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.