Zerefos S. Christos

Christos S. Zerefos
Academy Member

Biographical note

Meteorology-Climatology    (2007)



Head, Research Centre for Atmospheric Physics and Climatology of the Academy of Athens (2008- ); Chair Holder of the UNESCO Chair on Natural Hazards at the National Observatory, Athens (2008-2019); Professor of Atmospheric Physics, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece (2002-2010); Professor of Atmospheric Physics and Director of the Postgraduate Studies in Environmental Physics, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece (1979-2002); Head of the Center for Environmental Effects on Health, Biomedical Research Foundation, Academy of Athens (2003- ). Scientific Collaborator, University of Oslo, Norway (1995); Honorary Fellow (Fulbright Scholar), University of Minnesota, USA (1985); Visiting Professor, Physics and Astronomy Department, Boston University, Boston, USA (1983); Since 2011 he is serving as Member of the Board of Directors of the Centre for Hellenistic Studies, the Library of Alexandria. In the past 4 decades he has supervised 55 masters and more than 30 PhD theses.



He has received prestigious awards such as the Global Ozone Award, UNEP, on the 10th Anniversary of the Montreal Protocol (1997), the Blaise Pascal Medal, European Academy of Sciences (2015), the Yoram Kaufman Award of the American Geophysical Union (2015), Editors Award for Excellence in Refereeing, American Geophysical Union (1998), UNEP Honourable Mentions (2013, 1999, 1995), the Order of Honour from the President of the Hellenic Republic (2020), the French Government Decoration “Commandeur dans l’ordre de Palmes académiques” (2015), “Honorary Member” of the International Ozone Commission (2016), Award Certificate and Letter from UNEP and from IPCC for his substantial contribution to the reports of IPCC, which shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with the former Vice President of USA, Al Gore (2008), Award and “Ioan Ursu” Medal of the Balkan Physical Union (2015, 2018), the "European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Award" awarded to the National Observatory of Athens for the establishment of the Geoastrophysics Museum and the rehabilitation of the buildings, the laboratories and the astronomical Library under his supervision (2010), Gold Medal of the Municipality of Thessaloniki (2008), Medal of the City of Athens (2010) and several Honorary Doctorate Degrees. In the past 30 years he has acted as author, contributor, or reviewer in almost all WMO/UNEP Scientific Assessments of Ozone Depletion.



Member of the National Council for Climate Change Adaptation of the Ministry of Environment and Energy (2017- ), President-elect of the General Assembly of the Hellenic Foundation for Research and Innovation (2017-2018), Member of the Academia Europaea (2008- ), Member of the European Academy of Sciences (2010- ), Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences (2009- ), Foreign Member of the Norwegian Academy of Sciences and Letters (1998- ), Member of the IUGG Council since 2006 and President of the Hellenic IUGG National Committee (2008- ), Member of the International Academy of Astronautics (2008- ), Member of the Academy of Athens (2007- ) and several others.



He has been working in the fields of atmospheric sciences and climatology for the past 45 years. His research positions include: Postdoc, Advanced Study Programme at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, USA; the National Hellenic Research Foundation; the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, USA; the University of Oslo; the Laboratories of Atmospheric Physics, Universities of Athens and Thessaloniki, Greece; the National Observatory, Athens; the Academy of Athens. He has participated in more than 90 research projects (60 of which from EU, WMO and US). He has participated in prestigious research committees and international commissions e.g. Member of EU Advisory Groups for DGXII; Member of the WMO AD HOC Scientific Steering Committee on UV Monitoring and the WMO AD HOC Scientific Steering Committee on Ozone (Ozone-SAG); Member of the ENRICH Council of the European Union; Member of the WMO Executive Council Panel of Experts/CAS Working Group on Environmental Pollution and Atmospheric Chemistry; Member of the EU (EC) Stratospheric Science Panel which organized, among other large projects, all the European Arctic stratospheric ozone experiments. He has served as Secretary and President of the International Ozone Commission and elected Honorary Member of IO3C.



