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Tag: emissions

Mysterious rise in emissions of ozone-damaging chemical

Mysterious rise in emissions of ozone-damaging chemical

Science
Scientists have detected an unexpected rise in atmospheric levels of CFC-11, a chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) highly damaging to the ozone layer.Banned by the Montreal Protocol in 1987, CFC-11 was seen to be declining as expected but that fall has slowed down by 50% since 2012.Researchers say their evidence shows it's likely that new, illegal emissions of CFC-11 are coming from East Asia.These could hamper the recovery of the ozone hole and worsen climate change.CFC-11 is also known as trichlorofluoromethane, and is one of a number of CFCs that were initially developed as refrigerants during the 1930s. They were also used as propellants in aerosol sprays and in solvents. However, it took many decades for scientists to discover that whe...
Sentinel tracks ships' dirty emissions from orbit

Sentinel tracks ships' dirty emissions from orbit

Science
The new EU satellite tasked with tracking dirty air has demonstrated how it will become a powerful tool to monitor emissions from shipping. Sentinel-5P was launched in October last year and this week completed its in-orbit commissioning phase. But already it is clear the satellite's data will be transformative. This latest image reveals the trail of nitrogen dioxide left in the air as ships move in and out of the Mediterranean Sea. The "highway" that the vessels use to navigate the Strait of Gibraltar is easily discerned by S5P's Tropomi instrument. "You really see a straight line because all these ships follow approximately the same route," explained Pepijn Veefkind, Tropomi's principal investigator from the Dutch met office (KNMI). "In this case, we also looked into how many big ships th...
Cars buck falling CO2 emissions trend

Cars buck falling CO2 emissions trend

Science
Britain's carbon emissions have sunk to the level last seen in 1890 – the year before penalties were first awarded in football.In 2017, CO₂ emissions from fossil fuels fell by 2.6%. This was mainly driven by a 19% decline in coal use.It follows a 5.8% fall in 2016, which saw a record 52% drop in coal use, according to the green website Carbon Brief.The figure is doubly striking as emissions from cars have been going up.The analysis is based on government energy-use figures. The government will publish its own CO₂ estimates later in March.Last year, Carbon Brief's preliminary assessment of CO₂ proved accurate. This year’s shows that the UK's total CO₂ emissions are currently 38% below 1990 levels.They have been decreasing steadily since 2012, with big falls in 2014 and 2016. The decline con
Trump emissions threat to US car industry

Trump emissions threat to US car industry

Science
The US car industry will be wrecked if President Trump relaxes emissions standards, California's governor says.Jerry Brown said China would dominate car manufacture because it was heavily promoting the electric vehicles that would dominate the future.He said huge investment was needed on electric vehicles, along with federal rules to encourage their purchase.He said President Trump and US car-makers were "half asleep" and hadn't understood the scale of the challenge.He told BBC Radio 4's Costing the Earth: "There will be a serious threat to the US auto industry. "The Chinese have taken over the world in wind turbine production, and photovoltaic."They're going to take over the American car industry - and the people in Detroit are half asleep. They have to wake up - and I'm hoping they will....
Emissions gap remains 'alarmingly high' says UN

Emissions gap remains 'alarmingly high' says UN

Science
In its annual review, the UN says the gap between carbon cutting plans and the reductions required to keep temperature rises below 2 degrees Celsius is "alarmingly high".Pledges made so far cover only one-third of the cuts needed by 2030 to keep below that goal, the review warns. Even if all the promises are kept, temperatures might still rise by 3 degrees by 2100.However, cost-effective options are available that can close the gap.The UN has published an annual analysis of emissions every year since 2010. This year's instalment re-iterates the point that current pledges are insufficient to keep within the temperature limits agreed in the Paris climate pact. Emissions from human activities involving burning fossil fuels have stalled since 2014, caused by a reduction in coal use in China an...