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Physics Nobel Prize 2021

  • IAS NEXT, Lucknow
  • 07, Oct 2021
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Three scientists — Syukuro Manabe (90) and Klaus Hasselmann (89) and Giorgio Parisi (73) — have been awarded the Nobel Prize for physics 2021. This is the first time climate scientists have been awarded the Physics Nobel.

  • Manabe and Hasselmann were awarded for their work in “the physical modelling of Earth’s climate, quantifying variability and reliably predicting global warming”.
  • Parisi was awarded for “the discovery of the interplay of disorder and fluctuations in physical systems from atomic to planetary scales.”

A brief overview of their works:

  • Manabe, starting in the 1960s, demonstrated how increases in the amount of carbon dioxide in atmosphere would increase global temperatures, laying the foundations for current climate models.
  • About a decade later, Hasselmann created a model that linked weather and climate, helping explain why climate models can be reliable despite the seemingly chaotic nature of the weather. He also developed ways to look for specific signs of human influence on the climate.
  • Parisi “built a deep physical and mathematical model” that made it possible to understand complex systems in fields such as mathematics, biology, neuroscience and machine learning.

Last year, scientists Roger Penrose, Reinhard Genzel and Andrea Ghez won the Nobel physics prize for their discoveries concerning black holes.