Volvo Environment Prize laureate 2015 - Henning Rodhe

Volvo Environment Prize laureate 2015 – Henning Rodhe

southco bottom is a sailing Macau not far from Stockholm the capital of Sweden the sea and the wind are always very present here this is where this year's laureate grew up and where he still lives in fact he also started his scientific career here at the old observatory on the hill behind me right this was just for a few months I was a strong man then I moved on to back to earth and and the rest of my career has been atmospheric scientist his scientific career has taken him to places all over the world but stockholm university has been the basis of hannah Garuda's research helming is not the person that you would notice the first when you get into the room he doesn't take a lot of space but after a meeting you may remember what he actually said as I said it contains sulfated it's a great fortune to have handling as a mounted and colleague is always been supporting many generations of scientists throughout the world henning ruda is a low-key scientist not too fond of the limelight but his scientific career is deeply connected to some of the most dramatic events of the modern environmental debate he was one of the first scientists in the 1970s to launch a new theory that emissions from coal-fired power plants in Great Britain was playing a key role in acidification of lakes and forests in Sweden and Norway at first he was dismissed there was a lot of skepticism even among the scientists and in particular among organizations like central electricity generating board in England who is responsible for much of the emissions that that time in the fifties and sixties people thought that evolution is a local phenomena basically pollutants don't travel more than tens of kilometers something like that but in the late 1960s we realized that it was pollution travelling from england UK and the continent that affected swedish and norwegian rivers making the more acid the venom Steve diawara free are some force can afford Armand fish evening in at stick Ruby surat of 800 family are so also got some sam TI it we drive it in stone and that's why i started my PhD work trying to quantify this long-range transport over thousands of kilometers later other scientists confirm the results policy and regulations were changed and emissions cut in gorham in western Sweden scientists even built a roof over a forest area in order to see what happened when he was protected from acid deposition the research showed that as soon as emission stopped normal and healthy conditions returned quite rapidly we have seen enormous improvements that's for sure I mean the social emissions in Europe and North America have gone down by seventy eighty percent in last 30 years or so and that's a remarkable achievement I think the Chernobyl nuclear accident in 1986 was another example of long-range transportation of particles leading to radioactive fallout thousands of kilometers away we were very unfortunate here in Sweden that the plume from Chernobyl from the accident it was traveling with the winds and I do this direction and on the way by a Belarusian over the Baltic and after Sweden it wasn't diluted and it wasn't not much deposited on the ground so the cloud came here very much still concentrated and what happened with the cloud entered this region it found itself in a frontal rain system a lot of the redacted material was pushed out by rain so the cesium concentrations in the ground became very high in some parts of northern central sweden auras le ack fear is good young of Shinobi event at haga el turo reacted CSU more of me TL crow / llaves de Botton the man grafton circle from rory activa you droppin in the 1990s henning rudy was a leading author in reports from the IPCC the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change the important thing that he does is to connect policy and basic science to bring the science into policy Henning ruedas research can be described to some extent as detective work combining data collection with scientific theories and fieldwork during recent years he's been much involved in the research on ABC atmospheric Brown clouds atmospheric brand clouds stored on the ground there a byproduct of road traffic slash and burn coal fired power plants and us here cooking on firewood or done atmospheric Brown Klaus is something you can actually see from space from satellites and also from airplanes when you're up flying and it's this haze that is forming over huge areas many places on earth actually but the largest concentrations are over the indo-gangetic plain Pakistan northern India Bangladesh and also over China and it's particularly in the dry winter season and the problem with these clouds this pollution is both that it affects climate the monsoons even and also that it affects people's health air pollution index has reached well above 300 300 being on a dangerous level atmospheric brown clouds are most pronounced here in Asia where they can dramatically like a day to day reduce sunlight their toxic mix of soot and other particles penetrates the lungs and it's estimated that at least 1 million people die every year because of this perhaps more these particles are so small they actually enter not only into the lungs and have effects but also enter into the bloodstream as small soot particles in all organs on human bodies also in the brain a large international campaign called index indian ocean experiment started in the 90s that was the first time that one realized that urban like air pollution was not limited to two urban environments large cities but actually covered north areas of the land and ocean in South Asia to study this the scientists found the perfect place it is a very certification which has been placed in collaboration between the international science team and the Maldives government and that is in the northernmost atoll of Maldives the North Island and the northern tip of this island so that it sits there and receives as a very large footprint the brown cloud oozing out from from South Asia and we can study them the effects and the sources of this brown cloud components the handling was instrumental in making that happen both in the International deliberations on where to place it but also in ensuring that there was a funding available to actually construct it and operate it and it has been a success story scientific research was instrumental in the process that led to a missions cut in Europe and North America now there are hopes that research on ABC will lead to the same type of emission reductions but what about the future I have to say that my dream is that we will see real reduction in the emission of carbon dioxide that would be the success story he's a very keen bird watcher and actually as a former PhD student of it he forced all the PhD students to go bird-watching and answered bird questions and I failed he likes the same he saw his suffering to see himself it is nice and also he calls on people normally one person from each country to stand up and sing a tune in their native language so that shows another aspect of the one who personality that is handled you

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