Global and Australian synthetic greenhouse gas (SGG) emissions: mitigation challenges and opportunities (6346)
Global emissions of synthetic greenhouse gases (SGGs), comprising emissions of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs) and sulphur hexafluoride (SF6), regulated under the Kyoto Protocol, and emissions of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) etc., regulated via production and consumption controls under the Montreal Protocol, are a fast-growing greenhouse gas (GHG) emission sector, especially the Kyoto synthetics1-4. Over the next decade or two, the climate change impact of the collective emissions of SGGs could exceed that of methane (CH4), becoming the second most import GHG emission sector climatically after carbon dioxide (CO2), emitted largely from the combustion of fossil fuels.
All of the important SGGs in the Australian and Southern Hemispheric polar atmospheric environments have been measured continuously since the late-1990s by CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology at Cape Grim, Tasmania, since 1978 in the Cape Grim air archive and since the 1940s in Antarctic firn air. From these data, and other SGG data collected globally, CSIRO and colleagues at MIT, GIT and the UKMO have been able to estimate global and regional, including Australian, emissions of SGGs5-10.
The CSIRO estimates of Australian SGG emissions (Kyoto and Montreal) are reported annually to the Australian government. The Australian government independently estimates Australian emissions of the Kyoto SGGs from industry data, using Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recommended methodologies, for the National Greenhouse Accounts (NGA). These Kyoto SGG emission estimates, as well as those from CSIRO, are reported to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), fulfilling Australia’s GHG emissions reporting obligations under the Kyoto Protocol11.
In this paper, we will report the latest MIT/GIT estimates of global Kyoto and Montreal SGG emissions and their impact on global climate change. The CSIRO/UKMO estimates of Australian SGG emissions will be reported, and their contribution to Australian GHG emissions evaluated. The CSIRO/UKMO emission estimates for individual and combined SGGs will be compared to those in the NGA. Significant differences, where they exist, will be discussed. Details of future work to improve the accuracy and precision of CSIRO/UKMO SGG emission estimates will be discussed.
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