Susan Solomon


Chemistry & Climate Processes



Research Interests

Susan Solomon is internationally recognized as a leader in atmospheric science, particularly for her insights in explaining the cause of the Antarctic ozone "hole" and for her leadership of the 2007 science report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). She currently focuses on issues relating to both atmospheric chemistry and climate understanding.

Professional Experience

Research Chemist at the Aeronomy Laboratory, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Boulder, Colorado, 1981-1990.

Program Leader, Middle Atmosphere group of the Aeronomy Laboratory, 1988-1990. Senior Scientist, Aeronomy Laboratory, 1991-2011.

Professor Adjoint, University of Colorado at Boulder, 1985-present.

Visiting Scholar, University of Washington, Seattle, Spring, 2007.

Acting Director, Atmospheric Chemistry Division, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado, Nov. 1995-Nov. 1996.

Co-chair, Working Group 1 of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2002-2008.


1977  B.S. Chemistry, Illinois Inst. of Tech., Chicago, Illinois.

1978  M.S. Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley.

1981  Ph.D. Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley.

Selected Publications

Garcia, R.R., and S. Solomon. A numerical model of the zonally averaged dynamical and chemical structure of the middle atmosphere, J. Geophys. Res., 88, 1379, 1983.

Brasseur, G., and S. Solomon, Aeronomy of the Middle Atmosphere, Reidel Pub., Co., Dordrecht, first edition 1984, second edition 1987, third edition 2005. (in English, also translated into Russian and Chinese).

Solomon, S., R.R. Garcia, F.S. Rowland, and D.J. Wuebbles, On the depletion of Antarctic ozone, Nature, 321, 755-758, 1986.

Solomon, S., G.H. Mount, R.W. Sanders and A.L. Schemltekopf, Visible spectroscopy at McMurdo Station, Antarctica, 2. Observation of OClO, J. Geophys. Res., 92, 8329-8338, 1987.

Solomon, S., G.H. Mount, R.W. Sanders, R.O. Jakoubek, and A.L. Schmeltekopf, Observation of the nighttime abundance of OClO in the winter stratosphere above Thule, Greenland, Science, 242, 550-555, 1988.

Hofmann, D., and S. Solomon, Ozone depletion through heterogeneous chemistry following the eruption of the El Chichon Volcano, J. Geophys. Res., 94, 5029-5041, 1989.

Solomon, S., Antarctic ozone: progress towards a quantitative understanding, Nature, 347, 347-354, l990.

Solomon, S., R. W. Sanders, R. R. Garcia, and J. G. Keys, Enhanced chlorine dioxide and ozone depletion in Antarctica due to volcanic aerosols, Nature, 363, 245-248, l993.

Solomon, S., R. W. Portmann, R. R. Garcia, L. W. Thomason, L. R. Poole, and M. P. McCormick, The role of aerosol variations in anthropogenic ozone depletion at northern mid-latitudes, J. Geophys. Res., 101, 6713-6728, l996.

Solomon, S., Stratospheric ozone depletion: A review of concepts and history, Rev. Geophys., 37, 275-316, l999.

Thompson, D. W. J., and S. Solomon, Interpretation of recent southern hemisphere climate understanding, Science, 296, 895-899, 2002.

Solomon, S., R. W. Portmann, T. Sasaki, D. J. Hofmann, and D. W. J. Thompson, Four decades of ozonesonde measurements over Antarctica, J. Geophys. Res., 2005.

Solomon, S., D. Qin, M. Manning, Z. Chen, M. Marquis, K.B. Averyt, M. Tignor and H.L. Miller (eds.)]. 2007:Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA.

Solomon, S., G.-K. Platter, R. Knutti, and P. Friedlingstein, Irreversible climate understanding due to carbon dioxide emissions, Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci., 106, 1704-1709, doi: 10.1073/pnas.-9128211-6, 2009.

Selected Honors and Awards

Solomon Glacier (78°23'S, 162°30'E) and Solomon Saddle (78°23'S, 162°39'E) were named in honor of leadership in Antarctic research in l994.

Carl-Gustaf Rossby Medal, American Meteorological Society, January, 2000.

National Medal of Science, United States of America, March, 2000.

Blue Planet Prize, Asahi Glass Foundation, November, 2004.

Vienna Convention Award, November, 2005.

Bowie Medal, American Geophysical Union, 2007.

Grande Medaille, highest award of the French Academy of Sciences, 2008.

Named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine in 2008.

Member: US National Women's Hall of Fame, 2009.

Member: US National Academy of Sciences, American Philosophical Society; Foreign member French Academy of Sciences, Royal Society, European Academy.

Recipient of numerous honorary doctorates from universities in the US and abroad.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

last modified: May 23, 2011