ON THE AGENDA
October 11, 2017
In the scientific community, the big question is not whether action on climate change is required, but what form it should take — and the part that scientists should play. Three Nobel laureates and three early-career researchers gave their thoughts to Nature on the current state of climate action worldwide and the place of science in society.
New Climate Risk Classification Created to Account for Potential “Existential” Threats by UCSD´s Scripps Institution of Oceanography
August 1, 2017
Dr. Mario Molina is co-author of the paper recently featured in PNAS: “Reassessing the atmospheric oxidation mechanism of toluene”.
Aromatic hydrocarbons account for 20 to 30% of volatile organic compounds and contribute importantly to ozone and secondary organic aerosol (SOA) formation in urban environments. The oxidation of toluene, the most abundant aromatic compound, is believed to occur mainly via OH addition, primary organic peroxy radical (RO2) formation, and ring cleavage, leading to ozone and SOA. From combined experimental and theoretical studies, we show that cresol formation is dominant, while primary RO2 production is negligible. Our work reveals that the formation and subsequent reactions of cresols regulate the atmospheric impacts of toluene oxidation, suggesting that its representation in current atmospheric models should be reassessed for accurate determination of ozone and SOA formation. The results from our study provide important constraints and guidance for future modeling studies.
"Reassessing the atmospheric oxidation mechanism of toluene" -PNAS
With concerns about climate change dominating the news (C&EN, June 5, page 14), it’s fitting that the American Chemical Society awarded one of its most recent National Historic Chemical Landmark designation to the 1974 discovery by F. Sherwood Rowland and Mario J. Molina of the University of California, Irvine, that chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) can lead to ozone depletion. Atmospheric ozone helps absorb potentially damaging ultraviolet radiation. Without it, human life cannot survive.
Research on chlorofluorocarbons designated a chemical landmark. Rowland and Molina’s groundbreaking discovery changed the way humans saw their impact on Earth
Nobel Prize-winning chemical engineer Professor Mario Molina is to visit King’s College London on 22 June. Professor Molina, who won the Nobel Prize for chemistry in 1995, will discuss his work on ‘Climate Change: Science, Policy & Risks’ at a special event as he receives an honorary degree from the university.
A new study out of Harvard University reveals that the protective stratospheric ozone layer above the central United States is vulnerable to erosion during the summer months from ozone-depleting chemical reactions, exposing people, livestock and crops to the harmful effects of UV radiation.
Many in the chemical industry were initially opposed and even attempted to discredit the Nobel Prize winning science of Paul Crutzen, Mario Molina, and Sherwood Rowland. Their work was fundamental in identifying why Ozone was being decomposed. Weather Underground’s Dr. Jeff Masters previously wrote an excellent summary of the skeptic tactics during this period.