James J. McCarthy was a renowned American oceanographer who made significant contributions to our understanding of the Earth's climate and the impact of human activity on the planet.
He was a co-chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group II, which shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with former U.S. Vice President Al Gore.
McCarthy's three greatest contributions to science are:
McCarthy was part of the team that discovered the widespread occurrence of antarctic bottom water formation, a process that helps regulate the Earth's climate by transporting heat and carbon dioxide to the deep ocean.
McCarthy conducted pioneering research on the impact of climate change on marine ecosystems, including the effects of ocean acidification on coral reefs and other marine organisms.
McCarthy was a leading voice in the scientific community on the urgent need to address climate change, and his advocacy helped raise public awareness of the issue and spur action by policymakers and businesses.