Obituary: Astrid Kiendler-Scharr

It is with great sadness that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has learned of the passing of one of its authors, Professor Astrid Kiendler-Scharr, on 6 February 2023.

She was one of the Lead Authors of Chapter 6 on Short-lived Climate Forcers of the Working Group I contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6). This was the first time a Working Group I report had a dedicated chapter on short-lived climate forcers. Astrid also co-led the Cross Chapter Box on the Implications of COVID-19 restrictions on emissions, air quality and climate – an impressive undertaking to assess scientific literature of a pandemic that had just occurred. 

She was the scientific director of the Institute for Tropospheric Research IEK-8, at Forschungszentrum Jülich and full professor at University Cologne since 2012. From 2021, she was the Chair of the German Climate Consortium, DKK. She was also a member of the Scientific Steering Committee of the International Global Atmospheric Chemistry (IGAC) Project since 2022.

Astrid will be greatly missed by her colleagues in Working Group I and the international scientific community as a whole.

The Coordinating Lead Authors (CLAs) of Chapter 6, Sophie Szopa (France) and Vaishali Naik (USA), are devastated by the loss. They said “Astrid was very kind and supportive of the CLAs. When the final rush of the chapter production came, we relied on her leadership for parts of the chapter and the COVID Cross-Chapter Box. She was very generous, including working to produce important figures.” They are certain she would have inspired young researchers, particularly of her laboratory, for a very long time.

She studied physics at Innsbruck University in Austria and did her PhD at the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Germany. Her research focused on atmospheric chemistry and the formation of secondary aerosols. A condolence page has been set up by her institute Forschungszentrum Jülich here.