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Current Year Winners

2013 (22nd) Blue Planet Prize Winners

Dr. Taroh Matsuno ( Japan )
Principal Scientist, Research Institute for Global Change, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology

Dr. Matsuno has made a major contribution to international awareness of global warming and climate change. His paper, “Quasi-Geostrophic Motions in the Equatorial Area,” which helped to explain the El Niño phenomenon and to elucidate climate change, is just one of many research accomplishments.

Professor Daniel Sperling ( USA )
Professor, University of California, Davis

Prof. Sperling is recognized internationally as a leading expert on transportation, technology, fuels assessment, and policy, with a focus on energy and the environment. He has devoted his career to mitigating climate change and accelerating the global transition to cleaner, more efficient transportation and energy.
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Remarks from the Award Recipients upon Notification of their Selection
It is a great honor to receive the Blue Planet Prize, which bears a long tradition. My winning this award has been attributed for advancing climate change research in Japan and for the contribution to joint international research. I am receiving this prize not individually but as representing all my comrades with whom I have researched climate change – particularly the many both experienced and young researchers who have obtained internationally top-level findings through organizational climate change forecasting experiments. I also express my gratitude to the associates who, aware of the importance of these issues, have supported this research that acquired an environment that enabled the world's highest level of research.
Regarding climate change, United States resident Dr. Shukuro Manabe was awarded the first Blue Planet Prize. Dr. Manabe established the theory concerning global warming due to increase in greenhouse gases that led to today’s research, and paved the way to a new field of climate research using computer models. There were in fact so many other Japanese-born researchers of the same generation as Dr. Manabe who moved to the U.S. during the tough research circumstances after the war and have led the world in this field of study. I, being the first generation to have passed that era and yet continue research in Japan, believed it was my responsibility to take the seeds of research that my predecessors have developed and mature them in my country. I am extremely pleased that the results of such efforts have been recognized this time around. I owe this to my many comrades with whom I have continually worked since my days at The University of Tokyo, and to whom I express my deepest gratitude.
I am deeply honored to receive the Blue Planet Prize. Many of my heroes have won this award, and I am humbled to join this distinguished group. Whatever I have accomplished is due largely to my many brilliant and passionate colleagues and students. I have benefitted from their extraordinary contributions. Inspired by them and by this Prize, I am committing the rest of my career to leveraging the tremendous reservoir of knowledge embedded in universities to enhance public policy, in particular policy that shifts the world away from the pending disaster of climate change. This year the world passed an ominous threshold—the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere exceeded 400 parts per million for the first time in human civilization. Humans are engaged in a risky experiment that need not end in disaster. Solutions are all around us. New technologies and new behaviors will transform our cities and energy systems. Policies are needed to stimulate innovation and encourage those changes in behavior, leading us to a tipping point of sustainable development. It is not easy, but with great effort we can recover our healthy blue planet.