Volvo last week announced that its Volvo Environment Prize for 2009 will be awarded to Susan Solomon for her findings on ozone layer depletion and her work on the United Nations climate panel. In expeditions to Antarctica Solomon was able to map the mechanisms underlying the hole in the ozone layer. In recent years, she has led the most prestigious working group within the UN’s climate panel and recently warned that manmade global climate changes may be irreversible — that is, even if human carbon dioxide emissions are stopped, the changes they are provoking can last more than 1,000 years.
The Volvo Environment Prize is awarded by an independent foundation. The jury consists of several leading international researchers. Their citation says, in part, “Dr. Susan Solomon is an outstanding atmospheric chemist and physicist whose pioneering scientific contributions have had major impacts on crucial environmental policies.”
The award will be presented to Solomon at a ceremony and seminar in Stockholm, Sweden. In addition to a diploma, the winner gets a cash sum of SEK 1.5 million (about U.S. $190,689).
Solomon is senior scientist at the Chemical Sciences Division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Boulder, Colo. She was the head project scientist on two scientific expeditions to Antarctica — the National Ozone Expeditions — in 1986 and 1987. She played a key role as co-chair in working group 1 within the IPCC, the UN’s climate panel, helping the world comprehend the seriousness of climate change.
The Volvo Environment Prize is celebrating its 20th anniversary. It is an annual award to individuals who explore the way to a sustainable world. The prize is awarded by an independent foundation with a jury consisting of internationally renowned figures in the environmental field. Since the first award in 1990, the prize has gone to 36 people. Among them are many well-known names and three Nobel Prize winners. For more information, visit www.environment-prize.com.