Google remembered him as a co-recipient of the 1995 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, and one of the researchers who exposed how chemicals deplete Earth’s ozone shield, which is vital to protecting humans, plants, and wildlife from harmful ultraviolet light.
Dr Molina was born on this day in 1943 in Mexico City. As a child, he was so passionate about science that he turned his bathroom into a makeshift laboratory. Nothing could compare to the joy of watching tiny organisms glide across his toy microscope.
Dr Molina went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the National Autonomous University of Mexico, and an advanced degree from the University of Freiburg in Germany. After completing his studies, he moved to the United States to conduct postdoctoral research at the University of California, Berkeley, and later at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
In the early 1970s, Dr Molina began researching how synthetic chemicals impact Earth’s atmosphere. He was one of the first to discover that chlorofluorocarbons (a chemical found in air conditioners, aerosol sprays, and more) were breaking down the ozone and causing ultraviolet radiation to reach Earth’s surface. He and his co-researchers published their findings in the Nature journal, which later won them the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
The groundbreaking research became the foundation of the Montreal Protocol, an international treaty that successfully banned the production of nearly 100 ozone-depleting chemicals. This international alliance is considered one of the most impactful environmental treaties ever made — a precedent that shows governments can work together effectively to tackle climate change.
Dr Molina is remembered for his critical scientific discoveries for which the planet’s ozone layer is on track to fully recover in the next few decades. The Mario Molina Centera leading research institute in Mexico, carries on his work to create a more sustainable world.
Watch Google celebrates 80th birthday of Mexican chemist Dr Mario Molina with Doodle