Ginoux Receives 2013 Atmospheric Sciences Ascent Award

Cecilia M. Bitz, Paul A. Ginoux, Mark Z. Jacobson, Sergey Nizkorodov, and Ping Yang received 2013 Atmospheric Sciences Ascent Award at the 2013 AGU Fall Meeting, held 9–13 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award recognizes “research contributions by exceptional mid-career scientists in the fields of atmospheric and climate sciences.”


ginoux_paul-aThe Atmospheric Sciences section of AGU awards one of the five Ascent Awards to Dr. Paul A. Ginoux of the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for outstanding world-leading research on dust aerosols using observations and models that has contributed to a comprehensive scientific understanding of atmospheric aerosols.”

Ginoux investigates the role of dust in climate using a wide range of data and methodologies. He has extracted information from observations obtained from multiple platforms (satellites, ground-based networks, aircraft, lidar), constructed parameterizations for a range of numerical model types, and formulated model intercomparisons and assessments against observations.

In conducting his research, Paul has collaborated widely across institutions and with scientists nationally and internationally. As stated by his nominator, “he has been unselfish…freely imparting his knowledge and findings…in order for the science to become wholesome and for the knowledge to be integrated.”

Paul is responsible for the extremely important result that anthropogenic activity (primarily agricultural in origin) contributes about 25% of the observed atmospheric concentration of dust. This would seem to be of immense importance for climate research as the field attempts to determine the relative influences of man and natural variability in a changing climate.

Ginoux’s research on the physical nature of dust aerosols, their emissions, the manner in which they are transported and transformed that he has deduced from first physical principles, numerical techniques, and observations garners the following accolades from his nominators: “world-leading scientific credentials par excellence,” “among the among the top world experts spanning virtually all areas of relevance in aerosol physics,” and “is really an outstanding scientist with a lot of imagination and a sense of perfection. He is working very systematically and rigorously. I regard him as a real world scientific leader and a pioneering scholar. Undoubtedly, he is one of the few top specialists in dust modeling with a rare intellectual breadth.”

We are extremely pleased to present a 2013 Atmospheric Sciences Ascent Award to Dr. Paul A. Ginoux.

—PETER J. WEBSTER, Georgia Tech University, Atlanta


I am honored to receive the 2013 AGU Ascent Award, although it came with some surprise. If I get quickly passionate when speaking about dust, most colleagues and friends wonder with amazement how that is possible. One reason for it is the widespread interactions between dust and all parts of the Earth’s system.

Reading a wide spectrum of scientific journals has been crucial to make such links, but access to scientific libraries is not always easy. So I would like first to thank all public libraries, particularly the Library of Congress and its mesmerizing atmosphere; the University of Colorado at Boulder Library, which I like to associate with the “Library of Babel” by Luis Borges; and the library of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, where I discovered many scientific journals.

There are many people whom I would like to thank, and I will start with my dust buddies, who occasionally get more excited about dust than me, especially Joe Prospero and Tom McGill. My scientific career started with my Ph.D. advisor, Guy Brasseur, who created a wonderful atmosphere at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. The opportunity to work at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center with Mian Chin as a postdoctoral fellow was instrumental in finding new ideas from the analysis of satellite data. I wish to thank my director Ramaswamy for giving me the chance to work at GFDL and to interact with top scientists modeling each component of the Earth’s system.

Finally, I am grateful to my nominators and supporters, and I wish to thank the AGU Atmospheric Sciences section awards committee for this honor.

—PAUL A. GINOUX, Geophysical Fluid Laboratory, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Princeton, N.J.