(City of Mexico, 1943) Mexican scientist specialized in atmospheric chemistry that investigated the effects of CFCS on the ozone layer. Of the transcendence of his studies attest the signature in 1994 of an international Protocol which banned the manufacture of CFC and the prize Nobel Prize in chemistry that was awarded in 1995.
During the 1960's, he studied at the Faculty of chemistry of the University national autonomous of Mexico. He made postgraduate studies in Germany, and obtained the doctorate at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1972. Linked to the Massachusetts Institute of technology since 1989, it acquired United States citizenship and was appointed Professor in 1997.
In addition to his teaching work, he made a successful work of research, being interested, above all, for the environmental problem. Molina became a scientist renowned for his contributions to the understanding of the chemical nature of the Earth's atmosphere, in particular of the stratosphere. He was one of the first scientists in alerting the world to the danger posed to the ozone layer chlorofluorocarbons (CFCS) used in aerosols, refrigerants and solvents, so much industrial use as domestic.
Molina and his American colleague F. Sherwood Rowland were not limited to the thinning of the ozone layer over Antarctica. In 1974 they reported his theories in an article in the journal Nature. For researchers, the chlorofluorocarbons (CFCS), that had been used since 1940 in applications such as those mentioned, were destroying stratospheric ozone. Such layer protects living beings from lethal ultraviolet rays coming from the Sun, which justified the alarm and the need to take action. However, his warnings were at that time despised and considered excessive by a sector of researchers.
Since 1974 it reported their findings on this matter and advised companies and public and private institutions. Since its discovery affected interests of powerful chemical companies, Molina and Rowland had to defend his theory to society and politicians. In the end, the big manufacturers of this "wonderful substance", as it came to be considered by its chemical stability, recognized the fact.
In 1994 signed a protocol in Montreal: the Nations CFC manufacturers committed themselves to stop production and replace it with other compounds less harmful to the environment. In 1995, the Royal Swedish Academy Nobel Prize in chemistry awarded to Mario Molina for their work in atmospheric chemistry, award shared with F. Sherwood Rowland and Paul Crutzen Dutch. The latter had described in 1970, independently and complementary, the destructive effects on ozone of the polluting gases. The same year in which he received the Nobel Prize, the programme of the United Nations for the environment (UNEP) also awarded to three scientists for his contribution to the protection of the ozone layer.