Van Oldenborgh, who studied physics at Leiden University, joined the Dutch meteorological institute in 1996, where he studied the predictability of the Pacific region's El Nino weather pattern. As part of his work with the Dutch institute, he also contributed to reports by the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
In the early 2000s, he created a platform he called “Climate Explorer” to analyze climate data.
“He did so single-handedly and with little funding; it remains one of the most useful tools for accessing and analyzing climate data available to the world,” his colleagues at the World Weather Attribution network said in a statement on the group's website. “His desire to share everything he made, and for science, data and tools to be open, advanced climate science and meant that results were more easily accessible for the general public.”
The group said than Van Oldenborgh's “honesty, kindness and morality shone through his life and work, leaving fellow scientists, students and friends mourning his loss but grateful for having known and worked with him. His legacy will be immense.”
Van Oldenborgh is survived by his wife and three sons. The family was planning a private funeral.
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