Stratospheric aerosol, climate dynamics, climate intervention strategies.
I study how aerosols in the stratosphere impact the climate through their interaction with radiation, chemistry and atmospheric dynamics, ultimately affecting our surface climate. In particular, my research tries to understand the potential for artificial injections of stratospheric aerosols to ameliorate some of the present and future climate risks from global warming: To do so, I use a mix of observation from past and present volcanic eruptions, Earth system models and impact models, with the aim of reducing uncertainties in future climate projections that include some form of climate intervention.
What do you like to do when you’re not working?
I really like running; that’s where I get my best research ideas – and my snarkiest responses to reviewers! With my husband, we also practice historical fencing (that’s how we met!) and we love exploring all the breweries around the Finger Lakes.
What are your current outreach projects?
I try to be very active in communication around the topic of climate change, collaborating with newspapers and journalists, giving public talks and help maintaining a dashboard with many climate change indicators for the general public. I am also involved in numerous efforts internationally, such as with the World Meteorological Research Program, to explore the ethical and societal implications of climate intervention.
What are three adjectives people might use to describe you?
Stubborn, loud, loyal.
What (specifically) brought you to Cornell CALS?
I came to Cornell five years ago as a postdoc, from Italy. I immediately fell in love with the university and the Finger Lakes. I love the collaborative and kind atmosphere and the value that Cornell (and CALS in particular) gives to interdisciplinary work.
What do you think is important for people to understand about your field?
That climate change is not a problem with a single, easy solution. Anyone trying to convince you theirs is the “best” or “only” solution is trying to sell you something. The answers will be complicated and need to consider not just the physical system, but also its coupling to societal well-being and to ecosystems. In this sense, any response must be complex and include attention to different timescales and societal needs, especially if we want solutions to be equitable and just.
Why did you feel inspired to pursue a career in this field?
I am fascinated by the many interconnections of the climate system. There is something new I discover every day!
What’s the most surprising/interesting thing you’ve discovered about Cornell and/or Ithaca so far?
That there was a beautiful railway (the Black Diamond Express) that ran through Ithaca from New York to Buffalo! I would have loved to take that train. I miss trains!
If you had unlimited grant funding, what major problem in your field would you want to solve?
Exactly the one I’m working on! I Reducing uncertainties in the contribution of stratospheric aerosols to current and future climate projections.
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