For years, the chemical compounds utilized in hair spray and fridges wreaked havoc on the ozone layer, the protecting shroud that shields us from the solar’s dangerous ultraviolet radiation. But it surely wasn’t till 1974 that individuals began to take discover.
That was the 12 months that Mexican scientist Mario Molina printed a analysis paper that confirmed chlorofluorocarbons — broadly utilized in fridge coolants, spray paint, deodorant sprays and different aerosol merchandise — had been depleting the ozone layer. The implications had been dire, for with out the ozone layer to assist shield us from the solar, our planet would not be liveable. His analysis helped change world environmental coverage.
To honor Molina’s pioneering efforts to fight an environmental catastrophe, Google devoted its Doodle to Molina on the Nobel Prize-winning scientist’s eightieth birthday.
Born on March 19, 1943, in Mexico Metropolis, Molina was drawn to science at a younger age, changing a rest room in his residence right into a makeshift laboratory for his chemistry units.
“I used to be already fascinated by science earlier than coming into highschool,” Molina wrote in a biography on the Nobel website. “I nonetheless bear in mind my pleasure once I first glanced at paramecia and amoebae via a reasonably primitive toy microscope.”
After being despatched to a Swiss boarding faculty on the age of 11, Molina returned to Mexico to review chemical engineering program on the Nationwide Autonomous College of Mexico earlier than incomes a doctorate in bodily chemistry from the College of California, Berkeley, in 1972.
A 12 months later, whereas working with F. Sherwood Rowland of the College of California at Irvine, Molina discovered that CFCs within the higher environment might be damaged down by ultraviolet radiation, releasing chlorine atoms, which destroy ozone molecules. Their findings had been printed within the journal Nature in 1974.
Their findings had been denounced by industries that depend on CFCs, with one firm’s government alleging that the pair’s idea was “orchestrated by the Ministry of Disinformation of the KGB.” However in 1985, British researchers found an enormous gap within the ozone layer over Antarctica.
That discovering led governments world wide to return collectively within the Eighties and signal a treaty known as the Montreal Protocol to section out using ozone-damaging substances. Science journal known as the accord “probably the most profitable worldwide effort to struggle local weather change and environmental degradation.”
For his or her work, Molina and Rowland shared the 1995 Nobel Prize for Chemistry with Paul J. Crutzen of the Max Planck Institute in Germany. In saying the award, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences stated the researchers “have contributed to our salvation from a world environmental drawback that would have catastrophic penalties.”
In 2013, President Barack Obama awarded Molina the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the very best civilian honor within the US.
Molina died of a coronary heart assault in 2020 on the age of 77.