`Physicists Win Nobel Prize for Explaining Climate Change - Olive Oil Times

Physicists Win Nobel Prize for Explaining Climate Change

Oct. 19, 2021
Costas Vasilopoulos

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The 2021 Nobel Prize in physics has been awarded to three sci­en­tists for inno­v­a­tive research in under­stand­ing com­pli­cated phys­i­cal sys­tems, includ­ing Earth’s cli­mate and cli­mate change.

Two of the sci­en­tists, the Japanese-born American Syukuro Manabe and the German Klaus Hasselmann, jointly won half of the prize for their inde­pen­dent research in mod­el­ing the planet’s cli­mate and explain­ing the inner work­ings of cli­mate change, includ­ing the impact of humans.

The dis­cov­er­ies being rec­og­nized this year demon­strate that our knowl­edge about the cli­mate rests on a solid sci­en­tific foun­da­tion, based on a rig­or­ous analy­sis of obser­va­tions.- Thors Hans Hansson, chair, Nobel Committee for Physics

Manabe, a senior mete­o­rol­o­gist at Princeton University, demon­strated in the 1960s how increased car­bon diox­ide lev­els in the atmos­phere could result in higher tem­per­a­tures at Earth’s sur­face. He is also a pio­neer in defin­ing the cli­mate mod­els mete­o­rol­o­gists use today.

See Also: World Failing to Meet Emissions Reductions Pledged in Paris Agreement

Hasselmann, a pro­fes­sor at the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg, explained in the 1970s why cli­mate mod­els are reli­able despite the unpre­dictabil­ity and the chaotic nature of global weather. He has also demon­strated that increased atmos­pheric tem­per­a­ture is related to human car­bon diox­ide emis­sions.

The other win­ner, Giorgio Parisi, a the­o­ret­i­cal physi­cist at the University of Sapienza in Rome, was awarded for his work iden­ti­fy­ing hid­den pat­terns in com­plex dis­or­dered sys­tems, rang­ing from the atoms of mag­netic mate­ri­als to the atmos­phere of plan­ets.

Syukuro Manabe, Giorgio Parisi and Klaus Hasselmann

His math­e­mat­i­cal mod­els can be used to explain other com­plex sys­tems in sev­eral sci­en­tific fields, includ­ing biol­ogy, neu­ro­science and machine learn­ing.

The dis­cov­er­ies being rec­og­nized this year demon­strate that our knowl­edge about the cli­mate rests on a solid sci­en­tific foun­da­tion, based on a rig­or­ous analy­sis of obser­va­tions,” Thors Hans Hansson, chair of the Nobel Committee for Physics, said. This year’s Laureates have all con­tributed to us gain­ing deeper insight into the prop­er­ties and evo­lu­tion of com­plex phys­i­cal sys­tems.”

The win­ners had a say about the sever­ity of the trans­form­ing Earth’s cli­mate and the dif­fi­cul­ties sci­en­tists face in con­vinc­ing peo­ple and politi­cians to act.

Manabe said that mak­ing cli­mate pol­icy is a thou­sand times more dif­fi­cult” than mak­ing cli­mate pre­dic­tions, adding that cli­mate [pol­icy] involves not only the envi­ron­ment but also energy, agri­cul­ture, water and just every­thing you can imag­ine. When these major prob­lems in soci­ety are all inter­wo­ven with each other, you can under­stand how dif­fi­cult it is to sort this thing out.”

Hasselmann men­tioned that the warm­ing of the Earth is noth­ing new and empha­sized the reluc­tance peo­ple demon­strate in tak­ing action against cli­mate change.

We’ve been warn­ing about cli­mate change for 50 years or so,” he said. It’s just that peo­ple are not will­ing to accept the fact that they have to react now to some­thing that will hap­pen in a few years, and this is some­thing we’ve been sort of bat­tling against now for many years as cli­mate sci­en­tists.”

The Nobel Prize cer­e­monies for the lau­re­ates in all fields sched­uled for December 10 in Stockholm and Oslo are expected to be scaled down to a mix­ture of phys­i­cal and dig­i­tal events” due to the Covid-19 pan­demic, the Nobel Foundation announced.





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