Replacement synthetic gases have huge warming potential

Little-studied synthetic gases could have large effects on the ozone layer and climate if their use goes unchecked, according to research from the University of Bristol.

Synthetic gases have been used widely since international agreements limited the use of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which were commonly used in refrigerators and air conditioners.

Researchers say that some of the replacements for CFCs, such as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), are incredibly potent greenhouse gases. Currently, there are no restrictions on their use.

Per tonne of emissions, HFCs are more potent than carbon dioxide, so even relatively small levels in the atmosphere can contribute to warming.

While HFCs are currently not a major driver of climate change compared to carbon dioxide, the researchers say that if unabated they may contribute significantly to future warming.

Read more at University of Bristol