Home Science & Technology 2022 World Food Prize awarded to Colombian climate scientist Cynthia Rosenzweig

2022 World Food Prize awarded to Colombian climate scientist Cynthia Rosenzweig


2022 World Food Prize awarded to Colombian climate scientist Cynthia Rosenzweig

Climatologist and former farmer Cynthia Rosenzweig has helped shape Columbia University’s climate research for four decades. Photo: Kisha Bari

Climatologist and agronomist Cynthia Rosenzweig was named the winner of the 2022 World Food Award for her groundbreaking work in modeling the impact of climate change on food production worldwide. Rosenzweig is a senior researcher NASA’s Goddard Space Research Institute and an associate professor of science Climate School of Colombia.

The World Food Prize Foundation is awarded to individuals who have increased the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world. The $ 250,000 award honors Rosenzweig’s achievements as the founder of the Agricultural Model Comparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP), a transdisciplinary network of climate and food system developers from developed and developing countries. AgMIP is dedicated to advancing methods to improve forecasts of future indicators of agricultural and food systems in the context of climate change, providing a database for the effective transformation of the food system. Her AgMIP leadership has directly helped decision-makers in more than 90 countries increase their resilience to climate change.

“It is a great honor for me to receive the World Food Award this year as food systems are at the forefront of climate change action,” Rosenzweig said. “Climate change cannot be contained without paying attention to emissions from the food system, and food security for all cannot be ensured without resilience to extreme climatic factors. I congratulate model developers around the world who are involved in the project to compare and improve agricultural models for their tireless work to help countries achieve food security both now and in the future in changing climates. ”

Alex Halliday, Dean-Founder of the Columbia Climate School, said that “from the beginning of his career in the 1980s to the present day, Dr. Rosenzweig has been and is a major“ engine ”not only for understanding how climate change will affect on food and vice versa, and to mobilize research and stakeholder communities to develop evidence-based solutions to climate problems across the food system. ”

Rosenzweig realized early on that climate change is one of the most significant, pervasive and complex challenges facing the planet’s food systems today. She made the first transdisciplinary model predictions of how climate change will affect food production in North America and around the world, and she was one of the first scientists to document that climate change is already affecting the cultivation of our food supplies. Now a senior researcher and head of the climate impact team at the Goddard Space Research Institute (GISS), part of NASA’s Space Flight Center, Rosenzweig began his career as a farmer, growing vegetables and fruits and raising chickens, goats and pigs. It was an experience when Rosenzweig fell in love with agriculture and realized she wanted to pursue a career in the field. Her research aims to help farmers plan and implement innovative mechanisms that promote resilience to climate change. Her early work introduced an important methodological breakthrough in the early assessment of the impact of climate change and laid the foundation for ongoing work in this area.

“Due to the urgent need to take climate change into account, from growing crops to national agricultural policies, the evidence base from Dr. Rosenzweig’s work is becoming increasingly important for human nutrition,” said Ruth DeFries, co-founder of the Columbia Climate School Dean.

Beginning in the early 1980s, when scientists asked the question, “What causes climate change?” Rosenzweig asked, “What does this mean for food?” She completed the first projections of how climate change will affect food production in North America in 1985 and worldwide in 1994. Her early work was an important methodological breakthrough in early climate change impact assessment and laid the groundwork for ongoing work in the field.

Rosenzweig led the agricultural sector in the Environment Agency’s first assessment of the potential effects of climate change on the United States in 1988, creating the first national forecasts of the impact of climate change on the country’s agricultural regions. A longtime member and member of the American Agronomic Society, she was the first to draw the group’s attention to climate change and organized the first sessions on the subject in the 1980s.

Rosenzweig has also been an important force in shaping Columbia University’s climate research for four decades. She became a co-founder Climate Systems Research Center and played an important role in the launch International Climate and Society Research Institute. She is currently helping to develop the Columbia Climate School’s food systems research system.

A native of New York, Rosenzweig was also co-chair of the New York City Climate Change Group, and after Hurricane Sandy in 2012, she led a team that developed new climate forecasts that were the basis for rebuilding and rebuilding the city for $ 20 billion. sustainability implementation plan. She was recently listed as one of the top 100 climate change scientists in the world according to Reuters.

The announcement of the World Food Prize was made during a ceremony hosted by the US State Department on May 5. US Secretary of Agriculture Thomas J. Wilsak made the remarks, and Barbara Stinson, president of the World Food Awards Fund, announced Rosenzweig as 2022. Laureate. Rosenzweig will officially receive the award at a ceremony in October.

Secretary Wilsac said: “Her work has played an important role in increasing sustainability in the U.S. agricultural sector.”

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