EMS Journalistic Award for Zornitsa Spasova and Ole Mathismoen

The two awardees selected for the EMS Journalistic Award 2023 show two different views on climate change, one the broader international picture, and the other zooming in on very local and personal perspectives.

Zornitsa Spasova, Bulgaria, is awarded for three articles on Climate change and women’s health, Global warming and working conditions, and Climate change and cosmetic industry.
Translations: Global warming and labour conditions and Climate change and Women’s Health

Zornitsa Spasova provides an in-depth and thorough review and analysis on global warming and societal impacts, with a particular focus on labour conditions world-wide and women’s health in India. Her coverage explains what climate change means for society and hence makes a point about what relevance meteorology/climatology has for people.

Ole Mathismoen, Norway, receives this price for two articles in which he exemplifies the imagined future of his son to portray the possible climate futures in Oslo: Hva skjer med Syvers vintre? (“What is happening to Syvers winters?”) and Hva skjer med Syvers somre? Norge blir det nye Syden” (What is happening to Syvers Summers? Norway becomes the new south”)
Translation: What-is-happening-to-Syvers-winters

Ole Mathismoen makes a strong attempt to “humanise” the climate change problem in a manner that many people can (hopefully) relate to. He presents very concrete stories for summer and winter in Oslo based on his own memories in Oslo 55 years ago and his 5 years old son present and the future 75 years. The originality and relevance of the approach may attract public attention to how climate change impacts everyday life.

The Awardees

About Ole Mathismoen

Ole Mathismoen is an experienced journalist in Aftenposten, the major paper in the greater Oslo region with a national outreach in Norway, who has specialized in climate and environmental journalism. Mathismoen has a long list of articles in the field of climate, environment and energy. He has published, as author or co-autor, 12 books in the fields.

Drawings and graphs by editorial developer Torstein Ringnes/ Aftenposten, Norway, illustrating the article “Hva skjer med Syvers vintre?” (“What is happening toSyvers winters?”) in Aftenposten, 2022
Drawings and graphs by editorial developer Torstein Ringnes/Aftenposten, Norway, illustrating the article “Hva skjer med Syvers vintre?” (“What is happening toSyvers winters?”) in Aftenposten, 2022

These two articles use Ole Mathismoen’s son Syver to portray the possible climate futures in Oslo. Both articles start with a picture of Syver, and a description of the current climate for the chosen season. To really make the story personal and to give a climatic context is a description of Ole’s childhood climate included. Leaving the present climate is Syver revisited again when he is 35 years old in 2052, 65 years in 2082, and at the end of the century. Syvers development from a boy of 5 years was presented with pencil drawings of Syver at 5, 35 and 65 years old. The drawings and graphs were made by the editorial developer Torstein Ringnes.
The articles were presented in two formats, one in the printed paper  and in an electronic long read format online. Both formats were well received, but the later gave a more interactive feel when one scrolled through, e.g. fading from a photo to a drawing of Syver and adding points to graphs when scrolling. Climate indexes in both articles were a combination of generic indexes like average temperature and season specific indexes. The reception was overall good, with a high number of readers clicking on the article and people reading through the entire article.

About Zornitsa Spasova

Zornitsa Spasova is a researcher in the field of Climate Change and Public Health and a Freelance Journalist.  She works at the National Centre of Public Health and Analyses in Sofia, involved in research projects in the field of Medical Geography, Biometeorology, Public Health, concerned with project such as:

  • NCPHA projects: Meteorological conditions and road safety; Extreme weather events in Bulgaria and public health responses; Child traumatism – international comparison; Heat waves and cardiovascular morbidity and mortality; The impact of climate change on parasitic diseases; Studying of the public opinion on climate change and its effects on human health; Weather, climate and mental health;
  • Participation in developing the National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy and Action Plan;
  • National Program on Environment and Reducing the Risk of Natural Disasters, 2018-23;
  • Project for Sofia municipality – “Plan for Sustainable Energy and Climate 2021-2030” under the Global Covenant of Mayors, 2019-2021;
  • Organizational work on Lancet Cowntdown on Climate Change and Health in Bulgaria; and
  • COST Action CA19101 DE-PASS Determinants of Physical Activities in Settings, 2024.
Photo in article Climate change and women’s health by Z. Spasova; photo taken from pixabay, author: Tobias Federle
Photo in article Climate change and women’s health by Z. Spasova; photo taken from pixabay, author: Tobias Federle

She is an author for Climateka.bg, an information platform launched in 2020, about climate change and its cause and effects in Bulgaria. Climateka creates authored popular science articles to raise awareness about climate change in the general public. To sustain this, Climateka is working closely with two key groups: scientists and experts; media and journalists.  She is also teaching post-graduating courses on Climate change and human health. More info can be found at https://www.climateka.bg/author/zornitsa-spasova/


Award ceremony

The awards will be presented to both recipients during the Media & communication session at the EMS Annual Meeting 2023 in Bratislava, on Wednesday, 6 September 2023. Both awardees have been invited to make a presentation about their work.

About the EMS Journalistic Award

The EMS Journalistic Award, launched in 2014, aims to support and highlight journalists/authors who produce outstanding examples of journalism in the field of meteorology or climate science that help to bridge the communication gap between science including its applications and the public.
The award is given biennially.

More details and earlier awardees can be found at awards site


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