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Newly discovered greenhouse gas '7,000 times more powerful than CO2'

RATE THIS! +31
Posted in Science on 11th Dec, 2013 11:29 PM by AlexMuller

A new greenhouse gas that is 7,000 times more powerful than carbon dioxide at warming the Earth has been discovered by researchers in Toronto. The newly discovered gas, perfluorotributylamine (PFTBA), has been in use by the electrical industry since the mid-20th century.

 
The chemical, that does not occur naturally, breaks all records for potential impacts on the climate, said the researchers at the University of Toronto's department of chemistry.
 
"We claim that PFTBA has the highest radiative efficiency of any molecule detected in the atmosphere to date," said Angela Hong, one of the co-authors.
 
The study, published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, found PFTBA was 7,100 times more powerful at warming the Earth over a 100-year time span than CO2.
 
Concentrations of PFTBA in the atmosphere are low – 0.18 parts per trillion in the Toronto area – compared to 400 parts per million for carbon dioxide. So PFTBA does not in any way displace the burning of fossil fuels such as oil and coal as the main drivers of climate change. Dr Drew Shindell, a climatologist at Nasa's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, said:
 
"This is a warning to us that this gas could have a very very large impact on climate change – if there were a lot of it. Since there is not a lot of it now, we don't have to worry about it at present, but we have to make sure it doesn't grow and become a very large contributor to global warming.".

Tags: climate changeglobal warmingCO2greenhouse gasesnatureenvironmentPerfluorotributylamine

Read original article » Back to category

Comments

Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-12-12
+1
Very important discovery. Just imagine that we did not find out about the effect of PFTBA and started to use it a lot, now we can prevent this
2 Replies
Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-12-12
+0
This discovery is important and the effects of the gas on both human health and the environment will need to be studied. Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-12-12
+0
Now when scientists from the University of Toronto have discovered this new greenhouse gas that might have the highest global warming impact of any compound to date, one is concerned are we going to find another one or even more Reply
Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-12-12
+2
As any other greenhouse gas, PFTBA absorbs infrared radiation, which is released from the surface of the Earth. But it is so potent - they say "a single molecule of PFTBA has the equivalent climate impact as 7,100 molecules of CO2”. Indeed, good that we found out Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-12-12
+1
It was also important to establish that the lifetime of PFTBA is relatively large, and consequently it will continue to accumulate in the atmosphere. So we need to stop its production. Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-12-12
+1
It is a god thing that there are international talks on climate change topics and no one would like to stop further talks and agreements. However, this remains very complex and difficult and we should not relax this effort
3 Replies
Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-12-12
+0
At a recent conference the problem was that China and India clashed with the developed countries by insisting that rich countries continue to operate under stricter standards than poor countries. Avoiding impacts on economic growth seem to be the main goal for all involved Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-12-12
+0
Climate financing is hard to agree on. Rich countries have promised to help developing nations make their economies greener and to adapt to rising sea levels, desertification and other climate impacts. They have provided billions of dollars in climate financing in recent year Reply
Reply


 

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