Aerosols Currently Contain Negative Impact Of Emissions Argues New Climate Change Research

GreenTracker| New University of Washington research shows that the world is committed to a path of global warming, even if all emissions were stopped right now. Temperatures would remain higher than pre-Industrial Revolution days because the greenhouse gases already emitted will probably persist for thousands of years in the atmosphere.

Atmospheric particles called aerosols actually help to contain global warming by reflecting sunlight back into space.

If emissions were stopped, says Kyle Armour, a UW doctorate student in physics, the aerosols would last for only a few weeks in the atmosphere, eliminating their protective function.

Climate models used in Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assessments take into consideration a much narrower range of the possible aerosol effects, or “forcings,” than are supported by actual climate observations, Armour said. The Nobel Peace Prize-winning panel, sponsored by the United Nations, makes periodic assessments of climate change and is in the process of compiling its next report. via Science Daily

Armour says he’s not arguing against trying to contain emissions but that we must be smart about how we stop emitting. The climate change ecosystem is more complex now that the damage is done, and if scientists aren’t careful about how they address the problem, we could unleash a worse climate genie currently in the bottle. .