Influential Dutch climate researcher Geert Jan van Oldenborgh passed away on Monday at the age of 59.

He was

named one of the 100 Most Influential People of 2021


Time magazine

last month

, and received a royal honor and the European Technology Achievement Award in April this year for his groundbreaking research.

Van Oldenborgh, originally a physicist, has worked at the KNMI since 1996.

Since 2019, he has also been a part-time professor at Oxford University.

Together with the German climate researcher Friederike Otto, he developed a method to determine the precise role of climate change shortly after major weather disasters.

This led to the establishment of World Weather Attribution, an international network of climate scientists and institutes.

He also made large amounts of climate statistics available via the Climate Explorer he developed, which is used worldwide via the KNMI website.

In addition to weather extremes, Van Oldenborgh was an authority on interactions between oceans and the atmosphere, such as climate effects of possible weakening of the Gulf Stream in the Atlantic Ocean.

How much warmer does it actually get?

For, Van Oldenborgh answered our first climate question, with which we started the series: how much warmer is it actually getting?

He also took on the fourth climate question: will climate change make it wetter or drier?

Despite a long illness, Van Oldenborgh continued to contribute to climate science until the last moment.

The last time he gave an explanation on was in July, when he presented his research into the causes of the extreme heat in Canada.

See also: Climate change: How much warmer is it actually getting?

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