The Royal Society of Victoria is delighted to congratulate Dr Ashleigh Hood, the 2022 recipient of the Phillip Law Postdoctoral Award, and the first to be awarded in the new category of Earth Sciences. Her research focuses on the co-evolution of life and planetary surface conditions over the last several billion years of Earth’s history. Ashleigh attained her PhD in geology from the University of Melbourne in 2014.
A significant, urgent and sustained reduction in emissions is required to reach greenhouse gas neutrality by 2050. A target of 50% reduction relative to 2005 levels by 2030 for Australia would be consistent with the required rate of emissions reductions to meet the Paris Agreement targets of limiting global warming to less than 2°C above pre-industrial levels.
It had been known for more than hundred years that increases in concentration were likely to warm the planet. So CSIRO commenced work on the modelling of the whole climate system. But in the 1980s it was realised that very few of our Australian colleagues, across a wide range of different disciplines, were either aware of the potential of global warming, or seriously considering, from their own perspectives, whether it was of any importance.