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

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus 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.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid