Mario Molina goes beyond Stratosphere

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Obituary to Mario Molina by Fiona Harvey.

Unknown to humanity, in the later decades of the last century an environmental crisis was slowly unfolding in the upper atmosphere. The existence of the ozone layer was proved by chemists in the early 20th century, but as a scientific curiosity rather than a beneficial barrier. A thin layer between the troposphere, in which we live, and the stratosphere, the ozone layer filters out about 99% of harmful ultraviolet light from the sun before it hits the Earth. Exposure to unfiltered ultraviolet light can cause skin cancers, eye damage and weakened immune systems.

What we did not know until the mid 1970s was that chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), chemicals that had come into widespread use as refrigerant gases and aerosol propellants, were reacting unseen with the ozone layer, fatally thinning the Earth’s protective cloak.

Rajendra Shende with Mario Molina at Madrid in 2019

Mario Molina, who has died of a heart attack aged 77, won the Nobel prize for chemistry in 1995, along with F Sherwood Rowland and the Dutch scientist Paul Crutzen, for their work unravelling the impact of CFCs on the ozone layer, and the stark warning they delivered to humanity. Molina and Rowland jointly published a landmark paper in the peer-review journal Nature in 1974 showing the impact of CFCs on ozone.

Read the entire obituary by Fiona Harvey at

Rajendra Shende



2 Comments

avatar

Mário Molina, was one of our light in the scince world.

Today we thank him for all the useful Information that today we are using to save the human being, planeta, he Will be in out memory forever, because we can not talk about ODS and Ozone Layer without mentione his name and names of his colleagues.
The world lost big scientist.

Leonardo Manuel Sulila
National Focal Point
National Ozone Unit
Maputo, Mozambique

avatar

Mário Molina, was one of our light in the scince world.

Today we thank him for all the useful Information that today we are using to save the human being, planet, he Will be in our memory forever, because we can not talk about ODS and Ozone Layer without mentione his name Mário Molina and names of his colleagues.
The world lost big scientist.

Leonardo Manuel Sulila
National Focal Point
National Ozone Unit
Maputo, Mozambique

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