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Prof. Karle's and Prof Crutzen's Nobel Laureate Lecture Series: A recent update

Scenes at Prof. Karle's lecture

Prof. Karle's and Prof Crutzen's Nobel Laureate Lecture Series: A recent update

On Wednesday, December 3, 2003, Prof. Paul Crutzen's lecture on the subject of 'The Antarctic Ozone Hole - A Manmade Chemical Instability of the Stratosphere - What should we learn from it?,' was held at AIT under the auspices of the International Peace Foundation, in partnership with various national organizations, institutions and enterprises in Thailand. It was the second in a series of the Nobel Laureates' and Eminent Person's Lectures at AIT following Prof. Jerome Karle's lecture titled 'The Role of Science and Technology in Quest for a World at Peace' on November 26, 2003.

For those who have missed Prof. Jerome Karle's lecture, instructions for viewing lectures online, as well as future listings and lecture archives, are at http://www.dec.ait.ac.th/main/nobel/nobel.html

In a summary, Prof. Crutzen noted: 'The discovery of the spring time stratospheric ozone hole by scientists of the British Antarctic Survey was one of the greatest surprises in the history of the atmospheric sciences. It was not predicted and initially unexplained. After intensive research efforts by many international scientific teams it has been clearly demonstrated that the observed rapid ozone depletions are due to catalytic reactions involving chlorine atoms and chlorine oxide molecules, more than 80% of which are produced by the photochemical breakdown of industrial chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) gases.'

Scenes at Prof. Crutzen's lecture

In the lecture, Prof. Crutzen presented the processes that lead to the ozone depletions. 'Since 1996, by international agreements, the production of CFC products is forbidden in the industrial world. However, despite this laudable measure, it will take some 50 years before the ozone hole will have closed. Some scientists believe that it might take even longer,' he said. For those who have attended, anyone would agree that he showed that mankind has been very lucky and that things could have been much worse. <