UCLA atmospheric scientist Kuo-Nan Liou will receive the 2013 American Geophysical Union Roger Revelle Medal, an award that recognizes scientists for “their outstanding contributions in atmospheric sciences, atmosphere-ocean coupling, atmosphere-land coupling, biogeochemical cycles, climate, or related aspects of the Earth system.” The medal presentation will take place when members meet in San Francisco Dec. 9-13.

Liou, a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences since 1997, directs UCLA’s Joint Institute for Regional Earth System Science and Engineering, in collaboration with Earth scientists at JPL/Caltech and other National Labs to study and develop projects on global climate change and its impact on regional climate and environment. Liou’s recent work focuses on radiative transfer and satellite remote sensing in mountain/snow regions and the deposition of black carbon and dust over these areas in association with surface temperature and snowmelt amplification and feedback.
 
Among his numerous achievements, Liou discovered the depolarization principle to differentiate ice crystals from water droplets and, along with graduate students, developed a unified theory for light scattering by ice crystals and aerosols for application to remote sensing and climate research.

Professor Liou was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1999 and the Academia Sinica in 2004. He received the 2012 Quadrennial Gold Medal given by the International Radiation Commission, the 2010 Biennial COSPAR (Committee on Space Research) William Nordberg Medal, and the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize Certificate bestowed on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for substantial contributions to its work.  The IPCC and former Vice President Al Gore were awarded the prize in 2007 for their efforts to develop and disseminate greater knowledge about manmade climate change.