Donald Wuebbles’s research contributions would be notable based solely on his foundational efforts in atmospheric chemistry, including important work on the ozone hole. But his research has been remarkably wide ranging and influential, advancing our knowledge about many key aspects of global environmental change, including severe weather, climate extremes, high-resolution modeling of the climate system, national security, and risk management issues associated with climate change. His leadership of environmental assessments has been extensive at the regional, national, and international levels. For the 2014 Third National Climate Assessment and the 2017 Climate Science Special Report, his singular leadership influence on the development of those products was one of the key reasons for the quality and balance of these influential assessments. His body of work reflects his deep commitment to solving the core environmental challenges of our age.
—Kenneth Kunkel, North Carolina State University, Raleigh
It is quite an honor for me to receive the 2018 Bert Bolin Global Environmental Change Award from AGU. Prof. Bert Bolin was a person I have held in high esteem and one who has had a significant impact on my life. As a young scientist in the 1970s and 1980s, when I was primarily using models to study atmospheric chemistry, both for stratospheric ozone and for air quality, I was very impressed with Dr. Bolin’s pioneering work in atmospheric chemistry and biogeochemistry and in the understanding of the carbon cycle. After playing a central role in the formation of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Dr. Bolin was named the first IPCC chair, and a few months later I was somehow asked to be a coordinating lead author on the IPCC First National Climate Assessment report, the first major international attempt to bring together top scientists from around the world to assess the understanding of climate change and its impacts on our home, planet Earth; for that assessment, I co-led chapter 2 on the radiative forcing of climate change. It was then that I first got to meet Dr. Bolin. He was also the IPCC chair during the Second National Climate Assessment report, when I once again was a coordinating lead author. These assessments set the stage for the many assessments of climate science and climate change that have occurred since, both global and more regional. So for me, this is a very extensive recognition. I greatly appreciate the efforts of Ken Kunkel and the others who nominated me for this award in honor of Bert Bolin.
—Donald J. Wuebbles, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign