Susan Solomon is a senior scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration who first hypothesized that chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) were destroying the Antarctic ozone layer. She lead two expeditions to the South Pole, in 1986 and 1987, to collect the data that eventually confirmed her hypothesis. She received the National Medal of Science in 1999 and has two Antarctic geographical features named after her: Solomon Glacier and Solomon Saddle. According to her recent profile in California Monthly:
Solomon's discovery blew the whistle on CFCs and resulted in substantial amendments of the Montreal Protocol, an unprecedented international agreement established in the mid-1980s to protect the ozone layer. CFCs were banned in the 1990s and their concentration in the atmosphere recently has started to decline.Solomon has also written a book, The Coldest March about Captain Robert Falcon Scott's 1911 fatal expedition to Antarctica.
For more information:
- NOAA Top Ten History Makers: Susan Solomon: Pioneering Atmospheric Scientist
- The National Academies: InterView with Susan Solomon (requires RealPlayer for audio)
- ScienceWatch interview: Lofty Achievement: NOAA's Susan Solomon on Atmospheric Chemistry
- Chemistry Historical Foundation - Her Lab in Your Life profile: "What's Up With Ozone?"
- Profiles of the 2004 Blue Planet Prize Recipients
Tags: Susan Solomon, CFCs, ozone hole