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ESF's European ice core project EPICA receives prestigious Descartes Prize
Date:3/12/2008

The research project EPICA (European Project for Ice Coring in Antarctica), one of the European Science Foundations most successful and longest running Research Networking Programmes, is one of this years winners of the Descartes Prize for Research. The Descartes Prize for Research was awarded to three European teams for outstanding transnational projects in natural sciences and humanities by the European Union on 12 March in Brussels. The EPICA project - carried out by twelve partners from ten European nations - was successful in retrieving past climate records of great impact for the assessment of our current climate change. Temperatures and greenhouse gas concentrations over up to the last 800,000 years could be measured. The results have shown, inter alia, that the recent rise in greenhouse gas concentration is beyond any historical comparison, leading to climate change at an unprecedented rate. In addition, the ice cores allowed scientists to study in detail the coupling of the northern and southern hemisphere.

The prize has come at a very important time as we are currently in the International Polar Year (IPY), said Paul Egerton, Head of the European Polar Board at the European Science Foundation. The main aspect of the IPY is to bring science to the public and this prize will help to give more visibility to climate change, continued Egerton.

The EPICA project brought together scientists from ten European nations including Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the U.K. with expertise in different branches of ice core research and glaciology.

Only in such close collaboration between all European working groups has it been possible to carry out such a large-scale project logistically and scientifically, said Hubertus Fischer, glaciologist at the Alfred Wegener Institute, who coordinated the EPICA application for the Descartes Prize. Especially for young scientists and studen
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Contact: Sofia Valleley
svalleley@esf.org
33-388-762-159
European Science Foundation
Source:Eurekalert

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