Posts Tagged ‘ozone’

Dr Syukuro Manabe, 1997

October 8, 2009

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Manabe has greatly contributed to the scientific understanding of climate changes, which threatens present and future generations. He has played a major role in the advance of theoretical climate research, involving the complex interactions among solar input, energy transfer, and dynamics in the atmosphere, hydrological and cryospheric processes, as well as couplings with the oceans. Manabe was the first to explore the climatic effects of an increase in the atmospheric CO2 content using a comprehensive global climate model, showing future temperature rise.

 Manabe is one of the foremost pioneers regarding the use of numerical models. Since the 1960s, he has played a leading role in the development of global circulation models. Over a period of three decades, these models have been at the leading edge of climate research. The results of his early work carried out three to four decades ago predicted a temperature increase which now is still in the middle of the range of estimates made by various modeling groups around the world. In addition, Manabe has studied in the best available detail critical issues in the earth’s hydrological cycle, especially related to soil humidity, which is of course a factor of the greatest importance for agriculture and the biosphere. His findings include regional variation of temperature rise and potential impacts on agricultural production.

In the early 1960’s, Manabe and his team of researchers  developed a radiative-convective model of the atmosphere, and explored the role of greenhouse gases such as water vapor, carbon dioxide and ozone in maintaining and changing the thermal structure of the atmosphere. This was the beginning of the long-term research on global warming, which have continued until now in collaborating with the staff members of Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) of NOAA.

In the late 1960’s, Manabe together with Kirk Bryan developed a general circulation model of the coupled atmosphere-ocean-land system, which eventually became a very powerful tool for the simulation of Global warming.

Most known for:
Throughout the 1970s and 1980s Manabe’s research group published seminal papers using these models to explore the sensitivity of Earth’s climate to changing greenhouse gas concentrations. These papers formed a major part of the first global assessments of climate change published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Other important work done by Manabe included the suggestion that climate might have more than one stable state and the demonstration that switches between such states could be induced in a relatively realistic model by melting ice caps.

CV:
 After his Ph.D. in Meteorology in 1958 Manabe moved to the United States, where since 1968 he has worked at the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration at Princeton University. From 1997 to 2001, he worked at the Frontier Research System for Global Change in Japan serving as Director of the Global Warming Research Division. In 2002 he returned to the United States as a visiting research collaborator at the Program in Atmospheric and Oceanic Science, Princeton Univeristy.

Now:
The research group started by Manabe is today known as the GFDL Climate Dynamics and Prediction Group

Professor Paul Crutzen, 1991

September 10, 2009

A scientists’ scientist who always seems to be one step ahead

The 1991 Prize was awarded to Professor Paul Crutzen of the Max Planck Institute of Chemistry in Mainz, Germany, one of the world’s leading research scientists in the field of atmospheric chemistry. Professor Crutzen has achieved this eminence by undertaking a series of major research projects over a period of more than 20 years, including studies of ozone layer depletion and the greenhouse effect. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1995.

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The Prize Jury’s Citation:
Professor Crutzen was awarded the Prize for an outstanding ability to identity and elucidate critical features governing the chemical behaviour of the atmosphere. He has shown great ability to excel in a wide scope of interrelated researh activities in topics relevant to atmospheric science.

Most known for:
Paul Crutzen, has made pioneering work for our understanding of ozone formation and destruction in the atmosphere, how it affects the green house effect with a potential risk for global warming and the ozone layer in the stratosphere, leading to increased ultraviolet radiation on the earth surface and thereby increased risk for cancer and damages to the microbial life in the ground. He has also studied how sulphur emissions affect the climate and the formation of clouds.

“It was thanks to Paul Crutzen that we skirted a previous global atmospheric threat: the destruction of the stratospheric ozone layer. If the warnings from him and his fellow winners of the 1995 Nobel Prize in chemistry, Sherwood Rowland and Mario Molina, hadn’t come when they did, the Antarctic ozone hole might have proved disastrous.” James Hansen, director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies

In 1982 Paul crutzen pointed out that a nuclear war might cause extensive fires with accompanying disastrous effects on the climate of the earth. The smoke from the fire is expected to efficiently shield the lower parts of the atmosphere and the surface of the earth from a large fraction of the sun radiation. This will cause a drastic cooling which we know under the name “nuclear winter”.

Nobel Prize
Four years after being a Volvo Environment Prize laureate Paul Crutzen was awarded the 1995 Nobel Prize in Chemistry together with Mario Molina (Volvo Environment Prize laureate of 2004) and Sherwood Rowland “for their work in atmospheric chemistry, particularly concerning the formation and decomposition of ozone”.

Currently:
2006:
He caused a stir with the publication of a paper in 2006 suggesting that injecting the common pollutant sulfur into the stratosphere some 10 miles above the earth could snuff out the greenhouse effect. He believes that dispersing 1 million tons of sulfur into the stratosphere each year, either on balloons or in rockets, would deflect sunlight and cool the planet. Scientists observed that world temperatures dropped by 0.5 degrees centigrade on average when Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines erupted in 1991, spewing sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere.

2008: Atmospheric scientist Paul J Crutzen said clouds gathering over the world economy could ease the earth’s environmental burden.
“Slower economic growth worldwide could help slow growth of carbon dioxide emissions and trigger more careful use of energy resources, though the global economic turmoil may also divert focus from efforts to counter climate change”, Global Environment 08

Paul Crutzen will attend a seminar at Chalmers Technical University 2 November 2009 together with this year’s laureate Dr Susan Solomon a former graduate student of Crutzen´s. More information about this seminar will be posted later.

More Crutzen:
Personal home page
Autobiography, Nobel Prize winners
Heros of the Environmnet, Time/CNN