Why care about mobile air conditioners?
Mobile air conditioners, like those used in vehicles, contain potent greenhouse gases, like HFC-134a. HFC-134a (also called R-134a, Genetron 134a, Freon 134a, or Norflurane) is a gas that is widely used in air conditioners in cars and other cooling equipment. In vehicles, it replaced Freon-12. Freon-12 was phased out of use because it adversely affected the ozone layer in the earth’s upper atmosphere. While HFC-134a was an improvement for the ozone layer, it is a gas that has a high global warming potential. This means that it has the potential to trap much more heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide (CO2) does — 1,430 times more!
See the MPCA’s Web page on High Global Warming Potential Gases for more information about chemicals like HFC-134a.