In the past 45 years Christos Zerefos has created from zero the following recognized educational and research Institutions: (1) The Laboratory for Atmospheric Physics, Physics Department, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (1981- ) (http://lap.physics.auth.gr/) (2) The WMO Northern Hemisphere Ozone Mapping Center, Physics Department, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (1993- ) (http://lap.physics.auth.gr/ozonemaps2/), (3) The Graduate Program on Environmental Physics, Physics Department, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (1991- ) (http://lap.physics.auth.gr/pms/) (4) The Center for the Environmental Effects on Health, Biomedical Research Foundation, Academy of Athens (2003- ) (http://www.bioacademy.gr/lab/zerefos), (5) The UNESCO Chair on Natural Hazards (2006-2019) (http://en.unesco.org/sites/default/files/list-unesco-chairs.pdf) (6) The Greek GEO Office at the National Observatory, Athens (www.greekgeo.noa.gr) (2007- ) (7) The Geoastrophysics Museum, National Observatory, Athens, Greece (2008- ) (http://www.noa.gr/museum/english/index_en.html), (8) The Navarino Environmental Observatory in Messinia, Greece together with the University of Stockholm and TEMES S.A. (2009- ) (https://www.navarinoneo.se/), (9) Recently his proposal for the creation of a Flexible Mechanism to protect worldwide natural and cultural heritage monuments from climate change has been included in the UN activities by the H.E. the Secretary General of the UN, A. Guterres. This initiative has been supported by more than 100 countries, by WMO and UNESCO.



Secretary General, Academy of Athens (2020- ); Focal Point for Greece, Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE) of UNFCCC (2020- ); Climate Envoy for Greece (2019- ); President of the General Assembly of the Greek Foundation for Research and Innovation, Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs (2017-2018); Vice President of the Centre for Renewable Energy Sources and Saving (CRES) (2014-2016); Vice President of the National Council for Research and Technology (2014-2016); Director of the Greek Edition of National Geographic (2013-2014); External Member of the Council of the Democritus University of Thrace (2013-2016); Coordinator of the Climate Change Impacts Study Committee of the Bank of Greece (2008- ); President of the Board of Directors of “Biomedical Sciences and Technologies S.A.” of the Biomedical Research Foundation of the Academy of Athens (2008- ); Member of the High Level Working Group of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) (2008- ); Member of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) (2005-2010); President of the Board of Directors of the National Observatory, Athens (2005-2010); President of the Mariolopoulos-Kanaginis Foundation for the Environmental Sciences (2004- ); National Representative at the Council of the European Space Agency (2004-2006); Chairman of the Sectoral Scientific Council on Environment and Renewable Energy of the National Committee for Research and Technology (2003-2009); President of the American Universities Alumni Association, Branch of Northern Greece (1999-2003) and Honorary President (2003- ); President of the Balkan Physical Union (1997-2003); Coordinator of the Balkan Environmental Research and Development Institute (B.E.R.D.I.) of the Balkan Physical Union (1992); Director of the WMO Northern Hemisphere Ozone Mapping Center, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (1991- ); State Secretary for the Environment, Ministry of the Environment, Hellenic Republic (1989); Director of the Division of Applied and Environmental Physics, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (1984 and 1985); Director of the Research Center for Atmospheric Physics and Climatology, Academy of Athens (1979).



Christos Zerefos became known in the 70s for his studies on the long- and short-term variability of ozone. The solar activity effects in the lower stratosphere, e.g. his paper with Paul Crutzen (JGR, 1975) was one of the first studies to model the physics of solar activity-stratosphere relations. With Harry van Loon, they first observed the El Nino signals in the lower stratosphere (Mon. Weather Rev., 1982) and in the columnar ozone (JGR, 1992). His early papers on long term trends in stratospheric temperatures and total ozone include one of his most important papers with Stolarski et al. (Science, 1992), which boosted the scientific basis for the Montreal Protocol, which led out to the phase out of halocarbons. This work has been updated in 2014 (Zerefos et al., ACP, 2014).

