Dorthe Dahl-Jensen awarded the Mohn Prize for her important role in climate change research

Of particular importance is her leadership and initiative in ice core research in Greenland.

Tommy Ahlers and Dorthe Dahl-Johansen looking at a ice core
Dorthe Dahl-Jensen together with previous Danish research minister Tommy Ahlers when he visited the research camp in 2018 in Greenland. On the ice core you can see the cloudy bands representing annual layers in ice from the glacial climate period 30.000 years ago. Foto: Danmarks Uddannelses- og Forskningsministerium

Dorthe Dahl-Jensen is a world leader in the field of cryosphere science.  She studies the climate of the past through ice cores, in order to make predictions about current and future climate change. However, what separates her from other cryosphere scientists is her ability to initiate, lead and coordinate international research teams.  

I am so thrilled to receive the Mohn prize. It is a really great honor,” says Dorthe Dahl-Jensen.


Understanding climate change rates

Dorthe Dahl-Jensen receives the Mohn Prize for her research and leadership in combining ice core data with climate models to reconstruct past climate and its impact on the Greenland ice sheet and global climate. Her research has contributed to understanding current and future rates of climate change and implications to sea level rise. 

Several of the nominees were internationally recognized cryosphere scientist that contribute to understanding climate change. The Scientific Committee write in their recommendation:

...By ranking Dr. Dahl-Jensen first, the committee underscores the importance of her decades-long leadership in building, coordinating and maintaining international teams. 

Globally important

Dr. Dahl-Jensen is Professor at the Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, where she is a world leader in

Dorthe Dahl-Johansen
Dorthe Dahl-Jensen has been awarded with the Mohn Prize 2020. Foto: Danmarks Uddannelses- og Forskningsministerium

cryosphere science. She has led and developed the Centre for Ice and Climate (now Physics of Ice, Climate and Earth (PICE)) to world prominence as a key hub of climate research.  Her and PICE's research have framed our knowledge of climate change, providing key groundwork for understanding the ongoing anthropogenic perturbations of our climate system.

Dahl-Jensen’s contributions and innovations are many. Of particular mention are: a) a groundbreaking paper published in Science, inverting ice core borehole temperature measurements to identify the true scale of ice age and Holocene temperature changes, thus opening up a new interpretation of water isotope measurements, traditionally the backbone of ice core climate studies.

Her diverse achievements range from studies of paleoclimate records to ice sheet and atmosphere dynamics, both on Greenland and in the Canadian Arctic (as well as in Antarctica).

Dahl-Jensen was also recently appointed Excellence Research Chair at the University of Manitoba, in Canada.

I their recommendation, the Scientific Committee of the Mohn Prize write:

«Dorthe Dahl-Jensen is a leading figure in one of the most important scholarly areas of particular relevance to our understanting of the processes driving the ongoing, often dramatic transformation of the Arctic environment: Greenland ice core drilling. By this nomination, the Committee underlines the importance and the societal relevance of fundamental research to increasing the general understanding of the Arctic to global processes – among the broad scholarly community, policy and decision makers, and the public at large. Dorthe Dahl-Jensen has conducted groundbreaking research critical to our understanding of the Arctic. » 

Announced today at UiT the Arctic University of Norway

The Mohn Prize winner 2020 was announced today UiT the Arctic university of Norway in Tromsø, Norway. The prize, which is worth NOK 2 million (approximately € 210 000), was established in collaboration between Academia Borealis The Academy of Sciences and Letters of Northern Norway (NNVA), the Tromsø Research Foundation (TFS) and UiT the Arctic University of Norway (UiT).

The objective of the prize is to recognize research related to the Arctic. Furthermore, it aims to put issues of particular relevance to the future development of the Arctic on the national and international agenda.

Read more about the Mohn Prize here.

Award criteria

Nominations for the Mohn Prize put forward by members of the Arctic research community have been evaluated by an international Scientific Committee based on the following three criteria:

  • Whether the nominee has conducted excellent research, and developed groundbreaking new knowledge
  • Whether the nominee is recognized as a leader in his/her/their field
  • Whether the nominee has highlighted issues that are of particular relevance to the future development of the Arctic (and put these issues on the national and international agenda)

The Mohn Prize will be presented during a closed event on January 27th 2020 in connection with the conference Arctic Frontiers 2020.

On January 28, the award winner will give a lecture at the Mohn seminar, an event open to everyone. In this seminar, Dorthe Dahl-Jensen will present her scientific contribution at UiT the Arctic University of Norway.

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