Presentation of the Buys Ballot Medal

23 June 2014 from 15:00 to 17:30 hrs
Trippenhuis KNAW, Kloveniersburgwal 29, 1011 JV Amsterdam
+31 20 551 0810
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The Buys Ballot Medal 2014 will be presented on Monday 23 June at the Academy’s Trippenhuis Building in Amsterdam. To mark this occasion, the Academy and the KNMI have organised a symposium on the same day devoted to the work of Sir Brian Hoskins.

Left to the right: Albert van den Berg, Henk Dijkstra, Sir Brian Hoskins,Gerard van der Steenhoven. Photopraphy Inge Hoogland

Sir Brian Hoskins is receiving the 2014 Buys Ballot Medal for his pioneering work on weather systems and large-scale atmospheric motion.


Opening by Christine Mummery, Board member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, and Gerard van der Steenhoven, Director Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute

icon_downl_generiek.gifHenk Dijkstra, Chair of the jury & medal ceremony - Laudatio for Sir Brian Hoskins

Christine Mummery - presentation of the Buys Ballot Medal to Sir Brian Hoskins

Sir Brian Hoskins, University of Reading and Grantham Institute for Climate Change at Imperial College London - Buys Ballot Medal lecture 2014 'Potential vorticity and the Hadley Cell':

Potential vorticity combines the dynamics and thermodynamics of the atmosphere in a variable that underlies much of our understanding of atmospheric motion. After a review of  its properties, potential vorticity will be used as the basis for a new look at the Hadley Cell. The picture that emerges is very different from that in text books.

icon_downl_generiek.gifAdrian Simmons, Consultant European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts - Dynamics and data assimilation:

The development of atmospheric data assimilation since the 1970s has been central to the improvement of weather prediction and the establishment and refinement of a capability for reanalysis of past observations. It has made increasing use of the modelled dynamics of the atmosphere to extract information from the available observations. Understanding of atmospheric dynamics can also be important when diagnosing the performance of data assimilation systems. In turn, the outputs from data assimilation, in particular from reanalysis, have become a mainstay of research into atmospheric dynamics. Examples from the development and application of data assimilation will be presented that link to some of the many contributions of Brian Hoskins to atmospheric science.

Maarten Ambaum, Associate Professor University of Reading - Aspects of storm track variability:

The state of the North Atlantic storm track determines the winter weather in western Europe. Western Europe is located in a part of the storm track where its behaviour is at its most complex and non-linear. Understanding and predicting this behaviour relies on advanced topics in dynamical meteorology. Many of these topics go back to seminal work by Brian Hoskins and co-workers.

icon_downl_generiek.gifTim Woollings, University Lecturer University of Oxford - New perspectives on the North Atlantic Oscillation:

The North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) has traditionally been viewed as operating on timescales of seasons and longer, but recent research has focused on shorter timescales in linking NAO events to the occurrence of Rossby wave breaking. This perspective blurs the distinction between 'weather' and 'climate' to some extent, but it will be shown that NAO variability on very long, multidecadal timescales does appear physically different to that on shorter timescales.

icon_downl_generiek.gifMark Rodwell, Senior Scientist European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts - Monsoons in the global circulation:

As subtropical continents heat-up in spring, it is almost inevitable that monsoons will develop. In my work with Brian, we investigated how monsoons 'explain', and interact-with, the wider circulation. We highlighted the importance of PV modification for the steering of low-level winds that provide the monsoon with its moisture supply, and hypothesised a 'monsoon-desert' mechanism; whereby the descent associated with the dynamical response to monsoons leads to a local diabatic enhancement. My recent work shows how these ideas are applicable to the diagnosis of forecast error.

icon_downl_generiek.gifHuw Davies, Professor ETH Zürich - The essence of mid-latitude weather systems?:

Synoptic-scale mid-latitude weather systems occur irregularly and posses a rich spatial structure with significant case-to-case variability. Hence they are both chaotic and complex. Notwithstanding remarkable progress has been achieved since the 1970s in diagnosing and understanding the accompanying flow dynamics, and these advances have been spearheaded and inspired by this year's recipient of the Buys Ballot Award. An overview will be provided of some of the themes that Professor Hoskins has pursued in studying these systems along with a brief examples of some variations upon those themes.

The ceremony will be concluded with a reception.