A Met Office Hadley Centre scientist has won a prestigious award for his pioneering research into sea level rise and its response to anthropogenic climate change.
Professor Jonathan Gregory has been given a prestigious BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award (Climate Change category), together with Anny Cazenave (Director for Earth Sciences at the International Space Science Institute in Bern, Switzerland) and Professor John Church (University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia)
The BBVA committee said the three laureates “pioneered the integration of satellite observations with in situ measurements and innovations in numerical modelling to develop an accurate and consistent depiction of sea-level change globally.”
As well as identifying the effect of human action on sea-level rise, their work has revealed that that the rate of increase is accelerating over time. It is thought that failure to curb greenhouse gas emissions could result in a sea-level rise exceeding one full metre by the end of this century, threatening the homes of around 100 million people living in coastal areas
Met Office Chief Scientist, Stephen Belcher, said; “I am delighted that Jonathan has been honoured in this way. It’s another demonstration of the fundamental role the Met Office Hadley centre and our scientists play in developing climate science.”
Jonathan Gregory’s research examined all components of sea-level change enabling better model projections for the future as well as improved understanding of the past. Professor Gregory said; “Sea levels will continue to rise for many centuries to come, because the time scale for the warming of the deep ocean is centuries or millennia. However, we can influence by how much and how fast it will happen. We can’t stop the increase, but we are not too late to do something to mitigate it and reduce its impact.”
Professor Gregory contributed as lead author to the Third, Fourth and Fifth Assessment Reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), in the chapters dealing with sea-level rise and ocean observation. Among other distinctions, he holds the FitzRoy Prize of the Royal Meteorological Society, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society and the American Geophysical Union.