yellow manWCRP promotes current and future leadership in climate science, making particular efforts to support and engage Early Career Researchers (ECRs) from all regions in the world, toward a sustainable climate research community.

In the context of the WMO Young Scientist Award, WCRP has identified two outstanding early career scientist candidates through an international selection process performed in collaboration with several early career researcher networks. In the effort of promoting excellent science undertaken by early career scientists, WCRP would like to introduce you to Jian Peng from China and Martin Jucker from Switzerland.

Meet Jian, a promising future climate science leader

Jian Peng
Jian acknowledges the significant progress made by climate scientists in understanding the challenges and risks associated with climate change over the last decades. However, he indicates there are still many unanswered questions. Jian believes the future direction of climate science should focus on addressing three key research challenges:
  1. Understanding climate sensitivity, to enhance our understanding of how global temperatures respond to concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide.
  2. Improving the representation of atmospheric circulation in earth system models, specifically resolving cloud processes in the atmosphere.
  3. Strengthening interdisciplinary research, as climate interacts with e.g. human activities, global economy and the natural processes of ecosystems and the oceans.
For Jian, sincere interest and curiosity have always been his biggest inspiration for doing research. He has been fascinated by various ideas and research questions in Earth system science and his research goal for the upcoming decades is to deepen our understanding of the changes in the terrestrial water cycle in the context of climate change. Specifically he aims to address the following questions: how does the terrestrial water cycle fit in the full earth-atmosphere system, how may it change in the coming decades and centuries, and will floods, and droughts behave in the future as they did in the past? Jian strongly believes that knowledge is far more valuable when shared and outlines that knowledge sharing is essential for the public to establish trust in the findings of climate science. His dream job in 20 years is to work in an international climate change organization such as WMO or WCRP.
Short bio:
Dr. Jian Peng is currently a post-doc researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology (MPI-M) and a guest scientist at the University of Munich. His research aims to deepen the understanding of the changes in the terrestrial water cycle and to shed light on the mechanisms of the changes and their influences on water resources in the context of climate change. Over the last years Dr. Jian Peng developed a broad scientific expertise,  from the use of satellite data to analyse soil-vegetation-atmosphere interactions to the general understanding of the global dynamics of the water cycle under a changing climate. Peng is involved in the High resOlution Land Atmosphere Parameters from Space (HOLAPS) project, which provides a flexible mechanism for the estimation of land surface water and energy cycle by maximizing the usage of state-of-the-art satellite data. Dr. Jian Peng’s research is in line with the WCRP core project ‘Global Energy and Water Cycle Exchanges Project’ (GEWEX) and has a link with the WCRP Grand Challenge on water for the food baskets of the world.

Read the full interview.
Read a recent publication.

Meet Martin and get to know his vision on the future of climate science

Martin Jucker
Martin identifies improvements in modelling studies and sustained and enhanced observations as the two key elementsfor the future of climate science. He indicates that in the foreseeable future, climate models will continue to become more comprehensive and increasingly resolve more details. He recognizes that enhanced complexity might be necessary for improving the confidence of future projections. On the contrary, Martin also emphasizes the need for continuous efforts to understand specific details through simpler models.
On the observational side, Martin foresees that securing funding for greatly needed high-quality measurement devices, such as satellites and ocean floats, could become a challenge, depending on politics. For both the observational and modelling communities reliable solutions will have to be found for storage, access, and analysis of big data, serving climate research. Martin sees a big opportunity in the upcoming decades for the transfer of knowledge from academic research to industry, policymakers, and the public.
During the upcoming 20 years, Martin would like to contribute to climate science by improving Earth system models and visualising scientific data for a broader public. Preferably he would do this in a country of his choice, although which country that would be remains open. Martin aims to constantly learn new things from the smartest minds on the planet. Martin is keen to be closely involved in international collaborations, and would like to pass on his experience to the next generation.
Short bio:
Dr. Martin Jucker, originally from Switzerland, completed his post-doc in 2016 at Princeton and New York Universities, focussing on the interactions between dynamics and radiation in the atmosphere through the development of an idealised moist General Circulation Model. This year he started working at the University of Melbourne in Australia as a research fellow. Jucker’s research focuses on stratospheric dynamics and stratosphere-troposphere coupling. It is directly linked to the activities of the WCRP Core Project 'Stratosphere-troposphere Processes And their Role in Climate' (SPARC). Understanding stratosphere-troposphere coupling, and in particular Sudden Stratospheric Warmings (SSWs), improves seasonal forecasting of surface weather, including severe weather events such as droughts and floods.
Read the full interview.