UC Berkeley Web Feature
Berkeley professors contribute to Nobel-winning climate work
BERKELEY – Several University of California, Berkeley professors have contributed to a United Nations international climate change organization that is sharing the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with former U.S. Vice President Al Gore. The prize was announced Friday morning (Oct. 12).
(Peg Skorpinski photo)
(Peg Skorpinski photo)
From Berkeley, Inez Fung, a professor of atmospheric science and co-director of UC Berkeley's Institute of the Environment; William D. Collins, a professor of earth and planetary science; Norm Miller, an adjunct professor of geography; and Dan Kammen, a professor in the Energy and Resources Group and the Goldman
School of Public Policy and co-director of UC Berkeley's Institute of the
Environment, are among more than 2,000 scientists worldwide who have conducted groundbreaking research for the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
The IPCC was established in 1988 and has issued three major studies that analyzed climate change causes, impacts and what can be done about it.
"All the scientists that have contributed to the work of the IPCC are the Nobel laureates who have been recognized and acknowledged by the Nobel Prize Committee," Rajendra Pachauri, the Indian engineer and energy expert who chairs the panel, told the Associated Press.
Collins said he hopes that the IPCC researchers use the Nobel recognition to spur further investigation of climate change, its consequences and possible mitigation measures. "The award is very important recognition of a sizeable international effort to understand climate change," he said.
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"There are huge challenges ahead, but they are challenges that humanity can address," he said, noting major accomplishments in recent years toward repairing damage done to the atmosphere's ozone layer.
Miller said he hopes that this Nobel Prize "helps to raise awareness, especially among public policy-makers, about the very real problem of climate change, and how we as a society need to act more conservatively with our diminishing natural resources."
In addition to his campus position, Collins is a senior scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and chairs its department of climate science. He also is on the staff of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo. Fung and Miller are also researchers at the Berkeley lab.
Fung has devoted three decades of inquiry into the dynamics of meteorological behavior. In an interview in California magazine, she said, "For years we have been building models to predict the weather ... But now our weather is getting more and more extreme and this is consistent with what our theoretical predictions said. So whether it's the melting glaciers in the Arctic or the drying of grasslands or the rising temperatures ... these new observations tell us we've been correct -- that it's (climate change) no longer merely a theoretical prediction."
Kammen has been a key figure in multiple areas of energy research here at Berkeley including the $500 million Energy Biosciences Institute.
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