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Last Updated: Monday, 16 January 2006, 15:00 GMT
Scientist's climate change honour
Sir John Houghton
Sir John believes governments must act on climate change
The achievements of a world-renowned expert on climate change have been recognised with an international award.

Sir John Houghton, the former head of the Meteorological Office, received the Japan Prize (Science) which is awarded each year in two categories.

Sir John, who was born in Dyserth and lives in Aberdyfi, will receive his award in April from the Emperor during a week-long celebration in Tokyo.

While some query the reality of climate change, he insists action is needed.


"It's nice to win something like this. It's recognition for the work I've done on climate change," he said.

Over the years Sir John has developed his own techniques for measuring atmospheric change and was principal investigator responsible for the instruments flown on NASA's Nimbus satellites in the 1970's.

He has also lectured extensively and was director-general and later chief executive of the Meteorological Office.

He also has close links with the University of Wales in Aberystwyth.


His expertise is in demand, and gave evidence on climate change before a US senate committee in 2005.

"Some of the senate were very interested and engaged with us, but there were some tough questions and there are a lot of sceptics," he said of the experience.

"We must get on and do something about it or it will get much more serious," he said.

"I wish governments would wake up faster to what we need to do.

"Our own government is very loud pushing for carbon dioxide reductions, but despite what has been said we are the slowest in Europe taking on the change," he added.

The winner of the Japan Prize (Technology) was Dr Akira Endo from Japan, who was honoured for his work on discovering and developing statins, or cholesterol-lowering drugs.

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