Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Four new human-made ozone depleting gases found in the atmosphere

Date:
March 9, 2014
Source:
University of East Anglia
Summary:
Scientists at the University of East Anglia have identified four new human-made gases in the atmosphere -- all of which are contributing to the destruction of the ozone layer. New research reveals that more than 74,000 tonnes of three new chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and one new hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) have been released into the atmosphere.

The largest ozone hole over Antarctica (in purple) was recorded in September 2006.
Credit: NASA

Scientists at the University of East Anglia have identified four new human-made gases in the atmosphere -- all of which are contributing to the destruction of the ozone layer.

New research published today 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.

Scientists made the discovery by comparing today's 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.

Lead researcher Dr Johannes Laube from UEA's School of Environmental Sciences said: "Our research has shown four gases that were not around in the atmosphere at all until the 1960s which suggests they are human-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," he added.

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).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of East Anglia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Johannes C. Laube, Mike J. Newland, Christopher Hogan, Carl A. M. Brenninkmeijer, Paul J. Fraser, Patricia Martinerie, David E. Oram, Claire E. Reeves, Thomas Rφckmann, Jakob Schwander, Emmanuel Witrant, William T. Sturges. Newly detected ozone-depleting substances in the atmosphere. Nature Geoscience, 2014; DOI: 10.1038/ngeo2109

Cite This Page:

University of East Anglia. "Four new human-made ozone depleting gases found in the atmosphere." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140309150534.htm>.
University of East Anglia. (2014, March 9). Four new human-made ozone depleting gases found in the atmosphere. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140309150534.htm
University of East Anglia. "Four new human-made ozone depleting gases found in the atmosphere." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140309150534.htm (accessed September 21, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Climate Change Rally Held in India Ahead of UN Summit

Climate Change Rally Held in India Ahead of UN Summit

AFP (Sep. 20, 2014) — Some 125 world leaders are expected to commit to action on climate change at a UN summit Tuesday called to inject momentum in struggling efforts to tackle global warming. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Music With Recycled Instruments at Colombia Fest

New Music With Recycled Instruments at Colombia Fest

AFP (Sep. 19, 2014) — Jars, bottles, caps and even a pizza box, recovered from the trash, were the elements used by four musical groups at the "RSFEST2014 Sonorities Recycling Festival", in Colombian city of Cali. Duration: 00:49 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Wildfires in CA Burn Forest Asunder

Raw: Wildfires in CA Burn Forest Asunder

AP (Sep. 18, 2014) — An out-of-control Northern California wildfire has nearly 2,800 people from their homes as it continues to grow, authorities said Thursday. Authorities said a man has been arrested on suspicion of arson for starting the fire on Saturday. (Sept. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

AP (Sep. 18, 2014) — Grand the elephant has successfully undergone surgery to remove a portion of infected tusk at Tbilisi Zoo in Georgia. British veterinary surgeons used an electric drill to extract the infected piece. (Sept. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins