Researchers call for greater efforts to combat global warming – ScienceDaily


An international research team used satellite data to demonstrate that concentrations of particulate matter pollutants have decreased significantly since 2000. This is desirable because of their impact on health. But it is also of great importance for another reason, because it has reduced the effect of particle cooling on the climate.

The cause of global warming is the emission of greenhouse gases. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), by 2019, the temperature had risen by 1.1°C compared to pre-industrial levels. However, at the same time, the combustion of fossil fuels emits aerosols, in the form of polluting particles such as soot or sulfuric acid, which cools our climate. They reflect sunlight and also increase the reflection of clouds. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the presence of aerosols in the atmosphere caused the climate to be 0.5°C cooler in 2019 than elsewhere. Other influences such as land use change also play a role.

The study documents extensive evidence of the effect of this low cooling climate

In a new international analysis, Professor Johannes Coase, a meteorologist at the University of Leipzig, and colleagues from across Europe, China and the United States document strong evidence for this climate effect on improved air quality. “We analyzed data from NASA’s Terra and Aqua satellites. They have provided comprehensive satellite observations of the Earth since 2000, measuring incoming and outgoing radiation, but also cloud and aerosol pollution. The latter has decreased dramatically across North America, Europe, and other countries. East Asia since 2000,” says Professor Johannes Coase, lead author of the study, which was initiated at a meeting by the two European research projects Constraint and Forces.

Reduced cooling from aerosols leads to increased warming due to carbon dioxide2 Since 2000, up to 50 percent

This also reduced the cooling effect of the aerosols. Compared to 2000, it has resulted in an increase in the warming effect of up to 50 percent that of carbon dioxide.2 increases in the same period. This means that the global warming engines are accelerating compared to the previous period. Coase concludes, “Our study should not be interpreted to mean that we must now release more aerosols to cool the climate. On the contrary: Aerosols are harmful to human health and the environment, which is why we need to continue to reduce emissions.” It is for this reason that air quality legislation has become more stringent since the 1970s and is being implemented by more and more countries. In the new study, Professor Coas and colleagues underscore the urgent need than ever to make rapid and robust cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.

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Materials Introduction of University of Leipzig. Note: Content can be modified according to style and length.



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