Budyko, M

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Mikhail Budyko


Mikhail Ivanovich BUDYKO (Russian: Михаил Иванович Будыко) 20.01.1920 (Gormel, Belarus) – 10.12.2001 (St. Petersburg, Russia)


Mikhail Budyko was born in Gomel. In 1942 he graduated from Leningrad Polytechnic Institute. Since 1942 he worked at Voeikov Main Geophysical Observatory (director from 1954 till 1972, head of department since 1972). Since 1975 Budyko was head of a department at the State Hydrological Institute in St. Petersburg. In 1951 he received his doctorate in physics and mathematics. Budyko was an academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences (1992), an honorary member of the Geographical Society of Russia, the American Meteorological Society. His scientific works include those in the field of physical and bioclimatology, atmospheric physics, land hydrology, oceanography, physical and biogeography, actinometry. Budyko won the Lenin Prize (1958), the A. P. Vinogradov (1989) and the A.A. Grigoriev (1995) Prizes, the prizes of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the International Blue Planet Prize (1998). He was awarded the Lethke Gold Medal of the Russian Geographical Society (1972), the World Meteorological Organization Medal (1987), the Horton Medal of the American Geographical Union (1994), the Blue Planet Prize (1998), and other awards. Budyko is believed to have been the first, in 1974, to put forth the concept of artificial solar radiation management with stratospheric sulfate aerosols if global warming ever became a pressing issue.[2] This climate engineering proposal has been dubbed "Budyko's Blanket" in his honor.

Hydrological Achievements[edit]

Budyko made fundamental contributions to modern science about the Earth. Budyko developed a theory of evaporation under natural conditions, using physical, mathematical, and geographical methods to examine natural processes (1948). He led the publication of an Atlas of the World's Energy Balance (1956, 1963). In 1955 he introduced a quantitative criterion to characterize geo-botanical zones (Budyko radiation index of dryness). Budyko developed methods for calculating the components of the heat balance of the earth surface (1956), which laid the foundations of modern physical climatology. He showed that changes in the heat balance of the earth surface can change the global climate, and laid the foundations for a quantitative approach to climatology (1956). Together with the academician A.A. Grigoriev, Budyko proposed a classification of geographical climatic zones, formulated the periodic law of geographical zonality (1962). Budyko concluded that the increase of carbon dioxide concentration will inevitably lead to catastrophic global warming (1969); he also put forward a most substantiated hypothesis of the greenhouse effect (1984).

In hydrology he is now mostly remembered for his contribution relating the long term partitioning of the water balance. Building on on the works of Schreiber (1904) and Ol’dekop (1911) he postulated that when expressed in terms of ratios of energy input to rainfalls (the dryness index), and actual evaporation to precipitation (the evaporative index), long term average evaporation can be expressed as a curvilinear function now known as the Budyko curve. This curve smooths the transition from the arid low precipitation case when evapotranspiration is water limited, and the case where evapotranspiration is limited by the available energy. He tested the function against data from some 1200 catchment datasets, suggesting that it explained 90% of the variability. The Budyko curve has been the inspiration for a large number of papers aimed at a deeper understanding of the relationship. It is worth noting that catchments can show dramatic departures from the curve in individual years as a result of observation errors, storage effects, and short term changes in runoff coefficients.

Reference Material[edit]


Andronova, Natalia G. Budyko, Mikhail Ivanovich. In Encyclopedia of Global Environmental Change, edited by Ted Munn, vol. 1. New York: Wiley, 2002.

Lapensis et al., 2002, Budyko Obituary, Eos Trans. AGU, Vol. 83, No. 21, 21 May 2002

Budyko biography

AIP Interview with Budyko

AGU Obituary, Eos, Vol. 83, No. 21, 21 May 2002

Major Publications[edit]

Budyko, M. I.: The heat balance of the earth’s surface, U.S. Dept. of Commerce, Washington, 1958.

Budyko, M. I.: Climate and life, Academic, New York, 1974.

Budyko, M. I., G. S. Golitsyn, and Y. A. Izrael. Global Climatic Catastrophes. New York: Springer-Verlag, 1988.

Budyko, M. I., Global Ecology. Progress Publisher Moscow, 1980

Budyko, M. I. and Y. A. Izrael., eds. Anthropogenic Climatic Change. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1991.

Budyko, M. I., A. B. Ronov, and A. L. Yanshin.History of the Earth's Atmosphere. New York: Springer-Verlag, 1987.

Budyko, Mikhail I. "Global Climate Warming and its Consequence." Blue Planet Prize 1998 Commemorative Lectures . Ecology Symphony. October 30, 1998 [cited May 23, 2002].[2]