Published on: March 21, 2023

Mario Molina

Mario Molina

Why in news? Google Doodle celebrates the 80th birthday of Dr. Mario Molina, a Mexican chemist who successfully convinced governments to come together to save the planet’s ozone layer.


  • Molina was born on 19 March in 1943 in Mexico City.
  • As a child, he was so passionate about science that he turned his bathroom into a makeshift laboratory

What are his contributions?

  • In the early 1970s, Dr Molina began researching how synthetic chemicals impact Earth’s atmosphere.
  • He was one of the first to discover that chlorofluorocarbons were breaking down the ozone and causing ultraviolet radiation to reach the Earth’s surface.
  • He and his co-researchers published their findings in the Nature journal, which won them the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1995.
  • The groundbreaking research became the foundation of the Montreal Protocol, an international treaty that successfully banned the production of nearly 100 ozone-depleting chemicals.
  • Montreal protocol, an international alliance is considered one of the most impactful environmental treaties ever made a precedent that shows governments can work together effectively to tackle climate change.
  • In 2013, President Barack Obama also awarded Dr Molina the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honour in the US.

About Montreal Protocol

  • The Montreal Protocol is an international treaty designed to protect the ozone layer by phasing out the production of numerous substances that are responsible for ozone depletion.
  • Regulates the consumption and production of nearly 100 man-made chemicals, or ‘ozone-depleting substances’ (ODS).
  • It was agreed on 16 September 1987, and entered into force on 1 January 1989
  • This treaty has proven to be innovative and successful, and is the first treaty to achieve universal ratification by all countries in the world.