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Wikipedia says NF3 absorbs 17,000 times more IR energy than CO2, so why? Is it about different vibrational modes again? Thanks
Question Date: 2008-11-03
Answer 1:

It appears that NF3 absorbs strongly at 900 nm. This is a wavelength NOT absorbed by CO2 or O2 or O3. So radiation that would otherwise be emitted to space at around 900 nm (near infra red) will be absorbed if NF3 is present. It appears that the lifetime of NF3 is about 700 years. So, yes I think the reason it is a stronger greenhouse gas is based on the different vibrational modes for NF3 relative to other greenhouse gasses, coupled with the fact that it degrades slowly. Hope this helps, write back if you need more info, I will do my best!

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