American oceanographer wins Swedish science prize
American oceanographer Walter Munk was Thursday named winner of the 2010 Crafoord Prize in geosciences for his studies of the oceans, tides and waves, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said, DPA reported.
Munk, of Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California in San Diego, was cited for "his pioneering and fundamental contributions to our understanding of ocean circulation, tides and waves, and their role in the Earth's dynamics."
Austrian-born Munk's research has included devising and developing mathematical models in oceanography used to forecast tides and the wind-driven circulation in the ocean.
The academy said Munk, 92, described irregularities in the Earth's rotation and how tide friction affected the Earth's rotation and caused its gradual deceleration. This is factored in with the addition of an extra "leap second" in certain years.
The prize is worth 4 million kronor (550,000 dollars).
Swedish King Carl Gustaf is due to present the prize on May 11 in Stockholm.
The prize was created in 1980 by industrialist Holger Crafoord and his wife Anna-Greta, and was first awarded in 1982 for discoveries in fields not covered by the Nobel Prizes in science.
Other fields in which the awards are given include astronomy and mathematics as well as biosciences.
In 1964, Crafoord founded the medical company Gambro, where the artificial kidney was developed.