Alfred Wegener Medal for climate and earth system researcher Meinrat O. Andreae

Picture: C. Costard
Picture: C. Costard

12 April 2018

The emeritus director of the MPI for Chemistry receives the highest award of the European Geosciences Union (EGU) for his groundbreaking research achievements

At this year's General Assembly of the European Geosciences Union (EGU) in Vienna, Professor Meinrat O. (Andi) Andreae was awarded the Alfred Wegener Medal and Honorary Membership. With its highest distinction, the EGU honors Meinrat O. Andreae for his groundbreaking research and outstanding achievements in the atmospheric, biogeochemical, climate, and Earth system sciences.

“A characteristic feature of Andi Andreae’s work is his exceptional ability to grasp the big picture, to identify key scientific questions, and to propose and implement viable pathways to answer these questions”, says Ulrich Pöschl, Managing Director at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry. This approach and his deep scientific understanding of the Earth system brought Andreae to play leading roles in many successful international geoscientific projects and long-term collaborations between scientists in Africa, Asia, the Americas, and Europe; e.g., the Integrated Land Ecosystem-Atmosphere Processes Study (iLEAPS), the Large-Scale Biosphere Atmosphere Project in Amazonia (LBA), and the Amazonian Tall Tower Observatory (ATTO) with a 325 m tall measurement tower for aerosol, cloud, and climate research in the Amazon rainforest.

Picture: EGU
Picture: EGU

Scientific correlations identified

Among Andreae’s major scientific discoveries and research themes are (1) the close coupling of the atmospheric and the marine sulfur cycle and its role in climate, (2) the global importance of gas and aerosol emissions from biomass burning and vegetation fires, and (3) the unraveling of aerosol effects on clouds, precipitation, and climate – especially over tropical rainforests and oceans.

Andreae’s groundbreaking and pioneering scientific achievements are reflected in a large number of highly cited publications (he has published around 500 scientific articles to date and several books) and scientific honors. He has mentored numerous graduate students and postdocs, many of whom are now in faculty or senior scientist positions and continue to serve and promote geoscientific research.

To date, he has worked together with many scientific institutes all over the world, and is involved in teaching and in various steering committees for international large-scale research projects. To name but one example, he is a co-author of the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, known as the IPCC for short, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007.

More information:

The European Geosciences Union’s (EGU) Alfred Wegener Medal recognizes scientists who have achieved exceptional international standing in atmospheric, hydrological or ocean sciences