Princeton’s Syukuro Manabe receives Nobel Prize in physics

Oct. 5, 2021

Princeton University professor Syukuro “Suki” Manabe has been awarded the 2021 Nobel Prize in physics “for the physical modeling of Earth’s climate, quantifying variability and reliably predicting global warming."

“One complex system of vital importance to humankind is Earth’s climate. Syukuro Manabe demonstrated how increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere lead to increased temperatures at the surface of the Earth,” the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences noted in announcing the award today. “In the 1960s, he led the development of physical models of the Earth’s climate and was the first person to explore the interaction between radiation balance and the vertical transport of air masses. His work laid the foundation for the development of current climate models.” The prize amount is 10 million Swedish kroner, or about $1.14 million.

Manabe is a senior meteorologist in the Program in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences. He shares the honor for the physical modeling of the climate with Klaus Hasselmann of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg, Germany. The other half of this year’s physics Nobel Prize was awarded to Giorgio Parisi of the Sapienza University of Rome, Italy, “for the discovery of the interplay of disorder and fluctuations in physical systems from atomic to planetary scales.”

Manabe joins a number of other Princeton faculty and alumni who have been awarded Nobel Prizes.

Members of the media: If you have a request about the Nobel Prize winner, please send an email to mediarelations@princeton.edu with the words “Nobel Prize” in the subject line. Images of Manabe and a C.V. are available for use by media.

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