Michael Ferrari

Michael Ferrari is the Founder and Principal at Atlas Research Innovations, as well as the Director of Commodity Research & Risk Management for a global company in the agriculture sector. He also serves on the American Meteorological Society Board of Societal Impacts of Weather and Climate, and is a judge for the MIT ClimateCoLab crowdsourcing project. His primary applied research interests lie at the nexus of climate physics and biophysics, environmental & disease modeling/analysis, sensor networks and the subsequent development of data-driven commercial tools and applications that can benefit from this research. Michael is a frequent speaker at scientific, commodity and data/technology conferences around the world, where his talks focus on the confluence of human-environmental-technology interaction and the broader relationship of these topics to societal issues including climate, food and energy security, and global change. Michael holds a PhD in Geophysical Fluid Dynamics and Evolutionary Biology from Rutgers. He blogs at wired GEO.

Decision making under uncertainty

Edge contributors say it's time to retire the search for one-size-fits-all answers.

parallel_lines_theilr_FlickrThe 2014 Edge Annual Question (EAQ) is out. This year, the question posed to the contributors is: What scientific idea is ready for retirement?

As usual with the EAQ, it provokes thought and promotes discussion. I have only read through a fraction of the responses so far, but I think it is important to highlight a few Edge contributors who answered with a common, and in my opinion a very important and timely, theme. The responses that initially caught my attention came from Laurence Smith (UCLA), Gavin Schmidt (NASA), Guilio Boccaletti (The Nature Conservancy) and Danny Hillis (Applied Minds). If I were to have been asked this question, my contribution for idea retirement would likely align most closely with these four responses: Smith and Boccaletti  want to see same idea disappear — stationarity; Schmidt’s response focused on the abolition of simple answers; and Hillis wants to do away with cause-and-effect.

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New tools and techniques for applying climate data

A workshop shows early signs of climate scientists and data scientists coming together.

Climate cycles, machine learning and improved models were all part of the discussions at the first New York Academy of Sciences Workshop on Climate Informatics.

Interest in renewable energy could benefit data services

The need for temperature, wind, and solar analytics will likely increase.

The increase of large-scale infrastructure investments in the alternative energy sector will likely be accompanied by demand for data-driven services that can optimize efficiency of the related operational costs.

The ecology of risk

Financial stability can benefit from approaches grounded in the natural sciences.

Large-scale events that have disrupted supply chains underscore the importance of viewing the world through a spatial lens.

Industrial ecology and big data

How can massive environmental datastreams create new markets?

Because companies are tracking their inputs and byproducts carefully, there has been an exponential increase in the amout of efficiency/environmental data available for primary stakeholders and investors.

La Nina and global commodities

The connection between the La Nina phenomenon and food prices.

In the weather and climate community, 2010 will be remembered as a year where the strong La Nina pattern exerted a significant influence on global agricultural production.

Using the Standard Precipitation Index to monitor flood damage

The SPI can provide users with a quick and reliable way to assess damage from weather extremes

There is no shortage of news that attempts to discuss the potential for disruptions to the global food supply chain, as well as the subsequent financial and social effects of such disruptions on a global scale. Most of the news which garners the headlines in the agricultural commodity sector deals with topics including low physical inventories, floods, drought, food inflation,…

An ensemble approach to weather forecasting

A potential India-U.S. partnership could lead to better forecasting through collaboration.

A potential new partnership between U.S. agencies and the Indian Meteorological Department could could open up an "ensemble approach" to forecasting that encourages collaboration and breaks down proprietary barriers.

Growing new data streams

There's considerable promise in data sources targeting the global agricultural community.

High-quality and high-margin products will come to market that have their roots in agricultural data acquisition and repackaging.

Seeing green from space

How satellites and sensors can assess the health of crops.

Many satellites capture everything from ocean temperatures, to land reflectance at the surface of the Earth, to global chlorophyll production. Here's a look at how that data can reveal the condition of a country's crops.