RESEARCHER HIGHLIGHT: Susan Solomon wins the Vetlesen Prize and BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award

Wednesday, February 13, 2013
EAPS   (Browse all news)

Susan Solomon has won both the Vetlesen Prize and a 2012 BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award.

The Vetlesen Prize is given “for scientific achievement resulting in a clearer understanding of the Earth, its history, or its relations to the universe” and is designed to recognize sweeping achievements on par with the Nobel.  The Prize was established in 1959 and is given every several years by a selection committee appointed by the president of Columbia University. The most recent award was in 2008 to geologist Walter Alvarez. Previous winners include climate scientists Sir Nicholas Shackleton and Wallace Broecker, marine geologist Walter Pitman, seismologist Lynn Sykes, and founding director of Lamont Maurice “Doc” Ewing.

Soloman is being recognized for her work in identifying the cause of the Antarctic ozone hole. This research helped bring about a global ban on manmade ozone-depleting chemicals.  She shares the award with French climate scientist Jean Jouzel who is being recognized for his work extracting the longest-yet climate record from polar ice cores. The pair will receive the award and accompanying medal at Columbia's Low Library on Thursday, February 21st.

The BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Awards recognize, among other things, outstanding contributions that advance understanding or deliver material progress with regard to climate change, one of the key challenges of the global society of the 21st century.

The award citation states that Solomon "has contributed, through her research and leadership, to the safeguarding of our planet." Solomon's work over 30 years has succeeded in establishing and drawing together links between three key climate change variables: human activity, a profound and comprehensive understanding of the behavior of atmospheric gases, and the alteration of climate patterns globally.

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