Jan. 5, 2017 -- On Dec. 26, the Sweden Society of Anthropology and Geography (SSAG) announced the winner of the 2017 Vega Medal, Chinese scientist Yao Tandong for his contributions to research on glaciers and the environment of the Tibetan Plateau, Thepaper.cn reported.
Yao, director of the Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research under the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and director of the CAS Center for Excellence in Tibetan Plateau Earth Sciences, is the first Asian scientist to receive the award. According to SSAG, Yao is "internationally acknowledged to be one of the most accomplished scientists in the field of cryospheris study."
Over the past two decades, Yao's team has studied environmental changes and their influence on the Tibetan Plateau. Yao has collaborated with scientists from dozens of countries including the U.S., France, Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Iceland, Russia, Pakistan, India, Nepal and Japan.
The Third Pole Environment (TPE), initiated by Yao, has engaged talents from all over the world and made important scientific findings. Yao's team concluded that we are presently living in the warmest time period in the past 2,000 years. Global warming and interaction between Indian monsoons and western-blowing wind are major reasons for the retreat of glaciers and regional differences within the Tibetan Plateau.