A team of scientists from University of East Anglia in England have found four new man-made chemicals that harm the ozone layer, according to a paper published on Sunday in the journal Nature Geoscience.
The findings identify three new CFC’s and one new HCFC (Hydrochlorofluorocarbons). The scientists analyzed samples collected in both Tasmania and Greenland, and showed all four compounds began to appear in the atmosphere during the 1960’s. Two compounds continue to increase in the atmosphere, today. Total emissions are about 74,000 tonnes, which the scientists say are a fraction of the other ozone destroying chemicals that were formerly emitted into the atmosphere.
There is a possibility these chemicals are illegal. The 1987 Montreal Protocol bans a wide range of ozone destroying chemicals, but there are loopholes into which these specific chemicals may fit. Lead author of the study, Johannes Laube, told Reuters “We hope to tighten the loopholes.” Even if the chemicals do fit into a Montreal Protocol loophole, they go against the intent of that agreement.
Until now 13 CFC and HCFC chemicals were known to harm the ozone layer. The four new chemicals bring the total to 17, and there may be others. Laube told the Guardian “There are definitely more out there. We have already picked up dozens more. They might well add up to dangerous levels, especially if we keep finding more.” The team is already working to analyze the samples to discover more chemicals.
In addition to damaging the ozone layer, these chemicals are potent greenhouse gases, thousands of times more potent than CO2.
The atmosphere’s ozone layer filters out some harmful components in sunlight which can cause skin cancer and eye cataracts. The ozone layer has been recovering since a 1987 worldwide ban on known ozone damaging chemicals such as CFC’s (ChloroFluoroCarbons) that were formerly used in refrigerants.
Concentrations of one of the new chemicals, CFC113a, is rising at an alarming rate. Even though its concentration is low now, scientists expect it to become a major concern in a few years.
- Could some homes in Paradise CA have been saved with on-site energy storage systems? - November 17, 2018
- Paradise is destroyed while Pres. Trump lies about climate change and California - November 11, 2018
- Harley-Davidson promises big things in electric motorcycles, gives peak at 2020 LiveWire electric bike - November 6, 2018
- Expensive taxi rides brought us Uber/Lyft, but should we be driven by amateur drivers? - November 2, 2018
- First “fast charge hub” for electric cars in Eastern Europe opens in Bucharest - October 26, 2018
- Romania Electric car sales grew 165% from 2017 to 2018 – state of EV adoption in Romania - October 23, 2018
- Google moving in on Plugshare’s turf, adds EV charging station data to Google Maps - October 17, 2018
- Cameron Rogers retakes Laguna Seca electric car laptime record with Tesla Model 3 Performance - September 16, 2018
- Tesla no longer a boutique car maker, is outselling major manufacturers like Porsche - September 13, 2018
- What electric car would I buy today, on the occasion of canceling a Tesla Model 3 order - September 11, 2018