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crumb trail: Home >> Whistle Online >> Archives >> Oct. 22, 2007

Faculty members share in Nobel

Former Vice President Al Gore’s winning of the Nobel Peace Prize has also boosted the résumés of three Tech faculty members.

Announced two weeks ago, the prize is shared by both Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for their roles in sounding the warning concerning global warming and climate change. Faculty involved with the IPCC, established in 1988, are School of Public Policy Professor Marilyn Brown, School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Professor Robert Dickinson and EAS Associate Professor Rong Fu.

“This award is not just for those who worked so hard to complete the Fourth Assessment report, but also for those who contributed to earlier IPCC [Working Group III] reports … This work has provided the foundation for the current recognition of IPCC as an authoritative voice on the climate system, the impacts of climate change and ways to avoid it. You can all be proud of this achievement,” stated a letter from the co-chairs of IPCC Working Group III to all who had worked on its reports. “This makes all of you a Nobel laureate.”

Brown, with Tech since last year, contributed to the 2007 Fourth Assessment Report for Working Group III, which investigated aviation, emission scenarios, technology transfer, ozone and climate and carbon dioxide capture and storage, among others. “I contributed in that role to ‘Climate Change 2001’ and ‘Climate Change 2007,’” Brown said. “In both cases I was a contributing author of the chapter on Residential and Commercial Buildings in the volume ‘Mitigation of Climate Change.’” Previously at the U.S. Department of Energy Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Brown has long been a voice in energy policy and technology forecasting.

Recently, she worked with the U.S. Climate Change Technology Program and in developing a national technology strategy regarding climate change. She serves on the board of directors with Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy and the Alliance to Save Energy, and is a member of the National Commission on Energy Policy and the National Academies’ Board of Energy and Environmental Systems.

Joining the Tech faculty in 1999, Dickinson has been the Endowed Chair of the Georgia Power/Georgia Research Alliance since 2000. For more than 40 years, Dickinson has researched the fields of climate modeling and global change. Through the modeling of land, vegetation and radiative processes, he currently is working to improve the understanding of global and regional climate and earth change. His work for the IPCC included contributing results and discussion to the 2007 report on climate change for IPCC Working Group I.

Fu has been with Tech for eight years. Her current research strives to understand the processes controlling climate variability of tropical terrains’ atmospheric water cycle and the transport of pollutants along with water vapor to the upper troposphere and the lower stratosphere. She worked with Dickinson on the IPCC Working Group I’s 2007 report on climate change, and is continuing her research into projected rainfall changes over the Amazon for the 21st century, as well as the reliability of current climate models. “I have been working on understanding what controls rainfall over the Amazon for the past 10 years,” she said.



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