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  (Source: Civilianism)
But reducing soot will lower the Arctic climate more quickly than CO2

Stanford researcher has proven that reducing soot emissions rather than carbon emissions will slow the melting of Arctic sea ice faster. 

Stanford researcher Mark Z. Jacobson developed a special computer model of air pollution, weather and global climate that has atmospheric processes that do not appear in other models. With this, he observed the effects of soot from both fossil fuels like gasoline, coal and diesel, and from solid biofuels like dung, wood and manure. According to his findings, both types of soot combined together is the "second-leading cause of global warming after carbon dioxide."

Climate models previous to Jacobson's have misread the effects of soot in the atmosphere, hence, it has been ignored when it comes to national and international global warming policy legislation. Soot is now second place in the global warming contribution ranks, putting itself above methane. Soot also "prematurely" claims the lives of more than 1.5 million people each year, and causes respiratory illnesses in millions more worldwide. 

While decreasing carbon emissions is important and at the top of the list, reducing soot emissions from fossil fuels and solid biofuels could slow the progression of global warming almost instantly. Jacobson came to this conclusion because soot only lingers in the atmosphere for a few weeks, and then it is washed out. Contrarily, carbon emissions stay in the atmosphere up to a century, which is a large gap of time before visible results of emission cuts are available. 

"Controlling soot may be the only method of significantly slowing Arctic warming within the next two decades," said Jacobson. "We have to start taking its effects into account in planning our mitigation efforts and the sooner we start making changes, the better."

During the last century, the Arctic's net warming has been at 2.5 degrees Celsius, and will only get warmer if no action is taken. By reducing soot emissions, warming above the Arctic Circle will decrease over the next 15 years by as much as 1.7 degrees Celsius. 

While these two types of soots combined are largely contributing to global warming, the soots individually are just as dangerous. Soot caused by the burning of fossil fuels is more of a contributor to global warming while soot caused by the burning of solid biofuels is more dangerous to humans. Solid biofuel soot causes eight times more deaths as fossil fuel soot. 

The difference between the two types of soot is black carbon, which is found in the fossil fuel soot and has a significant effect on warming over the Arctic. Black carbon absorbs solar radiation, converts sunlight to heat and radiates it back to its surroundings (air). It is able to absorb light reflecting away from the Earth's surface as well. This is particularly threatening to the Arctic because the black carbon is in the air over ice or snow, sunlight hits the black carbon both while coming toward Earth and when it reflects off the ice and back into space. 

"There is big concern that if the Arctic melts, it will be a tipping point for the Earth's climate because the reflective sea ice will be replaced by a much darker heat-absorbing ocean below," said Jacobson. "Once the sea ice is gone, it is really hard to regenerate because there is not an efficient mechanism to cool the ocean down in the short term."

Researchers have found that the best way to reduce soot emissions is to attach particle traps, which filter soot particles from exhaust, to vehicles like buses and diesel trucks. This is a cheap, effective and fast way of taking care of the issue. Another way to eliminate soot would be the use of electric vehicles, but automakers are just now releasing these cars onto the market, and it will take some time to push gasoline-powered vehicles completely out of the picture. 

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By FDisk City on 7/30/2010 12:41:54 PM , Rating: 2
According to his findings, both types of soot combined together is the "second-leading cause of global warming after carbon dioxide.

I guess they forgot about water vapor. Water vapor affects "Global Warming" far more than CO2 or soot. But I guess since they can't tax water vapor, it's easy to overlook.

RE: Wrong
By Jbar001 on 7/30/2010 12:51:00 PM , Rating: 1
Water vapor is a greenhouse gas and a warming feedback, but it is a slave to temperature. There is no way to control it. When temp goes down, water vapor goes down. When temp goes up, water vapor goes up. Immediately !

CO2, methane get in the air and they stay there for decades or centuries.

RE: Wrong
By wookie1 on 7/30/2010 2:49:15 PM , Rating: 2
Like water vapor, CO2 concentration is a slave to temperature. Also, there is widespread disagreement about the length of time CO2 stays in the atmosphere. I think that the climate models depend on something like 1000 years, but some scientists believe that it is in the tens of years.

Also, water vapor is both a positive and negative feedback. Which one depends on the types of clouds it produces, and similar factors.

RE: Wrong
By Solandri on 7/30/2010 6:25:45 PM , Rating: 2
What OP is referring to is the vapor pressure of water vapor. It's entirely dependent on temperature (and pressure, but it's a safe assumption that the pressure at sea level is 1 atmosphere).

The way it works is, say humans built huge factories which did nothing but evaporate water and release it into the atmosphere. At first glance you'd think that this would cause the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere to rise. But that's not how it works. At a given temperature, there is a certain partial pressure of water vapor which is stable. If the concentration of water vapor in the atmosphere rises above that point, it simply condenses and falls as rain until it's back to that stable level. If the concentration of water vapor falls below that point, more simply evaporates from the oceans and lakes until it's back to that stable level (this can take a while if the air is over a place with no water, such as a desert). So the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere is dependent almost entirely on the temperature, with a moderating time of days, if not hours or minutes.

CO2 doesn't have a similar moderating mechanism since at ambient temperature and pressure, it only exists in gaseous form. So the amount in the atmosphere is how much gets produced by animals and burning fossil fuels, minus how much is absorbed by plants, breaks down naturally, or escapes into space.

RE: Wrong
By amanojaku on 7/30/2010 1:03:49 PM , Rating: 5
In all fairness, when people talk about greenhouse gases they usually mean gases released as a direct result of human activity. It's true that water vapor contributes to 50-75% of the global warming potential, but water vapor isn't usually a direct result of human activities.

Which is why I laugh at all the enviro-nuts. I'm a tree-huger, and I'll tell you all this global warming nonsense is just that. Since water vapor heats up the Earth the most (50-75%) and holds that heat the longest (years, compared to the days or weeks of true greenhouse gases) our daily activities do very little to heat the Earth to any appreciable degree.

Instead, my concern is respiration: all that crap in the air gets in your lungs, and other places. There is a direct correlation between the increase in greenhouse gases and health issues such as respiratory infections, asthma, bronchitis, etc...

RE: Wrong
By wookie1 on 7/30/10, Rating: 0
RE: Wrong
By nafhan on 7/30/2010 4:38:05 PM , Rating: 4
By talking about problems with respiration and crap in the air, he's probably meaning things like soot and sulfur dioxide rather than inert gasses like CO2.

RE: Wrong
By Reclaimer77 on 7/31/10, Rating: 0
RE: Wrong
By knutjb on 7/31/2010 12:22:22 PM , Rating: 2
Instead, my concern is respiration: all that crap in the air gets in your lungs, and other places. There is a direct correlation between the increase in greenhouse gases and health issues such as respiratory infections, asthma, bronchitis, etc...
I agree, look at what comes out of the stacks in China, India etc... There are a number of ways to control these pollutants. Natural gas has oxides of nitrogen problems but no particulate problem.

Usually uncontrolled burning of heavy oils and coal produce the most but they can be fixed with current technologies. Farming and other land use mistakes can put large amounts of particulates in the air. I recently saw a suggestion to use coal dust on ice/snow covered roads in lieu of salt and it was highly effective. So there is some practical reasoning behind it.

The rush to judgment usually leads down the wrong path. GW/GC/CC or what ever they want to call it today is nothing more than a rush to judgment with out all the possibilities having been considered. This is an extraordinarily complex issue and a simple bad guy solution will only cause bigger problems than it will solve.

RE: Wrong
By JediJeb on 7/31/2010 1:34:26 PM , Rating: 2
Very true. Have any of these models taken into consideration the recent volcanic activity and the deposits of ash they leave on the arctic ice? Any ash deposited on the ice would reduce its reflectivity which would in turn cause it to warm faster and melt.

It is only my opinion, but I believe that CO2 is getting the blame for more contribution to warming than it should. What other variables besides soot and ash have not been plugged into the climate models that could be acting like "stealth" components to warming. Stealth in the sense that the have an effect but are not included in the calculations. If you leave out a variable that contributes to warming, then for the equation to balance you have to attribute more weight to an included variable than it actually has, thus something gets unmerited blame.

RE: Wrong
By angryplayer on 7/31/2010 11:49:15 PM , Rating: 2
Holy shart. A self-proclaimed environmentalist with sense.

I'll eat my hair.

(btw, I completely, 100% agree with you.)

RE: Wrong
By spread on 7/30/2010 3:43:24 PM , Rating: 3
Yes. But water vapor also turns into clouds which reflect away solar radiation... because clouds are white.

RE: Wrong
By JonnyDough on 7/31/2010 4:59:36 AM , Rating: 2
Clouds are white because light itself is white. Clouds are mostly water - which when light passes through refract the light, splitting it up much like a reflector would. Since clouds are mostly comprised of transparent water they have no color or reflective properties at all. They can only diffuse light and send the photons off in trillions of directions.

RE: Wrong
By JonnyDough on 7/31/2010 5:02:45 AM , Rating: 2
Which I guess...about half of those directions would be back out into space. That would result in a cooling effect. Which is exactly what will happen (and scientists predict will happen), if global warming is actually happening. Sea temps rise, water becomes vaporized, clouds REFRACT light back into space, and the earth cools again. Its a cycle I'm sure the earth has seen before. The question is, will mankind be able to survive it. Seems that the majority of dinosaurs couldn't. They may have been a lot smarter than we give them credit for actually. :)

RE: Wrong
By AssBall on 7/31/2010 3:45:28 PM , Rating: 1
You forget a simple thing here JD. If you guess that half the light goes back into space, then half goes back to the earth, which, being made of ice and water and things, refracts maybe half of it back, and half again is refracted, causing what would be a chain reaction if you consider sunlight a constant heat source. Not to mention the earth radiates a fair bit of thermal energy from internal friction due to tidal forces. It's a fraction exponent function the way your are saying it, and doesn't stabilize. Climate change has to be more complicated than that, or we would be dead.

Sea temps rise, water becomes vaporized, clouds REFRACT light back into space, and the earth cools again. Its a cycle I'm sure the earth has seen before. The question is, will mankind be able to survive it. Seems that the majority of dinosaurs couldn't

Dinosaurs? WTF? The particulates in the air caused by the meteor impact wiped out almost all plant life and cooled the earth, that is why they died.

They may have been a lot smarter than we give them credit for actually. :)

Based on paleontological evidence, yeah, I'm certain the dinosaurs were geniuses. Just like the Lumerians and Atlantians, right?

RE: Wrong
By daInvincibleGama on 8/1/2010 11:23:01 PM , Rating: 1
Most of what you're saying is a fair, reasoned analysis, unlike most posts on DT these days, which seem to be politically motivated.

That said, I don't really agree with what you're saying, and here's why. First off, clouds don't dissipate light uniformly (50% in and 50% out). Thicker clouds are usually darker because more light is being reflected into space. If each cloud layer 100m thick has a certain percent chance of reflecting light, say 50%, then a 200m thick cloud will reflect about 67% of light. 50% of total for the first half and 25% of total for second half (and half of that bounces back again).

Also, higher ocean temps will increase water vapor in the air (more clouds), but a higher air temperature would cause less condensation (fewer clouds). It might not balance out perfectly, but the net cloud effect should be close to 0. I really hope it works out in our favor, so the Earth doesn't keep warming, but that's just wishful thinking on my part.

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