Kirill Kondratyev (1920-2006)

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Terry Nakajima, 3 May 2006:
Dear Svetlana, family, Prof. Donchenko, and Colleagues,

We like to express our deep regret at the death of Prof. Kirill Ya. Kondratyev. This is sad news for all of us who had known him in research activity and in private life. He was a great scientist outstanding in many science fields, and at the same time he was a great person with humanity and warm kindness to all of us. We are proud that he was a long-time honorable member of IAMAS/ International Radiation Commission (IRC). He had made many contributions in the radiation science with his pioneering works in radiative characterization of aerosols and clouds, and in many other subjects. In the CAENEX experiment in the early 70s, for example, he and his colleagues evaluated radiative effects of nonspherical mineral dust aerosols by advanced aircraft measurements. I personally had learnt a good knowledge from his famous text book 'Radiation in the atmosphere' (1969, Academic Press) in my graduate school period. Likewise, I am sure that many scientists in the world owe him a great debt of gratitude and been encouraged by his academic works and by more direct private communication with him. With many of those colleagues and friends, International Radiation Symposium, St. Petersburg in 2000 was held in honor of Academician Kiril Kondratyev who celebrated his eightieth birthday. I also remember Kirill and Svetlana in the University of Tokyo staying half a year in 1996. I was surprised by the mental energy of Kirill who spent a long time in our library from morning to evening reading and writing very hard. Remembering those of many good things with Kirill, I started feeling very sad and feel him very close to me. Representing the International Radiation Commission, I express our great thanks to Kirill and want to give a farewell to Kirill for his eternal sleep. I believe all of commission members and colleagues in the world feel in a same manner. Good bye, Kirill, and have a nice sleep. We will succeed your will of developing science and your desire to improve the welfare of the society.

Teruyuki Nakajima
President IRC

Terry Nakajima, 4 May 2006:
We received a sad news from Prof. Donchenko that Kirill Ya Kondratyev passed away on 1 May. Prof. Kondratyev was an IRC members from very early phase and had made a great contribution to the radiation study. We express our deep condolences to his death. I like propose that we make an IRC special tribute on the IRC web page. You can send me your memory and words for him to show on the web page. We will send a telegram from IRC to Svetlana, wife of Kirill. And later we will send her our collection of words from you.

John Harries, 4 May 2006:
Kirill Kondratyev was one of my "triumvirate" of heroes as a young researcher in the UK (should I mention that the other two were John Houghton and Richard Goody?!), and it was a great thrill when I subsequently met him at IRC and other meetings. Kirill was always encouraging and supportive, and frequently wrote with congratulations and words of encouragement when a new piece of work was published. Within the fellowship that the IRC provided, it was always a pleasure to meet with and work with Kirill. He was a major figure in our science, and also a very nice man. He will be sadly missed.

Natalie Chubarova, 5 May 2006:
Thank you a lot ( if it is possible to say so) for sending me these sad news. Here, in Moscow, we did not know what had happened in St. Petersburg. (we had a holiday period). We all esteemed Kirill Kondratiev highly. His contribution to radiation science is hardly to be overestimated. Thank you for your warm words in his memory.

G. Y. Shi, and H.B. Chen, 9 May 2006:
Dear Svetlana, family, Prof. Donchenko,

We, all Chinese old and current members of IRC, are greatly shocked and in great sorrow on hearing the death of Prof. Kirill Ya. Kondratyev, and we still can't believe that we have lost such a bright scientist and an old friend. We will always cherish those unforgettable memories of him. On behalf of Academicians Xiu-ji ZHOU, Qing-cun Zeng, Da-ren LU and all Chinese colleagues working in the field of atmospheric radiative transfer, we sincerely hope that you can restrain your grief and recover from it soon though we know it is a great loss to you.

Sincerely yours,
Drs. G.Y. Shi and H.B. Chen
Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences

Dietrich Spänkuch, member of the Radiation Commission 1972-1992, member of Commission A of COSPAR 1984-1988, 18 May 2006:
With deep sorrow I learned from Kirill Kondratyev's decease on 1st of May. Kirill was not only my mentor, indirectly by his excellent early textbooks "The Radiant Energy of the Sun" and "Radiative Heat Exchange in the Atmosphere", both published by Gidrometeoizdat in Leningrad 1954 and 1956, and directly, when I visited his laboratory at the Leningrad State University from October 1972 till October 1973, but has been also a very good friend of mine since this time. The first time I saw him during the COSPAR Meeting 1970 in Leningrad where he was the local organizer of this big scientific conference. Already there I was deeply impressed by his extraordinarily managing capability. Kirill was a great scientist with broad interest and knowledge, an excellent university teacher, who trained his people to high scientific level, and a scientific manager par excellence. His knowledge, advice and indefatigable activity was very well appreciated in all scientific commissions where he was a member. His frankness and sincerity let him not force in the rules of the cold war and ideological barriers to practise reserve against foreign colleagues. He stimulated international cooperation with all his enthu-siasm because he was deeply convinced that all resources are needed to tackle and solve the pressing environmental problems. His textbooks and scientific publications are hardly to count. His contributions span the wide field from atmospheric radiation, climatology, satellite meteorology, aerosols, physics of planetary atmospheres to ecology on regional - like the fate of Lake Aral - and global scale. The international science community looses a great scientist and leader who pushed ideas and concepts with all his personal efforts. We, my wife, my son, and I loose a very good friend.

Jacqueline Lenoble, 18 May 2006:
At the International Radiation Symposium 1961, in Vienna, Austria, there was, for the first time at my knowledge, a small delegation of scientists from the Soviet Union. Among them, was Prof. Kirill Ya. Kondratiev, who presented impressive results from himself and his colleagues. Kirill was bright, handsome, charming, and with a good scientist, we also discovered a wonderful human being. Kirill invited me to visit him in Leningrad, and I went there in March 1963. It was an unexpected opportunity in this period of cold war. I discovered at the same time an active research activity, almost ignored in the West, and the beautiful city of Leningrad: the Hermitage museum, the Kirov theater, Petrodvoretz, and many other places. I also discovered how terrible was World War II in Leningrad, with its year long siege; although still poor, the city was already wonderfully restaured. I am very grateful to Kirill, who offered me this unforgettable experience. I came again to Leningrad in August 1964, when Kirill organised the International Radiation Symposium. It was a great IRS, with high level scientific papers, and many pleasant social activities. In 1967, succeeding to Prof. Fritz Mler, Kirill became President of the IRC for 4 years. Thereafter, he always remains an active Honorary member of the Commission. Later on, I visited Kirill in Leningrad several times; each visit was pleasant and fruitful. Each time, Kirill gave me his new books. It is impressive how many books he could write; most were only in russian, but he kindly gave me a translation of the table of contents, and, with a minimum knowledge of cyrillic characters, I was able to understand and to use tables and figures. Of course, his books translated in English, like " Radiation in the Atmosphere (1969, Academic Press)" were a major source of information, for me, as for many people in the community. We also meet in several places around the world, including Paris and Lille, and also at the successive IRSs, where Kirill was always an active participant. For the last time, we met at IRS 2000 organised in St. Petersburg, in honor of Kirill's 80th birthday, and we both enjoyed to remember the previous IRS in 1964 at the same beautiful palace. Some people know there is a live after death, others know there is not; personnaly I do not know. But I am sure, Kirill, that you will live for some years in the memory of your old friends, and for many more years in the memory of our young colleagues, who received so much from your research and teaching.