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Max Planck researchers win part of Descartes Research Prize 2005

On December 2 the European Commission honoured the most successful intra- European research projects of the year. The Descartes Research Prize went to five different projects, awarding 200,000 euros each. Max Planck scientists played a major role in two of the winning projects: "PULSE -- European Pulsar Research" (Max Planck Institute for Radioastronomy) and "CECA - Climate and Environmental Change in the Arctic" (Max Planck Institute for Meteorology).

The other prize winners were the projects EURO-PID (Immunology), EXEL (Materials Science), and ESS (Social Sciences). For the first time in 2005, five projects which made it to the final round were also awarded 30,000 euros each. One of them was the H.E.S.S. telescope (High Energy Stereoscopic System) in Namibia, also a project in which the Max Planck Society has taken part. The awards ceremony took place at the Royal Society in London.

The five Descartes Research Prize winners this year came from a broad spectrum of nominations in the areas of life sciences, engineering, physics, computer science, geosciences, and social sciences. German Max Planck Institutes were involved in two of the winning five.

CECA - Climate and Environmental Change in the Arctic

Research area: Environmental Sciences

CECA embraces a number of different multidisciplinary research projects over the last decade, dealing with the topic "Climate and Environmental Change in the Arctic".

This research work primarily had to do with natural climate fluctuations in the Arctic: particularly, the notable warmer and cooler periods over the last century. Scientists discovered that there was a strong interaction between atmospheric circulation and ice cover. Their investigations took them to the Barents Sea, where they found that in the 1930s, the higher temperatures had natural causes, but nowadays, warming is also due to human greenhouse gas emissions. In the last five years, both natural and man-made effects
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Contact: Prof. Werner Hofmann
werner.hofmann@mpi-hd.mpg.de
49-6221-516-330
Max-Planck-Gesellschaft
8-Dec-2005


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