Google doodle celebrates Mario Molina’s 80th Birthday
Mario Molina’s 80th Birthday: Today’s Google Doodle commemorates the 80th birthday of Dr. Mario Molina, a Mexican chemist who persuaded governments to work together to save the ozone layer. Dr. Molina, a co-winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1995, was one of the scientists who discovered how chemicals deplete the ozone layer, which is essential for protecting humans, plants, and animals from harmful ultraviolet radiation.
Dr. Molina was born in Mexico City on this day in 1943. He was so enthusiastic about science as a youth that he converted his bathroom into a makeshift laboratory. Nothing could compare to the pleasure he felt while observing microscopic organisms pass across his toy microscope.
Dr. Molina received a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the National Autonomous University of Mexico and a doctorate from the University of Freiburg in Germany. After concluding his studies, he relocated to the United States to conduct postdoctoral research at the University of California, Berkeley and then the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Dr. Molina began studying the impact of synthetic compounds on the Earth’s atmosphere in the early 1970s. He was one of the first to realize that chlorofluorocarbons (a chemical found in air conditioners, aerosol sprays, and other products) were depleting the ozone layer and allowing ultraviolet radiation to reach the Earth’s surface. He and his colleagues published their findings in the journal Nature, which eventually earned them the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
The research laid the groundwork for the Montreal Protocol, an international agreement that effectively banned the production of nearly 100 ozone-depleting chemicals. This international alliance is regarded as one of the most significant environmental agreements ever enacted — a precedent demonstrating that governments can effectively collaborate to combat climate change.
Due to Dr. Molina’s crucial scientific discoveries, the ozone layer is projected to recover completely within the next few decades! The Mario Molina Center, a prominent research institution in Mexico, continues his efforts to make the world more sustainable.
Thank you, Dr. Molina, for your years of groundbreaking research that altered the world forever.