In the 80s Zerefos pioneered in establishing regular well calibrated observations of UV spectral irradiance worldwide. In the 90s he has pioneered in the establishment of the European UV-B observing network which started from his initiative with Anne Webb and Alkis Bais (Zerefos et al, GRL, 1997). His thorough research with the Brewer spectroradiometer led to its establishment as a model instrument to measure columnar ozone, SO2 and UV spectral irradiances (Zerefos et al., J. Photoch. & Photobio., 1995; Zerefos et al., GRL, 1997) and with Bais and McElroy (GRL, 1996; Appl. Optics, 1998). His papers on the inverse relationship between ozone and UV-B, provided for the first-time evidence that clear sky UV-B had significant positive trends (GRL, 1995; Appl. Optics, 1997) as well as his papers on record low total ozone anomalies and the effects of volcanic eruptions (e.g. with Bojkov, GRL 1993).

In the 90s Zerefos has organized large EU-funded campaigns to study the processes of ozone-aerosol-radiation and photochemical interactions in the Mediterranean (PAUR Campaigns I, II and MEDCAPHOT Campaign with Ziomas) (Zerefos et al., JGR, 1997; Balis et al., JGR, 1997; Zanis et al., JGR, 1997; Hofzumahaus et al., JGR, 1997; Kourtidis et al., JGR, 1997; Kouvarakis et al., JGR, 1997). In the 2000s he participated in the MATCH Campaigns joining the European group led by Rex, Schultz and others who studied ozone loss rates inside and outside of the polar vortex (JGR, 2001; GRL, 2000, 2006). On another collaborative project with Stohl et al, he studied and reviewed mechanisms of stratosphere-troposphere exchange (JGR, 2003) and with Harris he revisited trends in stratospheric and free tropospheric ozone (JGR, 1997). Notable is his research concerning the variability of UV-B (GRL, 1997; GRL, 1998) and its natural fluctuations from volcanic signals in the ozone layer (JGR, 1994). He has experimentally discovered the effects in the stratosphere of the solar eclipses of 1999 (JGR, 2000) and 2006 (ACP, 2007, 2008) presenting evidence of atmospheric gravity waves following the supersonic transport of the moon’s shadow in the ozone layer.

He has served as review Editor of Chapter 5 of the IPCC Aviation Report (1998) and as Reviewer of the IPCC Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation (2013). The paper with Sausen “Aviation radiative forcing in 2000: An update on IPCC” (Met. Z., 2005) as well as his papers in JGR, 1997, 2005; ACP, 2003, 2012; Tellus B, 2009 in which the solar radiation ozone climate interaction and trends are studied, are included among his highly cited papers.

His pioneering work on the use of red-to-green ratios to detect aerosol in paintings by great masters (Zerefos et al, 2007, 2014) is being widely discussed in scientific and mass media globally. Other papers include climatological-paleoclimatological studies with Luterbacher et al. (Climate Change, 2010; Environ. Res. Lett., 2016). More recently, his papers on Copernicus services and products have been widely quoted (Inness et al., ACP, 2013, 2015; Wagner, ACP, 2015; Eskes, Geosci. Model Dev., 2015) and together with several of the previously mentioned papers have been selected as hot spots by the editors of prestigious scientific journals. His biometrical indices are: 266 publications with 8.171 citations (without self-citations), h-index 55 (from Web of Knowledge, March 2021) and a total of 497 publications with 13.715 citations, h-index 64 (from Google Scholar, March 2021).



