Northwest scientists played roles in Nobel Peace Prize
Dozens of scientists from the Northwest, primarily from the University of Washington and the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration...
Seattle Times environment reporter
Dozens of scientists from the Northwest, primarily from the University of Washington and the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration, have played various roles in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which won the Nobel Peace Prize today.
The United Nations panel, which includes thousands of scientists worldwide who have produced detailed reports on global warming, shared the prize with former Vice President Al Gore for work on climate change.
Some scientists, such as David Battisti, a UW professor of atmospheric sciences who has researched how natural El Niño cycles and climate variability fit with climate change, contributed raw science to the understanding of global warming.
Others, such as UW Professor Mike Wallace, reviewed chapters of many complex IPCC reports, scrutinizing them to make sure they included only the most defensible science.
"I'm part of a large community of scientists who have worked on various problems related to global warming, but other people have really put in the work and gone to innumerable meetings and done an enormous amount of research and writing," Wallace said.
"Those people justly deserve a lot of credit for gradually turning public opinion in the direction of acknowledging the existence of global warming," he said. "For them, it's been an extremely thankless job."
A few, such as Phil Mote and Ed Miles, both with UW's Climate Impacts Group, have been lead authors on portions of the IPCC's reports. Miles wrote a chapter about marine policy in the mid-1990s; Mote wrote one of the 11 most recent chapters released earlier this year, which discussed changes in snow, ice and tundra.
Dominique Bachelet, an Oregon State University biology professor who works in Olympia as a scientist for the Nature Conservancy, also authored chapters of earlier IPCC reports.
"I think a lot of us who study the issue would be delighted if we could have just gone about studying the issues and left the policy stuff to politicians," said Mote, who this weekend is scheduled to give a lecture in Seattle titled "Global Climate Change: Hoax or Catastrophe."
"So I'm really pleased that the Nobel committee recognized the importance of the issue," he said. "It elevates it in a way nothing else could."
Craig Welch: 206-464-2093 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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