What's Geni? Endorsements Global Issues Library Policy Projects Support GENI
 een wereldwijd elektriciteitsnet een oplossing voor veel problemen  GENI es una institución de investigación y educación-enfocada en la interconexión de rejillas de electricidad entre naciones.  ??????. ????????????????????????????????????  nous proposons la construction d’un réseau électrique reliant pays et continents basé sur les ressources renouvelables  Unser Planet ist mit einem enormen Potential an erneuerbaren Energiequellen - Da es heutzutage m` glich ist, Strom wirtschaftlich , können diese regenerativen Energiequellen einige der konventionellen betriebenen Kraftwerke ersetzen.  한국어/Korean  utilizando transmissores de alta potência em áreas remotas, e mudar a força via linha de transmissões de alta-voltagem, podemos alcançar 7000 quilómetros, conectando nações e continentes    
Add news to your site >>

About Us

Emissions of Potent Greenhouse Gas Increase Despite Reduction Efforts

Byproduct of refrigerant chemicals remains in the atmosphere 300 years

Jun 27, 2010 - NOAA

Drilling rig in the snow

The drilling rig and apparatus neded to drill the hole into the snow and into which the sampling tubes are inserted.

High resolution (Credit: NOAA)

Despite a decade of efforts worldwide to curb its release into the atmosphere, NOAA and university scientists have measured increased emissions of a greenhouse gas that is thousands of times more efficient at trapping heat than carbon dioxide and persists in the atmosphere for nearly 300 years.

The substance HFC-23, or trifluoromethane, is a byproduct of chlorodifluoromethane, or HCFC-22, a refrigerant in air conditioners and refrigerators and a starting material for producing heat and chemical-resistant products, cables and coatings.

“Without the international effort to reduce emissions of HFC-23, its emissions and atmospheric abundance would have been even larger in recent years,” said Stephen Montzka, a NOAA research chemist and lead author of the collaborative study between NOAA and university scientists. “As it was, emissions in 2006-2008 were about 50 percent above the 1990-2000 average.”

The study, “Recent increases in global HFC-23 emissions,” is scheduled to be published January 29 in Geophysical Research Letters.


Canisters filled with air pumped from the snowpack.

High resolution (Credit: NOAA)

HFC-23 is one of the most potent greenhouse gases emitted as a result of human activities. Over a 100-year time span, one pound of HFC-23 released into the atmosphere traps heat 14,800 times more effectively than one pound of carbon dioxide. To date, the total accumulated emission of HFC-23 is small relative to other greenhouse gases, making this gas a minor (less than one percent) contributor to climate change at present.

Because HFC-23 is such a potent greenhouse gas, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has facilitated the destruction of substantial quantities of HFC-23 in developing countries since 2003. The study by Montzka and colleagues shows for the first time that even with these actions HFC-23 emissions from developing countries remained substantial compared to recent years.

The Montreal Protocol, which is the international agreement that phases out ozone-depleting substances, requires the end of HCFC-22 production by 2020 in developed countries and 2030 in developing counties for uses that result in the HCFC-22 escaping to the atmosphere. This Protocol does not restrict HCFC-22 production in the synthesis of fluoropolymers or the HFC-23 that is co-produced. The future atmospheric abundance of HFC-23 and its contribution to future climate change depends on amounts of HCFC-22 produced and the success of programs to reduce emissions of the co-generated HFC-23.

The holes cut into the ice

An example of the holes cut into the ice from which samples are collected--this particular hole has three sampling tubes.

High resolution (Credit: NOAA)

Scientists measured air collected from above the snow surface and down to 380 feet below the snow surface during field studies in Antarctica in 2001, 2005 and 2009. Using these results, they were able to determine how amounts of HFC-23 and other gases affecting climate and stratospheric ozone have changed in the recent past. The first published measurements of HFC-23 appeared in 1998 but this was the first time scientists examined how HFC-23 emissions have changed since 1996, particularly in developing nations and since the UNFCCC’s projects to reduce emissions began in 2003.

Monitoring changes in the atmospheric abundance of greenhouse gases and assessing their implications are essential for predicting and understanding climate change and represent important aspects of NOAA’s climate services. This study was supported in part by NOAA’s Climate Program Office and the National Science Foundation.

NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources. Visit us on Facebook.

Note to Editors:
Reporters may contact Jana Goldman (jana.goldman@noaa.gov) or Maria-Jose Vinas (mjvinas@agu.org for a copy of the paper: Recent increases in global FHC-23 emissions by S.A. Montzka, L. Kuijpers, M.O.Battle, M. Aydin, K. Verhulst, E.S. Saltzman, D.W.Fahey


Updated: 2016/06/30

If you speak another language fluently and you liked this page, make a contribution by translating it! For additional translations check out FreeTranslation.com (Voor vertaling van Engels tot Nederlands) (For oversettelse fra Engelsk til Norsk)
(Для дополнительных переводов проверяют FreeTranslation.com )