The World Meteorological Organization has presented its top award, the IMO Prize, to Professor Zeng Qingcun (China), a famous academic meteorologist who is a pioneer of numerical weather prediction, dynamic climate prediction, remote sensing theory for meteorological satellites and visionary research on global climate and environmental change.
Established in 1955, the IMO Prize is the most important award in meteorology and rewards outstanding work in meteorology and hydrology. It is named after WMO’s predecessor organization, the International Meteorological Organization.
”The IMO Prize is not only prestigious but also truly unique. It symbolizes the advancements that are being made in meteorology, and it is also the memory of our Organization,” said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas.
He praised Mr Zeng’s contribution to WMO and, specifically, the World Climate Research Programme, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the Commission for Atmospheric Sciences.
“Professor Zeng is most deserving of our highest award. He is an outstanding scientist, who for more than 50 years has been studying meteorology, atmospheric sciences, geophysical fluid dynamics, and change of global climate and environment,” said WMO President David Grimes.
Mr Grimes said he has made contributions to the fields of:
- Theoretical investigation of numerical weather prediction, climate system and earth system models;
- General atmospheric circulations and monsoon systems, and their dynamics;
- Models and methods in dynamic short-term climate prediction;
- Disastrous weather systems, especially the dust storms in East Asia;
- Theory of atmospheric remote sensing and satellite meteorology; and
- Investigation of weather modification and development of natural cybernetics.
After accepting the IMO Award at WMO’s Executive Council, Mr Zeng made a presentation on Monitoring, predicting and managing meteorological disasters.
Historically China has experienced frequent meteorological disasters and, as a result, has gained experience ways to mitigate them, he said.
“One century ago, scientists could not effectively monitor and predict meteorological disasters. But today we can, by combining satellite observations with numerical weather and climate predictions, and processing them with supercomputers.,” he said.
He said that despite the success, there was still room for future improvements in four specific areas:
- Improve monitoring observations and remote sensing.
- Improve meteorological prediction models and data assimiliation.
- Design numberical modesls for disaster predctrions and models for optimal management of disaster and post-disaster actions
- Construct a scientific platform – a bridge from research to routine application
Mr Zeng said that the World Meteorological Organization Integration Global Observing System (WIGOS) is very important for continued improvements.
China will contribute to WIGOS an early morning polar orbiting satellite, an addition to FengYun-3 series; and a new generation of geostationary satellites, the FengYun-4 series, with high spatial temporal resolution and enhanced monitoring capabilities.
Chinese scientists are considering new applications of small satellites and high resolution satellites in order to more effectively monitor hazardous weather systems, he said.
WMO Bulletin interview with Professor Zhen is here