According to new research, since 2013, emissions of a prohibited chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) have risen annually by almost 8,000 tons somewhere from eastern China.
It was reported last year that emissions of CFC-11, a very harmful, ozone-depleting substance, had increased. It came as a shock because, despite a global ban under the Protocol of Montreal since 2010, someone, somewhere in the world was manufacturing thousands of tons of CFC-11.
This discovery was concerning as CFCs are the major culprits in depleting the stratosphere, that provides protection from UV radiations of the sun. Any rise in the emissions of these CFCs will affect the recovery time of the Antarctic ozone hole.
The co-author of this study, Ronald Prinn says that initially, they set their monitoring stations in remote locations so they could collect air samples that represented the background atmosphere in order to monitor changes in concentrations in the globe and further determine the atmospheric lifetimes of them.
For better pinpointing the sources of emissions, measurement stations have now been located nearer to industrialized regions. This indicated that the source of these new emissions was somewhere in South Korea from an AGAGE station and also an AGAGE-affiliated station that was run in Japan by the National Institute of Environmental Studies.
The lead author of the study, Professor Sunyoung Park explained that the measurements illustrate ‘spikes’ in the pollution once the air arrives from industrialized regions. He further said that an increase in the magnitude of these spikes for CFC-11 was observed after the year 2012 which indicated that somewhere in the region, emissions had noticeably increased.
Similar signals were also observed at the NIES station located on Hateruma, a Japanese island present in a close locality to Taiwan.