Dr. Beate G. Liepert discovered during her graduate work at Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich that declines in solar energy reaching Earth’s surface were equivalent to the predicted global warming signal. Despite great skepticism of her theorem, she received her Ph.D. with this thesis, and her discovery was eventually recognized as a worldwide phenomenon coined "global dimming" and cited in the first report of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. From early on Liepert suspected that global dimming could be used as a "Rosetta stone" in explaining previously unsolved climate puzzles. Liepert went on to explore global dimming further using hot air balloons. Her story was featured in the BBC documentary "Dimming the Sun," and her hot air balloon flights became a New Yorker "The Talk of the Town" story. Now that global dimming is widely accepted, Liepert focuses her research and development on solar energy optimization.
Year of Birth: 1963
Hometown: Seattle, Washington
Education: PhD in Atmospheric Physics
Occupation: Research Scientist and Entrepreneur
Expeditions: Into my imagination and confirming new insights with data, observations or computer simulations. Hot air balloon flights into pollution clouds over New Jersey.
Favorite Place to Be: In the balloon basket shortly before landing.
Best Discoveries: Global dimming, the fact that air pollution and clouds masked global warming by reflecting sunlight back to space.
Favorite Items in the Field: Good polarized sunglasses.
Personal Hero: Lieutenant Uhura from Star Trek. She was smart, sexy and strong. I adored her as a little girl.
Hobbies: Fine arts, drawing and painting.
Advice: The moments of true insight are very rare, cherish them.