Rogue ozonedestroying emissions traced to northeastern China

first_img An international team of researchers has traced the rogue use of a banned, ozone-degrading chemical to a region centered on two provinces in northeastern China. Trichlorofluoromethane (CFC-11), once a common refrigerant also used to produce building insulation, was to be phased out by 2010 under the 1987 Montreal Protocol because of its contribution to a then–rapidly growing hole in Earth’s ozone layer.As use declined ahead of the ban, atmospheric concentrations of CFC-11 started to drop. Scientists projected a gradual decrease, because CFC-11 would continue to leak from old refrigerators and escape from foam insulation long after production and use stopped. But in 2012, levels started to increase in the Northern Hemisphere, with evidence pointing to sources in China. Now, Matthew Rigby of the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom and colleagues have used atmospheric observations and modeling to narrow down both the source and the magnitude of emissions, showing they are coming from Shandong and Hebei provinces and represent new production and use of CFC-11. In addition, amounts have increased since the chemical was banned, the team reports today in Nature. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) TOMS science team & and the Scientific Visualization Studio/NASA/GSFC Banned trichlorofluoromethane contributed to the rapid growth of Earth’s ozone hole. Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Emailcenter_img The paper is “very definitive,” providing “firm evidence” that there is a continuing problem with emissions from China, says Ian Rae, a chemist at the University of Melbourne in Australia who was not involved in the study.The authors say further investigation is needed to confirm which processes are responsible for the increasing CFC-11 emissions. But, “if consistent with historical usage, it would be expected that emissions have primarily occurred during, or following, [insulation] foam blowing.” That conclusion is in line with previous on-the-ground investigations by the Environmental Investigation Agency, a London- and Washington, D.C.–based environmental group, which singled out the CFC-11 used to create rigid polyurethane insulation in homes and commercial buildings.“The Chinese have been doing the best they can” to identify and shut down the rogue operations, Rae says. “But regulators have real trouble keeping tabs on what is going on” throughout the country.Over the past year, China has been bolstering efforts to crack down on the illegal releases, according to plans filed with the United Nations Environment Programme, which monitors compliance with the Montreal Protocol. “We hope that the information that this new study provided helps the Chinese government take steps to address the issue,” says Sunyoung Park, a study co-author who is a geochemist at Kyungpook National University in Daegu, South Korea. By Dennis NormileMay. 22, 2019 , 1:15 PM Rogue ozone-destroying emissions traced to northeastern China Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrylast_img

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