Ramanathan, a distinguished professor of climate and atmospheric sciences at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, landmark research showed that cutting emissions of black carbon and other short lived climate pollutants can significantly lessen the impacts of regional and global climate change, improve the health of millions of rural poor, and avoid crop losses.
The Champions of the Earth prize is awarded annually to leaders from government, civil society, and the private sector, whose actions have had a significant and positive impact on the environment. It is organized by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
Ramanathan, who was nominated in the Science and Innovation category, and his fellow 2013 Champions of the Earth laureates received their awards at a special ceremony at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. The event will be attended by a host of celebrity activists, including supermodel and UNEP Goodwill Ambassador Gisele Bundchen.
Further studies by Ramanathan and fellow researchers highlighted the effects of growing levels of soot and other forms of black carbon, sulfates, ozone, and other pollutants emitted by cities, industry, and agriculture - termed the 'brown cloud' - which warm the atmosphere by absorbing sunlight, and are contributing in particular to the accelerated melting of Himalayan glaciers.
Brown clouds can also disturb tropical rainfall and regional circulation patterns such as the South Asian monsoon and reduce agriculture yields, potentially affecting over a billion people on the subcontinent.
Ramanathan's research underlines the idea that cutting emissions of black carbon, methane, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), and other substances collectively known as short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs), with lifetimes of a decade or less, along with mitigation of CO2 emissions, can reduce the rate of warming by as much as half in the coming decades.
--ANI (Posted on 21-09-2013)