The EMS Young Scientist Award 2019 was presented to Sebastian Schemm, ETH Zürich, Switzerland, nominated with the publication: “Which Came First? Fronts, Lows, and the Life of an Extratropical Cyclone”, S. Schemm, M. Sprenger, and H. Wernli, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (2018), DOI:10.1175/BAMS-D-16-0261.1.
Sebastian Schemm received the EMS Young Scientist Award 2019 for his rigorous work that has fundamentally increased our understanding of the life cycle of extratropical cyclones. In his study, he disentangles an historical «chicken or egg» question: When, during their lifetime, are extratropical cyclones attended by fronts? «For 100 years, the relationship between extratropical cyclones and their fronts has been more than a question of sequence. It has been a persisting gap in understanding about what drives storm development and decay» (Jeff Rosenfeld, Editor-in-Chief, Bull. Am. Meteorol. Soc., 99, 01/2018, p.7). According to his work, both initial-front and late-front cyclones contribute to the overall cyclone climatology in the Northern Hemisphere. This indicates that nature promotes both types of scenarios: cyclones that form on pre-existing fronts and fronts that develop during and because of cyclone intensification.
Sebastian Schemm graduated with an M.Sc. in 2010 and with a Ph.D. in 2013 from ETH Zürich, Switzerland. Since then, he has worked at the University of Bern, Switzerland, at the Geophysical Institute of the University of Bergen, Norway, and at the Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique at ENS, Paris, France, partly funded by a fellowship from the Swiss National Science Foundation. Currently he is a Guest Professor at the University of Vienna, Austria.
His research focuses on atmospheric and climate dynamics, and covers a wide range of topics such as the influence of diabatic processes on extratropical cyclone life cycles, the dynamics of weather fronts, and the processes underlying storm track and sea ice variability.