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Protecting the climate by reducing fluorinated greenhouse gas emissions
Date:2/24/2012

bstances, above all in threshold and developing countries. The atmospheric scientists estimate that this value will rise to between 0.25 und 0.4 W/m2 by the year 2050. The greatest problem is presented by saturated HFCs, which are extremely stable and survive in the atmosphere for up to 50 years, exhibiting a long-term global warming potential of up to 4000 times higher than CO2. For Empa researcher Reimann the situation is clear: Long-lived HFCs should no longer be used in these quantities.

A simple solution: expanding the scope of the Montreal Protocol

Among other things, the scientists recommend modifying the Montreal protocol so that it also covers the use of long-lived HFCs. Such proposals have already been tabled in previous years by various countries including the USA. Since it is it is as a result of the Montreal protocol that these substances are being manufactured in increasing amounts, they could be included in the agreement too, so their use can be regulated as well, maintains Reimann. A stepwise phase-out of HFCs is technically feasible since, according to Reimann, chemical and technological alternatives are already available. In the USA for example refrigerators are cooled using HFC-134a; in Switzerland the use of this substance in refrigerators is banned and climate neutral hydrocarbons are used instead.


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Contact: Dr. Stefan Reimann
stefan.reismann@empa.ch
41-587-654-638
Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (EMPA)
Source:Eurekalert

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