Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Jim Hansen receives Dan David Prize

The DAN DAVID PRIZE annually awards 3 prizes of US$ 1 million each for achievements having an outstanding scientific, technological, cultural or social impact on our world. Each year fields are chosen within the three Time Dimensions - Past, Present and Future. Another interesting fact about Dan David Prize is that recipients donate 10% of their prize money to graduate students in their respective field.

The 2007 Dan David Prize honors Dr. James Hansen for his significant contributions in the field of "Quest for Energy". He will be sharing the award with Sarah Kurtz and Jerry Olson.

James Hansen is a towering figure in atmospheric aerosol research. His paper with Lacis in Nature (doi:10.1038/346713a0) has been used by many to show the importance of atmospheric aerosols in earth's radiation budget. I was so impressed by his paper with Menon, Nazarenko and Luo in Science (doi:10.1126/science.1075159) about climatic effect of black carbon in China and India that I decided to pursue it further during my tenure as post doctoral research fellow at Physical Research Laboratory.

Dan David Prize recognizes James Hansen for his seminal contribution for (a) understanding of the various forces that govern Earth's radiation budget whereby increasing amounts of trace gases and aerosols in the atmosphere prevent the escape of terrestrial infrared energy, thereby causing the planet to warm; (b) understanding the changes to Earth's energy balance through large scale calculations with general circulation models and studies of paleoclimatic data; and (c) quantitative assessment of global thermometric records to document changes in Earth's mean surface temperature in response to these energy restrictions. These calculations confirm the natural greenhouse effect of about 32 degrees C that was already in existence prior to the Industrial Revolution, and the augmented effect of about 0.8 degrees C from the atmospheric concentration increases observed during the late 20th Century for carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and other gases and aerosols.

My heartiest congratulations to James Hansen for his well deserving achievement.

(1.) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Hansen

(2.) http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/

(3.) http://www.dandavidprize.org/


* Hansen, J. E., and Lacis A. A. (1990), Sun and dust versus greenhouse gases: an assessment of their relative roles in global climate change, Nature, 346,713-719.

* Menon, S., J Hansen, L. Nazarenko, and Y Luo (2002), Climate Effects of Black Carbon Aerosols in China and India, Science, 297, 2250-2253.

1 comment:

Harish Gadhavi said...
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