China's smog is an example of pollution that contributes to global warming. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0 Ilya Haykinson
A recently discovered gas appears to be 7,000 times more impactful on climate change than CO2.
(PFTBA) is a non-naturally occurring gas that has been produced primarily by the electrical industry since the mid 20th century. According to researchers at the University of Toronto, nothing else comes close to the level of impact that this gas can have on global warming.
"We claim that PFTBA has the highest radiative efficiency of any molecule detected in the atmosphere to date," said study co-author Angela Hong. Over a period of 100 years the gas appears to be more than 7,000 times more potent that carbon dioxide.
Fortunately PFTBA is relatively scarce at the moment with concentrations in the atmosphere measuring approximately 0.18 parts per trillion in comparison to carbon dioxide's 400 parts per million.
"This is a warning to us that this gas could have a very very large impact on climate change - if there were a lot of it," said NASA climatologist Drew Shindell. "Since there is not a lot of it now, we don't have to worry about it at present, but we have to make sure it doesn't grow and become a very large contributor to global warming."
Source: University Herald | Comments (18)
Climate Change, Global Warming