Syun-Ichi Akasofu

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Syun-Ichi Akasofu
Ted Stevens at International Arctic Research Center.jpg
Akasofu (left), with then-U.S. Senator Ted Stevens (center), Katey Walter (second from right), Larry Hinzman (back left), Tohru Saito (back right) in 2008
Born (1930-12-04) December 4, 1930 (age 92)
Alma materTohoku University, Sendai, Japan (B.A., 1953; M.S., 1957), University of Alaska Fairbanks (Ph.D., 1961)
Known forSpace physics, Aurora research
AwardsChapman Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society, Fellow of the AGU, John Adam Fleming Medal of the AGU, Edith R. Bullock Prize for Excellence of the University of Alaska, and Order of the Sacred Treasures, Gold and Silver Stars by the Emperor of Japan
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of Alaska Fairbanks
ThesisA study of magnetic storms and auroras
Doctoral advisorSydney Chapman

Syun-Ichi Akasofu (赤祖父 俊一, Akasofu Shun'ichi, born December 4, 1930, Saku, Nagano, Japan) is the founding director of the International Arctic Research Center of the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF), serving in that position from the center's establishment in 1998 until January 2007. Previously he had been director of the university's Geophysical Institute from 1986.


Akasofu earned a B.S. and a M.S. in geophysics at Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan, in 1953 and 1957, respectively. He earned a Ph.D in geophysics at UAF in 1961. Within the framework of his Ph.D. thesis he studied the aurora. His scientific adviser was Sydney Chapman. Akasofu has been a professor of geophysics at UAF since 1964.

Akasofu was director of the Geophysical Institute from 1986 until 1999, during which time the Alaska Volcano Observatory was established and Poker Flat Research Range was modernized. He went on to become the first director of the International Arctic Research Center (IARC) upon its establishment in 1998, and remained in that position until 2007. The same year, the building which houses IARC was named in his honor.

Akasofu has served as an Associate Editor of the Journal of Geophysical Research (1972–74) and the Journal of Geomagnetism & Geoelectricity (1972–present), respectively. Furthermore, he has served as a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of the Planetary Space Science (1969–present), the Editorial Advisory Board of Space Science Reviews (1967–77), and the Editorial Committee of Space Science Reviews (1977–present). As a graduate student, Akasofu was one of the first to understand that the northern aurora was actually an aurora of light surrounding the North Magnetic Pole.[1]

Climate change[edit]

Akasofu does not accept the scientific consensus on climate change that it is anthropogenic. In 2006, he testified to the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation (Subcommittee on Global Climate Change and Impacts) that “… we have at least two firm scientific indicators that show it is incorrect to conclude that this warming in the continental Arctic is due entirely to the greenhouse effect caused by man.”[2] He instead ascribes warming to natural variation[3] and has stated that "… climate change, or temperature, has been rising. Somehow the IPCC decided that the increase in the last 100 years is due to the greenhouse effect; however, a significant part of that would be just due to natural change. So, even if we spend lots of money on suppressing CO2 release, it wouldn’t do any good, because it’s a natural change."[4]

Akasofu presented a talk on "Natural Causes of 20th Century Warming: Recovery from the Little Ice Age and Oscillatory Change"[5][6] at the Heartland Institute's 2nd International Conference on Climate Change in New York (2009). In the scientific literature, he claimed that the "rise in global average temperature over the last century has halted since roughly the year 2000, despite the fact that the release of CO2 into the atmosphere is still increasing" and that "this interruption has been caused by the suspension of the near linear (+ 0.5 °C/100 years or 0.05 °C/10 years) temperature increase over the last two centuries, due to recovery from the Little Ice Age".[7] These claims were shown to be "not connected to any physical phenomenon; rather ... a result of a simplistic and incorrect curve-fitting operation".[8][9] Global average temperature rose approximately 0.5 °C between 2000 and 2020.[10]

Selected publications[edit]

He is an ISI highly cited researcher.[11]

  • Akasofu, S.-I., Polar and Magnetospheric Substorms, D. Reidel Pub. Co., Dordrecht, Holland, 1968, (also a Russian edition).
  • Akasofu, S.-I., B. Fogle, and B. Haurwitz, Sydney Chapman, Eighty, published by the National Center for Atmospheric Research and the Publishing Service of the University of Colorado, 1968.
  • Akasofu, S.-I. and S. Chapman, Solar-Terrestrial Physics, Clarendon Press, Oxford, England, 1972, (also a Russian and Chinese edition).
  • Akasofu, S.-I., The Aurora: A Discharge Phenomenon Surrounding the Earth, (in Japanese), Chuo-koran- sha, Tokyo, Japan.
  • Akasofu, S.-I., Physics of Magnetospheric Substorms, D. Reidel, Pub. Co., Dordrecht, Holland, 1977.
  • Akasofu, S.-I., Aurora Borealis: The Amazing Northern Lights, Alaska Geographic Society, Alaska Northwest Pub. Co., 6, 2, 1979, (also a Japanese edition).
  • Akasofu, S.-I. (ed.), Dynamics of the Magnetosphere, D. Reidel Pub. Co., Dordrecht, Holland, 1979.
  • Akasofu, S.-I. and J.R. Kan (eds.), Physics of Auroral Arc Formation, Am. Geophys. Union, Washington, D.C., 1981.
  • Akasofu, S.-I. and Y. Kamide (eds.), The Solar Wind and the Earth, Geophys. Astrophys. Monographs, Terra Scientific Pub. Co., Tokyo, Japan, and D. Reidel Pub. Co., Dordrecht, Holland, 1987.
  • Akasofu, S.-I., Secrets of the Aurora Borealis, Alaska Geographic Society, Banta Publications Group/Hart Press, Vol. 29, No. 1, 2002.
  • Akasofu, S.-I. Exploring the Secrets of the Aurora, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Netherlands, 2002.

Awards and honors[edit]


  1. ^ "NASA - The History of Auroral Substorms". NASA. 23 April 2006. Retrieved 28 January 2014.
  2. ^ "govinfo". Retrieved 2022-02-22.
  3. ^ " | life : Critic takes longer view of warming". 2008-10-08. Archived from the original on 2008-10-08. Retrieved 2022-02-22.
  4. ^ "Executive Intelligence Review".
  5. ^ Syun Akasofu ICCC2, retrieved 2022-02-22
  6. ^ "Videos - Syun Akasofu ICCC2 | Heartland Institute". Retrieved 2022-02-22.
  7. ^ Akasofu, Syun-Ichi (June 2013). "On the Present Halting of Global Warming". Climate. 1 (1): 4–11. Bibcode:2013Clim....1....4A. doi:10.3390/cli1010004. ISSN 2225-1154.
  8. ^ Nuccitelli, Dana A.; Abraham, John P.; Benestad, Rasmus E.; Mandia, Scott A. (September 2013). "Comment on: Akasofu, S.-I. On the Present Halting of Global Warming. Climate 2013, 1, 4–11". Climate. 1 (2): 76–83. Bibcode:2013Clim....1...76N. doi:10.3390/cli1020076. ISSN 2225-1154.
  9. ^ "Magical climate contrarian thinking debunked by real science | Dana Nuccitelli, John Abraham, Scott Mandia". The Guardian. 2013-09-23. Retrieved 2022-02-22.
  10. ^ "Climate Change: Global Temperature | NOAA". Retrieved 2022-02-22.
  11. ^ highly cited author: ISI Rating: Highly Cited Archived 2007-05-19 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ "Edith R. Bullock Prize for Excellence Recipients | University of Alaska Foundation".

External links[edit]