Christos S. Zerefos was born in Cairo, Egypt. He graduated in Physics from the University of Athens and obtained MSc in Meteorology and Ph.D. in Physics-Meteorology from the same University. He worked as a post Doctoral researcher at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and at the Data Studies Division, NOAA in Boulder CO, USA, as well as at the National Hellenic Research Foundation, Greece and the Academy of Athens (1973-1978). In 1979 he was elected Professor in the Chair of Atmospheric Physics at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. He has served as Visiting Professor at the Universities of Boston (1983), Minnesota (1985) and as external collaborating Professor with the University of Oslo (since 1995). In 2002 has been elected Professor of Atmospheric Physics at the honorary invitation of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. Holder of the UNESCO Chair for Natural Disasters since 2007. He is the President elect of the International Ozone Commission (IO3C) of IAMAS of ICSU. He has served IO3C as a Member and as a Secretary since 1984. Has served as President of the Balkan Physical Union, Member of the European Physical Society and Member of expert committees with WMO, the European Commission and other national and international fora. He is Member of the Academy of Athens, the Norwegian Academy of Sciences and Letters, the Academia Europaea, the European Academy of Sciences and Arts, the International Academy of Astronautics and other scientific Institutions and intellectual Societies, among which Fellow of the Institute of Physics and Life Member of the American Geophysical Union. In 2005 he was elected President of the National Observatory, Athens, Greece and Member of the National Council for Research and Technology and Chair of the Environment and Energy Division.
His total published work comprises of about 500 research papers in peer reviewed scientific journals and international scientific proceedings. His work has been acknowledged from the scientific community with more than 3500 citations. He has published four text books at University level and he is editor or co-editor of four general reference books by Reidel, Springer-Verlag and Kluwer. He has supervised 52 Masters theses and 25 PhD theses.
He has been involved in almost all WMO/UNEP scientific assessments on ozone depletion and received Letters of Appreciation from UNEP in 1995 and 1998. In 1997 he was awarded the Global Ozone Award from the United Nations Environmental Program for his scientific contribution to the protection of the ozone layer. The Award Ceremony took place on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Montreal Protocol in Montreal, Canada. In 1998 he was awarded the Editors Citation for Excellence in Refereeing by the American Geophysical Union in Boston, USA. In 2006 he was awarded the European Physical Society and Balkan Physical Union Award in recognition of his outstanding contributions to our understanding of the atmospheric environment and to the ideals of BPU and he has also been awarded separately by the Greek and the Turkish Physical Unions. In January and April 2008 he received from UNEP and from IPCC Award Certificate and Letter for his substantial contribution to the reports of IPCC that has shared with Al Gore the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize (He worked as review editor of Chapter 5 of the IPCC Aviation Report). In June 2008 he received Honorary Mention from the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences (Moscow, Russia) and Honorary Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, University division of the American College ANATOLIA, Thessaloniki. Has been named "Great Master Archon" by the Patriarch and Pope of Alexandria in 2007. Has received awards and distinctions from a number of scientific and cultural bodies, including an Award from the University of Thessaloniki, the Ministry of Education of Cyprus, the Gold Medal of the Municipality of Thessaloniki and other.
In the past 30 years Christos Zerefos has created from the very beginning the following Research Centers and Institutions:
1. The Research Center for Atmospheric Physics and Climatology of the Academy of Athens (1978).
2. The Laboratory of Atmospheric Physics, University of Thessaloniki (1981).
3. The World Meteorological Organization Northern Hemisphere Ozone Mapping Center (1991).
4. The Graduate Programme on Environmental Physics, at the Physics Department of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (1991)
5. The Laboratory of Atmospheric Environment, Foundation for Biomedical Research of the Academy of Athens (2003).
6. The UNESCO Chair on Natural Hazards in the Geosphere, the Hydrosphere and the Atmosphere (2006).
7. The Geoastrophysics Museum, National Observatory, Athens, Greece (2008).