Edith Farkas


October 20, 2021

Edith Farkas (Hungarian: Farkas Edit Erzsébet) (Gyula, October 13, 1921 - Wellington, February 3, 1993) was an Antarctic researcher, best known for being the first Hungarian woman and also the first member of the female staff of the Service. New Zealand weather station that stepped on Antarctica. He conducted leading research in ozone control for over 30 years.

Early years and education

He was born in Gyula, Hungary. His father was István Kőszegi-Farkas, a writer and journalist; his mother was Erzsébet Csendes. He attended primary and secondary school in Szentgotthárd and Győr. In 1939, Farkas entered the university and graduated in 1944 with a degree in mathematics and physics from Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest. She emigrated to New Zealand as a refugee in 1949, after the war, where she completed a master's degree in physics in 1952 at Victoria University in Wellington.

Career and impact

Farkas was a meteorologist and ozone researcher. She began working as a meteorologist in the research section of the New Zealand Meteorological Service in 1951, where she continued to do so for about 35 years. Farkas monitored ozone from in the 1950s until his retirement in 1986, and conducted world-leading research in the field of ozone control for more than three decades. During the 1960s, her work increasingly focused on the study of atmospheric ozone, including the measurement of total ozone with the Dobson ozone spectrophotometer. She became a member of a small group. international group of atmospheric scientists engaged in the study of the interest of atmospheric ozone in which, at that time, it was largely used as a tracer to aid atmospheric circulation studies. His work contributed substantially to the discovery of the “ozone layer hole” which changed the world’s behavior toward pollution forever. Her interest in the measurement of atmospheric ozone naturally led her to apply her experience to the monitoring of surface ozone as part of air pollution studies and also to the measurement of atmospheric turbidity. 1975 had the opportunity to spend a few months at the Scott and McMurdo research stations on Ross Island, and became the first Hungarian woman to enter the mainland. He tested instruments to control the hole in the ozone layer at the stations and trained the staff who worked there. His World War II diaries form the basis of a book entitled The Farkas Files.

Death and legacy

Farkas was the first woman to receive the Henry Hill Prize from the New Zealand Meteorological Service in 1986, when she retired. She published more than 40 scientific papers and was involved in scientific research, the results of which led to at the signing of the Montreal Protocol in 1987. He received special recognition at the Quadrennial Symposium on Ozone in Germany in 1988 for his 30-year contribution to ozone research. He visited Hungary in 1991, and gave his diary about his period in Antarctica at the Hungarian Geographical Museum, as well as various personal items and other objects related to his career, including some samples of Antarctic rock, photographs and publications. He fought a long battle. against bone cancer, and died in Wellington on February 3, 1993.


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