Leading climate scientist Sir John Houghton has passed away after contracting covid-19. A committed Christian, Houghton was also an internationally recognised authority on climate change, holding many prestigious positions including the co-chair of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the former chief executive of the Met Office.
He spent much of his life raising awareness of human-influence climate change, and was determined to marry up his Christian faith with a deep love for environmental science. "Putting my science and faith alongside each other has always been important to me, because I believe they belong together," he told the Church Times back in 2013.
His granddaughter Hannah Malcolm paid tribute to him on Twitter:
"When I was younger, my consistent memory of him was warnings over the devastation waiting us if we didn't act on climate change. And I remember thinking how glad I was that scientists like him were in charge. But of course it isn't the scientists in charge.
"He faced a lifetime of lobbyists and corporations trying to undermine his work, question his motives, and distract from evidence. But my other consistent memory will be his deep faith that he was doing work in service of the God he loved, and in service of the world he loved."
In 2007, Houghton accepted the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which shared the honour with environmentalist and former Vice President, Al Gore.
According to Hannah, Houghton spent his final years living by the sea in his native Wales.
"He slowly lost a lot of memories and faculties to dementia, but the sea remained with him. A good life," she wrote.
Houghton was 88-years-old. He is survived by his wife, Sheila.