Three Physicists Share the Nobel Prize for Contributions Toward Understanding Climate Change

by | Oct 6, 2021 | Fact Heroes, Climate & Environment

Syukuro Manabe of Princeton University, Klaus Hasselmann from Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg, Germany, and Giorgio Parisi from Sapienza University of Rome, Italy

Three Physicists Share the Nobel Prize for Contributions Toward Understanding Climate Change

by | Oct 6, 2021 | Fact Heroes, Climate & Environment

Syukuro Manabe of Princeton University, Klaus Hasselmann from Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg, Germany, and Giorgio Parisi from Sapienza University of Rome, Italy
Syukuro Manabe, Klaus Hasselmann and Giorgio Parisi have been announced as winners of the 2021 Nobel Prize for Physics. The prize is awarded “for groundbreaking contributions to our understanding of complex physical systems.”

Syukuro Manabe, Klaus Hasselmann and Giorgio Parisi have been announced as winners of the 2021 Nobel Prize for Physics. The prize is awarded “for groundbreaking contributions to our understanding of complex physical systems.”

The prize is worth 10 million Swedish krona ($1.1 million). Manabe and Hasselmann will share one half of the prize and Parisi takes the other half. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, there will not be an award ceremony in Stockholm in 2021 and laureates will be presented with their Nobel medals in their home countries.

Parisi was awarded his half of the prize “for the discovery of the interplay of disorder and fluctuations in physical systems from atomic to planetary scales.”

Manabe and Hasselmann share their half of the prize equally “for the physical modelling of Earth’s climate, quantifying variability and reliably predicting global warming.”

From the Nobel Release:

Complex systems are characterised by randomness and disorder and are difficult to understand. This year’s Prize recognises new methods for describing them and predicting their long-term behaviour.

One complex system of vital importance to humankind is Earth’s climate. Syukuro Manabe demonstrated how increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere lead to increased temperatures at the surface of the Earth. In the 1960s, he led the development of physical models of the Earth’s climate and was the first person to explore the interaction between radiation balance and the vertical transport of air masses. His work laid the foundation for the development of current climate models.

About ten years later, Klaus Hasselmann created a model that links together weather and climate, thus answering the question of why climate models can be reliable despite weather being changeable and chaotic. He also developed methods for identifying specific signals, fingerprints, that both natural phenomena and human activities imprint in the climate. His methods have been used to prove that the increased temperature in the atmosphere is due to human emissions of carbon dioxide.

Around 1980, Giorgio Parisi discovered hidden patterns in disordered complex materials. His discoveries are among the most important contributions to the theory of complex systems. They make it possible to understand and describe many different and apparently entirely random materials and phenomena, not only in physics but also in other, very different areas, such as mathematics, biology, neuroscience and machine learning.

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

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Follow Us

Related Articles

Jan 26 2023

California’s Ambitious New Climate Plan

California’s climate plan calls for a 94% reduction in petroleum use between 2022 and 2045 and an 86% reduction in total fossil fuel use. Overall, it would cut...
Jan 23 2023

The “Vicious Cycle” Between Pesticides and Climate Change

As climate change intensifies under agriculture’s pesticide dependence, a new report suggests dependence on pesticides today will amplify pesticide use in the...
Jan 12 2023

Atmospheric Rivers and Wildfire Burn Scars: This Is What Cascading Climate Disasters Look Like

When multiple hazards such as droughts, heat waves, wildfires and extreme rainfall interact, human disasters often result. And the ability to prepare for and manage...
Jan 07 2023

How California Could Save Up Its Rain to Ease Future Droughts

When California gets storms like the atmospheric rivers that hit in December 2022 and January 2023, water managers around the state probably shake their heads and ask...
Dec 31 2022

Andrew Tate’s Encounter With Greta Thunberg Reduced His Carbon Footprint to Nearly Zero

Not long after being allowed back on Twitter, arrogant right wing “influencer,” Andrew Tate decided to attack climate hero Greta Thunberg. Greta’s...
two brown faucets
Dec 20 2022

How Arsenic-Laden Drinking Water Drives Antibiotic Resistance

According to data collected by the Environmental Working Group, arsenic contamination was found in drinking water above the EPA’s legal limit in 31 states, with 543,000...
Nov 24 2022

Dayton Beach Shows that We Might Want to Rethink the Coastal Living

Living by the sea has a strong appeal in Florida—beautiful beaches, ocean views, and often pleasant breezes. However, there are also risks, and they are exacerbated by...
Nov 09 2022

Climate Change: The Time for Rapid Transition to Renewables Is Here

The broad spectrum of rapidly-worsening climate risks facing the U.S. confirms that we’re past the point of incremental changes. The worst consequences of climate...
Nov 08 2022

Election Officials Are Overworked, Underpaid, Feeling Pressured and Under Threat

Election officials have little control over election rules. They’re not lawmakers. But they are under enormous demand, poorly paid and sometimes have their lives...
Oct 23 2022

What Are Hydrogen Hubs and Why Are States Chasing Funds for Them?

Colorado is leading a four-state collaboration to develop alternate fuel technology based on hydrogen—which releases no carbon emissions when burned and could be a...
Subscribe for Updates!

Subscribe for Updates!

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This