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Study finds shock rise in levels of potent greenhouse gas

Jan 21, 2020

By Matthew Taylor

Efforts to reduce levels of one potent greenhouse gas appear to be failing, according to a study.

Scientists had expected to find a dramatic reduction in levels of the hydrofluorocarbon HFC-23 in the atmosphere after India and China, two of the main sources, reported in 2017 that they had almost completely eliminated emissions.

But a paper published in the journal Nature Communications says that by 2018 concentrations of the gas – used in fridges, inhalers and air conditioners – had not fallen but were increasing at a record rate.

Matt Rigby, from Bristol University, who co-authored the study and is a member of the Advanced Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment, said academics had hoped to see a big reduction following the reports from India and China.

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