As a harmful aerosol pollutant emitted in the processing of coal, oil and industrial processes, a focus on sulfur dioxide levels have brought drastic reductions in several industrialized nations.
Currently, countries such as India and China are also making efforts to reduce these pollutants. However, a study by the European Commission Joint Research Center has found that such endeavors are likely to heat the planet more quickly.
This is because the presence of sulfur dioxide causes atmospheric cooling, which balances the heat of the CO2 released during these fossil fuel-burning processes, suggesting that heat from coal, oil and industry has played a smaller role in climate heating than previously thought.
This finding also corresponds with a report from Dr. Drew Shindell of the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration, who evaluated the interaction between methane and aerosols such as sulfur dioxide.
He also concluded that methane, generated primarily by livestock and related meat production, was having a much larger warming effect than previously understood.
Our appreciation, European Commission Joint Research Center, Dr. Shindell and all other participating scientists for this insightful finding. May such research as yours motivate more rapid efforts to reduce planet-heating greenhouse gases to preserve our environment for future generations.
As in a September 2009 videoconference in South Korea, Supreme Master Ching Hai has highlighted on many occasions that the most urgent global warming threat lies in sources other than fossil fuel-burning industries.