Carl-Gustaf Rossby Research Medal

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The Carl-Gustaf Rossby Research Medal is the highest award for atmospheric science of the American Meteorological Society. It is presented to individual scientists, who receive a medal. Named in honor of meteorology and oceanography pioneer Carl-Gustaf Rossby, who was also its second (1953) recipient.

Previous names[edit]

The prize was initially called Award for Extraordinary Scientific Achievement. In 1958 it was renamed The Carl-Gustaf Rossby Award for Extraordinary Scientific Achievement, and after 1963, its current name.


  • 1951: Hurd Curtis Willett for his contributions to dynamic meteorology leading to a better understanding of atmospheric motions and thermodynamics.
  • 1953: Carl-Gustaf Rossby for his contributions to dynamic meteorology leading to a better understanding of atmospheric motions and thermodynamics.
  • 1955: Jerome Namias for his contributions to, and stimulation of, research in the principles and application of extended and long-range forecasting techniques.
  • 1956: John von Neumann for his farsighted contribution to the science of meteorology and the national interests in developing the modern, high-speed electronic computer with meteorological application as an ultimate aim, and for his support and encouragement in organizing the world's first research group in numerical weather prediction.
  • 1960: J. Bjerknes and Erik Palmén for their pioneering and distinguished research contributions in atmospheric dynamics and synoptic aerology, which have given a unified picture of the general circulation of the atmosphere.
  • 1961: Victor P. Starr for his more than a decade of outstanding fundamental research leading to a better understanding of the general circulation of the atmosphere.
  • 1962: Bernhard Haurwitz for the substantial advances due to his research in dynamic meteorology over a wide range of subjects, including among many the long waves in the westerlies, the circulation of the high atmosphere, local and diurnal effects, and hurricanes.
  • 1963: Harry Wexler (posthumously) for his contributions to knowledge of the atmosphere heat balance and dynamic anticyclogenesis, for his interdisciplinary studies in meteorology, oceanography, and glaciology, and for his outstanding leadership in international programs in the atmospheric sciences.
  • 1964: Jule G. Charney for his long and distinguished record of outstanding contributions to theoretical meteorology and related atmospheric sciences. Apart from acting as a strong scientific stimulus to the development of dynamical weather prediction, Professor Charney's research has led the way to a more fundamental understanding of the atmosphere's general circulation, hydrodynamical instability, the structure of hurricanes, the dynamics of ocean currents, the propagation of wave energy, and many other aspects of geophysical fluid mechanics. In its scientific depth and breadth, Professor Charney's work has contributed significantly to the study of meteorology as an exact science.
  • 1965: Arnt Eliassen for his many important contributions to dynamical meteorology, through which he has brought a new elegance and clarity into the subject. Noteworthy among these are his research on free and thermally driven circulations, on numerical weather prediction, on frontogenesis, and on shear and gravitational–acoustic wave propagation in stratified media.
  • 1966: Zdenek Sekera for his numerous contributions to the dynamics of the atmosphere, which comprise studies of waves at interfaces, of the dynamics of the atmospheric jet stream, and especially of the brightness and polarization of sky light in a scattering atmosphere which led to the extension and application of Chandrasekhar's general theory of radiative transfer to atmospheric problems. This work led to the computation of tables by Sekera and his coworkers. With the publication of these tables, in Chandrasekhar's words, 'The problem that was formulated by Rayleigh in 1871 has now at last found its complete solution.'
  • 1967: Dave Fultz for his outstanding and pioneering research over the past 20 years, which has resulted in laboratory experimental techniques in dynamic meteorology. Through example and personal instruction, these techniques have been the root of nearly all of the modeling studies of the general circulation that have been carried out to date.
  • 1968: Verner E. Suomi for his imagination, ingenuity, and versatility in conceiving and designing diverse meteorological sensors which have helped to transform the satellite as a meteorological probe from a dream to a reality. His Spin-Scan camera has given us our most comprehensive views of the atmosphere as an entity, and has already led to revised ideas concerning the circulation in lower latitudes.
  • 1969: Edward N. Lorenz for his fundamental innovations in dynamic meteorology and his enlightening perspectives in advancing our understanding of the atmosphere as a physical system.
  • 1970: Hsiao-Lan Kuo for his fundamental research in atmospheric dynamics, beginning with his thesis on the stability of barotropic flow and continuing on the general circulation, the theory of hurricane formation, thermal convection, interaction of the atmosphere with the earth's surface, and on many other topics of great importance.
  • 1971: Norman A. Phillips for his introduction of new lines of study which have served to enlarge the scope of dynamic meteorology, his construction of a two-layer model making numerical prediction of developing systems feasible, and his diagnosis of nonlinear instability and prescription for dealing with it, permitting numerical simulation of the general circulation, which he had previously pioneered to be extended to infinite range.
  • 1972: Joseph Smagorinsky for his creative leadership in numerical modeling of the general circulation of the atmosphere.
  • 1973: Christian E. Junge for his productive investigations and international leadership in the study of atmospheric aerosols and atmospheric chemistry that have increased our knowledge of the stratospheric sulphate layer, the background tropospheric aerosol, the intricacies of marine aerosol distribution, and other topics important to the chemical budgets of the atmosphere.
  • 1974: Heinz H. Lettau for his outstanding research achievements leading to a fuller understanding of the atmosphere's first mile. From his original concept of the stability length scale to his pioneering contributions in boundary-layer dynamics, turbulent transfer, climatology, and microscale surface modification, his work has been characterized by remarkable ingenuity and extraordinary dedication to purpose.
  • 1975: Charles H. B. Priestley for his fundamental contributions to the understanding of turbulent processes and the links between small-scale and large-scale dynamics in the atmosphere.
  • 1976: Hans A. Panofsky for his many fundamental contributions to the understanding of turbulent processes and the links between small-scale and large-scale dynamics in the atmosphere.
  • 1977: Akio Arakawa for his formulation of physically realistic methods to incorporate convective clouds and boundary-layer processes into large-scale prediction models of the atmosphere and for his contributions in numerical methods of weather prediction.
  • 1978: James W. Deardorff for his imaginative research on the structure of the convective atmospheric boundary layer and its applications to prediction models and diffusion.
  • 1979: Herbert Riehl for his outstanding analyses of tropical phenomena, ranging from studies of individual clouds, tropical depressions, and hurricanes, to the trade-wind inversion and the Hadley circulation. These studies have greatly advanced our understanding of a major portion of the atmosphere.
  • 1980: Sean A. Twomey for extensive contributions to the development of many areas of atmospheric science, including aerosol and cloud physics, radiative transfer, and remote sensing from satellites.
  • 1981: Roscoe R. Braham, Jr. for his notable contributions in research and effective leadership in the study of complex convective systems.
  • 1982: Cecil E. Leith, Jr. for his fundamental contributions to the theory of statistical hydrodynamics and its application to the assessment of weather and climate predictability.
  • 1983: Joanne Simpson for her outstanding contributions to our understanding of convective clouds, and the role of convection in the formation and maintenance of hurricanes and other wind systems over tropical oceans.
  • 1984: Bert R. Bolin for his outstanding research enlarging our understanding of the atmosphere and oceans as a milieu, for valuable contributions to the understanding of global geochemical cycles, and for his international leadership in scientific planning of the Global Atmospheric Research Programme.
  • 1985: Tiruvalam N. Krishnamurti for fundamental contributions to the understanding of the structure and evolution of the tropical atmosphere, especially the monsoons, and for international leadership in the Global Atmospheric Research Programme.
  • 1986: Douglas K. Lilly for sustained contributions and skilled leadership in establishing the scientific foundations of small- and mesoscale meteorology including convection, gravity waves, and boundary layer turbulence.
  • 1987: Michael E. McIntyre for his original and innovative works furthering our theoretical and conceptual understanding of the stratosphere.
