Mysterious rise in CFC11 emissions

May 2018 shows aurora australis near the South Pole Atmospheric Research Observatory in Antarctica

Banned Ozone-Harming Gas Creeps Back, Suggesting a Mystery Source

When, in 1987, in Antarctica a hole in the ozone layer, all countries of the world in 1987 agreed to phase out several types of ozone-depleting chemicals called chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). Production was banned, emissions fell and the hole shriveled. The researchers have said they would need more measurements to figure the exact location of the source and take necessary action.

"The newer substances that are out there, the replacements for CFC-11, might be more hard or expensive for some countries to produce or get at". Other gases haven't followed the same pattern, the authors add, suggesting that the increase in CFC-11 emissions come from somewhere in the Northern Hemisphere.

Banned chemicals which can cause holes in the ozone layer are on the rise, according to a new report, and no one knows who the culprit is.

Production of CFC-11 was phased out under the United Nation's Montreal Protocol in 2010.

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Scientists reported that emissions of a banned ozone-depleting chemical are on the rise again. The chemical is the second-most common CFC in the atmosphere and has been used to make foam, degrease stains and for refrigeration, the Associated Press notes. "We don't know why they might be doing that and if it is being made for some specific goal, or inadvertently as a side product of some other chemical process", said Stephen Montzka of the NOAA, lead author of the study. Reports previous year indicated that production of new chlorine containing chemicals could cause significant delay.

A research team headed by Stephen Montzka at the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration was scrutinizing the CFCs progress in the atmosphere and accidentally observed things related to CFC-11.

The researchers say the chemical can be a byproduct of other chemical manufacturing, although it's supposed to be captured and recycled. 'Three different instrument measurements systems are used by NOAA to measure CFC-11, and they all showed the same trends, ' he says. "We don't know why [someone is producing the CFC-11] and if it is being made for some specific goal, or inadvertently as a side product of some other chemical process". "We don't know why they might be doing that and if it is being made for some specific objective, or inadvertently as a side product of some other chemical process". 'The increase in emission of CFC-11 appears unrelated to past production; this suggests unreported new production, which is inconsistent with the Montreal Protocol, ' Montzka and colleagues conclude. If not, it could possibly slow down the recovery of the ozone layer, especially since CFC-11 is responsible for about a quarter of all chlorine reaching the stratosphere. Unless the mysterious source is found and stopped, the recovery of the ozone layer could be slowed down by a decade. That speculation is due to increased CFC-11 emissions, a big issue that could delay ozone restoration efforts and contribute to a warming planet.

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