International groups seeks immediate cuts in black carbon, methane, HFCs to protect world’s snow and ice regions
Antarctic glaciers may last a little longer with immediate cuts to short-lived climate pollutants. bberwyn photo.
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — Along with the larger battle to reduce emissions of CO2 and other long-lived greenhouse gases, policy makers should also consider how they can cut short-lived climate pollutants in order to protect the world’s snow and ice.
A study released earlier this month shows that immediate cuts to short-lived pollutants could could prevent as much as a full degree Celsius of additional warming in the Arctic by 2050, preventing up to 40 percent of projected summer sea ice loss and 25 percent of springtime snow cover loss compared to business as usual emissions.
The report from the World Bank and the International Climate Cryosphere Initiative also spells out how immediate action could save millions of lives and protect critical ecosystems. Read the cryosphere action plan here.
“Reductions in emissions from diesel engines, open field and forest burning, and wood stoves will have a significant impact on the Arctic, while reducing emissions from the burning of biomass and coal for residential cooking and heating will have the largest impact on the Himalayas,” said Durwood Zaelke, president of the Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development.
“If you cut these using existing technology right now, you can cut the rate of climate-change in half. This is a no-brainer. It saves lives, crops, and it’s not going to shut down anybody’s life,” Zaelke said. “This is a piece we can get started on right now, a damn big piece, the only thing we can do to produce results in the next 50 years … A lot of these changes can be done quickly, elegantly … with existing technology,” he said. Continue reading
Filed under: Antarctica, Arctic, climate and weather, global warming | Tagged: black soot, cryosphere, global warming, greenhouse gases, methane, short-lived climate pollutants | Leave a comment »