Dr Penny Whetton

Dr Penny Whetton – Prize recognition coincides with an increasing desire for information on climate change

Climate scientists share in Nobel Peace Prize

Reference: 07/204

Australian scientists who have been leading contributors to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have been recognised for the crucial part they played in the award of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize to the IPCC.

  • 16 October 2007

In a letter to lead and convening lead authors, the Chair of the IPCC, Dr Rajendra Pachauri, wrote: “I have been stunned in a pleasant way with the news of the award of the Nobel Peace Prize for the IPCC.

“This makes each of you Nobel Laureates and it is my privilege to acknowledge this honour on your behalf. The fact that the IPCC has earned the recognition that this award embodies, is really a tribute to your knowledge, hard work and application,” Dr Pachauri said.

The IPCC and the maker of the widely acclaimed documentary on climate change, An Inconvenient Truth – former US Vice President, Al Gore – were jointly awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday.

In the case of the IPCC, the Prize was awarded for more than 20 years of climate research by many hundreds of climate and environmental scientists.

Contributing to the IPCC process has been a major undertaking by CSIRO with a commitment of considerable financial and human resources during the past 20 years.

The leader of CSIRO’s Climate Change Impact and Risks group, Dr Penny Whetton, said Australian scientists have made a substantial contribution to the present level of understanding concerning climate change and the influence of rising greenhouse gas concentrations.

“Australian science through CSIRO, the Bureau of Meteorology, universities and the private research sector has committed considerable resources to the IPCC process since it began in 1987,” Dr Whetton said. “Recognition at this level is important and it coincides with a rapidly increasing desire for information about climate change, mitigation and how Australians can adapt.”

Among lead authors for the IPCC’s 2007 Fourth Assessment report were: CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research (CMAR) scientists Kevin Hennessy, Roger Jones, Penny Whetton, Ian Watterson and Barrie Pittock based at Aspendale; Bryson Bates at Floreat in Perth; Nathan Bindoff, who also works for the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystem CRC in Hobart; and CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystem scientist, Mark Howden. Other senior CMAR scientists, such as John Church and Paul Fraser, also made a major contribution to earlier IPCC reports.

“Recognition at this level is important and it coincides with a rapidly increasing desire for information about climate change, mitigation and how Australians can adapt.”

CSIRO Chief Executive, Dr Geoff Garrett, said the award recognised the unstinting professionalism exercised by climate change scientists at CSIRO and other major Australian research institutions in investigating one of the world’s most pressing problems. “It is a great honour for the individuals involved and also reflects well on the dedication with which CSIRO pursues advances in scientific knowledge for humanity as a whole,” Dr Garrett said.

More than 100 Australian experts, authors, contributors and reviewers have been involved in this process since 2001, including 35 CSIRO scientists. The scientists are drawn from the nation’s primary climate and environmental research and management agencies including CSIRO, the Bureau of Meteorology, Australian Antarctic Division, Antarctic Climate and Ecosystem CRC and leading universities. The Australian Greenhouse Office has provided considerable funding to assist CSIRO authors attend meetings and workshops involved in the development of the IPCC process.

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Addendum: 19 May 2008

Please note, the following has been added:

The full list of CSIRO researchers (excluding reviewers) who contributed to the work of the IPCC recognised by the award of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.

 AR4 WG1 Contributors

Nathan Bindoff

Wenju Cai

Pep Canadell

John Church

Mark Collier

Martin Dix

David Etheridge

Paul Fraser



Kathy McInnes

Mike Raupach

Steve Rintoul

Leon Rotstayn

Ramasamy Suppiah

Ian Watterson

Penny Whetton


AR4 WG2 Contributors

Bryson Bates

Donna Green (former CSIRO)

Kevin Hennessy

Alistair Hobday

Roger Jones

Kathy McInnes

Barrie Pittock 

AR4 WG3 Contributors

Mark Howden

Past IPCC contributors (including any listed above)


Nick Abel

Rob Allan (former CSIRO)

Mike Austin

Greg Ayers

Peter Baines (former CSIRO)

Bryson Bates

Tom Beer

Simon Bentley (former CSIRO)

Reinout Boers (former CSIRO)

Willem Bouma (former CSIRO)

Richard Braithwaite (former CSIRO)

Rosemary Buxton (former CSIRO)

Steve Charles

Francis Chiew

John Church

Tom Denmead (former CSIRO)

Nada Derek

Martin Dix

Ian Enting (former CSIRO)

David Etheridge

Jenny Evans (former CSIRO)

Roger Farrow (former CSIRO)

Sue Faragher (former CSIRO)

Roger Francey (former CSIRO)

Paul Fraser

Jorgen Frederiksen

Margaret Friedel

Ian Galbally

John Garratt (former CSIRO)

Roger Gifford

Stuart Godfrey

Hal Gordon (CMAR Post-retirement Fellow)

Dean Graetz (former CSIRO)




John Gras

Graeme Harris (former CSIRO)

Kevin Hennessy

Mark Howden

Roger Hughes (former CSIRO)

Barrie Hunt (former CSIRO)

Roger Jones

Jetse Kalma (former CSIRO)

Jack Katzfey

Glen Kile (former CSIRO)

Miko Kirschbaum (former CSIRO)

Paul Kriedemann (former CSIRO)

Tony Koslow (former CSIRO)

John Landsberg (former CSIRO)

Jason Lutze (former CSIRO)

Trevor McDougall

Richard Matear

Angus McEwan (former CSIRO)

John McGregor

Kathy McInnes

Ross McMurtrie (former CSIRO)

Mick Meyer

Chris Mitchell

Andrew Moore

Siobhan O'Farrell

John Parslow

Graeme Pearman (former CSIRO)




Barrie Pittock (former CSIRO)

Martine Platt (former CSIRO)

Ian Plumb

Ian Poiner (former CSIRO)

Lakshman Randeniya

John Raison

Mike Raupach

Peter Rayner (former CSIRO)

Steve Rintoul

Leon Rotstayn

Brian Ryan (former CSIRO)

Keith Ryan

Ian Smith

Mark Stafford Smith

Paul Steele

Ramasamy Suppiah

Robert Sutherst (former CSIRO)

Josef Syktus (former CSIRO)

Ron Thresher

Brian Tucker (former CSIRO)

Peter Vohralik

Brian Walker

Kevin Walsh (former CSIRO)

Ying Ping Wang

Ian Watterson

Penny Whetton

Richard Williams

Susan Wijffels