James Screen, Professor of Climate Science at The University of Exeter, has been recognised for his work on transforming understanding of the rapid climate warming in the Arctic and its effects on the global climate.

Professor Screen’s work has also helped to inform the United Nations and governments on these topics.

Climate scientist Professor Screen has been announced as a finalist in the Physical Sciences and Engineering category for his research ‘Discovering if Arctic warming is to blame for extreme weather’, clarifying some of the long-debating questions around this topic.

Professor Screen’s work disproved a once-popular notion that the Arctic sea-ice loss is responsible for the increased frequency of cold extremes in the mid-latitudes of the northern hemisphere over the last two decades. Using a novel and robust physics-based approach, he demonstrated that Arctic warming leads to fewer cold days in the northern hemisphere.

Speaking about his award, Professor Screen said: “I am truly delighted to have been recognised as a finalist at the Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists in the UK. The Arctic is warming due to human activities and how Arctic warming might affect weather around the world is not well known. It’s inspiring to work on this ‘hot’ topic and with great collaborators, without whom this work would not have been possible.”

Professor Screen has also contributed to several reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and has played a pivotal role in informing governments on how global warming will determine the fate of the Arctic sea ice. In particular, he showed that global warming of 2°C above preindustrial levels will cause ice-free summers in the Arctic once every three to five years or so. However, limiting warming to no more than 1.5°C will drastically reduce the frequency of ice-free summers to around once every 40 years. Taken together, his research will continue to influence climate science and the planet for many years to come.

In its sixth year, the Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists in the UK recognises and celebrates past accomplishments and future potential of the UK’s most innovative young scientists and engineers working in Life Sciences, Physical Sciences & Engineering, and Chemistry and was established by the Blavatnik Family Foundation in the United States in 2007 and independently administered by the New York Academy of Sciences.

Professor Screen will officially receive his award at a black-tie gala dinner and award ceremony at Banqueting House in Whitehall, London on 28th February 2023.

To find out more about the Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists in the UK, visit: www.blavatnikawards.org