The 2016 Tinker-Muse Prize for Science and Policy in Antarctica has been awarded to Professor Robert DeConto, University of Massachusetts-Amherst. This recognition comes for his outstanding work on past and future Antarctic climate and for research integrating geological data with modelling to reveal likely consequences for future sea level rise from ice sheet melt.
Rob’s pioneering data-model integration strategy was key to the success of the ANDRILL programme, central to the SCAR Antarctic Climate Evolution (ACE) and Past Antarctic Ice Sheet Evolution (PAIS) scientific research programmes, and eventually adapted by the International Ocean Drilling Program’s (IODP) science plan with an emphasis on the role of the South Polar region in climate evolution and sea level history. Over the last decade, Rob has worked with colleagues to build on this basic methodology in a series of influential papers, incorporating new and significant ice loss processes that provide improved comparisons between model results and geological data, with recent models predicting a doubling in the amount of sea level rise by the end of the century and beyond, compared with the 2013 assessment by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Professor De Conto’s homepage at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, USA.