Nobel Prize in Physics Awarded for Study of Humanity’s Role in Changing Climate

Food for thought…

On one day in the same newspaper, is a report by an independent commission that details how in France alone over the past seven decades, more than 210,000 minors, mostly boys aged 10-13, were sexually abused by clergy members. The number goes up to 330,000 when including other people who were affiliated with the church.

Juxtapose that report with the notice that three scientists who have devoted their careers to understanding the effect of human behavior on the earth’s changing climate and global warming, have just received the Nobel Prize in Physics.

Some people go this way…some people go that way. Extreme examples for sure, but something to consider about who ends up where, the way it effects loved ones and others and the legacy they leave behind!

Nobel Prize in Physics Awarded for Study of Humanity’s Role in Changing Climate

The work of Syukuro Manabe, Klaus Hasselmann and Giorgio Parisi “demonstrate that our knowledge about the climate rests on a solid scientific foundation,” the committee said.

Three scientists received the Nobel Prize in Physics on Tuesday for work that is essential to understanding how the Earth’s climate is changing, pinpointing the effect of human behavior on those changes and ultimately predicting the impact of global warming.

The winners were Syukuro Manabe of Princeton University, Klaus Hasselmann of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg, Germany, and Giorgio Parisi of the Sapienza University of Rome.

Others have received Nobel Prizes for their work on climate change, most notably former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, but the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said this is the first time the Physics prize has been awarded specifically to a climate scientist.

“The discoveries being recognized this year demonstrate that our knowledge about the climate rests on a solid scientific foundation, based on a rigorous analysis of observations,” said Thors Hans Hansson, chair of the Nobel Committee for Physics.

Complex physical systems, such as the climate, are often defined by their disorder. This year’s winners helped bring understanding to what seemed like chaos by describing those systems and predicting their long-term behavior.

In 1967, Dr. Manabe developed a computer model that confirmed the critical connection between the primary greenhouse gas — carbon dioxide — and warming in the atmosphere.

That model paved the way for others of increasing sophistication. Dr. Manabe’s later models, which explored connections between conditions in the ocean and atmosphere, were crucial to recognizing how increased melting of the Greenland ice sheet could affect ocean circulation in the North Atlantic, said Michael Mann, a climate scientist at Pennsylvania State University.

“He has contributed fundamentally to our understanding of human-caused climate change and dynamical mechanisms,” Dr. Mann said.

Syukuro Manabe of Japan in Sweden in 2018. He demonstrated how increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere lead to increased temperatures on the surface of the Earth.
Credit…Johan Nilsson/TT News Agency Via, Afp-Getty Images

About a decade after Dr. Manabe’s foundational work, Dr. Hasselmann created a model that connected short-term climate phenomena — in other words, rain and other kinds of weather — to longer-term climate like ocean and atmospheric currents. Dr. Mann said that work laid the basis for attribution studies, a field of scientific inquiry that seeks to establish the influence of climate change on specific events like droughts, heat waves and intense rainstorms.

“It underpins our efforts as a community to detect and attribute climate change impacts,” Dr. Mann said.

Klaus Hasselmann, the German physicist and climate researcher, at a news conference in Madrid in 2010. He created a model that links weather and climate.
Credit…J J Guillen/EPA, via Shutterstock

Dr. Parisi is credited with the discovery of the interplay of disorder and fluctuations in physical systems, including everything from a tiny collection of atoms to the atmosphere of an entire planet.

“The main thing about his work is that it is incredibly eclectic,” said David Yllanes, a researcher with the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub, a nonprofit research center. “Many important physical phenomena involve collective behavior that arises out of fundamentally disordered, chaotic, even frustrated systems. A system that looks hopelessly random, if analyzed the right way, can yield a robust prediction for a collective behavior.”

These ideas can help understand climate change, which “involves fluctuations that come from the interaction of many, many moving parts,” Dr. Yllanes said.

But Dr. Parisi’s effect on climate science is small compared to his impact across many other fields, including mathematics, biology and computing. This involves everything from lasers to machine learning.

