About the series
Talk Title - Solvable: How Past Successes Provide Hope for the Planet
Abstract - Humans have faced a series of national and global environmental challenges in the past half-century, including ozone depletion, smog, lead in gas and paint, pesticides and much more. This talk reveals how combinations of science, public policy, industry participation, and the engagement of citizens succeeded in addressing two past environmental challenges. Finally, I probe how the lessons learned help us understand how to better manage today’s pressing environmental problem: climate change.
Biography - Dr. Susan Solomon, Lee and Geraldine Martin Professor of Environmental Science at MIT, is an internationally recognized leader in the field of atmospheric science. In 1999 she was awarded the President’s National Medal of Science “for key scientific insights in explaining the cause of the Antarctic Ozone hole and for advancing the understanding of the global ozone layer; for changing the direction of ozone research through her findings; and for exemplary service to worldwide public policy decisions and to the American public.” She has also lead research on the link between anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions and global warming and contributed substantially to understanding chemistry/climate coupling. Her current focus is on issues relating to both climate change and atmospheric chemistry.
Dr. Solomon received her PhD in chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, and was head of the Chemistry and Climate Processes Group of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Chemical Sciences Division until 2011, when she joined the faculty at MIT. She was co-chair of Working Group I for the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) of the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC). In 2007, the IPCC shared the Nobel Peace Prize "for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change."
She has received over 20 awards and honors; most recently, she was appointed to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and given the 2021 Future of Life Award. Solomon Saddle and Solomon Glacier were named in her honor. In addition to extensive research articles, Dr. Solomon has published two books, The Coldest March: Scott's Fatal Antarctic Expedition and Aeronomy of the Middle Atmosphere: Chemistry and Physics of the Stratosphere and Mesosphere.
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