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Our Fridges And Our A/C Are A Threat To Our Climate

2011/11/27
No CFCs

No CFCs

Remember CFC’s?  Chlorofluorocarbons?  Those are the gases that were phased out in the 1980’s because scientists discovered that they were attacking our ozone layer.  Well, as they were being phased out, their replacement, HFCs (hydrofluorocarbons), were being phased in. HFCs are used as coolants in fridges and air conditioners as well as to make insulating foams and aerosols.  They do not affect the ozone layer but, it turns out that they persist in the atmosphere for 15 years and are 1 600 times more powerful at trapping heat than CO2!

Because of the increase in demand of products like refrigerators and air conditioners, a worst-case scenario forecast puts HFC emissions at an equivalent to pumping 9 billion tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere each year by 2050.  That’s equal to one third of global CO2 emissions.

Luckily, there are solutions to this problem.  There are types of HFCs that only last a few days in the atmosphere.  There are also alternatives to HFCs which are already used by certain manufacturers.  However, it is critical to develop and phase in those alternatives quickly while making sure they do not have any other harmful side effects to our environment.

 

Source: World Environment News

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