06 Oct 2021, 12:15
Edgar Meza

Nobel Prize in Physics seen as signal and warning to do more against global warming

Süddeutsche Zeitung, taz, Frankenpost

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences’ decision to award this year’s Nobel Prize in Physics to Klaus Hasselmann of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg and Syukuro Manabe of Princeton University in New Jersey has been welcomed in the German press as an important signal to political leaders and climate change naysayers that more needs to be done to stop global warming.

Hasselmann, 89, headed the institute from 1975 to 1999. His model linked together weather and climate and his methods identified evidence that both natural phenomena and human activities affect the climate. The award is a clear message, writes the Süddeutsche Zeitungs’ Marlene Weiss: The modeling of global warming is based on solid physics. If still not enough is done, it’s not because of science. “It is, of course, a shame that in 2021 it will still be necessary to record this fact,” she notes. “Models that can predict the development of the climate have been around for around 50 years, and real warming has been proven in the data for around 30 years.” In taz, Kai Schöneberg adds: “It would probably have been better for everyone -- really for everyone -- if this man had received this award a few decades earlier.” It was Hasselmann’s work that led the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 1995 to state for the first time that the human influence on global warming was recognisable, he writes. The Frankenpost notes that Hasselmann has played “a major role in the political, economic and social rethinking that has recently begun on climate issues.” The award is also symbolic plea that climate change and the fight against it be given the highest priority worldwide.

Germany is one of a handful of countries globally to have enshrined the goal of climate neutrality by or before 2050 in its national law.

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