Obituary: James J. McCarthy

It is with great sorrow that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has learnt of the death of renowned oceanographer and former Working Group II Co- Chair Dr James J. McCarthy. Dr McCarthy died on 11 December 2019 at the age of 75.

James McCarthy led Working Group II together with his Argentinian counterpart Osvaldo Canziani, and prepared Climate Change 2001: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability, the Working Group II contribution to the Third Assessment Report. He was also a Lead Author on the Fourth Assessment Report.

Among his various other accomplishments, Dr McCarthy was the Alexander Agassiz professor of biological oceanography at Harvard University, where he also served as director of the Museum of Comparative Zoology from 1989 to 2002. In 2012, former President of the USA Barack Obama appointed him to the country’s Arctic Research Commission. In 2018, Dr McCarthy was named as a co-recipient of the prestigious Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement.
His research focused on the regulation of plankton productivity in the ocean, particularly in regions that are strongly affected by seasonal and year-to-year variations in climate.

He was born on 25 January 1944.