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.

Related Articles

May 16 2022

Unfortunately Trees Are Not the Climate Change Cure-All We’ve Assumed They Would Be

Two studies show it is not a great idea to count on forests as a widespread carbon solution for climate change through the 21st century, particularly if societies don’t...
May 15 2022

Wealth Won’t Protect the Rich from Climate Change

Although wildfires in California have historically peaked in the late summer and fall, Orange County Fire Authority Assistant Chief of Field Operations TJ McGovern told...
May 09 2022

Former Republican Strategist Steve Schmidt Morphed Into a Powerful Republican Critic

Unlike the majority of Republicans who chose to remain under the influence of Trump’s blatant fascism and the corruption of what used to be Republican values,...
May 09 2022

A Nonprofit Drugmaker Is Taking Aim at Insulin Price Gouging

Civica Rx, a nonprofit that manufactures generic drugs, is trying to help solve the problem of rampant insulin price gouging and profiteering by major drug...
May 06 2022

Fossil Fuel Democrats Join GOP Senators Trying to Prevent Biden From Declaring Climate Emergency

Though the Senate resolution is non-binding, it clearly shows the fear the fossil fuel industry has of impending actions to reverse the damage they are causing to our...
May 03 2022

Harriet Tubman Did More than Rescue Slaves, She Was Also a Soldier and Spy

During the Civil War, Harriet Tubman put aside her fight against slavery to conduct combat as a soldier and spy for the United States Army.
May 02 2022

Pollution of Our Oceans With Microplastics Might Be a Bigger Problem than We Thought

New research suggests disease-causing parasites can hitch a ride on microplastics and potentially spread throughout the seas.
May 01 2022

Pumped Up Inflation: Big Oil Profits Double and Quadruple Amid Ukraine Crisis Excuses

One of the major factors of the current “inflation” is Big Oil intentionally profiteering off the war in Ukraine. Pump prices remain sky high even though no...
Apr 25 2022

Celebrated Author Don Winslow Retires from Writing to Pick a Fight

Bestselling author Don Winslow has announced his retirement from writing to devote his time to launching digital campaigns supporting Democratic causes and opposing...
sunset
Apr 20 2022

Big Oil Loses Another Key Court Battle

A new court ruling is a major victory for California communities seeking their day in court against Big Oil polluters that spent decades lying about their...
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