On what would have been his 80th birthday, Google honored with a doodle special to the late Mexican-American chemist Mario Molinawinner of a Nobel Prize in 1995 thanks to his efforts and investigations that were key in the defense of the environment and the ozone layer in particular.
Molina’s works made the population and governments of the world aware of the damages of the global warming produced by human activity and the need to save the planet’s ozone layer. In addition, he became an adviser to two well-known presidents, one Mexican and the other American.
Who was Mario Molina
A few years after his birth – on March 19, 1943 in Mexico City – the Nobel laureate already showed a deep interest in science. While other boys carried out activities typical of children, Molina spent his time in the makeshift laboratory that he had set up in his room.
There he would explore and take his first steps in science, watching microorganisms move through his toy microscope.
Son of a Mexican ambassador to Australia, the Philippines and Ethiopia –Roberto Felix Molina Pasquel–, the curious young man took his first tertiary steps in the National Autonomous University of Mexicowhere it was received from chemical engineer in 1965.
But then he continued to specialize: he did a graduate in germanyin the University of Freiburg. After living for a time in Paris and returning to the capital of Mexico, Molina entered the program of Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the University of California, Berkeleywhere he met the researcher Frank Sherwood Rowlandwho would later share the Nobel Prize with him.
His discoveries in science and chemistry
Until their work was internationally recognized, Molina and Sherwood Rowland were trying to show the harm that Chlorofluorocarbon gases (CFCs) produced in the ozone layer of the planet, although without much attention from the scientific community.
Molina was one of the first to discover the existence of these damages. Research he had begun in the 1970s showed that CFCs, which are expelled from devices such as air conditioning, aerosols, and other products, break down ozone and allow UV rays to reach the earth’s surface.
Little by little, his studies were gaining place in the nature magazine and in parallel, came the recognition.
His legacy and accolades
He October 11, 1995Molina and his partner obtained the Nobel Prize in Chemistry For his job. He was also awarded the Dutch Paul J Crutzenwho discovered that these gases also do not break down in the ozone layer.
The Mexican became an adviser on issues of science, technology, climate and environment for the government of the Enrique Pena Nieto and also, in 2008, of the American president Barack Obama.
Molina’s efforts were worth it: after his investigations there were multiple advances in climate matters, such as the signing of the Montreal Protocol, a treaty that bans the production of ozone-depleting chemicals. This year, the Montreal Protocol Scientific Assessment Panel confirmed that it is making a comeback thanks to awareness of the problem.