January 24, 2022

Climate Change News

Saving The Planet

Geert Jan van Oldenborgh, 59, dies; Weather disasters related to climate change

The lack of peer review made some members of the scientific community uncomfortable, Cullen “We were still trying to convince other scientists that this could be done,” he said, adding that the experience and leadership of van…

The lack of peer review made some members of the scientific community uncomfortable, Dr. Cullen said. “We were still trying to convince other scientists that this could be done,” he said, adding that the experience and leadership of Dr. van Oldenborgh were key to gaining acceptance.

Dr. van Oldenborgh was born on October 22, 1961 in Rotterdam. His father, Jan, was a lawyer; his mother, Wil Lijbrink, was a psychoanalyst. He studied in British Columbia before receiving a master’s degree from Leiden University in the Netherlands and a doctorate from the University of Amsterdam, both in theoretical physics.

He is survived by his wife, Mandy, and three children, Elwin, Leon and Ingo.

Dr. van Oldenborgh came to the meteorological institute in 1996 as a postdoctoral researcher. Until then his focus had been on particle physics, but in high school he began studying El Niño, the recurring climatic phenomenon that affects weather around the world.

“Climate research turned out to be much more appropriate to my personality and offer more possibilities as it was a newer field and therefore it was easier to make meaningful contributions,” he said in an interview last year. “It was also much easier to explain to the public and the answers were more relevant to society.”

His early work at the institute included the development of Climate Explorer, an online platform through which anyone can analyze climate data. “It has probably been used by all students of meteorology or climate science in the world,” said Dr Otto, who is now a tenured professor at Imperial College London.

Dr. van Oldenborgh soon became interested in climate extremes, said Maarten van Aalst, director of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Climate Center, because it was extreme events, rather than gradual impacts such as rising levels. of the sea, those that affected most people, especially in the poorest countries. areas.

“We were interested in changing extremes,” said Dr. van Aalst, who first worked with Dr. van Oldenborgh in the mid-2000s. “There was basically nothing about that in the literature.”

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