Green Car Congress  
Go to GCC Discussions forum About GCC Contact  RSS Subscribe Twitter headlines

« Volkswagen Group’s new Future Tracks program targeting digitalization era in auto industry; “James 2025” | Main | Traffic-related air pollution associated with changes in right ventricular structure and function »

Print this post

Researchers identify four new man-made gases contributing to destruction of ozone layer

10 March 2014

A study by an international team led by scientists at the University of East Anglia have identified four new man-made gases in the atmosphere, all of which are contributing to the destruction of the ozone layer. New research published in the journal Nature Geoscience reveals that more than 74,000 tonnes of three new chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and one new hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) have been released into the atmosphere.

“… the reported emissions are clearly contrary to the intentions behind the Montreal Protocol, and raise questions about the sources of these gases.”
—Laube et al.

Scientists made the discovery by comparing current air samples with air trapped in polar firn snow, which provides a century-old natural archive of the atmosphere. They also looked at air collected between 1978 and 2012 in unpolluted Tasmania.

Measurements show that all four new gases have been released into the atmosphere recently, and that two are significantly accumulating. Emission increases of this scale have not been seen for any other CFCs since controls were introduced during the 1990s. But they are nowhere near peak CFC emissions of the 1980s which reached around a million tonnes a year.

Our research has shown four gases that were not around in the atmosphere at all until the 1960s which suggests they are man-made. CFCs are the main cause of the hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica. Laws to reduce and phase out CFCs came into force in 1989, followed by a total ban in 2010. This has resulted in successfully reducing the production of many of these compounds on a global scale. However, legislation loopholes still allow some usage for exempted purposes.

The identification of these four new gases is very worrying as they will contribute to the destruction of the ozone layer. We don’t know where the new gases are being emitted from and this should be investigated. Possible sources include feedstock chemicals for insecticide production and solvents for cleaning electronic components.

What’s more, the three CFCs are being destroyed very slowly in the atmosphere—so even if emissions were to stop immediately, they will still be around for many decades to come.

—Lead researcher Dr. Johannes Laube

This research has been funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), the National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS), the European Union, and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).

Resources

  • Johannes C. Laube, Mike J. Newland, Christopher Hogan, Carl A. M. Brenninkmeijer, Paul J. Fraser, Patricia Martinerie, David E. Oram, Claire E. Reeves, Thomas Röckmann, Jakob Schwander, Emmanuel Witrant & William T. Sturges (2014) “Newly detected ozone-depleting substances in the atmosphere,” Nature Geoscience doi: 10.1038/ngeo2109

March 10, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341c4fbe53ef01a73d8bc055970d

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Researchers identify four new man-made gases contributing to destruction of ozone layer:

Comments

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Green Car Congress © 2013 BioAge Group, LLC. All Rights Reserved. | Home | BioAge Group