Denmark and The Netherlands

Dorthe Dahl-Jensen and Johannes (Hans) Oerlemans

2022 Balzan Prize for Glaciation and Ice Sheet Dynamics

For their joint and complementary fundamental and groundbreaking contributions to the dynamics of glaciation and ice sheets and their impact on understanding climate change and its mechanisms, paving the way to more reliable projections of ice sheet behavior and related changes in sea level.

Dorthe Dahl-Jensen, born in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1958, is a Danish citizen.

She is Canada Excellence Research Chair, Centre for Earth Observation Science, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada, and Villum Investigator, Physics of Ice, Climate and Earth – Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Denmark, where she was also Associate Professor (1997-2002).

After her MSc  in Geophysics and PhD in Geophysics (Copenhagen University), she was Visiting Post Doc, University of Melbourne (1988), Assistant Research Professor, Geophysics Institute (1989-1997), Guest Researcher (1996-1997) and Visiting Professor (2002-2003), University of Hobart, and Visiting Professor, University of Kansas (2013).

She is a Member of the Academia Europaea, of the ArticNet Steering Board, of the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters, and of the CLIC Steering Committee. She has participated in (and led) more than 25 field seasons with ice core drilling projects (since 1981) and has organized and participated in more than 15 Karthaus international ice and climate summer schools for PhD students (since 1998).

She has received honors from Inge Lehmans Fond, Christine Meyers Fond, Ole Rømers Fond, Teol Nicolai Michelsens and Valborg Michelsens Fond, Julie Von Müllens Fond, Lektor Løngaards Rejselegat, Villum Kann-Rasmussens Årslegat for Teknisk Forskning, and Direktør N. Bang og hustru Yrsa Bang født Troensegaards Legat. Her awards include the EU Descartes Prize 2008, the VEGA medal 2009, the Amalienborgprisen 2009; the Munch prisen 2009, Knight of Danneborg 2010, Knight of the Academic Palm Order 2013, the Berligske Hæderspris 2013, the Agassiz Medal 2014, the Mohn Prize 2020, the Rossby Prize 2021, the Hans Egede Medal 2022, and the Carlsberg Research Prize 2022. She has 11 publications in Nature and 6 in Science.

Among her most important publications:

Lilien, D.A., Steinhage, D., Taylor, D., Parrenin, F., Ritz, C., Mulvaney, R., Martin, C., Yan, J.B., O’Neill, C., Frezzotti, M., Miller, H., Gogineni, P., Dahl-Jensen, D. and Eisen O. (2021). Brief communication: New radar constraints support presence of ice older than 1.5 Myr at Little Dome C. The Cryosphere 15(4): 1881-1888

Fordham, D.A., Jackson, S.T., Brown, S.C., Huntley, B., Brook, B.W., Dahl-Jensen, D., Gilbert, M.T.P., Otto-Bliesner, B.L., Svensson, A., Theodoridis, S., Wilmshurst, J.M., Buettel, J.C., Canteri, E., McDowell, M., Orlando, L., Pilowsky, J., Rahbek, C. and Nogues-Bravo, D. (2020). Using paleo-archives to safeguard biodiversity under climate change. Science 369(6507): 1072-+

Sigl, M., Winstrup, M., McConnell, J.R., Welten, K.C., Plunkett, G., Ludlow, F., Buntgen, U., Caffee, M., Chellman, N., Dahl-JensenD., Fischer, H., Kipfstuhl, S., Kostick, C., Maselli, O.J., Mekhaldi, F., Mulvaney, R., Muscheler, R., Pasteris, D.R., Pilcher, J.R., Salzer, M., Schupbach, S., Steffensen, J.P., Vinther, B.M. and Woodruff, T.E. (2015). Timing and climate forcing of volcanic eruptions for the past 2,500 years. Nature 523(7562): 543-+.

Dahl-Jensen, D., Albert M.R. … and N. Community (2013). Eemian interglacial reconstructed from a Greenland folded ice core. Nature 493(7433): 489-494

Dahl-Jensen, D., Mosegaard, K., Gundestrup, N., Clow, G.D., Johnsen, S.J., Hansen A.W. and Balling N. (1998). Past temperatures directly from the Greenland Ice Sheet. Science 282(5387): 268-271

Johannes (Hans) Oerlemans, born in Eethen, the Netherlands, in 1950, is a Dutch citizen.

