Ray Weiss

Principal investigator, Advanced Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment

Ray Weiss is Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Distinguished Research Professor and Associate Dean of Academic Affairs Emeritus at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego. He received a BS in chemistry from the California Institute of Technology in 1964, and a PhD in Earth sciences from the Scripps Institution in 1970. Professor Weiss’s career has been devoted to the application of chemical and isotopic measurements to the study of natural processes in the atmosphere, oceans, and deep lakes. He has authored or co-authored more than 160 research papers appearing in the international peer-reviewed scientific literature.

Among his major research contributions are: The discovery and characterization of the increase and global distribution of atmospheric nitrous oxide, a stratospheric ozone depleter and a greenhouse gas regulated by both the Montreal and Kyoto Protocols; the first experimental proof of the existence of deep-sea hydrothermal vents; the practical application of the measurement of dissolved atmospheric chlorofluorocarbons to determine the rates of ventilation, transport and mixing processes in the deep ocean and in deep lakes; the first geochemical study of mixing processes in the Weddell Sea, a major source of deep water for the world oceans; and, the first accurate calibration of the global abundance and variations of the atmospheric hydroxyl radical, the atmosphere’s primary cleansing agent.

Professor Weiss is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and of the American Geophysical Union. He has served on numerous national and international scientific planning and steering committees, and on the editorial boards of a number of prominent journals in the atmospheric and oceanic sciences. He has also been active in the international scientific assessment processes of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion reports of the United Nations Environment Programme and the World Meteorological Organization.

Professor Weiss is the lead principal investigator responsible for the measurement component of the Advanced Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment (AGAGE), an international effort to measure and model the global distributions, emissions and atmospheric lifetimes of a wide range of anthropogenic and natural greenhouse gases and ozone depleting substances.

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