Buys Ballot Medal awarded to Sandrine Bony

Clouds' influence on climate change

The Buys Ballot Medal was instituted in 1888 by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) to honour the scientific achievements of the meteorologist and founder of the KNMI Buys Ballot (1817-1890). The medal is awarded only once every five years to an outstanding meteorological researcher with a particular focus on understanding climate change. This means that not only receiving the medal, but also attending the ceremony is a very special event!

On 21 November 2023, during a very well-attended and festive symposium at the KNAW in Amsterdam, KNAW president Marleen Dogterom presented the Buys Ballot Medal to Sandrine Bony, for her groundbreaking research into clouds and their role in our changing climate. Clouds are a hugely important component of our climate system, but also the most uncertain factor: will they enhance or limit global warming, how do they interact with the large-scale atmospheric circulation, and how can we best combine ground-based and satellite observations of clouds with modelling?

Sandrine Bony has developed innovative ways to address these questions, as was vividly illustrated by her own fascinating presentation and that of other speakers, including KNMI director Maarten van Aalst, jury member Guido van der Werf, and Bjorn Stevens, himself a cloud specialist and director of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg. The presentations and photographic impression of this immensely enjoyable and festive afternoon can be viewed back here.