Jean-Pascal van Ypersele

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Jean-Pascal van Ypersele.

Jean-Pascal van Ypersele de Strihou (born 1957, in Brussels) is a Belgian academic climatologist. He is a professor of Environmental Sciences at the University of Louvain (UCLouvain) in Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium).

Popularity in Quebec[edit]

Jean-Pascal has been featured in a ministry examination for the secondary 5 level.[1]


van Ypersele received a PhD in physics from UCLouvain in 1986 (with highest honours), with his dissertation on his work done at United States National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) on the effect of global warming on Antarctic sea ice. After military service in the Belgian Navy, he continued his research on climate change. van Ypersele authored papers on subjects on a plethora of issues, including the modeling of sea ice, paleoclimates, the climate of the 20th and 21st century, regional climate change in Europe, Greenland, and Africa, and the ethical issues associated with responsibility for climate change.


Van Ypersele at the 2017 March for Science in Brussels

Jean-Pascal van Ypersele's involvement in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) started well before the Third Assessment Report, of which he was one of the Lead Authors. He has several times filled in as a Review Editor and has participated in dozens of outreach events related to the work of the IPCC. He was one of IPCC Vice-Chairs during the 5th cycle of evaluation, from September 2008 to October 2015. He was nominated by the Belgian government[2] and publicly announced in February 2014,[3] as candidate to the IPCC Chair position in 2015. The elections of IPCC Bureau members (Chair, Vice-Chairs, and Working Group and TFI Co-Chairs and Vice-Chairs) were held during the 42nd IPCC Session from 5 to 8 October 2015, in Dubrovnik. Despite the assistance and official support of the Belgian government, his campaign pledge to maintain the scientific independence of the IPCC, and his stressing of the importance of inclusiveness and communication,[4] Jean-Pascal van Ypersele was not elected. He lost in the second round against Hoesung Lee, and was not able to extend his candidacy to the co-chair position, for which the supporting government must put forward political and financial support. Jean-Pascal van Ypersele thus decided to completely leave the Bureau of the IPCC.[5]

Before his election as IPCC Vice-Chair, he took part as scientific adviser to the United Nations conferences on climate-related issues.

He teaches climatology and environmental sciences, and directs the Master programme in Science and Management of the Environment at UCLouvain (Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium). Since 1993, he is a member of the Belgian Federal Council for Sustainable Development, and he chairs its Working Group on Energy and Climate.


In 2018 van Ypersele wrote "In het oog van de klimaatstorm"[6] (EN: In the eye of the climate storm), a Dutch language text published by EPO.


  • 2006: Energy and environment award from the International Polar Foundation
  • 2008: Francqui Chair at the Université libre de Bruxelles and K.U. Leuven - H.U. Brussel (2011)
  • 2009: Member of the Royal Academy of Belgium
  • 2010: Honorary Member of the Club of Rome (EU Chapter)
  • 2011: Commandeur du Mérite wallon
  • 2014: Grand Officier de l'Ordre de la Couronne (Belgium)


van Ypersele was in the news because of his support for a Rwandan colleague, M. Ntezimana, involved in the 1994 genocide and condemned.[7]

On several occasions, van Ypersele refused to publicly debate with sceptical colleagues such as István Markó,[8] who were later boycotted by his university in the presentation of their book.[9]

In a 2018 Associated Press interview, van Ypersele urged that "countries should do everything possible to work towards the report's goal of reigning in carbon emissions by 2030, at which point scientists say damage to the climate will be irreversible unless urgent action has been taken." He added, "Nobody, even the so-called superpowers, can negotiate with the laws of physics."[10]


  1. ^ supérieur, Ministère de l'Éducation et de l'Enseignement. "Horaire de la session d'examen et de la reprise d'épreuves". (in French). Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  2. ^ Nomination by Belgium as a candidate to the position of Chair of the IPCC Archived 5 September 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "Error 404".
  4. ^ Electoral platform of Jean-Pascal van Ypersele for the position of Chair of the IPCC
  5. ^, La. "Jean-Pascal van Ypersele : "J'avais dit la présidence ou rien, je quitte donc le Giec"".
  6. ^ "In het oog van de klimaatstorm - Jean-Pascal van Ypersele". EPO.
  7. ^, La. "J-P Van Ypersele met en cause un policier".
  8. ^ fr:István Markó[better source needed]
  9. ^ À l'UCL, un professeur qui dérange, La, February 7, 2014
  10. ^ Newman, John Henry (13 September 1984), "To John William Bowden", The Letters and Diaries of John Henry Newman, Vol. 6: The Via Media and Froude's 'Remains': January 1837 to December 1838, Oxford University Press, pp. 12–12, ISBN 9780199201419, retrieved 1 May 2019