The Nobel Prize for physics has been awarded to scientists from Japan, Germany and Italy.
Syukuro Manabe, 90, and Klaus Hasselmann, 89, were cited for their work in “the physical modeling of Earth’s climate, quantifying variability and reliably predicting global warming”.
The second half of the prize was awarded to Giorgio Parisi, 73, for “the discovery of the interplay of disorder and fluctuations in physical systems from atomic to planetary scales.”
The panel said Manabe and Hasselmann “laid the foundation of our knowledge of the Earth’s climate and how humanity influences it.”
Starting in the 1960s, Manabe demonstrated how increases in the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere raise global temperatures, laying the foundations for current climate models.
A decade later, Hasselmann created a model that linked weather and climate, helping explain why climate models can be reliable despite the seemingly chaotic nature of weather systems.
He also developed ways to look for specific signs of human influence on the climate.
Hasselmann says that it is imperative “to get policymakers to actually do something” in the fight against climate change.
“I hope that sooner or later people will wake up and realise that they have to do something before it is too late”, he adds, imploring individuals and governments to implement “a long-term climate policy” which tackles the issue head-on.
The winners were announced on Tuesday by Goran Hansson, secretary-general of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
The prestigious award comes with a gold medal and a monetary prize of €984,000.
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