- News Home
5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
Since arriving on the island of Guam in the 1940s, the brown tree snake ( Boiga irregularis ) has extirpated native...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
- About Us
Sherwood Rowland, Protector of Ozone, Dead at 84
12 March 2012 12:11 pm
F. Sherwood Rowland, the world's untiring defender of a trace upper-atmosphere gas he made a household word, died Saturday at his home in Corona del Mar, California, of complications from Parkinson's disease.
"He saved the world from a major catastrophe: never wavering in his commitment to science, truth and humanity, and did so with integrity and grace," said dean Kenneth Janda in an e-mail to faculty of the University of California, Irvine, where Rowland was on the faculty since 1964.
Almost 40 years ago, Rowland, universally known as Sherry, and post-doctoral student Mario Molina discovered that each chlorine atom in the chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) propellants spritzed from billions of aerosol cans could go on to destroy catalytically up to 100,000 ozone atoms in the stratosphere. With that ozone the only thing between the sun's savage ultraviolet and life on Earth, the pair took on the job of convincing not only colleagues but governments and the CFC industry that CFCs must be banned. "If not us, who?" Rowland said in 1997. "If not now, when?" In 13 years, CFCs were outlawed by the most successful environmental treaty in history. In 1995, he, Molina, and Paul Crutzen were awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry for their work on ozone.
Rowland led a full life outside of ozone. He graduated from high school at 15; at 6'5'', he played semi-pro baseball; and he leaves his wife, Joan, of nearly 60 years, two children, and two grandchildren. His was an authoritative voice on everything from the dangers of greenhouse gases—especially methane—to cook stove pollution over cities and most recently fumes from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The spill was the subject of the last of his 425 published papers.