Nick Shackleton was an international scientist of great renown who fundamentally changed our understanding of how Earth processes work. His research on ancient oceans and climates was both innovative and pioneering, and he clarified the precise role of carbon dioxide in warming and cooling the Earth's climate. His work contributed greatly to our present understanding of the mechanism and causes of global warming. When he began his research, the investigation of past climatic changes was an area of ‘academic’ interest only. Four decades later, his lifetime achievements define the emergence of our understanding of the operation of Earth's natural climate system. This understanding of the past is now central to efforts to predict the future climate we have begun to create. As well as his many scientific accomplishments, Nick Shackleton excelled in another area, that of music, which was almost as important to him as science, and he was a very accomplished clarinet player. In his work he was spirited and curiosity-driven. He let his students and an entire community share in his brilliance and vision.
- This publication is © 2011 The Royal Society