As government climate efforts continue to focus on reducing carbon dioxide as a major greenhouse gas, a growing number of scientists and leaders have begun calling attention to other climate forcing agents whose warming effects are many times shorter-lived than CO2.
Along with methane, a potent greenhouse gas primarily generated by the livestock industry whose effects can dissipate in as few as ten years, other agents have similarly have intense warming influences that could quickly be halted. Dr. Andreas Stohl from the Norwegian Institute for Air Research explains.
Andreas Stohl (M): The short-lived climate forcers are anything that has a shorter lifetime than say, 10, 15 years, starting at methane, which has a lifetime of about 10 years. Which means that, if you reduce the emissions of these substances, then the concentrations in the atmosphere would almost immediately go down. And that means that climate impacts would also be reduced almost immediately, which we don’t get for the CO2.
VOICE: One of the aerosols that acts as a short-lived climate forcer is black carbon, or soot. Soot is released through the incomplete combustion of burning substances such as biofuels, fields, or forests.
The black air-borne particles absorb solar radiation both while in the atmosphere and after being deposited on snow or ice, resulting in regional warming.
Andreas Stohl (M): It darkens the snow surface and then the snow starts absorbing more solar radiation, and that means that the snow is probably melting away quicker in the spring. And if it’s a glacier, then it could also cause additional melting.
VOICE: We thank Dr. Stohl and all scientists and governments for your consideration of this significant warming source. Let us join in acting now to address such short-lived agents as black carbon and methane to bring swift and necessary planetary cooling. Supreme Master Ching Hai has frequently urged for the most effective actions in halting climate change, as during an interview published in the December 16, 2009 edition of The Irish Dog Journal.