DES MOINES, IOWA, US — Cynthia Rosenzweig, PhD, was named this year’s World Food Prize Laureate for her pioneering work in modeling the impact of climate change on food production worldwide. According to the World Food Prize Foundation she completed the first projections of how climate change will affect food production in North America in 1985 and globally in 1994.
Rosenzweig is the founder of the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP), a globally integrated transdisciplinary network of climate and food system modelers. AgMIP is dedicated to advancing methods for improving predictions of the future performance of agricultural and food systems in the face of climate change, providing the evidence base for effective food system transformation. Her leadership of AgMIP has directly helped decision-makers in more than 90 countries enhance their resilience to climate change, according to the WFPF.
The World Food Prize is considered one of the most prominent global awards for individuals whose breakthrough achievements alleviate hunger and promote global food security. Rosenzweig received a $250,000 prize.
“I am honored to announce the selection of Dr. Rosenzweig as the 2022 Laureate given the tremendous contributions of her career over the last four decades,” said Barbara Stinson, president of the WFPF. “Dr. Rosenzweig has brought powerful computational tools into practical application in agriculture and food systems. Her work has shaped our understanding of the relationship between food systems and climate change. She advanced the use of multiple models and created networks of scientists to use them. These innovations have contributed to many countries’ ability to respond effectively to the crisis we face in climate change.”
In addition to her work at AgMIP, Rosenzweig is a senior research scientist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and adjunct senior research scientist at the Columbia Climate School. As a pioneer in her field, Rosenzweig has participated as a lead or coordinating lead author on three global assessments of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and her work has contributed to the scientific foundation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which led to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change in 2015. She also led the agriculture sector’s work in the Environmental Protection Agency’s first assessment of the potential impact of climate change on the United States in 1988, creating the first national projections of the effect of climate change on the nation’s agricultural regions, the WFPF said.
“I am honored to receive the World Food Prize this year, as food systems are emerging at the forefront of climate change action,” Rosenzweig said. “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. 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.’”