Giorgio Parisi on the balcony of his residence in Rome, on Tuesday.

Dr. Manabe and Dr. Hasselmann will split half of the approximately $1.1 million prize. The other half will go to Dr. Parisi, whose work was largely separate from that of the other two. After the prize was awarded, many climate scientists said they were only marginally aware of Dr. Parisi’s work — or had not heard of him at all.

Dr. Manabe said in a phone interview that five days ago a group of Japanese journalists contacted him saying they had heard a rumor that he would soon win the Nobel Prize. But he did not believe them.

Then, early this morning, he received a phone call from the Nobel committee.

“That’s when I believed I had won,” he said.

Three hours after the prize was announced, Dr. Manabe said he was not aware he was sharing the prize with two others. He praised Dr. Hasselmann’s work and how it built on his own, but said he was not familiar with Dr. Parisi.

After taking the call from the committee, Dr. Manabe parsed through the list of past winners of the Physics prize, before realizing this was the first time the prize has been awarded for climate science.

“I think they have made a point of choosing something that is critical to society,” he said.

All three scientists have been working to understand the complex natural systems that have been driving climate change for decades, and their discoveries have provided the scaffolding on which predictions about climate are built.

The importance of their work has only gained urgency as the forecast models reveal an increasingly dire outlook if the rise in global temperature is not arrested.

In August, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, a body of scientists convened by the United Nations, released a report showing that the nations of the world can no longer stop global warming from intensifying. The global average temperature will rise 2.7 degrees Celsius by century’s end even if all countries meet their promised emissions cuts under the Paris Agreement. That temperature rise is likely to bring more extreme wildfires, droughts and floods, according to a United Nations report released in September.

The IPCC report says that nations have a short window in which to curb fossil-fuel emissions and prevent the worst future outcomes. And that work builds directly on Dr. Manabe’s models.

“The climate scientists of today stand on the shoulders of these giants, who laid the foundations for our understanding of the climate system,” said Ko Barrett, senior adviser for climate at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, who is also vice-chair of the IPCC.

Robert Kopp, a climate scientist at Rutgers University who also worked on the IPCC report, called Dr. Manabe a critical figure in the rise of climate science in the mid-1960s.

“He took the weather models that were beginning to emerge in the period after World World II and turned them into the first climate models,” he said.

Piers Forster, a climate scientist at the University of Leeds in England, called Dr. Manabe’s 1967 paper detailing these models “arguably the greatest climate-science paper of all time.”

Dr. Barrett also hailed Dr. Hasselmann and Dr. Parisi for expanding on this work and praised the Nobel Committee for showing the world that today’s climate studies are grounded in decades of scientific work. “It is important to understand that climate science is built on basic foundations of physics,” she said.

Dr. Manabe is a senior meteorologist and climatologist at Princeton University. Born in 1931 in Shingu, Japan, he earned his Ph.D. in 1957 from the University of Tokyo before joining the U.S. Weather Bureau. In the 1960s, he led groundbreaking research into how increased levels of carbon dioxide lead to higher temperatures on the surface of the Earth. That work “laid the foundation for the development of current climate models,” according to the Nobel judges.

Dr. Hasselmann is a German physicist and oceanographer who greatly advanced public understanding of climate change through the creation of a model that links climate and chaotic weather systems. He is a professor at the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg. He received his Ph.D. in 1957 from the University of Göttingen in Germany before founding the meteorology institute, which he was head of until 1999. He is also the founder of what is now known as the Global Climate Forum. In 2009, Dr. Hasselmann received the 2009 BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Climate Change.

Dr. Parisi is an Italian theoretical physicist who was born in 1948 in Rome and whose research has focused on quantum field theory and complex systems. He received his Ph.D. from the Sapienza University of Rome in 1970. In 1980, he was responsible for discovering hidden patterns in disordered complex materials. He is a professor at the Sapienza University of Rome.

Referring to forecasts for the changing climate at a news conference after the prize was announced, Dr. Parisi said, “It’s clear that for the future generation, we have to act now in a very fast way.”

