OAKLAND, Calif., July 5 (UPI) -- The growing popularity of flat-screen TVs could potentially affect global warming more than the world's biggest coal-fired power plants, a U.S. expert says.
As flat-screen TV sales increase, the yearly production of a greenhouse gas used in their production, nitrogen trifluoride, has reached about 4,000 tons, The Guardian reported Friday.
Michael Prather, director of the environment institute at the University of California, said his research found nitrogen trifluoride production is "exploding." The gas is 17,000 times more potent than carbon dioxide, he said.
By next year, there will be twice as much nitrogen trifluoride being produced, research indicates.
Prather and fellow expert, Juno Hsu, claim the amount of the gas produced this year is equal to 67 million tons of carbon dioxide, with "a potential greenhouse impact larger than that of the industrialized nations' emissions of PFCs or SF6, or even of the world's largest coal-fired power plants."