Share of non-CO2 pollutants contributing to global warming almost as much as carbon dioxide: Study

What is the News?

According to the study published in the journal, the share of non-CO2 pollutants contributing to global warming is almost as much as carbon dioxide.

What is the potential of non-CO2 pollutants on Climate Change?

IPCC Working Group reports have shown that the contribution of CO2 and non-CO2 greenhouse gases to global heating was 52-57% and 43-48%, respectively.

Some aerosols released from fossil fuel sources are known to warm the planets, while others have the opposite effect. Cooling aerosols include sulfates, nitrates and organic carbon primarily.

Though decarbonisation efforts will lower the levels of CO2, the warming caused will not go down in the near term next 25 years. Hence, global temperatures will likely exceed 1.5 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial levels by 2035 and 2 °C by 2050 if the focus is merely on decarbonisation efforts.

What is the status of non-CO2 pollutants in global policy decisions?

Government’s focus only on CO2: The ill impacts of the non-CO2 counterparts are well-known. But the government’s climate mitigation efforts target only CO2 emissions.

Neglection from International Agencies: The Working Group III report of the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC), which deals with mitigating climate change, focuses on CO2 and a few greenhouse gases, but excludes other non-CO2 pollutants.

Hence, there is a need to urgently bend the emission curve of methane, HFCs, black carbon and a few other precursor gases that increase lower atmosphere ozone.

How to avert the non-CO2 pollutants?

The government’s have to simultaneously devise strategies targeting CO2 and non-CO2 pollutants like methane, black carbon, hydrofluorocarbons (HFC), tropospheric ozone and nitrous oxide.

Combining decarbonisation measures with targets can provide net cooling by 2030, bring down the rate of warming from 2030 to 2050 by roughly 50%, and avoid the 2 degrees Celsius level.

Oil and gas-consuming countries, Coal-consuming and rice-producing countries should also reduce methane levels.

Source: The post is based on the article “Share of non-CO2 pollutants contributing to global warming almost as much as carbon dioxide: Study” published in DTE on 26th May 2022.

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