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.

greenhouse gases

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]