  1. Zerefos, C., S. Solomos, D. Melas, J. Kapsomenakis, C. Repapis, “The Role of Weather during the Greek–Persian ‘Naval Battle of Salamis’ in 480 B.C.”, Atmosphere, 11, 838; doi:10.3390/atmos11080838, 2020.
  2. Zerefos, C., S. Solomos, J. Kapsomenakis, A. Poupkou, L. Dimitriadou, I. Polychroni, P. Kalabokas, C. Philandras, D. Thanos, “Lessons learned and questions raised during and post‑COVID‑19 anthropopause period in relation to the environment and climate”, Environment Development and Sustainability, Springer, DOI: 10.1007/s10668-020-01075-4, 2020.
  3. Dafka, S., D. Akritidis, P. Zanis, A. Pozzer, E. Xoplaki, J. Luterbacher, C. Zerefos “On the link between the Etesian winds, tropopause folds and tropospheric ozone over the Eastern Mediterranean during summer”, Atmospheric Research, 248:105161, DOI: 10.1016/j.atmosres.2020.105161, 2020.
  4. Eleftheratos, K., J. Kapsomenakis, C.S. Zerefos, A.F. Bais, I. Fountoulakis, M. Dameris, P. Jöckel, A.S. Haslerud, S. Godin-Beekmann, W. Steinbrecht, I. Petropavlovskikh, C. Brogniez, T. Leblanc, J.B. Liley, R. Querel, D.P.J. Swart “Possible Effects of Greenhouse Gases to Ozone Profiles and DNA Active UV-B Irradiance at Ground Level”, Atmosphere, 11, 228, doi.org/10.3390/atmos11030228, 2020.
  5. Evelpidou, N., C. Zerefos, C. Synolakis, C. Repapis, A. Karkani, M. Polidorou, G. Saitis, “Coastal Boulders on the SE Coasts of Cyprus as Evidence of Palaeo‐Tsunami Events”, J. Mar. Sci. Eng., 8, 812; doi:10.3390/jmse8100812, 2020.
  6. Fountoulakis, I., H. Diémoz, A. Siani, G. Laschewski, G. Filippa, A. Arola, A.F. Bais, H. De Backer, K. Lakkala, A.R. Webb, V. De Bock, T. Karppinen, K. Garane, J. Kapsomenakis, M.E. Koukouli, C.S. Zerefos “Solar UV irradiance in a changing climate: Trends in Europe and the significance of spectral monitoring in Italy”, Environments, 7(1), doi.org/10.3390/environments7010001, 2020.
  7. Eleftheratos, Κ., C.S. Zerefos, D.S. Balis, M.-E. Koukouli, J. Kapsomenakis, D. Loyola, P. Valks, M. Coldewey-Egbers, C. Lerot, S. Frith, A.S. Haslerud, I.S.A. Isaksen, S. Hassinen, “The use of QBO, ENSO and NAO perturbations in the evaluation of GOME-2 MetOp A total ozone measurements”, Atmos. Meas. Tech., 12, 987-1011, https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-12-987-2019, 2019.
  8. Garane K., M.E. Koukouli, T. Verhoelst, C. Lerot, K.P. Heue, V. Fioletov, D. Balis, A. Bais, A. Bazureau, A. Dehn, F. Goutail, J. Granville, D. Griffin, D. Hubert, A. Keppens, J.C. Lambert, D. Loyola, C. McLinden, A. Pazmino, J.P. Pommereau, A. Redondas, F. Romahn, P. Valks, M. Van Roozendael, J. Xu, C. Zehner, C. Zerefos, and W. Zimmer “TROPOMI/S5P total ozone column data: global ground-based validation and consistency with other satellite missions”, Atmos. Meas. Tech., 12, 5263–5287, https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-12-5263-2019, 2019.
  9. Fountoulakis, I., C.S. Zerefos, A.F. Bais, J. Kapsomenakis, M.E. Koukouli, N. Ohkawara, V. Fioletov, H. De Backer, K. Lakkala, T. Karppinen, A.R. Webb, “Twenty-five years of spectral UV-B measurements over Canada, Europe and Japan: trends and effects from changes in ozone, aerosols, clouds and surface reflectivity”, Comptes Rendus Geoscience, 350, 393-402, 2018.
  10. Voloudakis, D., A. Karamanos, G. Economou, J. Kapsomenakis, C. Zerefos “A comparative estimate of climate change impacts on cotton and maize in Greece”, Journal of Water and Climate Change, 9 (4), 643-656, 2018.
  11. Zerefos, C., J. Kapsomenakis, K. Eleftheratos, K. Tourpali, I. Petropavlovskikh, D. Hubert, S. Godin-Beekmann, W. Steinbrecht, S. Frith, V. Sofieva, B. Hassler, “Representativeness of single lidar stations for zonally averaged ozone profiles, their trends and attribution to proxies”, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 18(9), 6427-6440, 2018.
  12. Papayannis, A., A. Argyrouli, A. Bougiatioti, E. Remoundaki, S. Vratolis, A. Nenes, S. Solomos, M. Komppula, E. Giannakaki, J. Kalogiros, R. Banks, K. Eleftheriadis, E. Mantas, E. Diapouli, C.G. Tzanis, S. Kazadzis, I. Binietoglou, L. Labzovskii, J. Vande Hey, C.S. Zerefos, “An overview from hygroscopic aerosols to cloud droplets: The HygrA-CD campaign in the Athens basin”, Sci. Total Environ., 574, 21-223, 2017.
  13. Zerefos, C. S., K. Eleftheratos, J. Kapsomenakis, S. Solomos, A. Inness, D. Balis, A. Redondas, H. Eskes, M. Allaart, V. Amiridis, A. Dahlback, V. De Bock, H. Diémoz, R. Engelmann, P. Eriksen, V. Fioletov, J. Gröbner, A. Heikkilä, I. Petropavlovskikh, J. Jarosławski, W. Josefsson, T. Karppinen, U. Köhler, C. Meleti, C. Repapis, J. Rimmer, V. Savinykh, V. Shirotov, A. M. Siani, A. R. D. Smedley, M. Stanek, and R. Stübi, “Detecting volcanic sulfur dioxide plumes in the Northern Hemisphere using the Brewer spectrophotometer, other networks, and satellite observations”, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 17, 551–574, doi: 10.5194/acp-17-551-2017, 2017.
  14. Diémoz, H., K. Eleftheratos, S. Kazadzis, V. Amiridis, and C. S. Zerefos, “Retrieval of aerosol optical depth in the visible range with a Brewer spectrophotometer in Athens”, Atmos. Meas. Techn., 9, 1871-1888, doi:10.5194/amt-9-1871-2016, 2016.
  15. Hassinen, S., D. Balis, H. Bauer, M. Begoin, A. Delcloo, K. Eleftheratos, S. Gimeno Garcia, J. Granville, M. Grossi, N. Hao, P. Hedelt, F. Hendrick, M. Hess, K.-P. Heue, J. Hovila, H. Helge Jønch-Sørensen, N. Kalakoski, M. Koukouli, J. Kujanpää, J.-C. Lambert, C. Lerot, D. Loyola, A. Määttä, G. Pinardi, F. Romahn, M. van Roozendael, R. Lutz, I. De Smedt, P. Stammes, W. Steinbrecht, J. Tamminen, N. Theys, L. G. Tilstra, O. N. E. Tuinder, P. Valks, C. Zerefos, W. Zimmer, and E. Zyrichidou “Overview of the O3M SAF GOME-2 operational atmospheric composition and UV radiation data products and data availability”, Atmos. Meas. Techn., 9, 383-407, 2016.
  16. Luterbacher, J., J P Werner, J E Smerdon, L Fernández-Donado, F J González-Rouco, D. Barriopedro, FC Ljungqvist, U. Büntgen, E. Zorita, S. Wagner, J. Esper, D. McCarroll, A. Toreti, D. Frank, J.H. Jungclaus, M. Barriendos, C. Bertolin, O. Bothe, R. Brázdil, D. Camuffo, P. Dobrovolný, M. Gagen, E. García-Bustamante, Q. Ge, J.J. Gómez-Navarro, J. Guiot, Z. Ha, G.C. Hegerl, K. Holmgren,V.V. Klimenko, J. Martín-Chivelet, C. Pfister, N. Roberts, A. Schindler, A. Schurer, O. Solomina, L. von Gunten, E. Wahl, H. Wanner, O. Wetter, E. Xoplaki, N. Yuan, D. Zanchettin, H. Zhang, C. Zerefos, “European summer temperatures since Roman times”, Environ. Res. Lett. 11, doi:10.1088/1748-9326/11/2/024001, 2016 Selected in the “Highlights of 2016" collection by the Editors of the Journal.
  17. Dafka, S., E. Xoplaki, A. Toreti, P. Zanis, E. Tyrlis, C. Zerefos, J. Luterbacher “The Etesians: from observations to reanalysis”, Climate Dynamics, DOI: 10.1007/s00382-01502920-7, 2015.
