The Quiet Greenhouse Gas: Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous oxide is funny gas that is hurting the ozone. (Photo: Kristian Bjornard [CC BY-SA 2.0]/Flickr)

There are going to be a lot of upset hippies and environmentally conscious dentists after word of this news gets out- nitrous oxide, aka laughing gas, is a huge threat to the ozone layer. The gas, known to fans of jam band music and painless dental procedures for its mind altering effects (and because it's in whip cream cans), is not regulated as a greenhouse gas despite its damaging effects on the ozone layer.

Chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs, are regulated by international agreements and its presence in the atmosphere has dropped since it was first banned over two decades ago. There are no regulations for nitrous oxide, a gas that has nearly 300 times the impact of CO2 over a 100 year period.

The Telegraph has the full story.