The US and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are celebrating a recent climate success, in detecting and working to address one of the most potent greenhouse gases in the world, sulfur hexafluoride, or SF6.
SF6 is believed to be the most potent greenhouse gas in the world, trapping about 25,000 times more heat than CO2 does over a century-long timescale, and the US has been working with businesses to cut its release.
NOAA reported that its emissions have declined by 60 percent in the United States between 2007 and 2016, in large part because of a mandatory EPA reporting requirement that began in 2011 and voluntary reductions in different industries.
“This is a great example of the future of greenhouse gas emissions tracking, where inventory compliers and atmospheric scientists work together to better understand emissions and shed light on ways to further reduce them,” said Steve Montzka, a senior staff scientist at NOAA’s Global Monitoring Laboratory.
SF6 is emitted from electrical insulation and high-voltage equipment that transmits and distributes electricity, and with growing energy demand there’s fear that the chemical could run rampant, so finding ways to track and reduce them are essential.