The jury grants the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the Climate Change category to Christopher Bower Field for fundamental contributions to understanding the interactions between the dynamics of plants and land ecosystems, and the CO2 released through human activities. Professor Field’s visionary research on the global carbon cycle demonstrated that projections of future climate require the explicit consideration of land ecosystems and their management.
His contributions established the links between plant photosynthesis and the global carbon budget. His work also showed the important role of nitrogen in limiting the uptake of carbon by natural ecosystems in a higher CO2 world. These insights allowed the design of effective strategies for managing agricultural fields, forests and other terrestrial ecosystems in the face of future climate change, as well as strategies for mitigating climate change through the production of plant-based biofuels.
Christopher Field has used his understanding of global carbon issues to inspire research, and to guide policy makers and business leaders in making effective choices to reduce the adverse impacts of climate change.