Hans Oeschger was a professor emeritus of physics at the University of Bern, Switzerland, when he planned the Vatican Conference on Geosphere-Biosphere Interactions and Climate. Following his retirement in 1992 his health had its ups and downs, but his concern for the global climate and environment did not prevent him from pursuing this important theme. He did not spare himself, and many of his international colleagues were concerned about his health, when they noted his many travels and engagements as an emeritus.
His last achievement - this conference at the Vatican in Casa Pius IV, a beautiful and inspiring location - missed him as a major participant. His illness had grown worse, and he was hospitalized during the conference. A few weeks later we sadly learned that Hans Oeschger had died.
Born on April 2, 1927, in Ottenbach, Switzerland, and a doctor of science from the University of Bern in 1955, he became associated with the University of Bern until his retirement as a professor emeritus in 1992.
During his years at the university he and his colleagues developed techniques for measuring radiocarbon on very small samples of carbon dioxide. Hans Oeschger's group became world famous for its studies on gas samples, and in the late sixties he entered a fruitful collaboration with Professor Willi Dansgaard, University of Copenhagen, and Chester C. Langway, Jr. (later professor at State University of New York at Buffalo). The setting was ready for the next two decades of ice core research.
In the Greenland Ice Sheet Project (GISP), now called GISP 1, a collaboration between the United States, Denmark, and Switzerland, the second deep ice core drilling in Greenland at Dye 3, 1979-1981, successfully ended 10 years of climate and environmental work on the Greenland Ice Sheet. It is interesting to note that this development took place over the same decade as the scientists realized that atmospheric changes due to anthropogenic activities were of great importance.
When Hans became an emeritus in 1992 it actually was in the same year as the Greenland Ice Core Project (GRIP) drilling reached the bedrock 3028 meters below the ice surface of the Summit region in Greenland. The results of the GRIP and GISP 2 drillings are now widely known, and together with Professor Willi Dansgaard (who also vii
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retired in 1992) Hans could read in the international journals that the rapid changes of climate observed in the ice cores now were called the "Dansgaard-Oeschger" events.
Hans obtained several honors for his important work on climate and gases, such as The Harald C. Urey Medal from the European Association of Geochemistry, the Seligman Crystal from the International Glaciological Society, and, together with Willi Dansgaard and Claude Lorius, the US. Tyler Prize for Environmental *\chievement in 1996.
The participants of the conference hereby dedicate this volume to the honor of the late Professor Hans Oeschger.
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List of Contributors
Lcnnart O. Bcngtsson
Max-Planck-Institute for Meteorology Bundesstr, 55 20146 Hamburg Germany
Glaus U* Hammer University of Copenhagen Niels Bohr Institute Juliance Maries Vej 30 DK-2100 Copenhagen N Denmark
Paul J. Crutzen
Max-Planck-Institute for Chemistry
RO. Box 3060 55020 Mainz Germany
Meinrat O. Andreae Max-Planck-Institute for Chemistry Biogeochemistry Department RO. Box 3060 55020 Mainz Germany
Center for Atmospheric Sciences University of California Berkeley, CA 94720-4767 US. A.
Max-Planck-Institute for Biogeochemistrv P.O. Box 1(M)164 07701jena Germany
Wallace S. Broecker Ijamont-Dohertv Earth Observatory of
Columbia University Palisades, NY 10964 U.S.A.
Stephen H. Schneider
Department of Biological Sciences Stanford University
Stanford, CA 94305-5020 U.S.A.
Max-Planck-Institute for Biogeochemistry P.O. Box 100164 07701 Jena Germanv
Institut d'Astronomie et de Géophysique
G. Lemaître Université catholique de Louvain 2 Chemin du Cvclotron m
1348 Louvain-la-Neuve Belgium i\
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Thomas F. Stocker
Climate and Environmental Physics
Institute University of Bern Sidlerstr. 5 3012 I tern Switzerland
J. E. Kutzbach
Center for Climatic Research
University of Wisconsin-Madison
1225 West Dayton St.
Madison, WI 53706-1695
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