Professor Paul J. Crutzen, another esteemed champion of ozone layer protection has passed at the age of 87.
He was at the forefront of atmospheric research, specifically the role of ozone in the stratosphere and troposphere. In 1970 Professor Crutzen hypothesized that chemical compounds of nitrogen oxide speed up the destruction of the ozone layer, later demonstrating that nitric acid and water vapour create a chain-reaction in the stratosphere during late winter and spring creating what we now know as the 'ozone hole' over the Antarctic.
He modelled the potential ozone depletion resulting from continued use of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), mostly used in aerosol spray cans and as refrigerants or cleaners. The results were both staggering and catastrophic.
His contribution to science and to the identification of the threat to the ozone layer helped to mobilize global action. This invaluable contribution to ozone research was later acknowledged when Professors Crutzen, Molina and Rowland were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1995.
Professor Crutzen’s pioneering work on the ozone layer, and the impact it had on the world community to act in unison to protect the ozone layer, is a legacy for the future generations to continue with science and action to protect the ozone layer.