Global warming is a big problem, resulting in everyone doing their bit to reduce their carbon footprint and find alternative energy solutions. However, researchers at the University of Toronto have announced the discovery of a new greenhouse gas, that has the worst impact on global warming ever seen.
This man-made compound, named Perfluorotributylamine (PFTBA), has been an unregulated staple in the electrical industry since the mid-20th century. What the researchers have found is that it is the most “radiatively-efficient chemical” known to man, making it the worst culprit for damaging the atmosphere. According to a release on the study, the chemicals break down the atmosphere’s various layers as the chemicals clog our environment, resulting in global warming.
We all know that Carbon Dioxide has a damaging effect on the environment but that is dwarfed when compared to what PFTBA does.
“PFTBA is extremely long-lived in the atmosphere,” said Angela Hong, one of the university researchers, in a release. “Calculated over a 100-year timeframe, a single molecule of PFTBA has the equivalent climate impact as 7,100 molecules of CO2.”
At the moment because there is not a huge amount of this greenhouse gas around, scientists are not too concernced for now.
Drew Shindell, a climatologist at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, told The Guardian, “This is a warning to us that this gas could have a very very large impact on climate change -– if there were a lot of it. Since there is not a lot of it now, we don’t have to worry about it at present, but we have to make sure it doesn’t grow and become a very large contributor to global warming.”
These concerns will only magnify as time goes on, especially because there are no known ways of destroying PFTBA in the lower atmosphere.
[Image via Unspoiled]