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Australian Climate Madness

Sunday, October 26, 2008

AGW alarmists switch focus to other gases

Exit CO2, enter CH4 and NF3, the new darlings of the climate change alarmists. Methane we've had on the radar for a while, but Nitrogen Trifluoride is the new kid on the block. The Sydney Morning Herald reports:
Methane comes from landfills, natural gas, coal mining, animal waste and decaying plants - but it is the decaying plants that worry scientists most. Thousands of years ago, billions of tonnes of methane were created by decaying Arctic plants. It lies frozen in permafrost wetlands trapped in the ocean floor. As the Arctic melts, the worry is that this methane will be freed.

In terms of global methane production (natural and anthropogenic), landfills contribute 7% and by contrast, ruminants contribute 19% and natural wetlands 37%. Also, given that the Arctic ice is over 30% greater than this time last year, that seems unlikely.
In contrast, nitrogen trifluoride has been considered such a small problem that it generally has been ignored. The gas is used as a cleaning agent during the manufacture of liquid crystal display television and computer monitors and for thin-film solar panels.

Earlier efforts to determine how much nitrogen trifluoride is in the air dramatically underestimated the amounts, said Ray Weiss, a geochemistry professor with Scripps Institution of Oceanography in California and lead author on a nitrogen trifluoride paper to be published next month.

The level of nitrogen trifluoride in the air has quadrupled during the past decade, said Weiss, who is also a co-author of the methane paper. Nitrogen trifluoride is one of the more potent gases, thousands of times stronger in trapping heat than carbon dioxide.

Read it here.

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