Green Operations

Volvo to Honor American Climate-Change Researcher

November 03, 2009

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN --- Dr. Susan Solomon, a leading atmospheric chemist based in the U.S., has arrived in Sweden to receive this year's Volvo Environment Prize on Nov. 5 in Stockholm.

Solomon's work with the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, an agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, has produced groundbreaking research on climate-change issues.

Several leading international researchers serve on the jury for the Volvo Environmental Prize. The jury noted: "Dr Susan Solomon is an outstanding atmospheric chemist and physicist whose pioneering scientific contributions have had major impacts on crucial environmental policies." 

Ever since 1986, when as a 30-year-old researcher she led her first expedition to the Antarctic to study the ozone hole, 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 Nations' climate panel, IPCC. The panel's report a few years ago contributed to the current global interest in climate-change 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 slowly.

Solomon has broad experience in atmospheric research as well as work on policy and agreements to protect the ozone layer and counteract climate change. Her achievements as an on-site researcher in the Antarctic contributed to the so-called Montreal Protocol, the international agreement for protection of the ozone layer in the stratosphere. Solomon claims that many lessons from that work can be applied at the imminent climate summit in Copenhagen, COP 15, in December.

"It is incredibly important that we have correct scientific information when making decisions," Solomon said. "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."

During her visit, Solomon will participate in seminars in Gothenburg and Stockholm. 

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