News / Science & Technology

Scientists Discover Super Greenhouse Gas

FILE - In this Jan. 19, 2012 file photo, smoke rises in this time exposure image from the stacks of the La Cygne Generating Station coal-fired power plant in La Cygne, Kansas.FILE - In this Jan. 19, 2012 file photo, smoke rises in this time exposure image from the stacks of the La Cygne Generating Station coal-fired power plant in La Cygne, Kansas.
x
FILE - In this Jan. 19, 2012 file photo, smoke rises in this time exposure image from the stacks of the La Cygne Generating Station coal-fired power plant in La Cygne, Kansas.
FILE - In this Jan. 19, 2012 file photo, smoke rises in this time exposure image from the stacks of the La Cygne Generating Station coal-fired power plant in La Cygne, Kansas.

Related Articles

Video Proposed Pollution Rules Rattle US Power Industry

Nationwide public comment tour adds fuel to emissions debate

Multimedia High-Intensity 'Megafires' a New Global Danger

Drought, land use and a build up of fuel are some of the major factors behind the growth in megafires

Study Links Arctic Melting, Extreme Weather

Te loss of ice and snow is affecting the jet stream, which in turn affects weather patterns around the Northern Hemisphere.
VOA News
Scientists say they have discovered a man-made greenhouse gas 7,100 times as strong as carbon dioxide. More bad news: It has a lifetime of hundreds of years.

Researchers at the University of Toronto in Canada say the chemical – perfluorotributylamine (PFTBA) – is the most radiatively efficient chemical found to date, breaking all other chemical records for its potential to impact climate.

According to Angela Hong, who worked on the project, "radiative efficiency" describes how well a molecule can trap outgoing heat radiation from Earth. This metric indicates the potential for a molecule to impact climate.

“As it turns out, PFTBA has the highest radiative efficiency of all molecules in the atmosphere to date,” she said in an email.

PFTBA has been in use since the mid-20th century for various applications in electrical equipment and is currently used in thermally and chemically stable liquids marketed for use in electronic testing and as heat transfer agents.

Researchers say there are no known processes that would destroy or remove PFTBA in the lower atmosphere, meaning it could have a lifetime of hundreds of years.

Carbon dioxide is used as the baseline for comparison since it is the most important greenhouse gas responsible for human-induced climate change.

“Calculated over a 100-year timeframe, a single molecule of PFTBA has the equivalent climate impact as 7,100 molecules of CO2,” said Hong.

The results of the study appeared in the Geophysical Research Letters on November 27, 2013.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Pete Finnegan
December 11, 2013 8:44 PM
Yeah, but -- how much of it is there in the atmosphere? Wouldn't it be illegal to emit it into the atmosphere? The article doesn't answer important questions. More fear-mongering with incomplete information.

In Response

by: Pete Finnegan
December 17, 2013 10:11 AM
In reply to Todd St. Pierre: Whether the information is left incomplete due to a lack of intellectual rigor or due to laziness, the effect is the same. The article does not hesitate to make note of this chemical's "bad news" potential of remaining for "hundreds of years", and that "radiative efficiency" means how much a molecule can "impact climate". It does note that the chemical is "currently used in thermally and chemically stable liquids", which may be interpreted as saying that there is no danger, just after describing all of those potential dangers. This is another article with an agenda. It is meant to alarm the casual reader. Making excuses for the way it is written is like giving a trophy for participating. Also, and by the way, the photo caption says the stacks are emitting smoke, when it is obvious that it is steam. This is common tactic of the warmist crowd.

In Response

by: Todd St. Pierre from: San Diego CA
December 17, 2013 12:43 AM
Fear mongering? Yes, the article is incomplete, but perhaps a response of "more research needed" would add a more constructive direction, instead of conjuring denialist ignorance.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid