It’s slowing down the rate of recovery for the hole in the crucial ozone layer. Annual emissions from northeastern China of the banned chemical CFC-11 have increased by about 7,000 tonnes since 2013. Chlorofluorocarbon-11 was widely used in the 1970s and 1980s as a refrigerant and to make foam insulation. Two decades ago, CFCs – more potent by far as greenhouse gases than carbon dioxide or methane – accounted for around 10 per cent of human-induced global warming. The chemical does not occur in nature. To find the source of emissions, an international team of atmospheric scientists gathered additional data from monitoring stations in Japan and Taiwan.
Monitoring station in South Korea
Reports last year from the Environmental Investigation Agency fingered Chinese foam factories in the coastal province of Shandong and the inland province of Hebei, which surrounds Beijing.”If emissions do not decline, it will delay the recovery of the Antarctic ozone hole, possibly for decades,” said Paul Fraser, an honorary fellow at the CSIRO Climate Science Center in Australia. China is a signatory of the Montreal Protocol but it looks as if the country hasn’t been keeping up its end of the bargain. An action of Chinese authorities is expected.