American Philosophical Society
Member History

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105. Physical Earth Sciences[X]
1Name:  Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone
 Institution:  National Academy of Sciences; University of California, Irvine
 Year Elected:  2000
 Class:  1. Mathematical and Physical Sciences
 Subdivision:  105. Physical Earth Sciences
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1943
 Death Date:  November 5, 2016
Ralph Cicerone received his Ph.D. in electrical engineering, with a minor in physics, from the University of Illinois in 1970. He joined the faculty of the University of Michigan in 1972 as a research scientist and assistant professor in the department of electrical and computer engineering. In 1978 he moved to the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, where he was a research chemist. He served as a senior scientist and Director of the Atmospheric Chemistry Division at the National Center for Atmospheric Research from 1980-89. He then became the Daniel G. Aldrich Professor of Earth System Science at the University of California, Irvine, where he chaired the department of Earth System Science from 1989-94. Dr. Cicerone was appointed Chancellor of the University of California, Irvine in 1998. In 2005 he became President of the National Academy of Sciences and was reelected in 2011. He served until 2016. Ralph Cicerone's research has greatly increased our understanding of the biogeochemical cycling of trace gases through the atmosphere, especially concerning ozone depletion and increased greenhouse gases such as methane. He was one of the first to point out the potential for global ozone depletion by stratospheric chlorine. With Ramanathan and with Dickinson, he wrote early papers on the radiative forcing of global climate change due to trace gases and he lectured widely on human causes of climate change and energy usage. In addition to the cumulative body of research, he was a leader in science policy issues. Dr. Cicerone received the United Nations Environment Program Ozone Award in 1997, the Bower Award and Prize for Achievement in Science from the Franklin Institute in 1998, and the American Geophysical Union's 2002 Roger Revelle Medal in recognition of outstanding research contributions to the understanding of the Earth's atmospheric processes, and the 2004 Einstein Prize for Science from the World Cultural Council. A member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, the Accademia dei Lincei and the Russian Academy of Sciences, he also served as president of the American Geophysical Union. He was elected a member of the American Philosophical Society in 2000. Ralph Cicerone died November 5, 2016, at the age of 73.
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