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Celebrating Trailblazing Women in Atmospheric Science

Weather Conditions & Terminology | Weather Technology |

Celebrating Trailblazing Women in Atmospheric Science

In honor of International Women’s Day on March the 8th, we would like to celebrate the achievements and contributions of women that have helped everyone who is affected by weather. In the realm of atmospheric science, women have played pivotal roles in advancing our understanding of the Earth’s atmosphere. Their groundbreaking research, dedication, and passion have paved the way for future generations of scientists. Let’s highlight and recognize some of the prominent women who have left a lasting mark on atmospheric science.


Eunice Newton Foote (1819-1888)

Eunice Newton Foote was an American scientist and inventor whose pivotal work in the mid-19th century laid the groundwork for our understanding of climate change. In 1856, Foote conducted groundbreaking experiments demonstrating that changes in the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere could influence the Earth’s temperature. Despite the scientific community largely overlooking her contributions during her time, Foote’s insights have gained recognition in recent years for their foresight and relevance to contemporary climate science.

Foote was a trailblazer in a male-dominated field, and her experiments were presented at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in 1856. Her work anticipated the greenhouse gas effect, a concept that would later become central to our understanding of climate change.

Joanne Simpson (1923-2010)

Joanne Simpson, an American meteorologist and atmospheric scientist, was a pioneering figure who made significant contributions to understanding tropical storms and cloud dynamics. In 1949, she earned her Ph.D. in meteorology, becoming the first woman to do so. Throughout her illustrious career, Simpson conducted groundbreaking research on the formation and dynamics of clouds, contributing to our understanding of weather patterns and climate.

Simpson’s impact extended beyond her scientific achievements. As a passionate advocate for gender equality in the sciences, she paved the way for future generations of female scientists. In 1992, she made history by becoming the first woman to receive the Carl-Gustaf Rossby Research Medal, the highest honor in atmospheric science.

Susan Solomon (1956 – )

Susan Solomon, an American atmospheric chemist, has made enduring contributions to our understanding of atmospheric science, particularly in the areas of ozone depletion and climate change. In the 1980s, she led a scientific team that identified the causes behind the Antarctic ozone hole. This groundbreaking research not only shaped international environmental policy but also underscored the intricate interplay of atmospheric components.

Solomon’s illustrious career includes numerous accolades, with the National Medal of Science being among the most prestigious. Her commitment to advancing atmospheric science and addressing global environmental challenges has solidified her place as a leading figure in the field.

Katharine Hayhoe (1972- )

Katharine Hayhoe, a Canadian atmospheric scientist, is renowned for her research, communication efforts, and advocacy in the realm of climate change. As a professor and director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech University, Hayhoe has made substantial contributions to our understanding of climate science. Her research has focused on regional climate impacts and the intersection of climate science with society.

Hayhoe’s commitment to science communication has been pivotal. She engages with diverse audiences, emphasizing the human aspects of climate change and the importance of taking collective action. Her efforts have earned her a spot on TIME magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people.

Inspiration for Diversity in Atmospheric Science

These trailblazing women have shaped the trajectory of atmospheric science. As we celebrate International Women’s Day, it is essential to not only honor their achievements but also to continue fostering an environment that supports and encourages diversity in STEM fields. The legacies of these scientists serve as an inspiration, not only for future generations, but for Climavision as well. In fact, nearly 50% of Climavision’s executive leadership team are women with extensive experience and knowledge in their fields. If you’d like to learn more about what Climavision is accomplishing, contact us.