David Karoly was a student at Brighton High School during 1967-72, a skinny nerd with a keen interest in science and in sport. He did well at school and went on to do a Bachelor of Science degree at Monash University, then a new University with new science facilities. He majored in Physics and Applied Mathematics, but shifted to Meteorology for his Honours year at Monash. It was there that his interest in the environment and outdoor activities flourished as a member of the Monash Bushwalking Club. He was lucky enough to get a Shell scholarship in 1977 that funded him to do his PhD in meteorology at the University of Reading in England from 1977 to 1980.
David is now an internationally recognised expert on climate change and climate variability. He is Leader of the Earth Systems and Climate Change Hub in the Australian Government’s National Environmental Science Program, based in CSIRO. He is also an honorary Professor at the University of Melbourne. He is heavily involved in giving talks to the government, to business, and to community groups on climate change and what it means to them.
From 2012 to 2017, he was a member of the Climate Change Authority, which provides advice to the Australian government on responding to climate change, including targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. He has been involved in the Assessment Reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 2001, 2007, 2014 and 2021 in several different roles. As a Lead Author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, he shared in the award of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize jointly to the IPCC and to Al Gore. He was elected as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science in 2019 and was awarded the 2015 Royal Society of Victoria Medal for Scientific Excellence in Earth Sciences.
From 2007 to February 2018, David Karoly was Professor of Atmospheric Science at the University of Melbourne and in the A.R.C. Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science. From 2003 to 2007, he held the Williams Chair in the School of Meteorology at the University of Oklahoma. Before that, he was Head of the School of Mathematical Sciences and Professor of Meteorology at Monash University during 2001-2002.