The 2018 Division Outstanding Early Career Scientists Award is awarded to Christo Buizert for his innovative contributions on the bi-polar phasing of climate change from polar ice-core data using an exceptional combination of experimental and theoretical approaches.
After a higher education based at Delft University, Christo Buizert joined the Center for Ice and Climate (Copenhagen) for his PhD thesis under the supervision of Thomas Blunier. As polar ice-core scientist, Buizert took part in the North Greenland Eemian Ice Drilling (NEEM) project and also joined several campaigns on Taylor Glacier (Antarctica). In the frame of NEEM he led the firn model inter-comparison comprising participants from 11 institutions around the world, an accomplishment that clearly shows his scientific maturity and well-developed management and social skills. His work on Taylor Dome ice with colleagues lead to the first dating of ice using krypton-81.
Since his PhD, Buizert has moved to Oregon State University in Cornwallis – where he is now assistant professor – and now works on the bipolar phasing of climate change, a topic that has sparked widespread interest over the last 20 years. His thorough investigation has led to a major breakthrough in revealing the timing of Antarctic temperature changes associated with Greenlandic Dansgaard-Oeschger events and was followed by further analysis of teleconnection phenomena in the climate system in the atmosphere and the ocean. Over the years, Buizert has become one of the leading forces in the understanding of the global interplay of climate variations. In addition, his dedication to teaching and in particular to communicating climate science to the young generations, a skill that may have arisen when he worked as a high-school teacher, makes Christo Buizert an excellent example for early career scientists.