The International Ozone Commission was established in 1948 as one of the special commissions of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics, who represent the entire community of geophysical scientists around the world. The purpose of the IO3C is to help organize the study of ozone around the world, including ground-based and satellite measurement programs and analyses of the atmospheric chemistry and dynamical processes affecting ozone.
The study of ozone is important because of the large role it plays in protecting the Earth from harmful levels of ultraviolet solar radiation and because of its role as a greenhouse gas in the Earth's climate system. Membership in IO3C is limited to approximately 30 of the leading scientists in the study of atmospheric processes from around the world. Membership is determined by an election of peers. Members serve for four years, with possible renewal for an additional term. The first president of the IO3C was Dr. Gordon Dobson of Oxford University, a famous scientist who was a pioneer in the study of atmospheric ozone.