Are ozone-depleting substances also greenhouse gases?

1 Answer
Jun 7, 2018

Things like CFCs are also greenhouse gases, but......


Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) which are the most well known ozone depleting substances are also greenhouse gases. However, CFCs were only present in the atmosphere in relatively small quantities. So in terms of the contribution they made to the greenhouse effect it is not significant. Whereas the contribution they made to ozone depletion was huge.

Basically, because ozone depletion can be considered as a sort of chain reaction, each single molecule of CFC can start off the depletion of 100,000 molecules of ozone. So amounts of CFC that would only have a minor effect on global warming (if any effect at all) had a massive impact on ozone depletion.

CFCs as propellants were phased out around 20 years ago though.