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American Meteorological Society to Present Zelinka with Houghton Award

The Council of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) has selected atmospheric scientist Mark Zelinka of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) to receive the Henry G. Houghton Award.

Zelinka was cited by AMS for “innovative advances in understanding the critical involvement of clouds to achieve a better understanding of climate interactions.”

According to AMS, the Henry G. Houghton Award is presented to an early career scientist (within 10 years of having earned their Ph.D.) in recognition of research achievement in the fields of physical meteorology, physical climatology, atmospheric chemistry or hydrology.

“I’m very honored to have won this award, and I feel tremendous gratitude for the people who have been advocates for me,” Zelinka said. “I’ve also been very fortunate to work with colleagues who have elevated my work. So, this award is really an acknowledgment of the team science that is done here at Lawrence Livermore.”

Zelinka’s research tries to improve our understanding of climate sensitivity – the amount of global warming due to a doubling of carbon dioxide. He focuses on the study of clouds, which cool the planet by reflecting sunlight back to space and warm the planet by reducing the infrared radiation emitted to space. Changes to the balance of these competing effects can make the difference between a little and a lot of warming in response to increasing greenhouse gases.

Zelinka is the task lead for Cloud Feedbacks in LLNL’s Program for Climate Model Diagnosis and Intercomparison (PCMDI).

Zelinka will accept the award (virtually) in January 2022 at the AMS’s annual meeting in Houston.

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