22 April 2008

Swedish honour to ice core researcher Dorthe Dahl-Jensen

Professor Dorthe Dahl-Jensen, Center for Ice and Climate at the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen, has joined the esteemed company of renowned polar researchers Scott, Nansen, Amundsen and Shackelton after being awarded the Swedish 'Vega Medal'.

The Swedish king Carl Gustav XVI presented her the medal at the royal palace in Stockholm on Vega Day, the 24th of April.

Dorthe Dahl-Jensen leads the ice core drillings through the three kilometre thick ice cap on Greenland, and has been awarded the medal for her significant contributions in researching the history of the Earth’s climate.

Dorthe Dahl-Jensen is the second woman in the history of Vega to be awarded the honorary gold medal.

“It was quite an experience to be received at the royal palace in Stockholm and be presented with the prize by the Swedish king. We were together for 20 minutes and in that time the king revealed that he knows a great deal about the climatic conditions in the Arctic”, explained Dorthe Dahl-Jensen, who later took part in a symposium at the Det Kungliga Vetenskapsakademien (Royal Swedish Academy of the Sciences) in the Swedish capital.

It was the Finnish born explorer and scientist Baron Nils Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld, who gave the prestigious Swedish prize its name. He did this after he, between 1878-1880, together with his crew, fought through the ice masses from Northern Norway to the Bering Straight and became the first to sail through the Northeast Passage on the good ship “Vega”.

The medal is administered by the Swedish Society for Anthropology and Geography and is awarded on Vega Day in Sweden, the 24th of April. Throughout its history the medal has been given out 61 times and yesterday on “Vega Day” the honor was given to the Danish ice core researcher.

The Danish pioneer in ice core research, Willi Dansgaard, from the University of Copenhagen, has previously received the Swedish Vega Prize. He discovered that by measuring the ice’s isotopic conditions one could reconstruct the climate of the past.