The 55th IMO Prize, WMO’s most prestigious award, was awarded to Prof. Taroh Matsuno of Japan by the 62nd session of the WMO Executive Council in June 2010.
Prof. Matsuno is an eminent research scientist in atmospheric dynamics and a distinguished leader in climate research. His leadership in climate and meteorological research and his constant devotion in the scientific community have significantly contributed to the progress of studies on climate change, and will also contribute to future international development, including the Global Framework for Climate Services.
His doctoral thesis on the dynamics of the atmosphere and ocean in equatorial regions showed that particular types of waves propagate eastward or westward along the equatorial duct. Those theoretically predicted wave motions were discovered later in the atmosphere and oceans; they play important roles in various phenomena, such as El Nino.
He has also conducted important modeling studies on sudden stratospheric warmings, such as when the temperature rises suddenly for a few days in mid-winter.
Recently, he has been working on climate modeling and global change research projects.
Prof. Matsuno earned his doctorate from the University of Tokyo. He has taught at the University of Tokyo, Kyushu University, Hokkaido University, and has served as a visiting scientist in the USA at the University of Washington, Princeton University and the National Center for Atmospheric Research. He also served as the Director of the Centre for Climate System Research at the University of Tokyo, Director-General of the Frontier Research Center for Global Change and Director of the Integrated Modelling Research Programme.
He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Carl-Gustaf Rossby medal of the American Meteorological Society, the Societal Award and the Fujiwara Award from the Meteorological Society of Japan and the Japan Academy Prize.
The IMO prize, granted annually, originates from WMO's predecessor, the International Meteorological Organization (IMO), which was founded in 1873.