Christian Junge – a pioneer in global atmospheric chemistry

Publication Name

Journal of Atmospheric Chemistry


Christian Junge (1912–1996) is considered by many to be the founder of the modern discipline of atmospheric chemistry. In studies from the 1950s through the 1970s, Junge was able to link chemical measurements in a few scattered locations around the earth and integrate them with meteorology to develop the first global view of the basic chemical and physical processes that control the sources, transport, transformations, and fate of particles and gases in the atmosphere. In this paper we summarize and comment upon a number of Junge’s seminal research contributions to atmospheric chemistry, including his discovery of the stratospheric sulfate layer (known as the Junge layer), his recognition of the relationship between the variability of the concentrations of trace gases and their atmospheric lifetimes, his studies of aerosol size and number distributions, his development of the first quantitative model of tropospheric ozone, and other significant scientific investigations. We also discuss Junge’s professional life, his many international leadership positions and honors, as well as some memories and reflections on his many abilities that led to his outstanding contributions to the science of atmospheric chemistry.

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