Ralph Cicerone, a distinguished UC Irvine scientist who conducted pioneering research into global warming and the depletion of Earth’s ozone layer before taking the helm as the university’s fourth chancellor, died Saturday. He was 73.
His family did not release a cause of death, UC Irvine spokeswoman Cathy Lawhon said. William Kearney, director of media relations for the Washington-based National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, said Cicerone died unexpectedly at his home in Short Hills, N.J.
Cicerone was an internationally renowned researcher heralded for work that revealed organic compounds called chlorofluorocarbons, methane and other trace gases were on track to surpass carbon dioxide as the main greenhouse gases driving global warming.
His research proved influential in developing environmental policies worldwide.