Indian climatologist wins top UAE prize

June 10th, 2008 - 3:42 pm ICT by IANS  

Dubai, June 10 (IANS) Well-known Indian climatologist V. Ramanathan, who has done pioneering work on the effect of pollutants on global warming, was among this year’s winners of the Zayed International Prize for the Environment awarded by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) government. Ramanathan shared the $300,000 award for scientific or technological achievements with American environmental scientist Jane Lubchenco at a glittering ceremony here Monday evening.

The awards were presented by Deputy Ruler of the UAE Sheikh Maktoum Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum on behalf of Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Ramanathan, among the most distinguished climatologists in the world, has been credited with identifying the famous chlorofluorocarbons, stratospheric ozone and other pollutants as significant factors in the anthropogenic greenhouse effect (manmade factors leading to global warming).

He also demonstrated the positive amplifying effect of water vapour absorption on global warming, the global cooling effects of clouds on climate. More recently, he made significant contributions to the discovery of the widespread Atmospheric Brown Clouds (ABC) phenomenon.

He also showed that soot in the clouds led to a reduction in solar radiation at the ocean surface, which was changing the climate in South Asia. He is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, The Academy of Sciences for Developing Countries (TWAS), and the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.

He is a recipient of the Rosby Award and the Volvo Prize.

Lubchenco is a world leader in environmental sciences and has discovered fundamental ecological and evolutionary relationships among animals and plants in complex coastal systems.

She has studied the effect of aquaculture on world fish supplies and how biotic and abiotic local interactions can have a strong influence on large-scale properties of ecosystems.

Her work has led to a better understanding of factors affecting the distribution, abundance and biodiversity of species.

She has received numerous awards including a MacArthur Fellowship, a Pew Fellowship, eight honorary degrees, the 2002 Heinz Award in the Environment and the Nierenberg Prize for Science in the Public Interest from the Scripps Institute of Oceanography, 2003.

Former prime minister of Norway and ex-director general of the World Health Organisation Gro Harlem Brundtland was given a $500,000 award for global leadership in environment.

She now serves as a Special Envoy on Climate Change for the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

The $200,000 award for environmental action leading to positive change in society was awarded to two non-governmental organisations (NGOs) - Environment Development Action in the Third World (ENDA) in Senegal and Tierram

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