The ICTP Prize is awarded annually to young scientists from developing countries who have made outstanding and original contributions to physics.
Rondrotiana Barimalala of the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and Narendra Ojha of the Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad, India, were awarded the 2021 ICTP Prize for their important work on diverse aspects of climate change in Africa and Asia.
Much of the work of Rondrotiana Barimalala has focussed on the role of the Indian Ocean on the climate of Madagascar and southern Africa. The ICTP Prize recognizes her pioneering contributions that have advanced the understanding of these interactions through her use of modelling tools and careful data analysis. A deeper understanding of the physical mechanisms driving climate in the region contributes to improved modelling of future climate conditions. This is crucial for Madagascar, a country that is on the brink of experiencing the world's first climate change famine, according to the United Nations World Food Programme.
In India, where ICTP Prize winner Narendra Ojha is based, air pollution is a major health hazard for the country and indeed for all of South Asia. Air pollution also reduces agricultural productivity and therefore adversely impacts the economy of the region. Complex modelling is essential to unravel the roles of diverse emissions in air pollution over South Asia for designing mitigation strategies.
The recipients of the 2021 ICTP Prize will be honoured at a ceremony at ICTP to be held on Wednesday 27 July 2022. More information and the programme for the Ceremony will be available in due course.
Each year, the ICTP Prize is given in honour of a scientist who has made outstanding contributions to the field in which the prize is given. The 2021 ICTP Prize is dedicated to the memory of Jacob Bjerknes, who discovered the connection between sea surface temperature and easterly winds anomalies in the equatorial Pacific. He helped increase our understanding of the El Niño Southern Oscillation by suggesting that an anomalously warm spot in the eastern Pacific can weaken the east-west temperature difference, disrupting trade winds that push warm water to the west. The result is increasingly warm water toward the east.
The 2021 ICTP Prize Ceremony takes place during the 3rd Summer School on Theory, Mechanisms and Hierarchical Modeling of Climate Dynamics: Tropical Oceans, ENSO and their teleconnections | (smr 3727). For more information on the School, see: https://indico.ictp.it/event/9817/
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