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Ozone hole scientist Paul Crutzen dies

GERMANY: Paul Crutzen, the last of the trio of scientists who won the Nobel Prize for discovering the Antarctic ozone hole and the effect of CFC refrigerants, has died.

Crutzen, along with Mario Molina and Frank S Rowland, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1995. Rowland died in 2012 and Molina passed away in October last year. 

Their work led to the international Montreal Protocol agreement in 1987 and the phase out of CFCs, gases that were commonly used as refrigerants and foam propellants.

Born in Amsterdam, Crutzen achieved a PhD in meteorology in 1968 and subsequently taught at the University of Oxford, the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, the University of Chicago and the University of California.

He was appointed director of the Atmospheric Chemistry Department at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz in 1980. He retired in 2000.

Martin Stratmann, president of the Max Planck Institute, described Crutzen as a “pioneer” in being the first to show how human activities damage the ozone layer.

“Paul’s death shakes us deeply. His boundless scientific curiosity and his charismatic personality have shaped not only me and our institute, but many generations of scientists,” said the Institute’s MD Jos Lelieveld. “Even after his retirement he remained scientifically active for many years into old age. We’re losing a close friend. We will miss him very much and our thoughts will be with his wife and family.”

Related stories:

Mario Molina, the ozone layer saviour, dies8 October 2020
MEXICO: Dr Mario Molina, who played a pivotal role in the discovery of the Antarctic ozone hole and identified the threat from CFC refrigerants, has died. He was 77. Read more…

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