prof.dr. Paul Josef Crutzen, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1995

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prof.dr. Paul Josef Crutzen, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1995

Birthplace: Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Nederland (Netherlands)
Death: January 28, 2021 (87)
Immediate Family:

Son of Jozef Crützen and Anna Crutzen
Husband of Private
Father of Private and Private

Occupation: Professor of atmospheric chemistry, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1955
Managed by: Yigal Burstein
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About prof.dr. Paul Josef Crutzen, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1995

Paul Jozef Crutzen (born December 3, 1933, Amsterdam) Dutch atmospheric chemist. Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1995, jointly with Mario J. Molina & F. Sherwood Rowland, "for their work in atmospheric chemistry, particularly concerning the formation and decomposition of ozone".

Crutzen is best known for his research on ozone depletion. He lists his main research interests as “Stratospheric and tropospheric chemistry, and their role in the biogeochemical cycles and climate”. He currently works at the Department of Atmospheric Chemistry at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, in Mainz, Germany the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, and at Seoul National University, South Korea. He was also a long-time adjunct professor at Georgia Institute of Technology and research professor at the department of Meteorology at Stockholm University, Sweden.


This is a partial list.

  • 1976: Outstanding Publication Award, Environmental Research Laboratories, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A.
  • 1984: Rolex-Discover Scientist of the Year.
  • 1985: Recipient of the Leó Szilárd Award for "Physics in the Publics Interest" of the American Physical Society.
  • 1986: Elected to Fellow of the American Geophysical Union
  • 1989: Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement.
  • 1991: Member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences;
  • 1995: Nobel Prize in Chemistry (with Dr. M. Molina and Dr. F. S. Rowland, U.S.A.)
  • 1995: Recipient of the Global Ozone Award for "Outstanding Contribution for the Protection of the Ozone Layer" by United Nations Environment Programme.
  • 1996: Honorary Member of the International Ozone Commission
  • 1999: Foreign Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences
  • 2002: Worldwide most cited author in the Geosciences with 2911 citations from 110 publications during the decade 1991-2001, Institute for Scientific Information


In 2000, in IGBP Newsletter 41, Crutzen and Eugene F. Stoermer, to emphasize the central role of mankind in geology and ecology, proposed using the term anthropocene for the current geological epoch. In regard to its start, they said:

   To assign a more specific date to the onset of the "anthropocene" seems somewhat arbitrary, but we propose the latter part of the 18th century, although we are aware that alternative proposals can be made (some may even want to include the entire holocene). However, we choose this date because, during the past two centuries, the global effects of human activities have become clearly noticeable. This is the period when data retrieved from glacial ice cores show the beginning of a growth in the atmospheric concentrations of several "greenhouse gases", in particular CO2 and CH4. Such a starting date also coincides with James Watt's invention of the steam engine in 1784.

Global warming

Steve Connor, Science Editor of the Independent, wrote: Professor Paul Crutzen, who won a Nobel Prize in 1995 for his work on the hole in the ozone layer, believes that political attempts to limit man-made greenhouse gases are so pitiful that a radical contingency plan is needed. In a polemical scientific essay that was published in the August 2006 issue of the journal Climatic Change, he says that an "escape route" is needed if global warming begins to run out of control.

Professor Crutzen has proposed a method of artificially cooling the global climate by releasing particles of sulphur in the upper atmosphere, which would reflect sunlight and heat back into space. The controversial proposal is being taken seriously by scientists because Professor Crutzen has a proven track record in atmospheric research.

In January 2008, Crutzen published findings that the release of nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions in the production of biofuels means that they contribute more to global warming than fossil fuels.

Nuclear winter

Crutzen was also a leader in promoting the theory of nuclear winter. Together with John Birks he wrote the first publication introducing the subject: "The atmosphere after a nuclear war: Twilight at noon" (1982).

See also: "Paul Crutzen - Autobiography".

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prof.dr. Paul Josef Crutzen, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1995's Timeline

December 3, 1933
Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Nederland (Netherlands)
January 28, 2021
Age 87