Roger Revelle

by Steve Graham • June 19, 2000

 Roger Revelle Some material reprinted with permission from the Scripps Institute of Oceanography Archives.

Once described by the New York Times as "one of the world's most articulate spokesmen for science" and "an early predictor of global warming," Roger Revelle was a giant in American science who accomplished enough during his eighty-two years to distinguish several lifetimes.

Revelle first made his mark in oceanography—as a scientist, explorer, and administrator—and went on to become a senior spokesman for science, giving counsel in areas ranging from the environment and education to agriculture and world population. He was one of the first scientists to recognize the effects of rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide on the Earth's surface temperature.

Born in Seattle, Washington, on March 7, 1909, Revelle was raised in Pasadena, California, and was identified as a gifted student early in his academic career. In 1925, Revelle entered Pomona College with an interest in journalism, but later turned to geology as his major field of study. In 1928, Revelle met Ellen Virginia Clark, a student at the neighboring Scripps College and a grandniece of Scripps College founder Ellen Browning Scripps. They were married in 1931.

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On the Shoulders of Giants
Roger Revelle
Early Career
Public Policy
Links and References

Top: A portrait of Roger Revelle. (Drawing by Roger Kammerer)