Hans Oeschger

Hans Oeschger ( born April 2, 1927 in Ottenbach ZH, † December 25, 1998 in Bern ) was a Swiss professor of physics and climate scientists. He founded in 1963 the Division of Climate and Environmental Physics at the Physics Institute of the University of Bern and directed this until his retirement in 1992. Oeschger certain first the "age" of the Pacific deep sea.

The Oeschger counter was for many years the main instrument with the Oeschgers team activity naturally occurring radioisotopes measured. He was a pioneer and leader in the study of ice cores. In collaboration with his colleagues he measured first the different proportions atmospheric carbon in hot and cold periods. In 1979, he put forward the theory that the concentration of atmospheric carbon was almost 50 % lower during the last ice age than today. Oeschger and his colleagues S. Chester Langway and Willi Dansgaard documented a series of rapid climate fluctuations during and after the end of the last ice age ice cores in Greenland, which are known as Dansgaard -Oeschger event today.

Hans Oeschger was very concerned about a possible greenhouse effect, which is caused by increased CO2 emissions. He took his role as a researcher to society very seriously and said, " The worst of it, if there would be serious changes in the next 5 to 10 years and we could not do anything about researchers and did not have the courage would be early enough for such developments to point. "

Oeschger was co-author of the first report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change of 1992. Among his honors gives the European Society of Geography since 2001, the Hans Oeschger Medal.

The competence center was founded at the University of Bern in October 2007 for Air Research ( Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research ) was named after Hans Oeschger.


  • Harold Urey Medal, 1987
  • Seligman Crystal Price 1991
  • Marcel Benoist prize, 1991
  • Tyler Prizefor Environmental Achievement, 1996
  • Revelle Medal of the American Geophysical Union, 1997