Paul J. Crutzen, the leading atmospheric scientist and Nobel prize Laureate passed away on January 28, 2021 at the age of 87.
Born in the Netherlands, Prof. Crutzen was Director of the Atmospheric Chemistry Department at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz from 1980 to 2000. For his pioneering work on how human activities affect our planet and pose a threat to the ozone layer and climate, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1995, together with Mario J. Molina and F. Sherwood Rowland. This knowledge about the causes of ozone depletion was the basis for the worldwide ban on ozone-depleting substances - a hitherto unique example of how Nobel Prize-winning basic research can directly lead to a global political decision.
In addition to studying the ozone layer and climate change, he popularized the term Anthropocene to describe a proposed new era when human actions have a drastic effect on the Earth. He was also amongst the first few scientists to introduce the idea of a nuclear winter to describe the potential climatic effects stemming from large-scale atmospheric pollution including smoke from forest fires, industrial exhausts, and other sources like oil fires.
Professor Crutzen had close ties with The Cyprus Institute and was heavily involved and instrumental in its creation, having subsequently served as Member of its Scientific Advisory Council for many years.
The Board of Trustees of the Cyprus Research and Educational Foundation and the management and staff of The Cyprus Institute express their deep sorrow and extend their sincere condolences to his family.