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André L. Berger

André L. Berger
André L. Berger

The 1994 Milutin Milankovic Medal is awarded to André L. Berger in recognition of his authoritative contributions to the astronomical theory of climate variations.

Andre Berger, who studied at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and in Louvain, is presently Head of the Institute of Astronomy and Geophysics Georges Lemaitre in Belgium. He is particularly known for his research on the astronomical theory of paleoclimates, the so-called Milankovic theory, and for his modelling work of the earth’s climate system.

In 1973, he provided the first precise computation of the long term variation of the Earth’s orbital parameters for paleoclimatic studies during the last one million years. This computation was successfully compared with geological data from various sources, and was later extended to provide precise forcing parameters for climatic simulations during the last 5 millions years. This pioneering work now serves as a basis for most paleoclimate reconstructions or simulations.

More recently, Berger established a multi-disciplinary modelling group to study the climate system as a whole, including the atmosphere, ocean, sea ice, ice sheets the carbon cycle. He has achieved, with a 2 dimensional (latitude – height) version of his model, the first simulation of the transient response of the climate system to the astronomical forcing over the last glacial-interglacial cycle.

Berger has also devoted a large effort towards the training of young scientists and the promotion of collaboration among geophysicists. He has been, and is still, much involved in international boards which define worldwide scientific policy on climate research. In addition to numerous scientific papers, and a number of monographs, his ideas have been popularized in a large diffusion book on the earth’s climate. European scientists are also very grateful to Berger for the key role he played in the development of the European Geophysical Society over the last ten years.

Newsletter 51, 27, 1994