US climatologist receives China's top honor on scientific cooperation

Source:Xinhua Published: 2017/5/3 13:22:20

John Kutzbach, a US climatologist and professor of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, received here Tuesday China's top science honor for foreigners, the International Science and Technological Cooperation Award.

"I am honored to receive this international science cooperation award... It's a great honor," 80-year-old Kutzbach told a special ceremony in the Chinese embassy in Washington, D.C.

Kutzbach was granted the 2016 award, along with four other foreign scientists and one international organization, for helping hasten the development of China's research in global climate changes.

But he did not attend the award ceremony held this January in Beijing because of health reasons.

On Tuesday, an emotional Kutzbach recalled that his 30-year cooperation with China started with a visit by two Chinese scientists to his university during a cold winter in the 1980s.

"You can't see the future very well. So I had no dream that our work together would lead to so much scientific accomplishment involving so many US and Chinese scientists and also deep friendships," he said.

Kutzbach said this cooperation is "not something that has a beginning and an end" and should continue under the Trump administration.

"We are doing this not for our generation, but for the future of our two countries," he said. "It's my hope the strong scientific cooperation between our two countries will strengthen and grow."

Cen Jianjun, minister counselor for education of the Chinese embassy, spoke very highly of what Kutzbach has done for China's research on paleoclimate, or ancient climate on Earth.

Cen praised the professor as an internationally recognized first-class scientist on climate numerical simulation and one of the pioneers and founders in paleoclimate modelling.

"In the last 30 years, Prof. Kutzbach has made a great contribution in promoting bilateral cooperation in scientific technologies and he selflessly passes his knowledge and wisdom to our Chinese scientists," he said. "I would like to represent the Chinese government to express our heartfelt thanks to Prof. Kutzbach."

The ceremony was also attended by Kutzbach's wife, son and other family members as well as his Chinese collaborators and friends.

Kutzbach, born in 1937, is a long-term director of Center for Climate Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He was elected a member of the US National Academy of Sciences in 2006.

As one of the forerunners of paleoclimate modelers, he has studied the responding and feeding back mechanisms in the simulation of changing Earth process through groundbreaking connections of climatology, geology and ecology sciences with numerical method of physics and bio-geochemistry.

He has successfully revealed the mechanism and driving force of climatic environmental changes at various tectonic to orbital time scales.

His findings have opened up a new direction for a deeper understanding of the past, present and future changes of Earth system.

China's International Science and Technological Cooperation Award was launched in 1994. Since then, 106 foreign scientists and three organizations have been awarded the honor.

Posted in: DIPLOMACY

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