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October 12, 2007

Berkeley Lab Scientists Contribute to Climate Change Studies that win the Nobel Peace Prize

BERKELEY, CA — Scientists at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory were important contributors to the research on global climate change that has won this year's Nobel Peace Prize.

The 2007 Peace Prize was awarded jointly to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and to former Vice President Al Gore, Jr., "for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change."

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William Collins and Inez Fung of the Earth Sciences Division (ESD), and Mark Levine, Surabi Menon, Evan Mills, Lynn Price, Jayant Sathaye, and Ernst Worrell of the Environmental Energy Technologies Division (EETD) are among current members of Berkeley Lab who were leading authors of this year's IPCC working group reports.

Collins and Fung, who are also professors in the Department of Earth and Planetary Science at the University of California at Berkeley, were among the authors of the report from IPCC Working Group I, "The Physical Science Basis of Climate Change," for the IPCC's Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) in 2007. Surabi Menon, a member of the Atmospheric Sciences Department in EETD, was also an author of this report. All three authors participate in Berkeley Lab's new Climate Science Department, based in ESD and headed by Collins, which is developing a powerful Integrated Earth System Model to deliver detailed climate predictions on the regional scale more than 20 years out, and global models that can forecast worldwide changes to the end of the century.

Levine, Price, Sathaye, and Worrell were among the authors of the AR4 report from Working Group III, "Mitigation of Climate Change." Mills was an author of AR4's Working Group II report, "Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability." Levine, former director of EETD, has long studied problems of climate change and global warming with particular attention to energy use in China. He and Price, Sathaye, Worrell, and Mills are members of EETD's Energy Analysis Department, which among its other research projects develops models of energy use, assesses technological applications, and develops and evaluates policies and programs to improve energy management.

In addition to those named above, other current Berkeley Lab scientists who have contributed to the 2007 reports, or have been authors of the IPCC's Third Assessment Report issued in 2001 or other past reports, include Norm Miller, Curt Oldenburg, and Karsten Pruess of ESD, and Phil Haves, Maithili Iyer, and Stephane de la Rue du Can of EETD.

The Chairman of the IPCC, Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, sent a letter to the lead authors of this year's reports, remarking, "I have been stunned in a pleasant way with the news of the award of the Nobel Peace Prize for the IPCC. This makes each of you a Nobel Laureate and it is my privilege to acknowledge this honour on your behalf.... The fact that the IPCC has earned the recognition that this award embodies, is really a tribute to your knowledge, hard work and application."

Berkeley Lab's contributors are among the thousands of scientists from more than 100 countries who have helped the IPCC alert the world to the reality of humanity's role in global warming through increasingly accurate scientific reports issued since the IPCC's founding by the World Meteorological Organization and the United Nations Environment Program in 1988.

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