Susan Solomon

Susan Solomon is internationally recognized as a leader in atmospheric science, particularly for her insights in explaining the cause of the Antarctic ozone "hole". She and her colleagues have made important contributions to understanding chemistry/climate coupling, including leading research on the irreversibility of global warming linked to anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions, and on the influence of the ozone hole on the climate of the southern hemisphere. Her current focus is on issues relating to both atmospheric chemistry and climate change.

Professional Experience

- Lee and Geraldine Martin Professor of Environmental Studies, MIT, 2016-present
- Ellen Swallow Richards Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry & Climate Science, MIT, 2012-2016
- Co-chair, Working Group 1 of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2002-2008
- Acting Director, Atmospheric Chemistry Division, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado, Nov. 1995 - Nov. 1996
- Professor Adjoint, University of Colorado at Boulder, 1985-present
- Senior Scientist, Aeronomy Laboratory, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Boulder, Colorado, 1991-2011
- Research Chemist at the Aeronomy Laboratory, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Boulder, Colorado, 1981-1990


1981 Ph.D. Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley.
1978 M.S. Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley.
1977 B.S. Chemistry, Illinois Inst. of Tech., Chicago, Illinois.

Selected Publications

Ivy, D. J., Hilgenbrink, C., Kinnison, D., Alan Plumb, R., Sheshadri, A., Solomon, S., & Thompson, D. W. (2017) Observed Changes in the Southern Hemispheric Circulation in May. Journal of Climate, 30(2), 527-536, doi: 10.1175/JCLI-D-16-0394.1

Zickfeld, K., Solomon, S., & Gilford, D. M. (2017) Centuries of thermal sea-level rise due to anthropogenic emissions of short-lived greenhouse gases. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 201612066, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1612066114

Ivy, D. J., Solomon, S., Calvo, N., & Thompson, D. W. (2017) Observed connections of Arctic stratospheric ozone extremes to Northern Hemisphere surface climate. Environmental Research Letters, 12(2), 024004, doi: 10.1088/1748-9326/aa57a4

Gilford, D. M., & Solomon, S. (2017) Radiative effects of stratospheric seasonal cycles in the tropical upper troposphere and lower stratosphere. Journal of Climate, 30(8), 2769-2783, doi: 10.1175/JCLI-D-16-0633.1

Dale, A., Fant, C., Strzepek, K., Lickley, M., & Solomon, S. (2017) Climate model uncertainty in impact assessments for agriculture: A multi‐ensemble case study on maize in sub‐Saharan Africa. Earth's Future, 5(3), 337-353, doi: 10.1002/2017EF000539

Susan Solomon, Diane J. Ivy, Doug Kinnison, Michael J. Mills, Ryan R. Neely III, Anja Schmidt (2016) Emergence of Healing in the Antarctic Ozone Layer, Science, 30 Jun 2016, doi: 10.1126/science.aae0061

Solomon, S., Kinnison, D., Garcia, R., Bandoro, J., Wilka, C., Neeley III, R., Schmidt, A., Barnes, J., Vernier, J.P., Höpfner, M. and Mills, M. (2016) Monsoon Circulations and Tropical Heterogeneous Chlorine Chemistry in the Stratosphere. In EGU General Assembly Conference Abstracts (Vol. 19, p. 5671), doi: 10.1002/2016GL071778


Deser, C., R. Knutti, S. Solomon, and A. S. Phillips (2012) Communication of the role of natural variability in future North American climate, Nature Climate Change, Volume: 2, Issue: 11, Pages: 775-779, doi: 10.1038/NCLIMATE1562

Friedlingstein, P.; Solomon, S.; Plattner, G-K.; et al. (2011) Long-term climate implications of twenty-first century options for carbon dioxide emission mitigation, Nature Climate Change, Volume: 1, Issue: 9, Pages: 457-461, doi: 10.1038/NCLIMATE1302

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

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., R. W. Portmann, T. Sasaki, D. J. Hofmann, and D. W. J. Thompson (2005) Four decades of ozonesonde measurements over Antarctica, J. Geophys. Res., 110, D21311, doi: 10.1029/2005JD005917

Thompson, D. W. J., and S. Solomon (2002) Interpretation of recent southern hemisphere climate change, Science, 296, 895-899, doi: 10.1126/science.1069270

Solomon, S., Stratospheric ozone depletion: A review of concepts and history (1999), Rev. Geophys., 37, 275-316, doi: 10.102911999RG900008

Solomon, S., R. W. Portmann, R. R. Garcia, L. W. Thomason, L. R. Poole, and M. P. McCormick (1996) The role of aerosol variations in anthropogenic ozone depletion at northern mid-latitudes, J. Geophys. Res., 101, 6713-6728, doi: 10.1029/95JD03353

Solomon, S., R. W. Sanders, R. R. Garcia, and J. G. Keys (1993) Enhanced chlorine dioxide and ozone depletion in Antarctica due to volcanic aerosols, Nature, 363, 245-248, doi: 10.1038/328411a0

Solomon, S. (1990) Antarctic ozone: progress towards a quantitative understanding, Nature, 347, 347-354, doi: 10.1038/347347a0

Hofmann, D., and S. Solomon, Ozone depletion through heterogeneous chemistry following the eruption of the El Chichon Volcano (1989)  J. Geophys. Res., 94, 5029-5041, doi: 10.1029/JD094iD04p05029

Solomon, S., G.H. Mount, R.W. Sanders, R.O. Jakoubek, and A.L. Schmeltekopf (1988) Observation of the nighttime abundance of OClO in the winter stratosphere above Thule, Greenland, Science, 242, 550-555, doi: 10.1126/science.242.4878.550

Solomon, S., G.H. Mount, R.W. Sanders and A.L. Schemltekopf (1987) Visible spectroscopy at McMurdo Station, Antarctica, 2. Observation of OClO, J. Geophys. Res., 92, 8329-8338, doi: 10.1029/JD092iD07p08329

Solomon, S., R.R. Garcia, F.S. Rowland, and D.J. Wuebbles (1986) On the depletion of Antarctic ozone, Nature, 321, 755-758, doi: 10.1038/321755a0

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) (ISBN 978-1-4020-3824-2)

Garcia, R.R., and S. Solomon (1983) A numerical model of the zonally averaged dynamical and chemical structure of the middle atmosphere, J. Geophys. Res., 88, 1379, doi: 10.1029/JC088iC02p01379

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 1994
- 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
- BBVA Foundation, Frontiers of Knowledge Climate Change Award, 2012
- Honorary Member of the American Meteorological Society, 2013
- Vetlesen Prize, 2013
- 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