The five awarded scientists are responsible for initiatives that favor the planet and that seek to fight against climate change.
The 2021 Nobel Prizes in Physics and Chemistry, both awarded by the Swedish Academy of Sciences, were awarded to initiatives related to the climate crisis.
Physics was taken by Suykuro Manabe, Klaus Hasselman and Giorgio Parisi whose work helps to understand complex physical systems like the Earth’s climate.
Goran Hansson, Secretary General of the Swedish Academy of Sciences, explained that “half of the award together goes to Syukuro Manabe and Klaus Hasselmann for physically modeling the Earth’s climate, quantifying variability and reliably predicting global warming. The other half goes to Giorgio Garisi, for the discovery of the interaction of disorder and fluctuations in physical systems from atomic to planetary scales. “
In other words, the Japanese Manabe demonstrated how increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere lead to an increase in temperatures on the Earth’s surface.
Subsequently, Hasselman created a model that links weather and climate, with which he showed that climate models can be reliable despite changing and chaotic weather. He also developed methods that identify specific signals left by natural phenomena and human activities in climate, and Parisi discovered hidden patterns in messy complex materials.
Nobel Prize in Chemistry: to the fathers of asmetric organocatalysis
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry went to David MacMillan and Benjamin List, two researchers who developed the so-called asymmetric organocatalysis, a technique that uses small organic molecules as catalysts.
It is necessary to remember that a catalysis is the variation in the speed of a chemical reaction produced by the presence of a catalyst and for a long time it was thought that only metals and enzymes were catalysts, that is, they could accelerate or delay a chemical reaction.
Well, the laureates independently developed a new form of catalysis. MacMillan used simple organic molecules and List used an amino acid called proline.
Heiner Linke, member of the Nobel Committee indicated that “the prize (was awarded) for developing a method to create molecules, to synthesize molecules. Benjamin List and David MacMillan, the winners, discovered a method to make molecules cheaper, simple and environmentally friendly. friendly”.
In the same way, he explained that, “in particular, in the medical industry, to manufacture drugs is very important because the body can react differently to different molecules and with this method, called organocatalysis, you can make specific molecules, which is extremely important” .