Venkatachalam Ramaswamy

Venkatachalam Ramaswamy (V. "Ram" Ramaswamy) is the Director of the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR), studying climate modeling and climate change. "A leading climate scientist",[1] his work is cited as supporting evidence for significant stratospheric climate change.[2] He focuses in particular on radiative transfer models[3][4] and the hydrologic cycle in the atmosphere.[5] He has actively supported the development of supercomputing approaches that enable researchers to achieve higher resolution and greater complexity in climate models.[6][7] As a lead author involved in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Ramaswamy's contributions (along with the contributions of many scientists) was recognised by the joint award of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize to the IPCC.[8][9]

Venkatachalam Ramaswamy
Alma materDelhi University, State University of New York at Albany
Scientific career
FieldsClimate change
InstitutionsNational Center for Atmospheric Research, Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory
External video
“Understanding Trends and Extremes in Climate”, Venkatachalam Ramaswamy, Yale University

Early life and education

Born in India, Venkatachalam Ramaswamy went to school in a Methodist mission high school, where he received a strong science education.[10] He went on to earn his bachelor's degree (1975) and his master's degree (1977) in Physics, from Delhi University.[11] Although his program focused on theoretical physics, he became interested in practical applications. For the final year of his Master's program, he did independent research, writing a dissertation on the effects of nonspherical raindrops on microwave transmission signals and telecommunications.[10]

In 1977, Ramaswamy came to the U.S.[10] In 1982, he received his Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science from the State University of New York at Albany (SUNY-Albany), where he worked with Petr Chylek[10] From 1983-1985, Ramaswamy held a postdoctoral position at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR).[10]


In 1987, Ramaswamy accepted a position at the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL). He became a Physical Scientist and group leader in 1995. He was promoted to Senior Scientist and group leader in 2000. After the retirement of Ants Leetmaa in January 2006, Ramaswamy became Acting Lab Director, then Director in November 2008.[10][12] Since 1995, Ramaswamy has also taught atmospheric physics at Princeton University.[10]

Ramaswamy has been instrumental in the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change: Since 1992 he has been a Lead Author or Coordinating Lead Author for each of the IPCC's assessment reports. He has also served on the Joint Scientific Committee of the World Climate Research Program."[6][13]

"Climate change research is very important because one needs to understand how and why it has changed and is changing, how rapidly, by which mechanisms, and determine the impacts on key climate variables... What has been most special in the last 50 years is the expansion of knowledge on climate processes, variations and change – on the short and long timescales, and including the emergence of the knowledge of human influence on climate."[10]

Awards and honours

In 2007, the contributions of many scientists, including Dr. Ramaswamy, to the IPCC was recognized by the Nobel Peace Prize.[8][14] The award was given jointly to the IPCC and to Albert Arnold Gore, Jr., “for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change.”[9][15]

Dr. Ramaswamy is a three-time recipient of the WMO Norbert-Gerbier MUMM International Award from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) which he received as a co-author of papers published in 2013, 2003, and 1998.[16]

He is an elected fellow of the American Geophysical Union as of 2008, and has been a member of the American Geophysical Union since 1983.[17]

He became an elected fellow of the American Meteorological Society as of 2005 or 2006.[18][19] He was recognized by the AMS as the Walter Orr Roberts Lecturer in Interdisciplinary Sciences for 2016.[20] In 1994, he was awarded the Henry G. Houghton Award of the American Meteorological Society.[13][21]

As of 2005, he received the United States Presidential Rank Award for Meritorious Senior Professional.[22] He has also received both the Gold Medal (2002, 2007) and the Silver Medal (2005) of the Department of Commerce.[12] He is recognized as an NOAA Distinguished Author (1992, 1993, 1996, 2000, 2002, 2008) and has received the NOAA Administrator Award (2014)[23]

He has been recognized with a number of international professorships and lectureships, including the Professor K. R. Ramanathan Distinguished Professorship, Ahmedabad, India (2004);[15] the Bert Bolin Lecturer, Stockholm University (2009);[24] and the Sir Gilbert Walker Distinguished Professorship, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, India (2013-2016)[25]


