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Wallace Smith Broecker, scientist who discovered term global warming dies: 5 facts about climate change pioneer

Broecker Was Also First To Recognize What He Called The Ocean Conveyor Belt, A Global System Of Ocean Currents Circulating Water And Nutrients

News Nation Bureau | Edited By : Fayiq Wani | Updated on: 19 Feb 2019, 11:53:03 PM
Wallace Smith Broecker, the climate scientist who popularized the term

New Delhi:

Wallace Smith Broecker, the climate scientist who popularized the term "global warming" passed away on Monday. He was 87. “Broecker had been ailing in recent months,” Columbia University spokesman for the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory said. “Long time professor and researcher died on Monday at a New York City hospital,” he said. Broecker was born in Chicago in 1931 and grew up in Suburban Oak Park. Broecker brought "global warming" into common use with a 1975 paper that correctly predicted rising carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere would lead to pronounced warming.

Broecker was also first to recognize what he called the Ocean Conveyor Belt, a global system of ocean currents circulating water and nutrients.

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“Wally was unique, brilliant and combative,” said Princeton University professor Michael Oppenheimer. “He wasn’t fooled by the cooling of the 1970s. He saw clearly the unprecedented warming now playing out and made his views clear, even when few were willing to listen.”

5 facts about Wallace Smith Broecker

  1. Wallace Smith Broecker developed the idea of a global "conveyor belt" linking the circulation of the global ocean and made major contributions to the science of the carbon cycle and the use of chemical tracers and isotope dating in oceanography. Broecker received the Crafoord Prize and the Vetlesen Prize.
  2. Broecker has authored over 450 journal articles and 10 books. He is perhaps best known for his discovery of the role played by the ocean in triggering the abrupt climate changes.
  3. He joined Columbia's faculty in 1959 and was known in science circles as the "Grandfather of Climate Science."
  4. Broecker has been described in the New York Times as a geoengineering pioneer. He recently co-wrote an account of climate science with the science journalist, Robert Kunzig.
  5. He received the A.G. Huntsman Award for Excellence in the Marine Sciences from the Royal Society of Canada in 1985 and the 2008 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Earth and Environmental Science from the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In September 2008 Broecker was the recipient of the Balzan Prize for outstanding achievement in science.

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First Published : 19 Feb 2019, 12:50:03 PM