To prepare for the impacts of man-made climate change, we rely on projections from climate models.
These represent the changes or even risks that changing environmental conditions may entail. In order to depict possible scenarios as accurately as possible, the various climates of the Earth's history are examined, among other things, for the continuous further development of the model simulations. The findings from these studies are incorporated into updates of the models and enable a better understanding of our current climate system, but also of the strongly changing climate system of the future.
Professor Dr. Katrin Meissner of the Royal Society New South Wales, Australia is dedicated to this field with her fundamental work on the development of Earth system models and her expertise in Earth's climate history. She is being recognized for her outstanding achievements today, July 10, 2023, with the 28th Petersen Professorship of Excellence. The award will be presented in a festive evening event at GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel. The laudation will be held by Professor Dr. Andreas Oschlies, head of the research unit Biogeochemical Modeling at GEOMAR.
The Prof. Dr. Werner Petersen Foundation from Schleswig-Holstein promotes outstanding achievements in science, research, technology and culture. Among other things, professorships of excellence are awarded to international scientists. Attention is paid to a strong commitment to the promotion of young scientists. The award, endowed with 20,000 euros, is linked to a research stay at GEOMAR.
"The scientific work of Professor Meissner is highly relevant for climate research. The Earth system models she has developed provide very important insights for a better understanding of the impacts of climate change"
says GEOMAR Director Professor Dr. Katja Matthes.
"We extend our heartfelt congratulations and are delighted for her to receive the well-deserved award of the Petersen Professorship of Excellence."
Congratulations are also extended to the awardee by the Foundation's Chairman, Dr. h. c. Klaus-Jürgen Wichmann, and Vice Chairman and Executive Director, Dr. Christian Zöllner.
Professor Dr. Meissner completed engineering studies in France and Senegal. During her doctorate at the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, she developed an atmospheric and sea ice model. She then worked as a postdoctoral researcher and later as an assistant professor at the University of Victoria in Canada. Since 2009, she has been at the University of New South Wales in Australia, where she has led the Climate Change Research Centre since 2017. Professor Dr. Meissner has produced work on the development of Earth system models, particularly on the coupling of new processes and integration of isotopes. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society New South Wales and a member of the expert panel of the German Excellence Strategy.
Her evening talk, "What Our Climate Models Can Learn from Millions of Years of Climate History," is about the processes that can improve the accuracy of classical climate models currently used to make climate projections for the 21st century.