Melbourne, July 4 : The rising production of television sets may worsen global warming because a greenhouse gas used for the purpose is more harmful than coal, warns a leading environmental scientist.
Dr. Michael Prather, director of the environment institute at the University of California, says that the annual production of nitrogen trifluoride has increased to about 4000 tonnes on the back of television's rising popularity.
He points out that this gas is 17,000 times more potent than carbon dioxide, and that people hardly know how much of it is being released into the atmosphere by the industry.
Highlighting the fact that this gas can remain in the atmosphere for 550 years, Dr. Prather has revealed that its production is "exploding" and may double by next year.
Dr. Prather has also revealed that unlike carbon dioxide, sulphur hexafluoride (SF6), and perfluorocarbons (PFCs), the production of this gas is not restricted by the Kyoto Protocol or similar agreements.
Along with his colleague Juno Hsu, Dr. Prather has calculated that this year's production of the gas would have been equivalent to 67 million tonnes of carbon dioxide.
The researchers say that nitrogen trifluoride might have "a potential greenhouse impact larger than that of the industrialised nations' emissions of PFCs or SF6, or even of the world's largest coal-fired power plants," theage.com.au reports.