"Globally renowned Australian climate scientist Prof Will Steffen has died,
aged 75, with former colleagues and family remembering him as an inspiring,
courageous and gentle human.
Steffen died in Canberra hospital on Sunday evening after almost a year of
treatment for pancreatic cancer.
Colleagues from around the world described him as a scientific giant who had
spent a career studying and communicating the risks of climate change.
Steffen was known for his studies on the rate humans were driving changes to
the planet and the risks of irreversible “tipping points” that could push the
world to “hothouse” conditions.
He was known as a skilled communicator, delivering countless public talks and
interviews to the media, and was a trusted adviser to the Gillard government.
The director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany,
Prof Johan Rockström, said: “Such a loss for humanity. There is no better
friend and colleague for humanity and a livable planet.”
Steffen moved to Australia from the US in 1977, taking a post-doc position at
the Australian National University. He was a pivotal figure and leader in
coordinating international research collaborations.
In Australia he was a highly respected adviser on climate change policy and
worked on a multiparty committee around 2010 that helped devise a mechanism to
put a price on carbon.
Steffen was part of a group of scientists including Rockström who described
nine “planetary boundaries” that regulate the planet and formed the basis for a
Netflix documentary narrated by Sir David Attenborough."
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics