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Elmer Robinson (meteorologist)

Elmer Robinson (October 3, 1924 - April 24, 2016) was an American atmospheric scientist. He was one of the first scientists to recognise risks in fossil fuel burning, co-authoring, with R C Robbins, another Stanford Research Institute (SRI) researcher, a climate change report warning the industry in 1968.

Early lifeEdit

Robinson was born in Los Angeles, California, to Homer Henry Robinson and Mary Luella White. He attended Hoover High School in Glendale and went on to take BS and MS degrees at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).[1]


Robinson joined SRI as a climate researcher in 1947 and continued on there until taking up a professorship at the University of Washington State University in 1972 where he remained until 1985. In his capacity as leading environmental scientist at SRI in 1968, his report on global warming entitled Sources, abundance, and fate of gaseous atmospheric pollutants[2] was presented to the American Petroleum Institute (API).[3] In the report, he warned that rising carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere "may be the cause of serious world-wide environmental changes."[4]

Also while at SRI, Robinson carried out ice-core studies of historical atmospheric CO2 concentrations on cores taken in Greenland and surveyed the ozone layer depletion over Antarctica.[1]

He was director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Mauna Loa Research Observatory in Hawaii from 1985 to 1996.[1]


  1. ^ a b c "Elmer Robinson". Ashland Daily Tidings. 7 May 2016. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  2. ^ "Sources, abundance, and fate of gaseous atmospheric pollutants. Final report and supplement". OSTI. US Department of Energy.
  3. ^ Wiles, Richard (15 March 2018). "It's 50 years since climate change was first seen. Now time is running out". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  4. ^ Smith, Matt (15 April 2016). "The Oil Industry Was Warned About Climate Change in 1968". Vice News. Retrieved 16 March 2018.