Major science award for climate change pioneer

I’m astonished that there hasn’t been bloggy outrage from the Bolt-Marohasy camp as yet: Top science award goes to climate researcher Wallace Broecker

Wallace S. Broecker, a geochemist whose seminal studies made him one of the earliest voices to warn of global climate change, has been awarded the prestigious Balzan Prize, it was announced today in Milan. The $885,000 prize, one of the world’s largest, is given to honor outstanding science, culture and humanitarian initiatives that advance world peace.

Broecker is often credited with inventing the term “global warming.” In 1987 he published a paper in the journal Nature in which he proposed that heat is transported around the world by massive ocean currents that interact with the atmosphere—the so-called great ocean conveyor, and an idea still regarded as a breakthrough in climatology. Broecker, who has spent his career at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (part of the university’s Earth Institute), is author of over 400 other scientific articles and several textbooks. He has testified before congressional committees, and continued to spearhead research. He recently coauthored the book Fixing Climate, in which he proposed to remove large amounts of globe-warming carbon dioxide from the air and store it underground, in order to avert what he sees as a potential climate catastrophe. He has already received numerous honors, including a 1996 National Medal of Science, presented by U.S. president Bill Clinton, and the 2006 Crafoord Prize in Geosciences, from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

In a statement, the Milan-based Balzan Prize Foundation cited Broecker’s “extraordinary contributions to the understanding of climate change through his discoveries concerning the role of the oceans and their interactions with the atmosphere, as well as the role of glacial changes and the records contained in ice cores and ocean sediments. His contributions have been significant in understanding both gradual and abrupt climate changes.”

Categories: environment, media, Science

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