He is Professor Emeritus at the Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research at Utrecht University (IMAU), and holds an honorary professorship at the University of Stockholm (Sweden).

After graduating in physics and obtaining a masters degree in geophysics (Utrecht University), he worked for 4 years at the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute and completed a PhD (‘Some Model Studies on the Ice Age Problem’). In 1980 Oerlemans accepted a research position at Utrecht University and became full Professor of Meteorology in 1989.

He built up a research group of high international standing, with a focus on Ice, Climate, and Sea Level Change. With a combination of field experiments, satellite observations, and computer simulation, this group has contributed much to the understanding of ice-climate interactions on time scales ranging from decades to millions of years.

He has held part-time positions at the University of Leuven (Belgium), the University of Stockholm (Sweden), and the Alfred-Wegener-Institut für Polarforschung (Germany). He is co-founder and board member of the GlaciersAlive Association.

In 1995, at the request of the European Science Foundation, Oerlemans initiated and organized an international 2-week course for PhD students entitled “Glaciers and Ice Sheet in the Climate System”. This course quickly became very popular and has been organized ever since. For his efforts Oerlemans received the Richardson Medal of the International Glaciological Society (in 2021). Among his honors are the Dutch Spinoza Prize (2011), an Academy Professorship (2007) and the Julia and Johannes Weertman Medal in 2008.

Results of Oerlemans’s research have been reported in 4 monographs and 233 peer-reviewed articles (93 as first author, 10 in Nature/Science).

He is also a passionate Argentinian tango dancer and musician. Either on the guitar or double bass he has performed many times at tango events in the Netherlands, Sweden, Austria and Switzerland.

Among his most important publications:

Oerlemans, J., Kohler, J., Luckman, A. (2022). Modelling the mass budget and future evolution of Tunabreen, central Spitsbergen. The Cryosphere 16, 2115-2126, 10.5194/tc-16-2115-2022

Oerlemans, J., Haag, M., Keller, F. (2017). Slowing down the retreat of the Morteratsch glacier, Switzerland, by artificially produced summer snow: a feasibility study. Climatic Change 145, 189-203, doi 10.1007/s10584-017-2102-1

Van Pelt, W.J.J., Oerlemans, J. (2012). Numerical simulations of cyclic behaviour in the Parallel Ice Sheet Model (PISM). Journal of Glaciology 58, 347-360, doi: 10.3189/2012/JoG11J217

Oerlemans, J. (2005). Extracting a climate signal from 169 glacier records. Science 308, 675-677; 10.1126/science.1107046

Oerlemans, J. (2004). Correcting the Cenozoic deep-sea temperature record for Antarctic ice volume. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 208 (3), 191-201

Oerlemans, J., Anderson, B., Hubbard, A., Huybrechts, Ph., Johannesson, T., Knap, W.H., Schmeits, M., Stroeven, A.P., Van de Wal, R.S.W., Wallinga, J., Zuo, Z. (1998). Modelling the response of glaciers to climate warming. Climate Dynamics 14, 267-274

Oerlemans, J. (1989). A projection of future sea level. Climatic Change 15, 151-174

Oerlemans, J. (1984). Numerical experiments on glacial erosion. Zeitschrift f. Gletscherkunde und Glazialgeologie 20, 107-126

Oerlemans, J. (1982). A model of the Antarctic Ice Sheet. Nature 297, 550-553

Among their joint publications:

EPICA Community Members, including Dahl-Jensen, D. & Oerlemans, J. (2004). Eight glacial cycles from an Antarctic ice core. Nature 429, 623-628. doi: 10.1038/nature02599

EPICA Community Members, including Dahl-Jensen, D. & Oerlemans, J. (2006). One-to-one coupling of glacial climate variability in Greenland and Antarctica. Nature 444 (7116), 195-198. doi: 10.1038/nature05301

Oerlemans, J., Dahl-Jensen, D., Masson-Delmotte, V. (2006). Ice sheets and sea level. Science 313, 1043-1044.

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Fondazione Internazionale Premio Balzan