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Lawrence A. Mysak

Lawrence A. Mysak
Lawrence A. Mysak

The 2006 Alfred Wegener Medal & Honorary Membership is awarded to Lawrence A. Mysak in recognition of his leadership in oceanography and his fundamental contributions in ocean dynamics, sea-ice and climate.

The leadership of L. A. Mysak is internationally acknowledged for his research on the interactions between the atmosphere, the ocean, sea ice, mainly at the decadal time scale. One of his first papers dealt with fisheries in the N.E. Pacific and its relationship with El Niño. He then rapidly turned towards the study of the air-sea interactions in the Arctic region. His observation of the variation of sea-ice concentrations in the Labrador, Greenland and Barents seas led him to conclude that the ice and salinity anomalies could result from fresh water discharged by the rivers of the Arctic Ocean basin. This result has certainly stimulated research on the climate system in the Arctic, a region where environment is now receiving a high priority. His works on polynias and the thermohaline circulation (meridional overturning) have also significantly contributed to the understanding of climate variability in the northern Atlantic region.

More recently he has started to develop with his collaborators a climate model of intermediate complexity for better understanding climatic variations at the thousands of years time scale, looking in particular for the whole climate system response to the astronomical forcing over the last glacial-interglacial cycles.

L. A. Mysak has a deep knowledge in many fields going from mathematics to climate. He is regularly invited to communicate the results of his researches. He is in particular attending regularly the general assemblies of EGU. He has been invited to lecture in many universities in particular in Cambridge (UK), Institute of Ocean Sciences (Sydney), NCAR (Colorado), ETH (Zurich), ASTR (Louvain-la-Neuve) and Institute of Geophysics (Bologna). The originality of his contributions and of those of his Centre for Climate and Global Change explains the reputation of L. Mysak not only in Canada, but also in the rest of the world. He is a member of Academia Europaea and a fellow of the American Geophysical Union and of the American Meteorological Society. He was president of the Academy of Science of the Royal Society of Canada. He was awarded the Patterson Medal, the J.P. Tully Medal and the Golden Jubilee Medal.

His book Waves in the Ocean is a reference and many of the ~150 papers are widely cited.