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Concentration of CO2 in the Atmosphere

Vermont Climate Scientist Receives Global Environmental Award

Dr. Alan K. Betts Receives the First Bert Bolin Global Environmental Focus Group Award

Alan K. Betts is the first recipient of the Bert Bolin Award/Lecture of the AGU Global Environmental Change Focus Group. He will present this lecture at the 2016 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, to be held 12–16 December in San Francisco. The award recognizes an earth scientist for his or her ground breaking research or leadership in global environmental change through cross-disciplinary, interdisciplinary, and trans-disciplinary research in the past 10 years.


Bert Bolin (1925-2007) a world leading climate scientist and science organizer. He is the man who got the world to agree on climate. Photo:

Bert Bolin (1925-2007) a world leading climate scientist and science organizer. He is the man who got the world to agree on climate. Photo:

Alan Bettsresearch “has been transformative by providing a new understanding of one of the fundamental climate processes – land-atmospheric coupling and how it varies from the diurnal to monthly time-scale, with land cover, and how it may vary under environmental change. His environmental change leadership in Vermont has been exceptional. His writings, public talks and TV interviews dealing with weather, climate, climate change, energy and policy issues have fostered positive debate; as they both clarify the climate issues we all face, while encouraging readers and listeners to explore alternative, hopeful paths for themselves, their families and society,” said Prof. Rong Fu, President, Global Environmental Change Focus Group at the University of Texas.


“I am grateful to the AGU Global Environmental Change Focus Group for selecting me as the first recipient of the Bert Bolin Award.

“My work over the past forty years has covered a wide range of topics central to understanding the Earths climate over land and ocean, and the coupling between the oceans and land-surface, the atmospheric boundary layer, clouds, convection and radiation across scales. Because I have worked as an independent scientist in Vermont for decades, this work would not have been possible without the support of so many across the globe. I would specifically like to thank Martin Miller, Anton Beljaars, Pedro Viterbo and Gianpaulo Balsamo (and the late Tony Hollingsworth) at ECMWF for thirty years of collaboration using data to evaluate and improve the physics of their analysis-forecast system. My recent work on land-atmosphere-cloud coupling over the Canadian Prairies that this award cites would not have been possible without the foresight of Ray Desjardins at Agriculture-Canada, and the generous support of other Canadian scientists. My understanding of the Amazon owes much to my Brazilian friends and collaborators, Maria and Pedro Silva Dias. Long-term support from NSF and grants from NASA made all this possible.

“My role as a climate advisor in Vermont owes a profound debt to the people of Vermont, who have deep roots in the land. They see what is happening to their climate, and have reached out to me, urgently seeking understanding and answers, as ongoing climate change is transforming the state. So for more than a decade, it has been clear that my research must address these critical questions; and translate all that we know, both locally and globally, into concepts that citizens and professionals can understand and apply to their work and lives.” – Alan Betts, Atmospheric Research, Pittsford, VT.

Green Energy Times would like to congratulate Dr. Alan K. Betts for this outstanding achievement. We are grateful for his work and proud that he is a local Vermonter. Betts submits a regular column in each edition of Green Energy Times. Following is the announcement of this prestigious award that he has been cited for.

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