Nobel Physics Prize Goes to 3 for Climate Discoveries

STOCKHOLM (AP) -
Secretary-General of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences Goran Hansson, center, flanked at left by member of the Nobel Committee for Physics Thors Hans Hansson, left, and member of the Nobel Committee for Physics John Wettlaufer, right, announces the winners of the 2021 Nobel Prize in Physics at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, in Stockholm, Sweden, Tuesday.  (Pontus Lundahl/TT via AP)

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…”

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.”

Starting in the 1960s, Manabe demonstrated how increases in the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere would increase global temperatures, laying the foundations for current climate models.

About 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 the weather. He also developed ways to look for specific signs of human influence on the climate.

Parisi “built a deep physical and mathematical model” that made it possible to understand complex systems in fields as different as mathematics, biology, neuroscience and machine learning.

The winners were announced Tuesday by Goran Hansson, secretary-general of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

The prestigious award comes with a gold medal and 10 million Swedish kronor (over $1.14 million). The prize money comes from a bequest left by the prize’s creator, Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel, who died in 1895.