Google Sunday marked the 80th birthday of Mexican chemist Mario Molina who played a very significant part in bringing awareness on the depletion of earth’s ozone layer to the world.
He was successful in bringing several governments together for the cause of preventing the depletion of the ozone layer. Molina was one of the researchers (along with Paul J Crutzen and F Sherwood Roland) who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1995 for his work on exposing how chemicals deplete Earth’s ozone shield.
It was in the early 1970s that Molina began his research on how synthetic chemicals impact Earth’s atmosphere. He was also one of the first to discover that chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) were breaking down the ozone and causing ultraviolet radiation to reach the surface of the earth.
This research resulted in the Montreal Protocol – a multilateral agreement that regulates the production and consumption of man-made chemicals or ozone-depleting substances (ODS).
However, his passion for science went a long way back. It is said that once he even turned his bathroom into a makeshift laboratory.
After completing his bachelor’s and advanced degrees from the National Autonomous University of Mexico and the University of Freiburg, he went on to do postdoctoral research at the University of California, and later at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.