Janna Haigh

While prominent politicians may question the existence of human-induced climate change, there is no doubt in Janna Haigh’s mind that the activities of people are having a dramatic negative impact on the global climate. In fact, many of the models forecasting dire consequences if we don’t change our actions, those very models that have sparked such debate, are based on her work. An atmospheric physicist and professor at Imperial College London, Joanna uses satellite data to develop mathematical models that seek to determine what type of climate fluctuations are natural and which are directly caused by humans. While her work may be computational, or “dry lab”, she isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty. In fact, the International Council for Science named her one of “20 women making waves in the climate change debate.” She frequently has to defend her work against climate change deniers, but, as one of the few females elected as a fellow to the Royal Academy of Sciences, she has no problem sticking up for herself and what she believes in. Despite being a woman in a field dominated by men, she worked her way to a position as president of the Royal Meteorological Society and head of her college’s Department of Physics. She currently co-directs the Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment, where she continues to fight to convert the skeptics and save our planet. This WiSE Wednesday, WiSE thanks this real-life superhero!

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