Atmospheric Lifetimes of Long-Lived Halogenated Species

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Science  08 Jan 1993:
Vol. 259, Issue 5092, pp. 194-199
DOI: 10.1126/science.259.5092.194


The atmospheric lifetimes of the fluorinated gases CF4, C2F6, c-C4F8, (CF3)2c-C4F6, C5F12, C6F14, C2F5Cl, C2F4C12, CF3Cl, and SF6 are of concern because of the effects that these long-lived compounds acting as greenhouse gases can have on global climate. The possible atmospheric loss processes of these gases were assessed by determining the rate coefficients for the reactions of these gases with O(1D), H, and OH and the absorption cross sections at 121.6 nanometers in the laboratory and using these data as input to a two-dimensional atmospheric model. The lifetimes of all the studied perfluoro compounds are >2000 years, and those of CF3Cl, CF3CF2Cl, and CF2ClCF2Cl are >300 years. If released into the atmosphere, these molecules will accumulate and their effects will persist for centuries or millennia.

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