Prof. Bolin had a distinguished career having been appointed as Professor of Meteorology at Stockholm University in 1961. In 1974 he organized the first international conference for the formulation and development of a World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) which took shape and was launched in 1980. Between 1985 and 1986 he served as Chairman for the ad hoc committee which proposed the initiation by the International Congress of Scientific Unions (ICSU) the International Geosphere Biosphere Programme (IGBP), a study of global change, which was launched by ICSU in 1986.
Prof. Bolin published about 170 scientific papers and books in a wide range of fields, particularly making seminal contributions in the field of meteorology and climate change. Even in recent months when he was undergoing medical treatment and suffered from a prolonged period of ill health, he published a book entitled "A History of the Science and Politics of Climate Change: The Role of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change". He was a member of nine academies of science round the world, and from 1983-86 was member of the Scientific Advisory Board to the Swedish Government. Between 1986 and 1988 he was Scientific Advisor to the Swedish Prime Minister and to the Vice Prime Minister during 1988 to 1991.
On a personal note, I saw Prof. Bolin on December 12 in Stockholm, when Mr Al Gore and I were invited to address the Swedish Parliament. The Speaker of the Parliament and the Swedish Prime Minister had rightly invited Prof. Bolin on that occasion and gave him a seat right in front among the Parliamentarians who attended that fully packed Assembly. Earlier, we had invited him to receive the Nobel Peace prize in Oslo on behalf of the IPCC as the founding Chairman of the organization, but at the last minute he had to cancel his plans, since he was much too unwell to make the trip. He looked really frail when I saw him in Stockholm.
While all those who work in the field of climate change, and particularly those associated with the IPCC will miss him greatly, his legacy as a remarkable leader of scientific endeavour would remain a source of inspiration to researchers working in this general field and certainly to those who work on the reports of the IPCC any time in the future. His name will remain engraved in golden letters as a pioneer whose work has made an enormous difference to the world.
On behalf of the IPCC I would like to convey my heartfelt condolences to the members of Prof. Bolin's family.
R K Pachauri
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)