Catherine Ritz has made outstanding contributions to ice sheet and paleoclimate research and particularly to ice-sheet modelling. She pioneered the development of three dimensional thermo-mechanically-coupled ice sheet models for studying large-scale evolution of ice sheets and ice core dating. She also made significant advances in the analysis of ice-sheet temperature profiles. Together, these have enabled better understanding of how ice sheets behave during glacial-interglacial cycles, the future behaviour of ice sheets in a warming world, and estimates of their future contribution to sea-level rise.
She has also investigated Heinrich events, Snowball Earth, ice fabrics, the effects of thermal diffusion on firn densification, and much more. Her contributions have a long-lasting impact on the development of ice sheet modelling and the interpretation of ice core records. She introduced ensemble modelling and Bayesian calibration into model intercomparison; led integration of borehole temperature analysis, ice-sheet mechanical modelling and ice-core geochemistry to improve the dating and interpretation of ice core records; and continues to impact future directions in glaciological research though her leadership in several international bodies.
In view of each of these bases, but above all her groundbreaking and inspirational science, the Council of the International Glaciological Society has decided to award the Seligman Crystal to Catherine Ritz.
On behalf of the Awards Committee of the International Glaciological Society
Ian Allison, Chair