  • 1988: Brian J. Hoskins for numerous major contributions to numerical modeling and to the understanding of atmospheric dynamics.
  • 1989: Richard J. Reed for major contributions to our understanding of polar lows, tropical waves, and the tropical lower stratosphere.
  • 1990: Yale Mintz for preeminent leadership in the global modeling of climate, and for inspiring tutelage of several generations of scientists.
  • 1991: Kikuro Miyakoda for outstanding contributions toward extending the time range of numerical weather prediction to weeks, months, and seasons.
  • 1992: Syukuro Manabe for his contributions to the understanding of climate dynamics and his pioneering role in numerical prediction of climate change.
  • 1993: John M. Wallace for innovative and consequential contributions to the understanding of large-scale atmospheric circulations.
  • 1994: Jerry D. Mahlman for pioneering work in the application of general circulation models to the understanding of stratospheric dynamics and transport.
  • 1995: Chester W. Newton for fundamental research contributions in the areas of the structure and dynamics of jet streams, fronts, cyclones, severe storms, and mesoconvective systems; and the behavior of the general circulation of the atmosphere.
  • 1996: David Atlas for brilliant and sustained leadership in the field of radar meteorology, for important contributions to cloud physics and mesoscale meteorology, and for inspiring new generations of scientists in these fields.
  • 1997: Robert E. Dickinson for his wide-ranging and important contributions to atmospheric dynamics and to earth system science.
  • 1998: Barry Saltzman for his lifelong contributions to the study of the global circulation and the evolution of the earth's climate.
  • 1999: Taroh Matsuno for fundamental contributions to the theory of waves and wave mean flow interaction in geophysical systems.
  • 2000: Susan Solomon for fundamental contributions to understanding the chemistry of the stratosphere and unraveling the mystery of the Antarctic ozone hole.
  • 2001: James R. Holton for outstanding advances in the dynamics of the stratosphere through theoretical advances, perceptive use of models, and contributions to key measurement programs.
  • 2002: V. Ramanathan for fundamental insights into the radiative roles of clouds, aerosols, and key gases in the earth's climate system.
  • 2003: Keith A. Browning for leadership in international programs and synthesis of observations and models dealing with synoptic and mesoscale systems, and for pioneering research on short-range forecasting.
  • 2004: Peter J. Webster for enduring contributions to understanding the general circulation of the tropical atmosphere-ocean system, through insightful research and exemplary scientific leadership.
  • 2005: Jagadish Shukla for fundamental contributions and inspired leadership in understanding the variability and predictability of the climate system on seasonal-to-international time scales.
  • 2006: Robert A. Houze for fundamental and enduring contributions towards the understanding of the broad spectrum of precipitation systems, their interactions with larger scale circulations, and for his leadership of field programs.
  • 2007: Kerry Emanuel for fundamental contributions to the science of moist convection that have led to a new and deeper understanding of tropical cyclones, midlatitude weather systems, and climate dynamics.
  • 2008: Isaac M. Held for fundamental insights into the dynamics of the Earth's climate through studies of idealized dynamical models and comprehensive climate simulations.
  • 2009: James E. Hansen for outstanding contributions to climate modeling, understanding climate change forcings and sensitivity, and for clear communication of climate science in the public arena.
  • 2010: Timothy N. Palmer for fundamental contributions to understanding the role of nonlinear processes in the predictability of weather and climate, and for developing tools for estimating such predictability.
  • 2011: Joseph B. Klemp for illuminating the dynamics of mountain waves and thunderstorms, and for his contributions to improvements in numerical techniques and community models.
  • 2012: John C. Wyngaard for outstanding contributions to measuring, simulating, and understanding atmospheric turbulence.
  • 2013: Dennis L. Hartmann for significant contributions to the synthesis of knowledge of radiative and dynamical processes leading to a deeper understanding of the climate system.
  • 2014: Owen Brian Toon for fundamental contributions toward understanding the role of clouds and aerosols in the climates of Earth and other planets.

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