The WMO has honoured In-Sik Kang, professor emeritus at Seoul National University (SNU) in the Republic of Korea, with its top award for his outstanding contributions to climate science.
WMO’s Executive Council selected professor Kang as the winner of the International Meteorological Organization (IMO) prize. Established in 1955 and named after the predecessor of the WMO, the IMO prize is awarded every year to individuals in recognition of their lifetime work in the field of meteorology, hydrology, climatology or related fields.
According to the WMO, Professor Kang received the award as a result of his science achievements, particularly in the field of climate modeling and prediction, and his pioneering contributions to operational and research climate centers. He was also recognized for nurturing next-generation scientists, including from developing countries. He has published more than 170 papers in scientific journals.
In 2000 Professor Kang established a Center of Excellence for Climate Environment System Research at SNU. From 2000 to 2009 he was director of the center and pioneered a multi-model ensemble seasonal prediction system combined with dynamical-statistical corrections.
The work demonstrated a value of multi-model ensemble prediction in operational seasonal forecast, which led to the establishment of APEC Climate Center (APCC). He initiated and played a major role in establishing the APCC and has been a co-chair of the APCC Science Advisory Committee since its establishment in 2006.
The APCC now plays a major role in producing WMO multi-model seasonal prediction products by collecting the seasonal predictions from the 11 WMO-designated operational centers.
Professor Kang has a long history of working with the international climate community and was a member of the World Climate Research Programme Joint Scientific Committee in 2013-2018.
After his retirement from SNU, he was elected as a foreign expert by the Chinese government in 2018 and has been working in China as the science director of the Indian Ocean Center, Second Institute of Oceanography.
Currently, Professor Kang is promoting ocean field observations with buoys and ocean cruises with his newly formed Chinese research team, which will enhance the Chinese contribution to the international Indian Ocean observation programs.