  1. Mooney, Chris (2007). Storm world: hurricanes, politics, and the battle over global warming. Old Saybrook, CT: Tantor Media. p. 188. ISBN 978-1400105083. Retrieved 18 November 2015.
  2. Academies, Committee on Radiative Forcing Effects on Climate, Climate Research Committee, Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, Division on Earth and Life Studies, National Research Council of the National (2005). Radiative forcing of climate change : expanding the concept and addressing uncertainties (Online ed.). Washington, DC: National Academies Press. p. 82. ISBN 978-0-309-09506-8. Retrieved 18 November 2015.
  3. Houghton, J. T., ed. (1995). Climate change 1994 : radiative forcing of climate change and an evaluation of the IPCC IS92 Emission Scenarios : reports of Working Groups I and III of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, forming part of the IPCC special report to the first session of the conference of the parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (1st ed.). Cambridge [u.a.]: Cambridge Univ. Press. p. 175. ISBN 978-0521550550. Retrieved 18 November 2015.
  4. Schlesinger, Michael, ed. (2007). Human-induced climate change : an interdisciplinary assessment (1st ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 49, 54. ISBN 9780521866033. Retrieved 18 November 2015.
  5. "AOS Faculty Profile V. Ramaswamy". Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences. Princeton University. Retrieved 18 November 2015.
  6. "V. "Ram" Ramaswamy". Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory. Retrieved 18 November 2015.
  7. Massey, Nathanael (September 27, 2013). "IPCC Revises Climate Sensitivity". Scientific American. Retrieved 21 November 2015.
  8. "Princeton Faculty Part of Nobel-Winning Panel". Princeton University. October 12, 2007. Retrieved 20 November 2015.
  9. "Princeton Researchers and GFDL Scientist s Share in Nobel Honors" (PDF). Princeton University. Retrieved 20 November 2015.
  10. "Getting Acquainted with GFDL's Director, V. "Ram" Ramaswamy". Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory. Retrieved 18 November 2015.
  11. "RAMASWAMY, Venkatachalam NOAA/ Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL)" (PDF). Princeton University. Retrieved 21 November 2015.
  12. "NOAA Names New Head of Princeton Laboratory". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. November 10, 2008.
  13. "Ram Ramaswamy". Energy Technologies Area. E.O. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Retrieved 18 November 2015.
  14. "Princeton's Nobel Prize Connections". Princeton Alumni Weekly. November 1, 2007. Retrieved 21 November 2015.
  15. "GFDL Awards and Honors – Research, Development, and/or Application 2000-2014" (PDF). Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory. Retrieved 20 November 2015.
  16. "Winners of the Norbert Gerbier-MUMM International Award". World Meteorological Organization. Archived from the original on 21 September 2015. Retrieved 20 November 2015.
  17. "V "Ram" Ramaswamy". American Geophysical Union. Retrieved 20 November 2015.
  18. "Awards, Fellows, and Honorary Members, 2006" (PDF). American Meteorological Society. Retrieved 20 November 2015.
  19. "List of Fellows". American Meteorological Society. Retrieved 20 November 2015.
  20. "2016 AMS Award Winners". American Meteorological Society. Retrieved 20 November 2015.
  21. "The Henry G. Houghton Award --American Meteorological Society (AMS)". RAISEProject. Retrieved 20 November 2015.
  22. "GFDL Awards and Honors – Research, Development, and/or Application 2000-2014" (PDF). Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory. Retrieved 20 November 2015.
  23. "Awards". Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory. Retrieved 20 November 2015.
  24. "GFDL Director Delivers Bert Bolin Lecture in Stockholm". Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory. June 8, 2009. Retrieved 20 November 2015.
  25. "GFDL Director Honored with Sir Gilbert Walker Distinguished Chair". Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory. September 25, 2013. Retrieved 20 November 2015.
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