Leibniz Prize 2007 for climate researcher Gerald Haug

Award ceremony today in Berlin

Prof. Dr. Gerald Haug GFZ
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The Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Awards 2007 will be presented to eight scientists today in Berlin by Professor Matthias Kleiner, President of the German Research Foundation. The range of expertise ranges from climate research to neuroscience to history and philosophy.

Among the sponsors of the most highly endowed German Sponsorship Prize is Professor Gerald Haug from the GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam (GFZ). Haug is honored for his globally recognized work on climate designs from geological archives. He and his research group are researching the evolution of the climate during the last millennia to millions of years.

Using sea and lake sediments, he has succeeded in reconstructing the climatic changes in numerous key regions of our planet. Among other things, he examined the causes of climate change values ​​and the major climate changes in recent earth and climate history.

Heat exchange between ocean and atmosphere investigated

One of his research interests is the study of heat exchange between ocean and atmosphere, which plays a central role in global climate evolution. For example, he found evidence for the cause of the formation of an ice cap in the northern hemisphere 2.7 million years ago, until today one of the great questions of climate research.

The physical stratification of the polar and subpolar oceans also plays a central role in global climate evolution in gas exchange between the ocean and the atmosphere. Gerald Haug and his group have shown a direct correlation between the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide and the stratification of the polar and subpolar oceans on both hemispheres during the great climate change 2.7 million years ago, as well as during the last 400, 000 years. display

Maya and Tang dynasty in the sights of the researchers

An estimate of the influence of the climate on the human habitat was made possible by Gerald Haug's work using the example of the Maya and the Chinese Tang Dynasty. Professor Rolf Emmermann, CEO of GFZ Potsdam, congratulates the award winner: "With the Leibniz Prize, Gerald Haug receives a deserved tribute to his work on the climate in Earth's history, and his research contributes significantly to our understanding of the planet's climate development and climate change today."

Aid amount 2.5 million euros

Last December, the main committee of the DFG selected the most interesting scientists and their work from 129 suggestions (http://www.go.de/index.php?cmd=know_details&id=5766&date=2006-12-08). The number of prizes awarded so far in the Leibniz program has therefore increased to 249. For the first time, the new Leibniz Prize winners will receive a sum of 2.5 million euros each in 2007 and will be able to use these funds flexibly for their research work over a period of up to seven years.

(GFZ Potsdam, 13.03.2007 - DLO)