Award of the Nobel Prize in Physics 2021 to Klaus Hasselmann in Berlin

The wait is over: our founding director was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics 2021 in a ceremony at the Harnack House in Berlin on December 7, 2021.

The Swedish Embassy organized the Nobel Prize ceremony in cooperation with the Max Planck Society at the Harnack House. Due to the Corona pandemic, the award winner received his certificate and medal this year in his home country and not, as is usually the case, at the Stockholm Concert Hall. With him, the second German laureate, Prof. Dr. Benjamin List, also received his Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2021 in Berlin.

Klaus Hasselmann was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics “for the physical modelling of Earth´s climate, quantifying variability and reliably predicting global warming”. The Nobel Prize was presented by the Swedish Ambassador to Germany, Per Thöresson. For the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology (MPI-M), the Managing Director Prof. Dr. Bjorn Stevens participated in the ceremony.

On the occasion of the Nobel Prize ceremony in Berlin, not only the President of the Bundestag, Bärbel Bas, held a speech but also the First Mayor of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, Dr. Peter Tschentscher: "With his work at the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Klaus Hasselmann contributed significantly to basic research on global warming and proved the human influence on climate in the 1990s. His research is an outstanding example of excellent science in Hamburg. The Nobel Prize in Physics is a great honor for his scientific work, on which I warmly congratulate Klaus Hasselmann personally and on behalf of the Senate.”

For the scientists at the MPI-M, the Nobel Prize is a confirmation of the successful Earth system research and a great inspiration. Prof. Dr. Jochem Marotzke, Director at MPI-M: “It is the first Nobel Prize in environmental physics and the second in environmental sciences after the 1995 Nobel Prize in Chemistry to Paul Crutzen, Mario Molina and Sherwood Rowlands for explaining the hole in the ozone layer. What fascinated everyone about Klaus Hasselmann — and this has not changed to this day — is his absolute insistence on the primacy of science coupled with very great personal kindness and humbleness. I am extremely grateful to him for being the founding director of a great institute that I have the privilege of (co-)directing today.”

Group leader Dr. Claudia Stephan: “I fully share the fascination that so many physicists have with fundamental physics. But even if we had a ‘theory of everything’, it would tell us little if anything relevant about the behavior of the Earth system. Although complex systems are chaotic, there are elegant and simple solutions. I think there are still many to be found. The award of the Nobel Prize to Klaus Hasselmann is a wonderful motivation to try to do this.”

Since the announcement of the Nobel Prize on October 5, not only Klaus Hasselmann and his family, but also the staff of the MPI-M have had their hands full in order to meet all media inquiries and other demands. Dr. Annette Kirk, group leader Communications: “As for a pop star of science, we also receive countless autograph requests from all over the world. We even had autograph cards printed for the occasion, all of which the laureate patiently signed himself and which now make autograph collectors happy.” In order to make the person Klaus Hasselmann and his research accessible to a broad public, the Nobel Foundation in particular has realized several formats with him. Among other things, a documentary on his person was filmed in Hamburg, the Nobel Lecture was recorded, and a virtual round table ("Nobel Minds") was also recorded for Swedish television. His Nobel Lecture will be officially broadcast via the Nobel Foundation website on December 8.

More information:

Nobel Lecture
Klaus Hasselmann´s scientific career:
The human imprint in meteorological background noise (Max Planck Society website)


Dr. Annette Kirk
Phone: +49 40 41173 374
Email: annette.kirk@we dont want

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