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Nobel laureate teaches the tricky work of talking about climate change

When Mario Molina won the Nobel Prize in 1995 for his research on CFCs, the award came with a new responsibility: To communicate science and influence policy.

Stopping an environmental disaster before it’s too late. How UC research sounded the alarm on the ozone layer.

In 1974, two experts in atmospheric chemistry from UC Irvine, Mario Molina and F. Sherwood Rowland, made international headlines with their discovery that the widespread use of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in aerosol spray cans was destroying the Earth’s ozone layer, the shield that protects us from harmful ultraviolet radiation.


Throughout the training, participants had the opportunity to learn from renowned speakers, such as chemist Dr. Mario Molina, who was the first Mexico-born person to win the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1995. Dr. Molina, who is now a professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of California San Diego, gave an insightful presentation on science and policy and reminded trainees about society’s responsibility to tackle climate change.

UC San Diego Nobel Laureate in Chemistry Named to California Hall of Fame – SIO

Gov. Edmund G. “Jerry” Brown and First Lady Anne Gust Brown, in partnership with the California Museum, recently announced inductees of the 11th Class of the California Hall of Fame. Among the new members is Mario Molina, a University of California San Diego distinguished professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemisty and Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

The Montreal Protocol: triumph by treaty – UNEP

By Mario Molina, Nobel Prize Laureate in Chemistry and Durwood Zaelke, President, Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development.

Clouds’ warming potential is frightening researchers – E&E News

The signatories of the study suggesting that global warming threatens the human race included policymakers and scientists from China, India, Europe, Australia and leading U.S. universities. Mario Molina, a Nobel Prize winner who co-authored it, predicted that “we have less than a decade to put these solutions in place.”

The Earth’s ozone hole is shrinking and is the smallest it has been since 1988 – Washington Post

“It’s extremely rewarding, because it was originally just a scientific effort, and then we were able to convince society that it was a problem — here’s what would happen if we do not deal with it,” said chemist Mario Molina, who had an integral role in the discovery of the ozone hole and who was awarded a Nobel Prize for his research in 1995.

Climate change consensus is politics — debate is science – The Hill

In 1974, Mario Molina and F. Sherwood Rowland published a scientific paper showing that CFCs high in the stratosphere could be broken down chemically, releasing atoms of chlorine. One tiny atom of chlorine in the lower stratosphere can destroy 100,000 molecules of ozone.

New Climate Risk Classification Created to Account for Potential “Existential” Threats – SIO

A “three-lever” mitigation strategy of emissions control and carbon sequestration report was produced by the Committee to Prevent Extreme Climate Change, chaired by Ramanathan, Nobel Prize winner Mario Molina of UC San Diego, and Durwood Zaelke, who leads an advocacy organization, the Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development, with 30 experts from around the world including China and India.

Research on chlorofluorocarbons designated a chemical landmark – C&EN

Until Rowland and Molina’s discovery, CFCs had been widely used as refrigerant gases and as propellants in aerosol sprays. Being chemically inert, they were a welcome alternative to the toxic and flammable compounds previously used in refrigeration and air-conditioning systems, such as ammonia, chloromethane, propane, and sulfur dioxide.

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