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Agriculture

A NASA climate research scientist wins 2022 World Food Prize

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World Food Prize Foundation
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Cynthia Rosenzweig, a NASA scientist and former farmer, has studied the impacts of climate change on food production and founded a global network of experts in food systems and climate modeling.

A NASA climate scientist has been named the 2022 World Food Prize Laureate. The honor, which recognizes a person for their achievements in addressing food security, will be presented October in Des Moines.

Cynthia Rosenzweig, the 52nd laureate, is a senior research scientist and head of the Climate Impacts Group at NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies. A former farmer, she has studied the impacts of climate change on food production and founded a global network of experts in food systems and climate modeling.

World Food Prize Foundation President Barbara Stinson said leaders and politicians in more than 90 countries have used Rosenzweig’s research to help make decisions on adapting to and curbing climate change.

“Our laureate’s work shows that data-driven strategies curb climate change impacts and enhance sustainable food production at the same time,” Stinson said.

Undersecretary for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment Jose Fernandez said Rosenzweig’s work has helped the U.S. better understand climate problems like drought, ocean acidification and crop diseases.

“Thanks to her research, we can better predict how rising temperatures, extreme weather and carbon dioxide will affect food production and quality,” Fernandez said.

In a statement, Rosenzweig said she was honored to receive this year’s World Food Prize.

“Climate change cannot be restrained without attention to food system emissions, and food security for all cannot be provided without resilience to increasing climate extremes,” Rosenzweig said. “I salute the modelers around the world in the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) for their tireless work helping countries to achieve food security both now and in the future under changing climate conditions. As we move into a crucial decade of action on climate change, food needs to be ‘at the table.’”

The honor comes with a $250,000 award.