Trailblazing Swedish climate expert dies

Bert Bolin, a trailblazing Swedish scientist who co-founded the UN's Nobel-winning climate panel and led it for almost a decade, has died at the age of 82, a colleague said on Thursday.

Bolin died at a Stockholm hospital on Sunday after a protracted fight against stomach cancer, his colleague Henning Rodhe, a professor of chemical meteorology at Stockholm University, told AFP.

“He was an excellent scientist and a leading researcher on carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and on how it acts in nature,” said Rodhe, who had workedwith Bolin since 1965 and considered him a mentor.

Bolin’s research in dynamic and chemical meteorology, especially the circulation of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere and the sea, remains deeply relevant to today’s debate on climate change.

He helped create the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and served as its first chairman from 1988 to 1997.

The IPCC jointly won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with former US vice president Al Gore for work on raising awareness about global warming.

Bolin “was thrilled that the IPCC won the prize. He was supposed to havegone to Oslo to accept the prize, but was too sick,” Rodhe said.

Current IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri, who accepted the Nobel prize on behalf of the organisation, hailed Bolin in his acceptance speech for introducing strong procedures and practices that laid the groundwork for the panel’s success.