A scientist who monitors chemicals in the atmosphere was stunned when he detected a rise in emissions of CFCs, despite a worldwide ban.
CFCs are chemicals used to make foam for buildings and also found in aerosols and refrigerants, and they can destroy ozone. Stephen Montzka of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and his colleagues have tracked the source of the new CFC-11 emissions to east Asia, and they are searching for the exact location so they can take action. "I have been doing this for 27 years and this is the most surprising thing I've ever seen," he told The Guardian. "I was just shocked by it. We are acting as detectives of the atmosphere, trying to understand what is happening and why. When things go awry, we raise a flag."
CFCs were banned after scientists discovered a hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica in the 1980s. CFCs that were used before the ban can leak into the air, but because it's more expensive to make the less-damaging alternative to CFC-11, the increase in emissions could be due to new, illegal production of CFC-11. Montzka says he is confident researchers will "find out fairly quickly what exactly is going on and that the situation will be remedied." If someone is making CFC-11, Montzka said, he's hopeful they will learn that scientists are on the case and will cease production. Catherine Garcia
A U.S. federal air marshal attacked with a syringe by an unknown assailant is now in quarantine, law enforcement officials said Monday.
The incident took place Sunday night in the Lagos, Nigeria, airport, ABC News reports. The marshal was traveling with other marshals when he was injected in the back of the arm with an unknown substance. The assailant fled, but one of the marshals was able to find the needle, and it was brought back to the United States for testing.
The team of marshals flew on a United Airlines flight to Houston, and the plane was met by FBI agents and health workers from the Centers for Disease Control and prevention. Because the substance he was injected with has not been identified yet, the marshal was immediately put into quarantine "out of an abundance of caution," an FBI spokesperson said. The spokesperson added that the man was never a danger to the other passengers on the plane.
The team was dressed in plain clothes, so it was not obvious that they were American law enforcement agents, an official said. "While there is no immediate intelligence to confirm this was a targeted attack, this is our reminder that international cowards will attempt to take sneaky lethal shots at our honorable men and women abroad," Jon Adler, national president of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, told ABC News. Catherine Garcia