  18. Eskes, H., V. Huijnen, A. Arola, A. Benedictow, A.-M. Blechschmidt, E. Botek, O. Boucher, I. Bouarar, S. Chabrillat, E. Cuevas, R. Engelen, H. Flentje, A. Gaudel, J. Griesfeller, L. Jones, J. Kapsomenakis, E. Katragkou, S. Kinne, B. Langerock, M. Razinger, A. Richter, M. Schultz, M. Schulz, N. Sudarchikova, V. Thouret, M. Vrekoussis, A. Wagner, and C. Zerefos, “Validation of reactive gases and aerosols in MACC global analysis and forecast system”, Geosci. Model Dev., 8, 3523-3543, 2015.
  19. Founda, D., F. Pierros, M. Petrakis, C. Zerefos, “Interdecadal variations and trends of the Urban Heat Island in Athens (Greece) and its response to heat waves”, Atmos. Res., 161-162, 2015.
  20. Inness A., A.-M. Blechschmidt, I. Bouarar, S. Chabrillat, M. Crepulja, R. J. Engelen, H. Eskes, J. Flemming, A. Gaudel, F. Hendrick, V. Huijnen, L. Jones, J. Kapsomenakis, E. Katragkou, A. Keppens, B. Langerock, M. de Mazière, D. Melas, M. Parrington, V. H. Peuch, M. Razinger, A. Richter, M. G. Schultz, M. Suttie, V. Thouret, M. Vrekoussis, A. Wagner, and C. Zerefos, “Data assimilation of satellite-retrieved ozone, carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide with ECMWF’s Composition-IFS”, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 15, 5275–5303, 2015.
  21. Kalabokidis, K., P. Palaiologou, E. Gerasopoulos, C. Giannakopoulos, E. Kostopoulou, C. Zerefos, “Effect of climate change projections on forest fire behaviour and values-at-risk in southwestern Greece”, Forests, 6(6): 2214-2240, 2015.
  22. Katragkou, E., P. Zanis, A. Tsikerdekis, J. Kapsomenakis, D. Melas, H. Heskes, J. Flemming, V. Huijnen, A. Inness, M.G. Schultz, O. Stein, C.S. Zerefos “Evaluation of near surface ozone over Europe from the MACC reanalysis”, Geosci. Model Dev., 8, 2299-2314, 2015.
  23. Raptis, P.I., S. Kazadzis, K. Eleftheratos, P. Kosmopoulos, V. Amiridis, C. Helmis, C. Zerefos, “Total Ozone Column Measurements using an Ultraviolet Multifilter Radiometer”, Inter. J. of Rem. Sens., 36:17, 4469-4482, DOI: 10.1080/01431161.2015.1083631, 2015.
  24. Voloudakis, D., A. Karamanos, G. Economou, D. Kalivas, P. Vahamidis, V. Kotoulas, J. Kapsomenakis C. Zerefos, “Prediction of climate change impacts on cotton yields in Greece under eight climatic models using the AquaCrop crop simulation model and discriminant function analysis”, Agr. Water Man., 147, 116-128, 2015.
  25. Wagner, A., A.M. Blechschmidt, I. Bouarar, E.G. Brunke, C. Lerbaux, M. Cupeiro, P. Cristofanelli, H. Eskes, J. Flemming, H. Flentje, M. George, S. Gilge, A. Hilboll, A. Inness, J. Kapsomenakis, A. Richter, L. Ries, W. Spangl, O. Stein, R. Weller, C. Zerefos “Evaluation of the MACC operational forecast system potential and challenges of global near-real-time modelling with respect to reactive gases in the troposphere”, Atmos. Chem. Phys, 14005-14030, http://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/15/14005/2015/, doi: 10.5194/acp-15-14005-2015.

Information and contact

Secretary General, Academy of Athens; Climate Envoy for Greece; Head, Research Centre for Atmospheric Physics and Climatology, Academy of Athens, Greece,

Panepistimiou 28, 10679
Tel.: +30 210 3626717

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Tel.: +30 210 8832048

e-mail: zerefos@geol.uoa.gr

Web: www.christoszerefos.com