International Award on Meteorology and Climatology Eduard Fontserè 2019

Members of the Environmental Physics research group (UdG) receive the International Award on Meteorology and Climatology Eduard Fontserè 2019 of the Catalan Meteorological Society for the paper “Fewer clouds in the Mediterranean: consistency of observations and climate simulations”, published in 2017 in the Scientific Reports journal together with researchers from other centers within the framework of international research collaborations.

The Catalan Meteorological Society (ACAM), which promotes and disseminates the knowledge of meteorology and climatology in the Mediterranean basin, recently announced the winner of the International Award on Meteorology and Climatology Eduard Fontserè 2019, sponsored by Weather Catalan Service (METEOCAT) and the Environmental Service of the Sustainability Area of Diputació de Barcelona.

The goal of this award is to promote significant research and knowledge about Mediterranean meteorology and climatology, for those papers published between 2017 and 2019 in a journal included into the Atmospheric Sciences field, indexed in the SCI (Science Citation Index, Thomson Reuters) or SCOPUS.

The Jury unanimously decided to award the paper entitled Fewer clouds in the Mediterranean: consistency of observations and climate simulations, published in the Scientific Reports journal in 2017 by Aarón Enríquez-Alonso, Josep Calbó and Josep-Abel González, members of the Environmental Physics research group of the University of Girona (UdG), together with Arturo Sánchez-Lorenzo and Sergio M. Vicente-Serrano from the Instituto Pirenaico de Ecología of the Spanish National Research Council - CSIC (Zaragoza, Spain), Martin Wild and Doris Folini from the Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Sciences (Zürich, Switzerland) and Joel R. Norris of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography of the University of California (San Diego, USA).

The Jury considered that this paper provides relevant contributions to the knowledge of the Mediterranean meteorology and climatology. The Jury appreciated the scope of the study very positively, from the point of view of the global contribution to the knowledge of the evolution of cloudiness due to its impact on the radiative balance, as well as from the perspective of the Mediterranean as a whole. It is interesting the conclusion on the tendency to overall cloudiness decrease in the Mediterranean region, as well as the intercomparison with results from data observed from the ground, satellite data, reanalysis databases and from the application of GCM models.

The Jury valued the fact that the paper deals with an aspect which is very relevant in the climatological studies of the western Mediterranean, such as cloud cover, linking observations with climate modeling. The importance of this article is that it addresses quite controversial and current topics in the literature. In the last decades, there are not many studies addressing cloudiness evolution in a relatively large area such as the Mediterranean region. One of the reasons may be the difficulty of having long and quality observations. The coincidence of results gives robustness to the study, reinforcing the hypothesis of the authors regarding the relationship between the Hadley cell movement and the cloudiness decrease in the Mediterranean region during the last 50 years.

The Jury also highlighted the relevance and difficulty of publishing in a journal of high impact factor, such as Scientific Reports.

The authors presented the awarded work during the XXV Symposium of Meteorology Eduard Fontserè, on 17th November 2019 in Barcelona.

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