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The Mohn Prize

Dr John Walsh is awarded The Mohn Prize 2022 for his continuous leading role in generating our common understanding of how sea ice dynamics link intimately with ongoing changes, including extreme regional events, throughout the Arctic system.

The winner was announced in a ceremony in Tromsø, Norway, on Friday November 12, 2021. The announcement was done by Rector of UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Dr Dag Rune Olsen.

– Our warmest congratulations go to Dr John E. Walsh. He has taught us that linking all elements of a system is essential to understanding and predicting the future. This integrative approach, using observations and models, has enabled him to extend Arctic phenomena to global impacts as well as recognise extreme weather and environmental events specific to the distinct regions of the Arctic. We are looking forward to seeing Dr Walsh here in Tromsø next January, said Dr Dag Rune Olsen.

The award ceremony will take place during the conference Arctic Frontiers in Tromsø, January 31–February 3, 2022.

– I want to express my sincere gratitude for the Mohn Prize. When I was informed of the selection, I was stunned, and humble. The Mohn Prize is the Arctic’s most prestigious award, and I hope to do it justice, through the tremendous opportunities it provides, said Dr John Walsh. 

The Committee’s statement

The purpose of The Mohn Prize is to recognize outstanding research related to the Arctic.

– At the same time, the award also aims at putting issues that are central to the further development of the Arctic on the national and international agenda, said Professor Synnøve des Bouvrie, whos is the President of Academia Borealis, The Academy of Science and Letters of Northern Norway.

The Mohn Prize Steering Committee unanimously views Dr Walsh as an influential generator of new, ground-breaking knowledge about the changing Arctic climate system that is simultaneously creative, practical and of high public value beyond the scientific community. He is one of the most authoritative scholars in the field of modern Arctic change. The Committee underscores the importance of the breadth and depth of Dr Walsh’s contributions that are critical to our understanding of the future development of the Arctic.

Pioneer in climate research

Dr Walsh pioneered the linking of observation-based, multi-dimensional (coupled) climate-sea ice-atmospheric circulation models with global climate models to reveal the Arctic’s critical role in the global system. This knowledge has been disseminated to national and international policy-making and general audiences via influential scholarly reports, multi-disciplinary assessments, and public presentations.

Dr Walsh’s research and service epitomize how future development of the Arctic depends upon our ability to understand the connections between all components of the Arctic system, from the ocean and atmosphere to ice, land, and people of the North.

He actively promotes the role of science in developing policies to reduce associated threats for consideration by governments, and in producing sound science-based, policy-relevant assessments and public outreach products that inform decision.

The award ceremony will take place during the conference Arctic Frontiers in Tromsø, 31st of January–3rd of February 2022.