40-Year Time Window To Avert Abrupt, Severe Climate Shift & Widespread Economic Pain

reducingabrupt climate change risk image

Image credit:National Academy of Sciences

This post addresses those elected officials and industry executives with personal vision, power, and the desire to collaborate on lowering the risk of an abrupt Climate Crisis. Researchers at Scripps have constructed a critical path for climate action that requires a leveraging of the existing Montreal Protocol Treaty with prospective revisions to the existing climate agreement.

Thinking beyond "the carbon," they state that 40 years of time can be bought before the carbon dioxide threat is tackled head-on. Specifically, cutting back on non-CO2 contributors to climate change would provide an economic impact buffer to the world community while lowering the immediate risk of catastrophe. Initial economic pain would be concentrated, instead, on the HVAC and refrigeration supply chains, for example. North County Times reports

Abrupt and potentially deadly climate change can be delayed about 40 years without the need for enormously costly cuts in carbon dioxide emissions, according to a new study by a team including scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

Cutting back on non-CO2 contributors to climate change will push back the threshold for reaching a dangerous level of global warming, stated the study, published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Its authors include Mario Molina and Veerabhadran Ramanathan of the institution, part of UC San Diego.

Strategies such as reducing the levels of black carbon soot, ozone and hydrofluorocarbons, and increased trapping of carbon in vegetation provide the "fastest climate response" to counteract global warming, according to the paper.

The full publication, Special Feature: Reducing abrupt climate change risk using the Montreal Protocol and other regulatory actions to complement cuts in CO2 emissions, is available as a pdf download here.

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