Chemists at the University of Toronto have discovered a new greenhouse gas which impacts climate change 7,100 times more than CO2. This new greenhouse gas is called perfluorotributylamine (PFTBA), and has far more potential to effect the climate than any other substance found to date.
A greenhouse gas’ effect on the environment is rated in three ways: quantity, time, and power. Each greenhouse gas has a different effect on the climate based on how much is present (quantity), how long it stays in the environment (time), and how much heat it traps (power). For example, there is dramatically more carbon dioxide than methane on the planet, and although methane stays on the planet for less time, it traps 21 times more heat than CO2 over a 100 year period. Sounds like methane is a pretty serious greenhouse gas, but as far as contributing to climate change, nothing compares to PFTBA.
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According to an article published in the University of Toronto News,
PFTBA has been in use since the mid-20th century for various applications in electrical equipment and is used in thermally and chemically stable liquids marketed for use in electronic testing and as heat transfer agents. It does not occur naturally; that is, it is produced by humans.
You know what that means Tea Party fanatics? There is no way you can blame this new greenhouse gas on ‘natural causes’. According to Angela Hong, one of the University of Toronto chemists working on the study,
PFTBA is extremely long-lived in the atmosphere and it has a very high radiative efficiency; the result of this is a very high global warming potential. Calculated over a 100-year timeframe, a single molecule of PFTBA has the equivalent climate impact as 7,100 molecules of CO2.
There is no known way to destroy the greenhouse gas, PFTBA, in the lower atmosphere. It can only be destroyed in the upper atmosphere. This means that the world is stuck with this incredibly damaging chemical lingering all around us for possibly 100’s of years.
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This news has been released and undoubtedly seen by the The House Science, Space and Technology Committee. Unfortunately 17 out of 22 members on the committee are vehement climate change deniers, so it is unlikely this news will incite any motivation for change. Follow that last link for a list of all the climate change deniers in the U.S. congress and how much money they’ve made from the fossil fuel industry. Sometimes denial makes you filthy rich.
Climate change deniers have given rise to very powerful special interest energy gangs, as well as creating what is aptly called ‘delusional America.’ It’s a big world out there fellow citizens, and a large number of countries are actually doing their best to run entirely on green energy.
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It’s 2013 and we only just discovered the presence of this new greenhouse gas. What else could be lingering all around us that we haven’t the slightest clue about?