Ralph J. Cicerone

Ralph Cicerone John ( born 2 May 1943 in New Castle, Pennsylvania) is an American scientist who is concerned with the chemistry of the atmosphere and climate change. Since 2005 he is President of the National Academy of Sciences and Chairman of the National Research Council.


Cicerone studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology ( bachelor's degree, 1965) and the University of Illinois at Urbana -Champaign with a master's degree in electrical engineering and physics in 1967 and his doctorate in 1970. Afterwards it was until 1978 at the Space Physics Research Lab at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where he was also Assistant Professor. From 1978 he was in the Department of Oceanography of the University of California, San Diego and 1980/81 as a research chemist at the Scripps Research Institute. From 1980 to 1989 he was a Senior Scientist and Director of the National Center for Atmospheric Chemistry Atmospherical Research in Boulder. He became a professor in the Department of Geosciences at the University of California, Irvine, which he chaired in 1989. In 1994 he was Dean of the Faculty of Physical Sciences and 1998-2005 Chancellor of UC Irvine.

Research on the ozone hole

In 1973 he was commissioned to Richard S. Stolarski by NASA to investigate the possible harmful effects of chlorine, which passes through the exhaust of the planned Space Shuttle as HCl in the stratosphere. They discovered the effectiveness of chlorine radicals as catalysts in the degradation of the ozone layer. Independently researched the Michael McElroy and Steven Wofsy at Harvard, also in connection with the Space Shuttle. In presenting their results in 1973 in Kyoto on the IAGA Conference their contributions but were criticized because they preferred to keep silent about the Space Shuttle as a source and instead zoom attracted volcanic eruptions, but played a minor role as a source of chlorine. In 1974 published articles both by Mario J. Molina and Sherwood Rowland (Nature ) and from Stolarski, Walters and Cicerone (Science ), the source moved fluorocarbons in the look and theme was taken up by the press (New York Times, 1974). Molina, Rowland ( the initiated by James Lovelock in 1973 began the research) and Paul J. Crutzen received for the 1995 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Awards and Affiliations

In 1979 he was awarded the James B. Macelwane Medal, 1999 with the Bower Award and Prize for Achievement in Science. In 2002 he received the Roger Revelle Medal of the American Geophysical Union. In 2004 he received the Albert Einstein World Award of Science.

He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the National Academy of Sciences, the American Chemical Society, the American Meteorological Society, the American Geophysical Union ( and from 1992 to 1994 its president ) and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

From 1977 to 1979 he was associate editor of the Journal of Geophysical Research.