A renowned meteorologist and climate scientist has been named today as the first Director of the Grantham Institute for Climate Change at Imperial College London.
Professor Sir Brian Hoskins FRS is a world-leading authority on climate issues and global weather patterns who uses mathematical models to understand weather systems in different parts of the world and how they interact. He has built one of the world’s foremost meteorology departments at the University of Reading, and from 1 January 2008 he will share his time as a Royal Society Research Professor between Imperial College and Reading.
Committed to ensuring that climate research is used to advise governments and influence policy, Sir Brian was a member of the Royal Commission that first proposed a 60% target for reduction of UK carbon dioxide emissions by 2050. He also acted as a scientific advisor to the Stern Review, credited with pushing the issue of climate change to the centre of the political agenda in the UK, and was a member of the IPCC assessment team recently awarded the Nobel Prize.
He has made major contributions to understanding how storms and severe weather develop, and to explaining the profound influence of the El Nino phenomenon on global weather and climate.
His scientific achievements also include the establishment of a link between unusual weather events in the tropics and significant changes to the weather in the UK. This work used mathematical models to demonstrate the direct relationship between the weak Indian Monsoon of 2002 and the serious floods across Europe later that year.
The Grantham Institute for Climate Change was established at Imperial College in 2007 following a £12 million donation from Jeremy and Hannelore Grantham, through the Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment. The Institute is focused on understanding the radical climate changes occurring on Earth, how they affect human welfare and ecosystems and on developing the technological, market and policy solutions needed to mitigate and adapt to change at both a global and local level. Under the Directorship of Sir Brian, the Grantham Institute will work closely with the University of Reading and with other leading institutions in the UK and abroad to achieve this.
Welcoming Sir Brian’s appointment, Sir Richard Sykes, Rector of Imperial College London, said:
“I’m delighted to welcome Sir Brian, one of the UK’s most eminent climate scientists, to Imperial College. Climate change poses some of the most pressing, complex and difficult challenges of the 21st century, but thanks to the generosity and vision of Jeremy and Hannelore Grantham, Imperial is able to focus its expertise on providing workable solutions to the problems that climate change is creating on our planet.”
Knighted in 2007 for his services to environmental science, Sir Brian has been the Chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Met Office since 1995, and has been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, a Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Sciences and a Foreign Member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Commenting on his appointment, Sir Brian said:
“I’m extremely excited about the opportunities this new position affords, enabling me to lead an Institute that will harness the talents of world-leading experts from across Imperial College, and collaborate with the complementary talents at the University of Reading to deliver research with real-world impact. The range and depth of the combined expertise available is phenomenal: specialists in areas as diverse as public health, agriculture, engineering, climate and weather science, biodiversity, earth science, energy technologies and risk.”