Syukuro Manabe

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Syukuro "Suki" Manabe (真鍋 淑郎 Manabe Shukurō?, born September 21, 1931 in Ehime) is a Japanese meteorologist and climatologist who pioneered the use of computers to simulate global climate change and natural climate variations.

Scientific accomplishments[edit]

Working at NOAA's Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, first in Washington, DC and later in Princeton, New Jersey, Manabe worked with director Joseph Smagorinsky to develop three-dimensional models of the atmosphere. As the first step, Manabe and Wetherald (1967) developed one-dimensional, single-column model of the atmosphere in radiative-convective equilibrium with positive feedback effect of water vapor. Using the model, they found that, in response to the change in atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide, temperature increases at the Earth's surface and in the troposphere, whereas it decreases in the stratosphere. Manabe also played a critical role in the development of comprehensive general circulation model (Manabe et al. 1965). They used the model to simulate for the first time the three-dimensional response of temperature and the hydrologic cycle to increased carbon dioxide(Manabe and Wetherald, 1975). In 1969 Manabe and Kirk Bryan published the first simulations of the climate by a coupled ocean-atmosphere models, exploring the role of oceanic heat transport in determining the global distribution of climate. Throughout the 1990s early 2000s, Manabe's research group published seminal papers using the coupled models to investigate the time-dependent response ofclimate to changing greenhouse gas concentrations of the atmosphere (Stouffer et al.,1989; Manabe et al., 1991 & 1992). They also applied the model to the study of past climate change, including the role of freshwater input to the North Atlantic Ocean as a potential cause of the so-called, abrupt climate change evident in the paleoclimatic record (Manabe and Stouffer,1995 & 2000).


Born in 1931, Manabe received a Ph.D. from the University of Tokyo in 1958 and came to the United States to work at the General Circulation Research Section of the U.S. Weather Bureau, now the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory of NOAA, continuing until 1997. From 1997 to 2001, he worked at the Frontier Research System for Global Change in Japan serving as Director of the Global Warming Research Division. In 2002 he returned to the United States as a visiting research collaborator at the Program in Atmospheric and Oceanic Science, Princeton University. He currently serves as senior meteorologist at the university.


Manabe is a member of the United States National Academy of Sciences, and a foreign member of Japan Academy,Academia Europaea and the Royal Society of Canada. In 1992, he was the first recipient of the Blue Planet Prize of the Asahi Glass Foundation. In 1997 Manabe was awarded the Volvo Environmental Prize from the Volvo Foundation. In 2015 Manabe was awarded Benjamin Franklin Medal of Franklin Institute. Manabe has also been honored with the American Meteorological Society’s Carl-Gustaf Rossby Research Medal, the American Geophysical Union’s William Bowie Medal and Revelle Medal, and the Milutin Milankovitch Medal from the European Geophysical Society.



  • Manabe, S., J. Smagorinsky, and R.F. Strickler, 1965: Simulated climatology of a general circulation model with a hydrologic cycle. Monthly Weather Review, 93(12), 769-798.
  • Manabe, S., and R. T. Wetherald, 1967: Thermal equilibrium of the atmosphere with a given distribution of relative humidity. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 24 (3), 241-259.
  • Manabe, S. and K. Bryan, 1969: Climate Calculation with a combined ocean-atmosphere model. Journal of Atmospheric Sciences, 26(4), 786-789.
  • Manabe, S. and R.T. Wetherald, 1975: The effect of doubling of CO2 concentration in the atmosphere. Journal of Atmospheric Sciences, 32(1), 3-15.
  • Stouffer,R.J., S. Manabe,and K. Bryan, 1989: Interhemispheric Asymmetry in climate response to a gradual increase of atmospheri carbon dioxide. Nature, 342,660-662.
  • Manabe, S., R.J. Stouffer, M.J. Spelman, and K. Bryan, 1991: Transient response of coupled ocean-atmosphere model to gradual changes of atmospheric CO2. Part I: Annual mean response. Journal of climate, 4(8), 785-818.
  • Manabe, S., M.J. Spelman, and R.J. Stouffer, 1992: Transient response of a coupled ocean-atmosphere model to gradual increase of atmospheric CO2. Part II: Seasonal response. Journal of climate, 5(2): 105-126.
  • Manabe, S., and R. J. Stouffer, 1995: Simulation of abrupt climate change induced by freshwater input to the North Atlantic Ocean. Nature, 378, 165-167.
  • Manabe, S., and R.J. Stouffer, 2000: Study of abrupt climate Change by a coupled ocean-atmosphere model. Quaternary Science Reviews, 19: 285-299.