CliSAP mourns the loss of oceanographer Ernst Maier-Reimer

09.08.2013

On July 22, 2013 oceanographer Dr. Ernst Maier-Reimer passed away after a struggle with serious illness. For nearly 35 years, he shaped the direction of ocean model development at the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, and he served as a Principal Investigator at the Cluster of Excellence CliSAP up to 2012. His pioneering breakthrough was the world’s first three-dimensional simulation of the ocean’s carbon cycle in 1987. Ernst Maier-Reimer also introduced chemical tracers that, for the first time, allowed the age and distribution of water masses to be modeled – laying the foundation for today’s complex earth systems modeling.

“We are deeply moved by the passing of our colleague. Ernst was one of the most essential and internationally respected figures in marine and climate research,” states the Speaker of the Cluster, Prof. Martin Claußen. “We have lost an eminent researcher who produced outstanding advances in the field of marine biogeochemistry and who, even after going into retirement, remained an extremely active researcher. Ernst Maier-Reimer was not only an excellent scientist, but a well-loved, kindhearted and highly regarded colleague.”

After completing his first diploma in Physics, Ernst Maier-Reimer pursued his interest in marine research at the University of Hamburg’s Institute of Oceanography. The numerical ocean models he developed would go on to serve as the cornerstones of numerous research works. The success and vanguard position of German climate research in the early 1990s can largely be attributed to his pragmatic approach to modeling. Very early on, he focused his efforts on marine biogeochemical cycles and the ecological questions accompanying them. His model of the ocean’s general circulation has provided an essential basis for subsequent developments on the part of chemical, biological and geological research groups. In recognition of his fundamental and lasting contributions, Ernst Maier-Reimer was awarded the Alfred Defant Medal by the German Meteorological Society in 2001, and received the Eduard Brückner Prize in 2003.
 

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