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Malte F. Stuecker

Malte F. Stuecker
Malte F. Stuecker

CL Climate: Past, Present & Future

The 2016 Division Outstanding Young Scientists Award is awarded to Malte F. Stuecker for his combination tones theory on the annual cycle and El Niño-Southern Oscillation interactions.

In the course of his PhD Malte Stuecker developed a new interaction theory for the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the annual cycle. The theoretical results are backed up by observational datasets and extensive climate model experiments and were published in Nature Geoscience (2013). Stuecker’s theory is the first of its kind to properly describe the seasonal variance modulation of ENSO, its irregularity and spectral characteristics using the very simple and elegant concept of combination tones. His approach will likely become a new cornerstone of ENSO dynamics in the decades to come.
A generalisation of Stuecker’s combination tones idea can be applied to any other modes of climate variability. In the context of ENSO–monsoon interactions, he provides a comprehensive and novel understanding of the dynamics of the Philippine Sea Anticyclone, which serves as the atmospheric bridge between ENSO and the Asian Monsoon systems (Journal of Climate, 2015). This work calls in question the importance of previous mechanisms and has important implications for seasonal rainfall predictability over Asia and Australia.
Malte’s intellectual rigor, independent thinking, creativity, excellent technical skills, and curiosity make him a worthy recipient of the Division Outstanding Young Scientists Award.