PFBTA: Newly discovered greenhouse gas ‘7,000 times more potent than CO2’
Researchers at University of Toronto have discovered a new greenhouse gas that is 7,000 times more powerful than carbon dioxide to cause greenhouse effect which causes warming of the Earth.
As per the scientists, the newly discovered gas, PerFluoroTriButylAmine (PFTBA), has been in use by the electrical industry since the mid-20th century.
The discoverers have claimed that PFTBA which does not occur naturally has the highest radiative efficiency of any molecule detected in the atmosphere up to now.
The study showed that PFTBA was 7,100 times more powerful at warming the Earth over a 100-year time period than CO2. This gas remains in the atmosphere for about 500 years, and unlike CO2 which is absorbed by forests and oceans, there are no known natural “sinks” on Earth to absorb it.
Do we need to worry about PFTBA?
Not at current levels. The current concentration of PFTBA in the atmosphere is very low as compared to CO2 so it does not displace the focus of our concerns from the burning of fossil fuels such as oil and coal as the main drivers of climate change. However, higher concentration of the gas would contribute to a serious global warming. So we need to ponder over using such compounds in large quantity without first understanding their impact on climate change.