Crutzen, Paul Jozef

Crutzen, Paul Jozef, 1933–2021, Dutch atmospheric chemist, grad. Univ. of Stockholm (Ph.D. 1968, D.Sc. 1973). After working (1977–80) for the National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colo., and teaching (1976–81) at Colorado State Univ., he joined (1980) the faculty at the Max-Planck-Institute for Chemistry, Mainz, Germany, where he has been a professor emeritus since 2000. He, Mario Molina, and Sherwood Rowland shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1995 for their contributions to the understanding of atmospheric chemistry, in particular the formation and decomposition of ozone in the ozone layer. Crutzen showed that nitrogen oxides resulting from the decay of nitrous oxide react catalytically with atmospheric ozone (O3) to produce oxygen (O2). In 2000, Dr. Crutzen introduced the term “Anthropocene” as a suggested name for the current geological period, to indicate that we live in a time when the planet’s state is deeply influenced by human action.

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