Christian Jakob recognised with 2016 Ascent Award

Congratulations to ARCCSS Deputy Director Christian Jakob who was one of five atmospheric researchers to be awarded the 2016 Ascent Award by the American Geophysical Union. The award is given to exceptional mid-career researchers who demonstrate excellence in research and leadership.

Christian said he was delighted by the honour.

“I am thrilled and humbled by this award. Having contributions to the field recognized by colleagues and peers is a great feeling and I am extremely grateful to the many friends who supported and contributed to my career,” Christian said.

A quick glance through the highlights of Christian’s career – and there are many –explains why he was a deserving choice.

His work on deriving new approaches for analyzing the behavior of clouds and convection in models, including designing a simulator to mimic what a satellite would observe flying over clouds in climate models has had far reaching impacts in the community. The tool resulting from this research, the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP), is part of a community cloud simulator package that is regularly applied to all climate models. All major global modeling centres make use of the ISCCP when assessing model performance.

Christian also developed an innovative objective technique to identify cloud regimes from satellite data; has made groundbreaking contributions to understanding convection at process level using observations and research radars; helped develop the first global description of the role of fronts in producing rainfall; and has played a key role in helping the research community move towards climate models that produce credible projections of changes in intense rainfall in a future warmer climate.

Christian has also provided national and international research leadership. His research on convective processes culminated in him proposing, designing and co-leading a major international field study of atmospheric convection - the Tropical Warm Pool International Cloud Experiment (TWP-ICE). TWPICE produced a data set that is in worldwide use. As of March 2016, Web of Science lists 52 papers that explicitly name the TWP-ICE experiment in the title or as topic. Those papers have been cited more than 915 times.

His list of leadership positions is significant. Aside from being the Deputy Director of the Centre his additional roles have included being Co-Chair of the World Climate Research Program Modeling Advisory Council (2012); Lead Author, IPCC 5th Assessment Report, Working Group 1 (2010-2013); Co-Chair of the Working Group on Numerical Experimentation (2008-2012); Chair of GEWEX Modeling and Prediction Panel (2007-2010); Co-Chair Gordon Research Conference on Radiation and Climate (2009); Chair of GEWEX Cloud System Study (2004- 2006); WCRP Modeling Panel (2006-2009); GEWEX Cloud System Study Science Panel (2002- 2008); and a member of the PCMDI Scientific Advisory Committee (2004-2009).

He is also producing the climate researchers of the future with six students having completed their PhDs with him and another seven currently under supervision.

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