|10-23-2008, 05:43 PM||#1|
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Hot Springs, Ouachitah
New greenhouse gas measured
greenhouse gas much more widespread than expected
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The atmosphere holds four times more nitrogen trifluoride -- a warming greenhouse gas 17,000 more potent than carbon dioxide -- than expected, report atmospheric scientists. The team led by Ray Weiss of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, in La Jolla, Calif., found a recent 11 percent yearly increase in the gas, which is released by industrial activities such as the manufacture of liquid crystal flat-panel displays, thin-film photovoltaic cells and microcircuits.
The gas today contributes only 0.15 percent of man made global warming, but researchers such as Michael Prather of the University of California at Irvine called for increased monitoring of its release. Emissions of the gas had been thought to be so low that it was not thought to contribute to global warming and was not covered by the Kyoto Protocol.
This is the first time scientists have been able to measure the amount of nitrogen trifluoride in the atmosphere, which survives in the atmosphere about five times longer than carbon dioxide.
The study will be published in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union. -- Dan Vergano and Doyle Rice, USA TODAY