24 octubre, 2020

Dr. Mario Molina, one of four Mexican Nobel Prize winners, died this week; he won the award for Chemistry research


Mario Molina Pasquel y Henríquez, Chemistry Nobel Prize 1995, is now in Mexico´s pantheon of universal citizens, altogether with Octavio Paz (Literature 1990), Alfonso García Robles (Peace Prize, 1982) and David Gonzalez Barcena (Medicine, 1977), as the fourth Mexican to win a Nobel Prize, he received his, for his Chemistry research on inert gases, in 1995.

According to Mexico´s Environmental Protection Agency´s (SEMARNAT) press release, he was a universal Mexican who, in a joint research effort with Sherwood Rowland in Cambridge University, discovered that the inert gases, once liberated, lingered in the low atmosphere without reacting with other chemical components, but not in an innocuous manner, when they migrated to the stratosphere, they generated a catastrophic environmental problem: The depletion of the Ozone layer (O3), which protects the earth from the UVB rays.

Thanks to this discovery, the Vienna agreement was signed in 1985, which lately yielded the Montreal Protocol for the Ozone layer protection, which meant the gradual elimination of the substances that harmed the layer, known as SAQ. Nowadays, Mexico is one of the countries that have fulfilled both international commitments. It has eliminated 99% of the SAQ effect, minimizing the ozone layer threats as much as possible.

The body of knowledge that Molina left to the world, regarding air quality and climate change, throughout his career, are without a doubt, the most valuable legacy that any other scientist researcher of his level has ever left to humanity. To honor his memory, vision and sensitivity towards the environment, the SEMARNAT “will keep pushing forward the actions that may lead to the total prohibition of SAQs, his legacy will transcend generation after generation, always aiming to improve the world.

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