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Refrigerants Pose New Climate Risk

Publication Date: 7/8/2009
Format: HTML

A recent study from the National Academy of Sciences predicts so-called “green” refrigerants that replace ozone-depleting ones will contribute to global warming if left unchecked. Published last month in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the study presents new data about modern hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which are considered greenhouse gases. The study claims HFCs could contribute the equivalent of up to 45% of carbon-dioxide emissions by 2050. Under that worst-case scenario, even if countries adopt a 450-ppm cap on CO2, “You still would have overshot it by about 50%,” says Mack McFarland, a scientist at refrigerant maker DuPont and the paper’s co-author.

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