Scientists from the National Centre for Atmospheric Science Share in the Nobel Peace Prize
On Friday 12th October, it was announced that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2007 is to be shared, in two equal parts, between the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Albert Arnold (Al) Gore Jr. "for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change" (The Norwegian Nobel Committee, Oslo, 12th October 2007)
Along with hundreds of other scientists from around the world, scientists from the National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS) have been able to bask in a little piece of the Nobel glory. As experts in the science of climate change, they have contributed to various IPCC reports over the years, as authors and also as providers of knowledge to the scientific basis.
In particular, earlier this year we drew attention to NCAS' contribution to the outstanding and critical IPCC report entitled, "Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Summary for Policymakers" . This formative report highlighted the powerful evidence for human contributions to past and future global warming, and was aimed explicitly at decision- and policy-makers. Importantly it created statements like "warming is unequivocal", which resonated around the world.
NCAS climate scientist, Professor Jonathan Gregory - whose expertise covers the latest understanding in global climate predictions, including past and future sea level change - played a significant role as a drafting author on this report. He was also lead author on two of the eleven chapters in the full scientific report - Oceanic Climate Change and Sea Level and Global Climate Projections - on which the summary was based.
On hearing the news, Professor Gregory said, "I'm thrilled. Working as part of the IPCC has been a great privilege for me -I feel honoured to have been able to serve the public good in this way".
He added, "The IPCC assessments have involved a massive effort, literally from thousands of scientists. It has certainly been a tremendous opportunity for us all to exchange scientific knowledge and ideas across the international science arena."
Dr Piers Forster, a scientist affiliated to NCAS from the University of Leeds and expert in how changes in greenhouse gases, aerosols, aircraft emissions and contrails effect the climate, was also a lead author of the chapter entitled Changes in Atmospheric Constituents and in Radiative Forcing . In addition, The British Atmospheric Data Centre, which is also part of NCAS, shares the operation of the IPCC Data Distribution Centre
To quote the IPCC response to the prize "The awarding of the Nobel peace prize to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (jointly with former US Vice-President Al Gore) is a remarkable testament to the dedication and commitment of the thousands of experts and participants who have produced the Panel's rigorous and comprehensive assessments of climate change research".
In a month's time the IPCC will meet in Spain to release the final volume of its Climate Change 2007 assessment report. This will provide a synthesis of the scientific information contained in the three volumes published earlier this year.
For further information please contact: Dr Louisa Watts: NCAScomms@nerc.ac.uk; mobile 07786214886; desk: 01793 411609
Dr Louisa Watts | NCAS news