1992 Common Wealth Award for Science and Invention
Susan Solomon, a senior scientist in the Aeronomy Laboratory at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, demonstrated the first conclusive link between man-made chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and the ozone holes in the atmosphere above Antarctica. Her follow-up work suggests that major volcanic eruptions can cause loss of atmospheric ozone as well. Solomons theory is being tested by on-going observation of the effects of the Mt. Pinatubo eruption in the Phillippines. Her findings on this environmentally significant phenomenon have been prominent among those that led to an international protocol to control CFCs and have forged major new directions in environmental research. Her many honors include the MacElwane Award from the American Geophysical Union, the Henry G. Houghton Award from the American Meteorological Society and the Gold Medal from the U.S. Department of Commerce. Solomon is a member of the National Academy of Sciences.