4 YEAR CLIMATE STUDY CLAIMS BURNING WOOD A MAJOR SOURCE FOR GLOBAL WARMING
January 16, 2013 in Science
Climate change: Piers Forster
Large climate warming from soot.
It was 4 years in the making but our assessment out http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-21033078 … paper: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jgrd.50171/abstract …
Black carbon, or soot, is making a much larger contribution to global warming than previously recognised, according to research.
Scientists say that particles from diesel engines and wood burning could be having twice as much warming effect as assessed in past estimates.
They say it ranks second only to carbon dioxide as the most important climate-warming agent.
The research is in the Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres.
Black carbon aerosols have been known to warm the atmosphere for many years by absorbing sunlight. They also speed the melting of ice and snow.
Half a degree
This new study concludes the dark particles are having a warming effect approximately two thirds that of carbon dioxide, and greater than methane.
“ If we did everything we could to reduce these emissions we could buy ourselves up to half a degree less warming” Prof Piers Forster University of Leeds
“The large conclusion is that forcing due to black carbon in the atmosphere is larger,”
“The value the IPCC gave in their 4th assessment report in 2007 is half of what we are presenting in this report – it’s a little bit shocking,”
The researchers say black carbon emissions in Europe and North America have been declining due to restrictions on emissions from diesel engines.
But they have been growing steadily in the developing world.
However as these type of particles don’t last very long in the atmosphere, cutting their number would have an immediate impact on temperatures.
“Reducing emissions from diesel engines and domestic wood and coal fires is a no-brainer as there are tandem health and climate benefits,” said Professor Piers Forster from the University of Leeds.
“If we did everything we could to reduce these emissions we could buy ourselves up to half a degree less warming, or a couple of decades of respite,” he added.
The report warns that the role of black carbon is complex and can have cooling and warming effects.
“Mitigation is a complex issue because soot is typically emitted with other particles and gases that probably cool the climate,” said Prof Forster,
“For instance, organic matter in the atmosphere produced by open vegetation burning likely has a cooling effect.
Therefore the net effect of eliminating that source might not give us the desired cooling,” he added.
Black carbon is said to be a significant source of rapid warming in the northern United States, Canada, northern Europe and northern Asia.
The particles are also said to have an impact on rainfall patterns in the Asian monsoon.
Last year a six nation coalition of countries began a combined effort to curb the impact of short lived climate agents such as black carbon.
The authors say that while cutting back on soot is important, cutting carbon dioxide emissions is the best way to address climate change in the long term.
FOLLOWING Reading up on the study report it seems that
ClimateWorks Foundation as well as support for the organizations in the ClimateWorks Network supported this study assessment
Catherine Witherspoon Consultant to the … – Cleanairinfo.Com
This study assessment is a contribution of the IGBPIGAC/
WCRP-SPARC Atmospheric Chemistry and
Climate Initiative (AC&C). The authors acknowledge
financial and technical support from the International
Global Atmospheric Chemistry (IGAC) project
Koblinsky of the Climate Program Office of the National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), H.
Maring of the Radiation Sciences Program of the
National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA),
Rose Kendall of CSC, and Beth Tully of Tully Graphics.
IGAC funding for this project is via the Joint Institute for
the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean (JISAO) under
NOAA Cooperative Agreement NA10OAR4320148,
Contribution No. 2035. The authors are grateful to Ray
Minjares and the International Council on Clean
Transportation (ICCT) and Catherine Witherspoon of the
ClimateWorks Foundation for encouragement to
undertake this effort. The authors wish to thank the
AeroCom modeling community and the AERONET data
providers for their great help in providing basic data sets,
further analyzed here. Olivier Boucher is thanked for his
substantial contribution to section 8 and his careful
review and subsequent discussion with the author team
on the entire manuscript. We also thank N. Riemer of
the University of Illinois for particle-resolved simulation
results in Figure 2.5, N. Mahowald of Cornell University
for dust fields in Figure 4.1, and D. M. Winker of NASA
for providing the CALIPSO data in Figure 4.5. A. Heil
is thanked for providing information on biomass fuel
loads and M. O. Andreae for providing updates of his
biomass burning emission factor compilation. E. Baum,
J. Bachmann, R. Minjares, K. Ram, V. Ramanathan, and
D. Zaelke are thanked for reading and providing
comments that improved the document. T. C. Bond
acknowledges support for related work under U.S. EPA
RD-83503401, NASA RD-83503401, NSF ATM 08-
52775, and DOE DE-SC0006689. Piers Forster
acknowledges support from a Royal Society Wolfson
Research Merit award. N. Bellouin was supported by the
Joint DECC/Defra Met Office Hadley Centre Climate
Programme (GA01101). S. Ghan was supported by the
U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Science,
Scientific Discovery through Advanced Computing
(SciDAC) program, and the DOE Decadal and Regional
Climate Prediction using Earth System Models (EaSM)
program. The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is
operated for the DOE by Battelle Memorial Institute
under contract DE-AC06-76RLO 1830. Y. Kondo was
supported by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports,
Science, and Technology (MEXT), strategic
international cooperative program of Japan Science and
Technology Agency (JST), and the global environment
research fund of the Japanese Ministry of the
Environment (A-1101). For P. K. Quinn’s work, this is
NOAA PMEL contribution no. 3786. M. Schulz
received funding support through the EUCAARI project
(EU-FP6 Contract 34684). M. Z. Jacobson received
funding from the U.S. National Science Foundation. J.
W. Kaiser was supported by the European Union
Seventh Research Framework Programme (MACC
project, contract number 218793). S. G. Warren
acknowledges support from U.S. NSF grant ARC-06-
12636. The views expressed in this paper are those of
the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or
policies of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.