Martha T. Muse Prize for 2015 Awarded to Valérie Masson-Delmotte

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Valérie Masson-Delmotte, paleoclimatologist at the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), received the 2015 Martha T. Muse Prize for Science and Policy in Antarctica from the Tinker Foundation on July 1, 2015 for her contributions to the European Project for Ice Coring in Antarctica (EPICA) and to the study of ice cores that are over 800,000 years old. These ice cores are the only climatic archives that enable direct reconstitution of the atmospheric composition of that time, especially regarding greenhouse gases. The study of ice is also a way to determine past temperatures.

Ice core extracted from the Dome C station in Antarctica. © CEA-IPEV

The EPICA project is a European scientific program financed by the European Commission and national contributions from 10 countries. Its main purpose is to obtain complete climatic and atmospheric data from Antarctic ice. The LSCE (Laboratory of Climate and Environmental Sciences), where Valérie Masson-Delmotte is conducting her research, is in charge of reconstituting climatic parameters. Today, the EPICA program aims to go even further back in the past and is looking for a site where ice cores that are more than 1.2 million years old could be obtained.

Valérie Masson-Delmotte, research director at CEA, contributed to the chapter "Paleoclimates" in the last Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report. She also participated in the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) report in 2009 and its update in 2013: "Antarctic Climate Change and the Environment.” She has also written children’s books in French, Le climat de nos ancêtres à nos enfants with Bérengère Dubrulle, Les expéditions polaires with Gérard Jugie and Atmosphère : quel effet de serre ? With Marc Delmotte. She received the Irène Joliot-Curie award from French Ministry for Higher Education and Research, in the category "scientific woman of the year" in 2013.

The Office for Science & Technology had the honor to welcome Valérie Masson-Delmotte for the 2014 series of FACTS (French Ameri-Can Climate Talks). She will take part in the 2015 FACTS conference in Quebec on October 7 focusing on "The Arctic as sentinel of the global warming."

The Tinker Foundation

The Tinker foundation is based in the United States and honors the excellence of the work of mid-career researchers with a prestigious award. Inspired by Martha Muse’s (Foundation’s long-time President) passion for Antarctica, this prize was created following the International Polar Year in 2007-2008.