The Ozone Layer
1978, Sweden becomes the first nation to curb aerosol sprays to halt CFCs and destruction of the ozone layer.
Paul Crutzen, Mario Molina and Sherwood Rowland have all made pioneering contributions to explaining how ozone is formed and decomposes through chemical processes in the atmosphere. Most importantly, they have in this way showed how sensitive the ozone layer is to the influence of anthropogenic emissions of certain compounds. The thin ozone layer has proved to be an Achilles heel that may be seriously injured by apparently moderate changes in the composition of the atmosphere. By explaining the chemical mechanisms that affect the thickness of the ozone layer, the three researchers have contributed to our salvation from a global environmental problem that could have catastrophic consequences.
Crutzen, Molina, and Rowland were awarded the 1995 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their for their work in atmospheric chemistry, particularly concerning the formation and decomposition of ozone.
Visit the official web site of the Nobel Prize to learn more.
Excerpted with permission, www.nobelprize.org.