The 2012 Arne Richter Awards for Outstanding Young Scientists is awarded to Lieven Clarisse for his outstanding contribution to exploiting remote atmospheric sensing techniques to improve our understanding of emission and transport processes of ash and gases in relation to various natural hazardous processes.
Lieven Clarisse has focused his interest on different themes of atmospheric research covering the remote sensing of the atmosphere components, the tracking of long-range-transport of pollution, the surveillance of emission and transport of volcanic ash and gases, and the estimate of the related impact. His main achievements regard the development and application of new processing methods to study atmosphere components measured by the IASI (Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer) infrared sounder from a polar-orbiting satellite. In this frame Clarisse has devised a method to differentiate volcanic ash from clouds and wind dust which allows a better calculation of plume altitudes with positive impact on hazards mitigation for aviation. He analysed the hydrogen sulphide concentration in volcanic plumes and utilized the hydrogen sulphide- sulphur dioxide ratio as a means to study volcanic source conditions, sulphur chemistry and magma-water interactions. And for the first time he showed the potential of IASI in detecting a large number of rare reactive trace gases (such as nitrous acid, furan, acetylene, propylene, etc.) which is a powerful tool to improve our knowledge of source emissions (such as wild fires) and their impact on environment and climate.