The Nobel Prize for Physics goes to the triad of scientists who researched on climate change

  • The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences gave out this year’s Nobel Prize in Physics to three scientists Syukuro Manabe, Klaus Hasselmann and Giorgio Parisi who worked on climate change
  • All three scientists used complex mathematics-based physics to explain the relationship between different elements affecting the climate and decoding the pace at which human activities were contributing to the change.
  • The scientists used their platform to warn the world and to urge them to act immediately against global warming for the sake of the survival of future generations.

On the 5th of October 2021, the Nobel Prize for physics was awarded to three scientists for their venture in decoding complex physical systems affecting weather as well as in laying the foundations for our understanding of climate changes on Earth, its applications, and their devastating consequences in the near future. The prize came less than four weeks before the start of the high-level climate negotiations at Glasgow, where influential world leaders will be asked to increase their efforts to control the accelerating climate change.

One-half of the prize was shared jointly by Syukuro Manabe and Klaus Hasselmann while the other half was shared by Giorgio Parisi as announced by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences which nominates the Nobel laureates of Physics every year.

A look into the Nobel laureates of Physics 2021

Syukuro Manabe

Syukuro Manabe is a Japanese- American meteorologist and climatologist who is currently working at Princeton University in New Jersey, USA. Manabe is mainly renowned for his work on using technology to create artificially, physical models of the Earth’s surface and atmosphere. He aided in developing three-dimensional models of our atmosphere and conducted detailed research upon its changes upon introducing various factors externally such as carbon dioxide. These factors are essentially ones that are currently being investigated as potential causative agents of global warming and are mainly contributed by human activities such as industrial processing and municipal sources. Manabe noted how the increased concentration of carbon dioxide in the air caused an increase in temperature of the Earth’s surface and the troposphere which exists a layer beyond the Earth’s atmosphere. he later also introduced a combined physical model of the atmosphere and ocean to explain how the increasing quantity of greenhouse gases affected the hydrologic cycle which is responsible for causing rain on the Earth’s surface.

Klaus Hasselmann

Klaus Hasselmann is a German oceanographer and climate modeler. He is currently an Emeritus Professor at the University of Hamburg and previously worked as the Director of the Max Planck Institute of Meteorology in Hamburg, Germany. Hasselmann helped explain the relationship between climate and weather accurately through his physical models. His work laid the foundation on the reason behind the frequent alterations in weather despite a fairly constant climate. Through his models, he laid the basis of calculating human influence on the climate specifically towards elevating the progress of global warming resulting in climate change. His work is mainly focused on large-scale global forces which shape the Earth’s climate and our future lives.

Giorgio Parisi

Giorgio Parisi is an Italian theoretical physicist who is working at the Sapienza University of Rome in Italy. Parisi is credited with building mathematical physics models which help in explaining the complex systems at the subatomic level. In simple terms, Parisi uses mathematics to explain and predict the activity of chaotic forces of nature by studying their activity at the atomic level. He initially became renowned due to his work on a confusing metal alloy the properties and functions of which baffled researchers. This metal alloy was named spin glass and through his mathematical models, Parisi explained hidden patterns of the way it acted and gave equations. These equations would become useful for researchers in the future to discover a pattern amongst the random in various fields. Parisi’s work was mainly targeted at establishing patterns between the disordered physical systems and observing the integrity of the patterns at atomic and bigger levels.


The Secretary-General of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences Goran Hansson, joined by the members of the Nobel Committee for Physics, Thors Hans Hansson and John Wettlaufer announced the winners of the 2021 Nobel Prize in Physics at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, in Stockholm, Sweden on Tuesday. The award comes with a gold medal and 10 million Swedish kronor which amounts to around a little more than a million US dollars.

Upon being asked for a reaction upon winning by the media, Hasselmann remarked that he would rather have the world put in efforts to curb global warming than have the Nobel Prize. Meanwhile, Parisi commented that he was rather caught off guard. He exclaimed his pleasant surprise at winning. Manabe was also quoted as being grateful and honored as he proclaimed that his research which amounted to such high regard was simply done in a spirit of curiosity. All three scientists used their platform to urge world leaders and citizens to take immediate action to curb global warming and the resultant climate changes on Earth.


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