Jakob Receives 2016 Atmospheric Sciences Ascent Award

Christian Jakob will receive the 2016 Atmospheric Sciences Ascent Award at the 2016 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, to be held 12–16 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award recognizes “research contributions by exceptional mid-career scientists in the fields of atmospheric and climate sciences.”

Citation for Christian Jakob

For outstanding contributions to the better understanding of atmospheric deep convection, and forceful advocacy for the development and improvement of atmospheric models”

Christian has made groundbreaking contributions to the understanding of atmospheric convection at the process level using observations from weather and research radars, and linking his superb knowledge of weather models to radar observations. He has made crucial contributions to weather prediction model development and model evaluation at the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), and developed numerous improvements to the treatment of clouds and atmospheric convection in the ECMWF models. Christian has demonstrated exceptional leadership in many national and international programs, including WCRP Modeling Advisory Panel, and the GEWEX Cloud System Studies, and as lead author of a chapter of the 2013 IPCC WG1 5th Assessment Report. He has a great passion for training new generations of atmospheric modelers, and has played leading roles in the organization of summer schools, Gordon conferences for mentoring early-career scientists in atmospheric modeling research, and model development.

Christian’s research talents are best summarized in a statement in his nomination letter: “Few scientists can claim such a well-rounded contribution to their field. Dr. Jakob’s work and energy has touched on virtually every dimension of our science, ranging from its intellectual content, to how it is organized, and communicated to the public.”

On behalf of the AGU Atmospheric Sciences section, I am pleased to present a 2016 ASCENT Award to Dr. Christian Jakob.

—William K. M. Lau, President, Atmospheric Sciences section, AGU


I am both thrilled and humbled by receiving this award. I sincerely thank the Atmospheric Sciences section of the AGU for bestowing this honor on me. Thank you Neville, Bjorn, Bill, and Martin for your support in the nomination process.

The award celebrates 20 years of the privilege of being supported by and collaborating with many extraordinary colleagues and friends, too many to name them all. It was Michael Tiedtke and Martin Miller who gave me my start in the field of parameterizing clouds and convection at the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF). Without them, I would not have dared to leave the confines of my home country and discover the world. Without them I would also not have developed the passion for trying to apply my work and ideas to improving models. The international nature of the ECMWF enterprise was the ignition charge for my involvement in the many activities of the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) to which I was allowed to contribute and that shaped me. Thank you WCRP for making me part of the journey. A special thanks goes to the GEWEX Cloud System Study team, which not only allowed me to do better science but also produced several lifelong friendships.

Thank you Peter May for getting me to Australia and for opening my eyes to radar observations. This whole new world turned out to be crucial in developing ideas for future representations of convection in models and it continues to excite me. A special thanks to Michael Reeder for convincing me to come to Monash University and for being a great colleague and friend since my move there. And last but not least, thank you to all my coauthors, especially students and postdocs, for accompanying me on the journey through our science and for letting the rest of the world know about what we do through publications. There would be no award without you.

—Christian Jakob, Monash University, Clayton, Australia