Torgny Emil Vinje, Norwegian Sea-Ice Researcher, dies at 86

-Contributed by Tordis Villinger

TorgnyVinjePhoto Credit: Ann-Kristin Balto/Norwegian Polar InstituteTorgny Emil Vinje, known to most in the ACSYS/CliC community for his research on sea ice, passed away at Ullevål hospital, Oslo, Norway, on 23 September, 2015.

Torgny obtained his Cand Real (MSc) degree in Meteorology at the University of Oslo in 1956, and was hired by the Norwegian Polar Institute the very same year. Torgny participated in- and led -numerous expeditions and research programmes during his 40 years at the Institute. He served on a long list of national and international science and reasearch committees.

During the 1980s, Torgny began a project to produce a historical archive of Arctic Regions ice charts. This eventually became an ACSYS project in the early 1990s when the Project Office was set up at the Norwegian Polar Institute. The data, published in 2003 as The ACSYS Historical Ice Chart Archive (1553-2002), reveals a retreat of the sea-ice extend in the Nordic Seas starting long before the observed warm period in the 1990s. The data set was distributed to all major centers for snow and ice and generated much interest both in the science community and in international news.

Torgny had a quiet sense of humor, he mostly stayed in the background, but did not shy away from speaking up when necessary. He was a great colleague and patient mentor to many and appreciative young researchers who remember him fondly. His large contribution to Polar research will not  be forgotten.

Torgny Emil Vinje’s funeral takes place at 12:00 on Friday, 9 October at Ormøy church, Ormøy, Oslo.

The Norwegian Polar Institute’s obituary is available here.