IPCC Founder Succumbs to COVID-19

About Dr. John Houghton

An obituary describing Dr. John Houghton’s remarkable life and leadership in designing instruments to measure climate change, and communicating effectively so governments could understand the phenomenon, is described in this Nature article, here. He died from complications related to Covid-19.

He was clearly not a purely technical man. Among his many qualities was an ability to pull scientists and mathematicians in a direction few were willing to go, due to the normal imprecisions of a shifting, complex world not contained by a laboratory. Under pressure, they agreed on methodologies to develop a recognizable, accessible measure for greenhouse gases (GHGs), called their “global warming potential (GWP)”.

John Houghton was critical to the founding of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which, after decades of effort, achieved the Paris Agreement of 2015.



May 23rd, 2020

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