Referring to forecasts for the changing climate at a news conference after the prize was announced, Dr. Parisi said, “It’s clear that for the future generation, we have to act now in a very fast way.”

The physics prize went to Roger Penrose, Reinhard Genzel and Andrea Ghez for their discoveries that have improved the understanding of the universe, including work on black holes.

  • The Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded on Wednesday to Benjamin List and David W.C. MacMillan for their development of a new tool to build molecules, work that has spurred advances in pharmaceutical research and allowed scientists to construct catalysts with considerably less impact on the environment.

  • On Wednesday, the Chemistry prize will be announced in Stockholm.

  • The prize in Literature will be announced in Stockholm on Thursday. Read about last year’s winner, Louise Glück.

  • The Nobel Peace Prize will be announced on Friday in Oslo. Read about last year’s winner, the World Food Program.

  • On Monday, the prize in Economic Sciences will be announced in Stockholm. Last year’s prize was shared by Paul Milgrom and Robert Wilson.

Kirkus Reviews, the gold-standard for independent & accurate reviews, has this to say about

What Goes Around Comes Around:

A stable, positive, non preachy, objective voice makes the book stand apart from others in the genre. A successful guide that uses anecdotes to reveal powerful truths about life.

~ Kirkus Reviews

“The author gives readers not just points or principles to ponder, but real human experiences that demonstrate them!
Kirkus Reviews

“I’ve read a number of books that focus on sharing a similar message, including “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne, “The Answer” by John Assaraf & Murray Smith, “The Celestine Prophecy” by James Redfield, “Think and Grow Rich,” by Napoleon Hill, and I must say that I find Rob’s to be my favorite. – Sheryl Woodhouse, founder of Livelihood Matters LLC

Nobel Prize in Physics Awarded for Study of Humanity’s Role in Changing Climate

Nobel Prize in Physics Awarded for Study of Humanity’s Role in Changing Climate

This is a heartening case! It supports the notion that justice does prevail and what goes around, does indeed come around, The Law of Cause & Effect” in action!  It means a $7 Billion penalty owed to the IRS and I’d guess, considering the fees these folks paid to their tax advisors, they never expected this outcome. Don’t cheer too loudly though. It also means that Principle applies to everyone!

Hedge Fund’s Insiders Agree to Pay as Much as $7 Billion to I.R.S.

The agreement ends a longstanding tax dispute involving a decade’s worth of transactions at Renaissance Technologies, one of the world’s biggest and best-connected hedge funds.

Colombo Family Crime Boss and 12 Others Are Arrested, Prosecutors Say

An indictment unsealed on Tuesday accuses the organization of orchestrating a two-decade scheme to extort a labor union.

Credit…Jesse Ward


For two decades, the leadership of the Colombo crime family extorted a Queens labor union, federal prosecutors said — an effort that continued unabated even as members of the mob clan cycled through prison, the family’s notorious longtime boss died, and as federal law enforcement closed in.

Over time, what began as a Colombo captain’s shakedown of a union leader, complete with expletive-laced threats of violence, expanded into a cottage industry, prosecutors said, as the Colombo organization assumed control of contracting and union business, with side operations in phony construction certificates, marijuana trafficking and loan-sharking.

On Tuesday, 11 reputed members and associates of the Colombo crime family, including the mob clan’s entire leadership, were charged in a labor racketeering case brought by the U.S. attorney’s office in Brooklyn.

All but two of the men were arrested Tuesday morning across New York and New Jersey, prosecutors said. Another was surrendered to the authorities on Tuesday; another defendant, identified as the family consigliere, remained at large, prosecutors said.

The indictment accuses the Colombo family of orchestrating a two-decade scheme to extort an unnamed labor union that represented construction workers, using threats of violence to secure payments and arrange contracts that would benefit the crime family.

The charges are an ambitious effort by the U.S. attorney’s office in Brooklyn and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to take down one of the city’s five Mafia families. In addition to the union extortion scheme, which is the heart of the racketeering charge, the indictment charges several misdeeds often associated with the mob, including drug trafficking, money laundering, loan-sharking and falsifying federal labor safety paperwork.

