Contributions To Knowledge Date: March 4, 1996
(The Scientist, Vol:10, #5, pg.9 & 12, March 4, 1996)
(Copyright ©, The Scientist, Inc.)

In December, Paul Crutzen, Mario Molina, and F. Sherwood Rowland received the 1995 Nobel Prize in chemistry for their work toward understanding how stratospheric ozone is naturally produced and destroyed and wherein human activities are capable of reducing worldwide ozone. The many other scientists who contributed atmospheric observations, laboratory measurements, and theoretical developments toward the same goal surely join me in celebrating the receipt of the Nobel Prize by these three leaders.

Although ozone represents less than one part per million of the global atmosphere, it is the primary filter that determines how much biologically damaging solar ultraviolet-B radiation reaches the ground. As a general rule, at any latitude the annual average ultraviolet-B radiation would increase if the annual average overhead ozone should decrease. About 90 percent of...

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