Milstein Center for Real Estate at Columbia Business School, and the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory—brings together climate scientists and business leaders to understand how new advances in climate science can inform investments in specific sectors of the global economy. The forum explores topics that address the value and opportunity of using a science-based approach to inform and guide business and investment decisions.


Friday, May 4, 2018
8:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m.

Participants will include leaders from the investment community, a range of business sectors, and academia. This event is invitation only, and tickets are non-transferable. Space is limited to 100 participants. If you are interested in being added to the invitation list, please contact

Time Event

8:00–8:30 a.m.

Breakfast and registration

8:30–8:40 a.m.


  • Climate Conference Peter deMenocal
    Thomas Alva Edison/Con Edison Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences;
    and Director, Center for Climate and Life
    Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory;
    Dean of Science, Faculty of Arts and Sciences

8:40–9:20 a.m.

What are the effects of climate change?

  • Climate Conference Robin Bell
    Palisades Geophysical Institute/Lamont Research Professor, Marine Geology and Geophysics
    Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory;
    American Geophysical Union (AGU)

  • Climate ConferenceMarco Tedesco
    Lamont Research Professor, Marine Geology and Geophysics
    Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

9:20–10:20 a.m.

What are the effects of sea level rise on coastal property?

  • Climate Conference Geoffrey Heal
    Donald C. Waite III Professor of Social Enterprise
    Columbia Business School

  • Climate Conference Radley Horton
    Lamont Associate Research Professor
    Adjunct Associate Professor of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology
    Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

  • Climate Conference Christopher Mayer
    Paul Milstein Professor of Real Estate
    Columbia Business School

10:20–11:00 a.m.

Coffee break

11:00–11:40 a.m.

What are the effects of storm surges and extreme climate on coastal property?

  • Climate Conference Marla Schwartz
    Atmospheric Perils Specialist, Natural Catastrophe Modeling
    Swiss Re

  • Climate Conference Suzana Camargo
    Division of Ocean and Climate Physics
    Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory;
    Executive Director
    Initiative on Extreme Weather and Climate

11:40 a.m.–12:45 p.m.

Business impacts panel discussion

12:45–1:00 p.m.

Closing remarks

  • Climate Conference Bruce Usher
    Elizabeth B. Strickler ’86 and Mark T. Gallogly ’86 Faculty Director
    Co-Director of The Tamer Center for Social Enterprise
    Columbia Business School

References and Links Provided by Speakers

Robin Bell
Widespread Persistent Thickening of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet by Freezing from the Base, Science
Miles of Ice Collapsing into the Sea, New York Times
It's Bottoms Up For Antarctic Ice Sheets, NPR
Secrets Beneath the Ice, PBS

Suzana Camargo
Rising Seas Pose a Growing Threat to Coastlines, The Earth Institute
Fast-Building Storms Play Key Role in Tropical Cyclone Risk, The Earth Institute
Seismic Sensors Record Hurricane Intensity, Study Finds, The Earth Institute
Earth Institute Experts Break Down the Causes and Impacts of Hurricane Harvey, The Earth Institute
Climate Change Didn’t Cause Hurricane Harvey, But It Made It Worse, Fortune

Geoff Heal
What Would it Take to Reduce US Greenhouse Gas Emissions 80% by 2050?, The National Bureau of Economic Research
Goldilocks Economies? Temperature Stress and the Direct Impacts of Climate Change, The National Bureau of Economic Research
Uncertainty and Decision in Climate Change Economics , The National Bureau of Economic Research
From Growth to Green Growth - a Framework, The National Bureau of Economic Research
Tipping Climate Negotiations, The National Bureau of Economic Research

Radley Horton
Evaluation of Dynamic Coastal Response to Sea-level Rise Modifies Inundation Likelihood, Nature Climate Change
Towards More Comprehensive Projections of Urban Heat-Related Mortality: Estimates for New York City under Multiple Population, Adaptation, and Climate Scenarios, Environmental Health Perspectives
Sea Level Rise and Coastal Storms, Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Joint Projections of US East Coast Sea Level and Storm Surge, Nature Climate Change
The Climate Risks We Face, The New York Times

Michael M. Samuelian
Real Estate Executive to Take the Helm at Governors Island, New York Times

Marla Schwartz
Hurricane Andrew: The 20 miles That Saved Miami, Swiss Re

Rich Sorkin
Climate Change Could Put Businesses Underwater. Start-up Firm Jupiter Aims to Come to the Rescue, The Washington Post
What Land Will Be Underwater in 20 Years? Figuring It Out Could Be Lucrative, The New York Times

Marco Tedesco
As Greenland Melts, Where’s the Water Going?, New York Times
Fueled by Melting Glaciers, Algae Bloom Off Greenland, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Could Climate Change Shut Down the Gulf Stream?, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
State of the Arctic: Longer Melting Seasons, Thinning Sea Ice, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Greenland Set Melt Records in 2015 Consistent with ‘Arctic Amplification’, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
West Coast or East? Where Greenland's Meltwater Enters the Ocean Matters for Global Climate, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Greenland's Ice Is Getting Darker, Increasing Risk of Melting, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

Bruce Usher
On the Heels of a Boom, a Foggier Future for Solar, Ideas and Insights
Real Progress on Emissions Can Lead to a Global Pact, New York Times
The U.S. as a Climate Change Leader?, The Huffington Post

Michael Wertz
Climate Change is Forecast to Heighten US Exposure to Economic Loss Placing Short- and Long-term Credit Pressure on US States and Local Governments, Moody's
When Climate Change Becomes a Credit Problem, New York Times

Other References

The Economic Risks of Climate Change in the United States National Report, Risky Business
From Risk to Return, Risky Business