The current must-have consumer item, the flat-screen television, not only gobbles up more power, but the nitrogen trifluoride gas it is made with could have a greater impact on global warming than the world’s largest coal-fired power stations. Michael Prather, director of the environment institute at the University of California, Irvine, said nitrogen trifluoride is 17,000 times more potent than carbon dioxide, yet no-one knows how much of it is being released into the atmosphere. Demand for flat screen TVs has lifted production of the gas so far to 4000 tonnes a year — equivalent to 67m tonnes of carbon dioxide. It can remain in the atmosphere for 550 years, according to Prather. ~ Guardian (UK), July 3