Science

China Caught Emitting Huge Volume of Illegal Greenhouse Gas

China Caught Emitting Huge Volume of Illegal Greenhouse Gas”

A new study reveals the fact that there has been an increase in the discharge of illegal greenhouse gases that consume the Earth's ozone tier.

Research published by an worldwide team today in Nature used a global network of monitoring stations to pinpoint the source of the rogue emissions.

CFC-11 was widely used in the 1970s and 1980s as a refrigerant and to make foam insulation, and is part of the CFC family of chemicals that deplete the ozone layer, the thin shield of gas that protects life on Earth from risky solar rays. However, the usage of CFC-11 has been prohibited since 2010.

"This new paper scientifically confirms that large scale CFC-11 emissions came from eastern China, as identified by our investigations and reports", said Avipsa Mahapatra, climate campaign lead, EIA-U.S. EIA has calculated that illegal CFC-11 use in China may have created a total bank of nearly 4 gigametric tons of CO2equivalent between 2013 and 2017 contained in existing polyurethane foam products, much of which is yet to be emitted into the atmosphere. Their study was built on other records and researches about the increase in CFC-11 discharges into the air after the year 2013 and provided analysis on the geographic provenance of those rises.

This has resulted in a significant decline of CFC-11 in the atmosphere.

However, this decline has not been as rapid as expected under the global zero production and consumption mandated by the Montreal Protocol since 2010.

A 2014 study was the first to deduce that global emissions of CFC-11 stopped declining in 2002. These clues were picked up based on detailed atmospheric observations. The cause of this rebound in CFC-11 emissions was a mystery.

The source of the current increase in CFC-11 is unknown but scientists suggest it may originate from newly made insulation and cooling units.

Montzka's team concluded that if these increased CFC-11 emissions continued, the closure of the Antarctic ozone hole could be delayed, possibly for decades.

Evidence pointed to East Asia, but could not nail down the exact origin.

Researchers who led the study are from the Kyungpook National University of South Korea, the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from the USA. It follows up a study published a year ago in Naturethat cited an "unexpected and persistent increase" in emissions of CGC-11 in East Asia.

Meanwhile, the rest of the AGAGE network has detected no evidence of increasing CFC-11 emissions elsewhere around the world, including in North America, Europe, Japan, Korea or Australia.

The emissions from northeastern China contributed between 40 and 60 per cent to a global rise in CFC emissions. There are large swathes of the globe for which we have very little detailed information on CFC emissions.

"Using computer simulations of the transport of these gases through the atmosphere we can start to put numbers on emissions from different regions and that's where we come up with this number of around 7,000 tonnes of extra CFC-11 emissions coming out of China compared to before 2012".

Nevertheless, this study represents an important milestone in atmospheric scientists' ability to tell which regions are emitting ozone-depleting substances and in what quantities.

"It is now vital that we find out which industries are responsible for the new emissions", Rigby said. The chemical CFC-11 was widely used as a refrigerant as well as foam insulation in the 20th century.

'The remainder could be locked up in buildings and chillers and will ultimately be released to the atmosphere over the coming decades'.

It was confirmed Wednesday by scientists reporting in the peer-reviewed journal Nature that industries in north-eastern China have spewed large quantities of CFC-11 into the atmosphere in violation of an global treaty.



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