HS Hydrological Sciences
The 2014 Division Outstanding Young Scientists Award is awarded to Fubao Sun for fundamental contributions to the understanding of precipitation variability, in particular to the impact of climate change on precipitation.
Fubao Sun has led research on the classic problem of precipitation variability and the impact of climate change on the spatio-temporal variation of precipitation. His research has taken an entirely new approach to the problem and to date the key result is the finding of a globally integrated trend for wet regions to become slightly drier whilst dry places have become slightly wetter. Until that work the paradigmatic assumption was for the wet to get wetter and the dry to get drier. The result was confirmed in all major global precipitation databases. What is especially impressive about Sun’s work is its comprehensive nature: such a deduction requires a deep level of insight and has been confirmed using a mass balance approach. His key paper was informed by earlier work on the development of a new theoretical framework for separating variations over space and time, and highlights important gains in the understanding of local rainfall variability and using model projections to interpret global water balance. Fubao Sun is truly an emerging talent in the field of geosciences.