The Nobel Prize in Physics 2021
Born: 25 October 1931, Hamburg, Germany
Affiliation at the time of the award: Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg, Germany
Prize motivation: “for the physical modelling of Earth’s climate, quantifying variability and reliably predicting global warming”
Prize share: 1/4
Our world is full of complex systems characterised by randomness and disorder. One complex system of vital importance to humankind is Earth’s climate. In the 1970s, 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 that both natural phenomena and human activities imprint in the climate. An important result is that the increased temperature in the atmosphere is due to human emissions of carbon dioxide.
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