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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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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.

quote:
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.

quote:
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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