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Lynne D. Talley

Lynne D. Talley
Lynne D. Talley

The 2017 Fridtjof Nansen Medal is awarded to Lynne D. Talley for innovative research and leadership in observing and understanding the global ocean circulation and its role in climate.

Lynne Talley is one of a few truly global physical oceanographers. Over the last three decades, she has investigated a staggering range of aspects of the ocean circulation, from the surface to the abyss, and across all oceans. A common thread is a passionate reliance on observations, which she interprets in terms of fundamental physical principles and simple models encapsulating those physics. In this vein, Talley has led many highly influential studies of the large-scale circulation of mode, intermediate and deep waters. These waters are significant for their role in the climate system; because of their large volumes they take up, transport, and store huge amounts of heat, CO2 and freshwater. Talley has applied the basic circulation results to analyses of the global heat budget, by highlighting the parts of the water column that affect the heat budget on different time scales.