SOURCE: The Asahi Glass Foundation

June 19, 2008 11:43 ET

2008 Blue Planet Prize Winners

Dr. Lorius of France and Prof. Goldemberg of Brazil Win 2008 Blue Planet Prize

TOKYO--(Marketwire - June 19, 2008) - Ewire -- Dr. Claude Lorius (French Republic) -- For his contribution in disclosing past climate change based on polar ice sheet core analysis and in discovering the relation between climate change during glacial and interglacial periods and atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, indicating its current unprecedentedly high level and warning a consequent global warming.

Professor José Goldemberg (Federative Republic of Brazil) -- For making major contributions in formulating and implementing many policies associated with improvements on energy use and conservation, in devising a pioneering concept of "technological leapfrogging" for the developing countries for their sustainable development and in exhibiting strong leadership in preparation for the 1992 Rio Earth Summit.

This year marks the 17th awarding of the Blue Planet Prize, the international environmental award sponsored by the Asahi Glass Foundation, chaired by Hiromichi Seya. Two Blue Planet Prizes are awarded to individuals or organizations each year that make outstanding achievements in scientific research and its application, and in so doing help to solve global environmental problems. The Board of Directors and Councillors selected the following recipients for this year.

1. Dr. Claude Lorius (French Republic) Director Emeritus of Research, CNRS Member of the French Academy of Sciences: Dr. Lorius began his research on Antarctic glaciers and ice sheet from the mid-1950s and made a total of 22 polar expeditions mostly to Antarctica. Through those expeditions together with various teams of international experts, he drilled ice cores, analyzed them and disclosed the global climate change which took place in the last 400,000 years. Comprehensive studies on the ice cores allowed him to obtain both past temperatures and composition of the atmosphere. Among those achievements, the relation he discovered between climate change during glacial and interglacial periods and atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide and methane through ice sheet cores drilled at Vostok station, the coldest place on earth, was exceptional. Based on these results, Dr. Lorius has indicated that current atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide is unprecedentedly high and that this high level may possibly be due to human activity and warned of a consequent global warming of the planet.

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