Nobel prize season opens Monday

STOCKHOLM, Oct 5, 2007 (AFP) – The 2007 Nobel prize season opens Monday with the announcement of the medicine prize, as the fight against climate change is tipped for the Nobel Peace Prize and speculation is rife for the literature award. Laureates receive a gold medal, a diploma and 10 million Swedish kronor (1.53 million dollars, 1.08 million euros) which can be split between up to three winners per prize. As always the Nobel prize committees are keeping mum ahead of the much-awaited announcements, leaving observers to engage in a wild guessing game.

For the peace prize, to be announced in Oslo on October 12, a total of 181 individuals and organisations are known to have been nominated.

The battle against global warming is seen as a strong candidate for the prestigious award, with former US vice president Al Gore and Canadian Inuit Sheila Watt-Cloutier believed to be contenders.

Gore has brought the issue to the top of the international agenda with his 2006 film “An Inconvenient Truth,” while Watt-Cloutier, the former head of the Inuit Circumpolar Conference, has campaigned to draw attention to climate change in the Arctic.

Climate change has a direct impact on world peace, according to observers who note that humanit