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Archive for January 28th, 2010

Super heat-trapping HFC-23 emissions up 50 pct

Posted by feww on January 28, 2010

Three Facts about HFC-23 Your Doctor Should Know

1. In the atmosphere, HFC-23 is 14,800 times more effective in trapping heat than its CO2 equivalent.

2. HFC-23 persists in the atmosphere for about 300 years.

3. Emissions in 2006-2008 jumped 50 percent above the 1990-2000 average.

HFC-23, or trifluoromethane, is a byproduct of chlorodifluoromethane, or HCFC-22, a refrigerant used in heat-exchange appliances, air conditioners and refrigerators, and a base compound for manufacturing heat and chemical-resistant materials such as  coatings and covering for cables, as well as aerosol propellants, solvents, fire fighting and foam blowing agents.

It is also heavily used in the semiconductor industry in plasma etching of silicon oxide and silicon nitride. Probably the most well known product associated with the release of HFC-23 to the atmosphere is Teflon, by DuPont.


Chlorodifluoromethane or difluoromonochloromethane is a hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) AKA, HCFC-22, or R-22
.

Chlorodifluoromethane is prepared from chloroform: HCCl3 + 2 HF → HCF2Cl + 2 HCl


CHF3 also known as: HFC-23, R-23, Fluoroform, Carbon trifluoride, Methyl trifluoride, Fluoryl, Freon 23, Arcton 1,  FE-13, UN 1984. CHF3 is produced as a by-product of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) aka Teflon (DuPont). It is also generated biologically in trace amounts.

“Without the international effort to reduce emissions of HFC-23, its emissions and atmospheric abundance would have been even larger in recent years,” said Stephen Montzka, a NOAA research chemist. “As it was, emissions in 2006-2008 were about 50 percent above the 1990-2000 average.”

The finding comes in the face  of worldwide efforts to prevent the gas release into the atmosphere. The Montreal Protocol stipulates the end of HCFC-22 production by 2020 in developed countries and 2030 in developing counties for those applications that allow  CFC-22 released to the atmosphere.

Unfortunately, The Montreal Protocol imposes no restriction on the production of  HCFC-22 from fluoropolymerization, which also co-produces the HFC-23. “The future atmospheric abundance of HFC-23 and its contribution to future climate change depends on amounts of HCFC-22 produced and the success of programs to reduce emissions of the co-generated HFC-23.”

“HFC-23 is one of the most potent greenhouse gases emitted as a result of human activities. Over a 100-year time span, one pound of HFC-23 released into the atmosphere traps heat 14,800 times more effectively than one pound of carbon dioxide. To date, the total accumulated emission of HFC-23 is small relative to other greenhouse gases, making this gas a minor (less than one percent) contributor to climate change at present.” NOAA Press Release said.

Scientists measured air collected from above the snow surface and down to 380 feet below the snow surface during field studies in Antarctica in 2001, 2005 and 2009. Using these results, they were able to determine how amounts of HFC-23 and other gases affecting climate and stratospheric ozone have changed in the recent past. The first published measurements of HFC-23 appeared in 1998 but this was the first time scientists examined how HFC-23 emissions have changed since 1996, particularly in developing nations and since the UNFCCC’s projects to reduce emissions began in 2003.

“Recent increases in global FHC-23 emission” by S.A. Montzka, L. Kuijpers, M.O.Battle, M. Aydin, K. Verhulst, E.S. Saltzman, D.W.Fahey will be published by January 29 in Geophysical Research Letters.

Posted in carbon dioxide, chlorodifluoromethane, GHG, GHG emissions, trifluoromethane | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Strong Earthquake Strikes Nr Pandan Philippines

Posted by feww on January 28, 2010

Strong Earthquake Measuring Up to 6.3Mw Strikes Near Catanduanes Island Province, Philippines Islands

An earthquake measuring up to magnitude 6.3 struck about 140 km (90 miles) ESE of Pandan, Catanduanes Island Province, Philippines at an estimated  depth of 25 km on Wednesday, January 27, 2010 at 18:50 UTC

Mt Mayon
The earthquake struck about 193 km (120 miles) ENE of Mt Mayon and could potentially trigger the volcano for another round of unrest/activity. The quake followed two earlier shocks which struck the same area on January 21, 2010, with the larger event measuring up to 5.8Mw.

Damage/ Casualties
As of posting, there were no reports of damage or casualties.

Tsunami Report
The Hawaii Pacific Tsunami Warning Center did not issue a tsunami warning, or watch.

FEWW Forecast: Fire-Earth Moderators believe a Mega-quake could strike in or around Philippines Islands.

10-degree Map Centered at 15°N,125°E


EQ Location Map. Source: USGS/EHP. Enhanced by FEWW. Click image to enlarge.

Earthquake Details:

  • Magnitude reported by USGS: 6.1 [Max EQ magnitude estimated by FEWW: 6.3 Mw]
  • Date-Time:
    • Wednesday, January 27, 2010 at 18:49:33 UTC
    • Thursday, January 28, 2010 at 02:49:33 AM at epicenter
  • Location: 13.684°N, 125.440°E
  • Depth: 24.7 km (15.3 miles)
  • Region: PHILIPPINE ISLANDS REGION
  • Distances:
    • 140 km (90 miles) ESE of Pandan, Catanduanes, Philippines
    • 190 km (120 miles) ENE of Legaspi, Luzon, Philippines
    • 200 km (125 miles) NNE of Calbayog, Samar, Philippines
    • 495 km (305 miles) ESE of MANILA, Philippines
  • Location Uncertainty: horizontal +/- 7.6 km (4.7 miles); depth +/- 22.1 km (13.7 miles) (?)
  • Source: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
  • Event ID: us2010rzbv

Historic Seismicity Since 1900

Major Tectonic Boundaries: Subduction Zones -purple, Ridges -red and Transform Faults -green. Source: USGS/EHP. Enhanced by FEWW. Click image to enlarge.

Seismic Hazard Map

Major Tectonic Boundaries: Subduction Zones -purple, Ridges -red and Transform Faults -green. Source: USGS/EHP. Enhanced by FEWW. Click image to enlarge.

PHILIPPINE ISLANDS REGION:
Estimated Population Exposed to Earthquake Shaking [PDF]

Related Links:

Posted in earthquake forecast, Manila, Philippines quake, Seismic Hazard, shake map | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »