Researchers at Stockholm University awarded the Descartes prize

March 14, 2008

Prestigious prize for European collaboration on climate research goes to researchers at Stockholm University's Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.

The multinational European project, EPICA (European Project for Ice Coring in Antarctica), is one of this year's winners of the Descartes Prize for Collaborative Transnational Research. The prize of 1.36 million Euros, awarded in Brussels on the 12th March 2008, is shared by three highly prominent research projects within the humanities and sciences.

The EPICA project, a collaboration between researchers from ten European countries, creates unique opportunities for the extraction of climate data from two Antarctic ice cores, marking an important step towards understanding climate change. One of the ice cores contains temperature data and greenhouse gas levels from 800,000 years ago, double the timescale of previous studies. The second ice core allows the possibility of studying the relationship between the climate of the northern and southern hemispheres.

"Only by means of close cooperation between different European research groups with their differing areas of expertise has it been scientifically and logistically possible to carry out this kind of large-scale project," says Associate Professor Margareta Hansson of Stockholm University's Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology. The project has in particular given young researchers the unique opportunity to carry out top-level research together with colleagues from the whole of Europe. This kind of participation in this kind of project also offers young researchers the chance to establish their own research careers. "With the help of the Descartes Prize we will be able to continue to intensify this network," adds Margareta Hansson, who is also the Swedish representative in the EPICA steering committee.
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Swedish Research Council

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