Researchers at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Centre have shown that worldwide emissions of carbon tetrachloride (CCl4), a chlorofluorocarbon that destroys ozone, average to 39 kilotons per year despite the Montreal Treaty, designed to phase out the use of these gasses.
As of 2008, CCl4 accounted for about 11 percent of chlorine available for ozone depletion, which is not enough to alter the decreasing trend of ozone-depleting substances. Still, scientists and regulators want to know the source of the unexplained emissions.
For almost a decade, scientists have debated why the observed levels of CCl4 in the atmosphere have declined slower than expectations, which are based on what is known about how the compound is destroyed by solar radiation and other natural processes.
"Is there a physical CCl4 loss process we don't understand, or are there emission sources that go unreported or are not identified?" [Qing Liang, an atmospheric scientist ] said.
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