Stockholm, Sweden-based Volvo last week presented its Volvo Environment Prize to Dr. Susan Solomon, one of the world’s leading atmospheric chemists. The prize, this year worth SEK 1.5 million (about U.S. $213,578), is celebrating its 20th anniversary. It has become one of the science world’s most respected environmental awards.
Since 1986, Solomon has been active in researching how the earth’s climate and atmosphere react to human activity. Among other achievements, she was co-chair of the United Nation’s climate panel, IPCC. The panel’s widely discussed report a few years ago contributed to the current global interest in climate issues. In a recent scientific article, Solomon warned that climate changes may last longer than previously thought — up to 1,000 years, even if emissions diminish. This is because the oceans absorb carbon dioxide only slowly.
“It is incredibly important that we have correct scientific information when making decisions,” said Solomon. “I find it encouraging that so many people today, across the world, are absorbing increased knowledge about the climate issue. And when we now know how long our impact will last, I believe people and governments will make better decisions about how much carbon dioxide we emit.”
Solomon is senior scientist at the Chemical Sciences Division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Boulder, Colo.
For more information about Susan Solomon and to view a film about her achievements, visit www.environment-prize.com.
The Volvo Environment Prize is celebrating its 20th anniversary. It is an annual award to individuals responsible for major scientific discoveries or inventions within the field of environment and sustainability. The prize is financed by Volvo but conferred by an independent foundation. The prize consists of a diploma, a glass sculpture and a cash award.