Princeton faculty part of Nobel-winning panel

Eleven Princeton faculty members have been involved in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that was awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday, Oct. 12.

Michael Celia, Leo Donner, Anand Gnanadesikan, Isaac Held, Gabriel Lau, Denise Mauzerall, Michael Oppenheimer, Venkatachalam Ramaswamy, Jorge Sarmiento, Robert Socolow and Robert Williams have contributed to panel reports over the years. For example, Oppenheimer was lead author of a report presented to the United Nations this past April, and Mauzerall contributed to an IPCC report issued in 2001.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee announced that the prize would be shared by former U.S. Vice President Al Gore and the IPCC 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."

Oppenheimer, who has been affiliated with the panel since 1990, said, "The Nobel Committee's recognition of the IPCC is very encouraging to the thousands of scientists over the years who have dedicated large amounts of time for these reports. The recognition makes it clear that expert advice means something."

The IPCC was created by the U.N. General Assembly in 1988 to provide objective policy advice in response to the growing concern about the risk of climate change. Thousands of scientists and officials from more than 100 countries have collaborated on IPCC reports over the past two decades.

Two panel reports presented earlier this year concluded it was very likely that humans were responsible for global warming, and that rising temperatures would likely accelerate if steps were not taken to address the warming trend.

Celia is a professor of civil and environmental engineering and chair of the department; Donner is a lecturer with a rank of associate professor in geosciences and atmospheric and oceanic sciences; Gnanadesikan is a lecturer in geosciences; Mauzerall is an associate professor of public and international affairs; Oppenheimer is the Albert G. Milbank Professor of Geosciences and International Affairs; Sarmiento is a professor of geosciences and the director of the Program in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences; Socolow is a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering; Williams is a senior research scientist in the Princeton Environmental Institute; and Held, Lau and Ramaswamy are lecturers with the rank of professor in geosciences and atmospheric and oceanic sciences.

Donner, Gnanadesikan, Held, Lau and Ramaswamy also are affiliated with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory located in Princeton.