On Wednesday, the InBev-Baillet Latour fund and the International Polar Foundation announced that Belgian researcher Jan Lenaerts will be awarded the € 150,000 InBev-Baillet Latour Antarctica award for his research in East Antarctica. The 29-year old researcher is currently studying the amount of snow melting on the glaciers and how this will affect the stability of the glaciers and sea levels. Jan Lenearts, born in Flanders, is a researcher at the Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research at Utrecht University (Netherlands). He was rewarded for his project ‘BENEMELT’ which aims to improve the knowledge of melting ice provide important clues on how the melting ice surface affects the glaciers, and deliver data that will assist in the improvement of climate models.
“East Antarctica is the largest area of ice on Earth. If the planet is warming, the glaciers (…) may break, leading to a massive release of ice in the ocean and a potential increase of 10 meters in the world’s water level, “said Jan Lenaerts.” My work in the field, with the support of the InBev-Baillet Latour award, will clarify the causes for this,” he added.
As part of his project, Jan Lenearts will visit the Princess Elisabeth polar station in November where he will analyze the the ‘King Baudouin’ glacier for three weeks.
The award, granted to the young researcher through the unanimous vote of the selection committe members, was established in 2008 by the InBev-Baillet Latour and the International Polar Foundation to help young scientists develop long term advanced research programs at the Princess Elisabeth polar station. Seven projects were submitted this year: two from Spain, one from South Africa, one from Malaysia, one from France, one from the Netherlands and lastly one from Belgium.