Detention hearings for the defendants in Brooklyn federal court continued into the evening Tuesday, as they entered not-guilty pleas to the charges; prosecutors had asked the court to keep 10 of the defendants in custody.

“Everything we allege in this investigation proves history does indeed repeat itself,” Michael J. Driscoll, F.B.I. assistant director-in-charge, said in a statement. “The underbelly of the crime families in New York City is alive and well.”

Around 2001, prosecutors said, Vincent Ricciardo — a reported captain in the family, also known as “Vinny Unions” — began to demand a portion of a senior labor union official’s salary. When Mr. Ricciardo was convicted and imprisoned on federal racketeering charges in the mid-2000s, prosecutors said, his cousin continued to collect those payments.

Starting in late 2019, prosecutors said, the senior leadership of the Colombo family became directly involved in the shakedown, which extended to broader efforts to siphon money from the union: for example, manipulating the selection of union health fund vendors to contract with entities connected to the family, and diverting more than $10,000 each month from the fund to the family.

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Andrew Russo, 87, who prosecutors describe as the family boss, is accused of taking part in those efforts, as well as a money-laundering scheme to send the proceeds of the union extortion through intermediaries to Colombo associates. He was among nine defendants charged with racketeering.

Mr. Russo appeared in court virtually from the hospital Tuesday; he is set to be detained upon his release, pending a future bail hearing.

The family’s infamous longtime boss, Carmine J. Persico, died in federal custody in North Carolina in March 2019.

Federal law enforcement learned of the extortion scheme about a year ago, prosecutors wrote in a court filing Tuesday; investigators gathered thousands of hours of wiretapped calls and conversations recorded by a confidential witness, wrote the prosecutors, who also described law-enforcement surveillance of meetings among the accused conspirators.

The authorities said they repeatedly captured Mr. Ricciardo and his associates threatening to kill the union official. “I’ll put him in the ground right in front of his wife and kids,” Mr. Ricciardo was recorded saying in June.

On another occasion cited by prosecutors in the memo seeking his detention, Mr. Ricciardo directed the union official to hire a consultant selected by the Colombo family, saying: “It’s my union and that’s it.” Prosecutors said his activities were overseen by a Colombo soldier and the consigliere who remains at large.

Much of the activity outlined in the indictment took place while the defendants were either in prison or on supervised release for prior federal mob-related convictions. Theodore Persico Jr., described as a family captain and soldier, was released from federal prison in 2020 and, despite a directive not to associate with members of organized crime, “directed much of the labor racketeering scheme,” prosecutors said.

Mr. Persico, 58, is set to inherit the role of boss after Mr. Russo, prosecutors wrote.

Several of the defendants were named in what prosecutors described as a fraudulent safety training scheme, in which they falsified state and federal paperwork that is required for construction workers to show they have completed safety training courses.

One of the defendants, John Ragano — whom prosecutors say is a soldier in the Bonanno crime family — is accused of setting up phony occupational safety training schools in New York, which prosecutors said were “mills” that provided fraudulent safety training certificates to hundreds of people.

In October 2020, prosecutors said, an undercover law enforcement officer visited one of the schools in Ozone Park, Queens, and received, from Mr. Ricciardo’s cousin, a blank test form and an answer sheet; weeks later, the agent returned to pick up his federal safety card and paid $500.

The purported schools were also used for meetings with members of La Cosa Nostra — the group of crime families commonly known as the Mafia — and to store illegal drugs and fireworks, according to the indictment.

Mr. Ragano wasn’t charged on the racketeering count, although prosecutors also sought his detention pending trial. In addition to the racketeering count, several defendants, including Mr. Ricciardo and his cousin, were charged with extortion, conspiracy, fraud and conspiracy to make false statements.

William K. Rashbaum contributed reporting.


An earlier version of this article misstated the number of people identified in an indictment as members of the Colombo crime family. It is 11, not more than a dozen.