California Revealed As Worst US Emitter of Greenhouse Gas

( – California was exposed as a major contributor of the greenhouse gas sulfuryl fluoride based on a new study out of Johns Hopkins University. Despite the state being insanely strict with its environmental laws, nearly all of the sulfuryl fluoride being emitted from the US is coming out of a handful of spots in California.

Co-author of the study Scot Miller said that the maps showed regular emissions of carbon dioxide and methane everywhere, but their map for sulfuryl fluoride only pinged in a few locations and they were nearly all located in California.

The gas is commercially used to kill termites and works well as a pesticide for the purpose. It’s one of the few treatments available for larger structures. The gas is typically ignored and has an extremely long lifespan in the atmosphere. Researchers say that just 1 ton of sulfuryl fluoride can trap as much heat in the atmosphere as 7,510 tons of carbon dioxide.

Researchers looked at 15,000 air samples that were taken between 2015 and 2019. They found that California accounted for 60-85% of all the sulfuryl fluoride emissions in the US, with the hot spots being San Diego, Los Angeles, and Orange County.

Given their environmentally authoritarian policies, the state is slated to reach net zero emissions by 2045. PhD candidate Dylan Gaeta worked on the report, which he said will allow regulators to pinpoint sources of the emissions. He added that to achieve net zero, a complete inventory of the gas must be taken.

Researchers believe that 85% of the emissions were related to the gas being used as a pesticide. When this practice is performed, the entire building is placed inside of a giant tent which is then pumped full of the gas. Once the process is complete, the gas is vented into the atmosphere which is only a problem due to the amount of time it remains there.

As such, every time a building is fumigated the gas is adding to the pool already in the atmosphere. Researchers believe the exclusive focus on carbon dioxide needs to be expanded to include other, less-known gasses like sulfuryl fluoride.

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