BSC researcher Markus Donat, selected for the AXA Climate Award

21 July 2021

It is the first edition of this award, which seeks to reward researchers for their transformative and impactful work.

The AXA Research Fund has recognized Markus Donat, the Climate prediction group co-leader at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC), with the AXA Award for Climate Science, that aims to recognize and reward researchers for their outstanding contribution to scientific understanding of and adaptation to climate change.

After being nominated, Donat was selected by the AXA Research Fund Scientific BoardThe AXA Research Fund has granted 4 Awards for a total budget of 200 000€ (50 000€ each).

The AXA Award for Climate Science, launched in 2021, focus on the recognition of accomplishments and contributions to fight the climate crisis. They aim to recognise scientists from all over the world, whose contributions to mitigation and adaptation to climate change stand out for their novelty, innovation and impact.

Markus Donat is a climate scientist whose research at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center focuses on understanding climate extremes in the context of climate variability and climate change. He says: “I feel tremendously honoured to receive the AXA Award for Climate Science, both as recognition of my research, but also for the opportunities it entails. In particular, I hope that this award helps me to connect with insurance sector practitioners who manage the changing risk of climate extremes that we anticipate in the coming years and decades. I hope that these interactions will enable us to focus on the specific climate information that is most relevant and useful to make decisions about how to respond to changing climate-related risks”.

AXA Research Fund Climate Awards focus

The past five years have been the hottest on record. 2020 is set to count among the warmest years, ending 1.25°C above the pre-industrial period, as did 2016. Land is warming faster than oceans in some regions, such as the Arctic, undergoing faster warming processes, with temperatures of 6°C above the reference average. This global temperature rise has devastating effects through heat waves, severe droughts, fires, melting glaciers, ocean acidification and rising sea levels that are increasingly more likely to occur. Besides serious environmental impacts, such as biodiversity loss and the collapse of natural ecosystems, climate change also affects essential components of human well-being and socio-economic development, most notably public health, access to safe drinking water and clean air, sufficient food and safe shelter.

The AXA Award for Climate Science seek to speed up the transition to a carbon neutral society, mitigate the negative effects of climate change on people, the environment and the economy, and promote more resilient societies which are better prepared for future global changes.

Get to know more about Markus Donat and his research: