Last reviewed on June 6, 2017

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High Global Warming Potential Gases

High global warming potential (High-GWP) greenhouse gases are fluorine-containing gases including sulfur hexafluoride (SF6), nitrogen trifluoride (NF3), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). High-GWP gases account for 4.3% of California's 2015 GHG emissions. It is important to track these compounds due to their long lifetimes, and high global warming potentials. HFCs account for 96.5% of High-GWP gas emissions.

high-GWP gas emissions in California

Sources of High-GWP Gases

PFCs and HFCs are used as substitutes for chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) which destroy stratospheric ozone. SF6 is used in electricity transmission and distribution and in semiconductor manufacturing. Semiconductor manufacturing also emits a small amount of NF3 which was added to the inventory as required by California Senate Bill 104 passed in 2009, because it is a potent GHG.

Explore GHG emissions by source with our interactive treemap plots.


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