Nobel and other Prizes

First Nobel for Climate Science

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Nobel Price

Mains level : Climate Change Assessment

Three scientists received the Nobel Prize in Physics for work that is essential to understanding how the Earth’s climate is changing, pinpointing the effect of human behaviour on those changes and ultimately predicting the impact of global warming.

Who are the laureates?

  • The winners were Syukuro Manabe, Klaus Hasselmann of Germany, and Giorgio Parisi from Italy.
  • In 2015, at a UK-based climate-focused online publication sought to identify the three most influential climate change research papers ever published.
  • The paper that received the most votes was one by Syukuro Manabe and Richard Wetherald way back in 1967.
  • These reports for the first time, had described the impact of carbon dioxide and water vapour on global warming.

Citation for their Climate Model

  • Manabe is a senior meteorologist and climatologist at Princeton University.
  • In the 1960s, he led ground-breaking research into how increased levels of carbon dioxide lead to higher temperatures on the surface of the Earth.
  • This laid the foundation for the development of current climate models.
  • Hasselmann is a German physicist and oceanographer who greatly advanced public understanding of climate change through the creation of a model that links climate and chaotic weather systems.
  • Parisi has focused on quantum field theory and complex systems.

Why it is significant feat?

  • This is the first-time climate scientists have been awarded the Physics Nobel.
  • The IPCC had won the Peace Nobel in 2007, an acknowledgement of its efforts in creating awareness for the fight against climate change.
  • A Chemistry Nobel was also awarded to Paul Crutzen in 1995, for his work on the ozone layer, is considered the only other time someone from atmospheric sciences has won this honour.
  • The recognition of Manabe and Hasselmann, therefore, is being seen as an acknowledgement of the importance that climate science holds in today’s world.

 

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