Isn’t this just great?

The most powerful known greenhouse gas has been leaking into the Earth’s atmosphere due to the green energy boom, it was reported on Friday night.

Sulphur hexafluoride, or SF6, is widely used in the electrical industry to prevent short circuits and accidents.

It is 23,500 times more warming than carbon dioxide (CO2), and just one kilogram warms the Earth as much as 24 people flying London to New York return.

The drive to use mixed sources of power, including wind, solar and gas, rather than coal as fuel has resulted in a rise in the number of electrical devices that use SF6, the BBC said.

A study from the University of Cardiff found that across all transmission and distribution networks, the amount used was increasing by 30-40 tonnes per year.

Emissions of the gas in the UK and the rest of the EU in 2017 were the equivalent of putting an extra 1.3million cars on the road.

We’re also looking forward to seeing the emissions and financial costs of disassembling all those concrete bases at the end of life…..

17 comments on “Isn’t this just great?

  1. It seems the “London to New York carbon equivalent” has joined the rank of distinguished neo-imperial measures, like the (recently redefined) Wembley stadium volume, and the Wales area.

  2. Also, I don’t think there are that many commercial flights that carry 24 people from London-> NYC. How much carbon for 25 people?

  3. It is 23,500 times more warming than carbon dioxide (CO2), and just one kilogram warms the Earth as much as 24 people flying London to New York return.

    How is that calculated? Is it the incremental CO2, the amount of CO2 generated when a plane flies with only 24 people on board or when a full plane is flying? What sort of plane, not all planes are equal? Does that include delays when its flying in a stack?

    Anyway, wouldn’t it Emma Thompson flights or Emma Thompson air miles be a better unit of measure?

  4. At 9 parts per trillion currently, I’m not going to get excited, unlike the Crappygraph, or whoever punted the story to them.

  5. Steven: so it does, but SF6 is always going to be a niche product, unless there’s a global craze for voices deeper than Barry White, and the concomitant asphyxiation. So it’s just another pointless but ‘scary’ fact with which to cow the plebs.

  6. Greenies starting to realise that the scare stories about CO2 and CH4 are losing their power so they switch to a new chemical.

  7. I saw a wonderful piece yesterday on the difficult of dealing with the 300′ blades of wind turbines when you demolish them. It assumed that, in the US at least, they must be transported to “landfill”. My how I laughed. Whoever would have thought that new tricks bring new problems in their wake?

  8. “23,500 times more warming than carbon dioxide (CO2)”
    Is that mole for mole, or weight for weight – it is about 3.3* heavier than CO2.
    Assume it’s weight for weight, world SF6 production is 11000 tonnes in round numbers, and all annual production gets into the atmosphere at some point. Assume a fir CO2 tax is 80USD per tonne.
    The SF6 tax should be USD1.8m per tonne
    World production would incur a tax charge of about $20bn.
    That’s serious.
    Let’s say the UK accounts for 5% of this – that’s $1bn on the nations electric bill, or 15 dollars per person. All round numbers.
    Is SF6 useful to us by more than that amount?

  9. And yet… 96% of warming (so-called greenhouse effect) comes from water vapour in the Earth’s atmosphere.

    But water vapour is not a very powerful ‘greenhouse gas’, but there is up to 4% of it which is why it contributes so much.

    It is not the ‘power’ as a greenhouse gas that matters, it is how much of it is up there: how many molecules able and available to attenuate outgoing long wavelength infra-red radiation.

    So carbon dioxide is trace, 0,3% with only 3% of that due to burning fossil fuels and only half of that responsible for Climate doom – so the carbon dioxide molecules available to attenuate outgoing I/R are few. Like trying to catch flies with a tennis net.

    Which is why climate change is a cult: religion not science and absurd.

  10. According to the BBC article the EU tried to ban it but the electric lobby was too strong, a bit later on it says at the time there was no alternative to switch to, so a ban wasn’t actually possible. But hey let’s blame the evil capitalists not the brave bureaucrats and science.
    Apparently newer kit still uses it but designed to use a lot less.

  11. @John B September 14, 2019 at 1:11 pm

    carbon dioxide is trace, 0,3% 0.04% with only 3% of that due to burning fossil fuels

    FTFY

  12. “looking forward to seeing the emissions and financial costs of disassembling all those concrete bases at the end of life”
    Don’t be silly, the concrete elves will make it vanish during the night. I seriously expect them to just lop the little stump off that sticks up out of the ground and leave the rest there – but since it’s buried and out of sight, it’s not “failing to clean up”. No sir-ee, that’s magical renewable concrete and leaving it behind isn’t a problem – it’s nothing like the identical concrete that they build nuclear or fossil fuelled power stations from which is really nasty stuff that has to be completely removed regardless of cost.

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