Smog Could Cause 2.5°C+ Warming, Even With Strong Global Climate Deal


Smog in Los Angeles, photo: Al Pavangkanan via flickr.

We've written about the increasingly acknowledged impact of black carbon, soot and smog in global warming, but here's a sobering thought on all that: Dr Veerabhadra Ramanathan of the Scripps Institute of Oceanography says that even with a strong climate change agreement next month at COP15 we still could see global temperatures rise above 2°C -- all because of smog:Atmospheric Brown Cloud To Blame
Technically its the Atmospheric (neé Asian) Brown Cloud -- the dense smog that hangs over Los Angeles and other parts of the US, in Brazil, in parts of Africa, China and South Asia -- that's the culprit.

It's made up of up to 55% black carbon (emissions from autos, biomass cookstoves, and other sources) in some places, with the rest being methane, ozone and halocarbons.

Breaking down that black carbon composition further, 25% is from biomass cookstoves and 42% from open burning.

Without addressing the ABC as well as carbon dioxide emissions, Dr Ramanathan says you will still have at least 2.5°C temperature increases.

via: IPS News
Black Carbon Accelerates Glacial Melting
Related... Recent research shows both how serious and how solvable this part of the global warming equation is. Black soot has been found to be accelerating glacial melting in the Himalayas -- with fine coatings found in areas that are otherwise pristine.

But Solution Is Within Reach
The good news is that by replacing older biomass cookstoves with more efficient newer models less soot is emitted (a double bonus for indoor air pollution and deforestation). And since black carbon particles can come out of the air in a matter of weeks, the warming effect can be ameliorated.

Global Climate Change
Aerosols More Important to Global Warming Than Acknowledged
Black Carbon May Be Planet's Second Most Potent GHG
Separate Climate Treaty Needed to Address Short-Term Components of Global Warming

Tags: Global Climate Change | Global Warming Causes | Global Warming Science

2014 Gift Guide

WHAT'S HOT ON FACEBOOK