Climate change

Aerosols reduce Arctic warming

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Particles suspended in the atmosphere have decreased the amount of warming caused by greenhouse gases in the Arctic, but this could change as future air pollution is reduced.

Aerosols have a cooling effect by reflecting sunlight back into space. Mohammad Reza Najafi at the University of Victoria in Canada and his colleagues analysed nine climate models running from 1913 to 2012, comparing simulations with and without greenhouse gases, aerosols and other climate drivers. Their results show that aerosols have offset 1.3–2.2 °C of Arctic warming from greenhouse gases, limiting the observed warming to 1.2 °C. With aerosol emissions projected to drop in the coming decades, the rate of the warming is likely to increase.

The team says that its results underscore the reliability of the climate models, which simulate 8.3 °C of warming in the Arctic in a high-emissions scenario by the end of the century.

Nature Clim. Change (2015)


  1. Report this comment #65079

    Weston Haskell said:

    The oceanic sink for carbon dioxide can be fertilized by use of the correct form of soluble iron Stephane Blain, et al., Nature V446, 1070-1074(2007)"Effect of natural iron fertilization on carbon sequestration in the Southern Ocean" Here they find that the phytoplankton use one gram iron it takes one million gram carbon to the ocean bottom. That means we can remove CO2 af a cost
    of US five cents per ton.

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