The eminent meteorologist, climate change expert and Christian, Sir John Houghton, has died at the age of 88 of suspected Covid-19. Sir John was a Patron of Operation Noah.
many achievements, he was co-chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change’s (IPCC) scientific assessment working group and lead editor of the
first three IPCC reports. In December 2007 he received the Nobel Peace Prize as
part of the IPCC delegation, alongside the former vice-president of the United
States of America, Al Gore. He was also professor in atmospheric physics at the
University of Oxford and Chief Executive of the Met Office.
John firmly believed that faith and science belong together. He founded the
John Ray Initiative (JRI), an organisation connecting environment, science and
Christianity, in 1998.
Bodenham, Operation Noah founder, recalls: ‘John spent many hours, over many years, touring churches in Britain
and the United States, making the case for Christians to act on climate change.
It was a ministry in which he was quietly tenacious, and I was struck by the
integrity with which he spoke, fully both a scientist and a disciple. He
was opening speaker at the launch of Operation Noah in 2004, while it was still
a project of Green Christian, and featured in the campaign
video which followed. It is no exaggeration to say that John was
instrumental in the churches in the UK finding their voice on climate change.’
Louisa Poole, an Operation Noah Board Member, said: ‘We owe him a lot in being the
first scientist who took a public stand. He supported Operation Noah hugely,
often mentioned us, and tirelessly appeared to speak to groups large and
In a moving tribute on Twitter, Sir John’s granddaughter, Hannah Malcolm, quoted
him as saying of his time at university: ‘Science was a voyage of discovery to the way
the universe worked, and it was God’s universe, then it was studying the works
of God, and that’s something that stuck with me.’
said: ‘My… consistent memory will be his deep faith that he was doing work in
service of the God he loved, and in service of the world he loved.’
Times has republished an interview with Sir John, which
took place in 2013 at the time of the publication of his autobiography In the Eye of the Storm.
Operation Noah our thoughts and prayers are with Sir John’s family at this