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"HFCs are good for protecting the ozone layer, but they are not climate friendly," said David W. Fahey, a scientist at NOAA and second author of the new study. "Our research shows that their effect on climate could become significantly larger than we expected, if we continue along a business-as-usual path."
HFCs currently have a climate change contribution that is small (less than 1 percent) in comparison to the contribution of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. The authors have shown that by 2050 the HFCs contribution could rise to 7 to 12 percent of what CO2 contributes. And if international efforts succeed in stabilizing CO2 emissions, the relative climate contribution from HFCs would increase further.