George Miller Bourne Dobson
25 February 1889
|Died||10 March 1976(aged 87)|
|Alma mater||University of Cambridge|
|Known for||Brewer–Dobson circulation|
Symons Gold Medal (1939)
Rumford Medal (1942)
Royal Society Bakerian Medal (1945)
Chree medal and prize (1949)
|Institutions||University of Oxford|
Research and career
In 1913 he became an instructor in meteorology at the Central Flying School, and was at the Royal Aircraft Establishment, Farnborough, from 1916 to 1918. In 1921 he was appointed lecturer in meteorology at the University of Oxford, becoming reader in meteorology in 1927, a position he held until 1950, when he became university demonstrator in physics and climatology. He was a fellow of Merton College, Oxford, from 1937 to 1956.
By studying meteorites he noticed that the temperature profile of the tropopause was not constant, as had previously been believed (hence the name stratosphere). In fact there was, he showed, a region where the temperature sharply rose. This, he proposed, was happening because UV radiation was heating ozone in what has become known as the ozone layer.
He noted the connection between sunspots and weather, and measured the ultraviolet levels of our star. He built the first Dobson ozone spectrophotometers and studied the results over many years. The Dobson unit, a unit of measurement of vertically integrated atmospheric ozone density, is named after him. The Brewer-Dobson circulation is a semi-eponymous model of atmospheric currents that explains the distribution of ozone by latitude.
Awards and honours
He won the Chree medal and prize in 1949.
- Houghton, John T.; Walshaw, C. D. (1977). "Gordon Miller Bourne Dobson. 25 February 1889 -- 11 March 1976". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society. 23: 40–57. doi:10.1098/rsbm.1977.0003. ISSN 0080-4606.
- Dobson G. M. B. (1968). "40 Years Research on Atmospheric Ozone at Oxford - A History" (PDF). Applied Optics. 7 (3): 387–405. Bibcode:1968ApOpt...7..387D. doi:10.1364/AO.7.000387. PMID 20068600.
- Dobson G. M. B. (1973). "The laminated structure of the ozone in the atmosphere". Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society. 99 (422): 599–607. doi:10.1256/smsqj.42201.
- Levens, R.G.C., ed. (1964). Merton College Register 1900–1964. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. p. 280.
- G.M.B.Dobson Archived 2006-07-18 at the Wayback Machine
- http://rspa.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/104/725/252.full.pdf[bare URL PDF]
- "Library and Archive Catalogue". Royal Society. Retrieved 20 December 2010.[dead link]
- "Presidents of the Society". Royal Meteorological Society. Archived from the original on 7 February 2012. Retrieved 20 December 2010.