Curbing soot could slow climate change

2011-02-19 20:51
Oslo - Strict curbs on soot and ozone air pollution would limit global warming by 0.5°C in a step towards achieving tough world climate goals, a UN-backed study showed on Friday.

Stricter limits on "black carbon" soot and tropospheric ozone - a greenhouse gas that is a big component of smog - would also clear the air and so reduce human deaths and improve crop yields, especially in Asia, it said.

"Rapid implementation of proven emission reduction measures would have immediate and multiple benefits for human well-being," it said.

Proposed measures include cuts in flaring of natural gas, curbing gas leaks from pipelines and reducing methane emissions from livestock. Poor countries should make wider use of cleaner-burning stoves, and open-field burning of farm waste should be banned.

The study, backed by the UN Environment Programme, the World Meteorological Organisation and the Stockholm Environment Institute, will be reviewed by environment ministers from around the world during a meeting in Nairobi from February 21-25.

Full implementation of proposed measures to clamp down on black carbon and ozone would reduce future global warming by 0.5°C, within an estimated range from 0.2°C to 0.7°C, the report said.

Almost 200 countries agreed in Cancun, Mexico, in December to limit a rise in world temperatures to below 2°C above pre-industrial times, mainly by curbing emissions of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas.

Insufficient to reach goal

Many studies show that existing pledges for cuts in greenhouse gas emissions are insufficient to reach the 2°C goal, which is viewed as a threshold to dangerous change from floods, heat waves, desertification and rising sea levels.

"This is not an alternative to carbon dioxide reductions, it's complementary," Johan Kuylenstierna, of the Stockholm Environment Institute who was scientific co-ordinator of the report, told Reuters.

The study also estimated that less air pollution could avoid 2.4 million premature human deaths a year and the annual loss of 52 million tons, or about 2%, of world production of maize, rice, soybean and wheat.

"The most substantial benefits will be felt immediately in or close to the regions where action is taken to reduce emissions, with the greatest health and crop benefits expected in Asia," it said.

Black carbon, caused by incomplete burning mainly of fossil fuels and wood, is blamed for accelerating global warming by soaking up heat from the sun. Soot can darken snow and ice when it lands, hastening a thaw such as in the Arctic or Himalayas.

Ozone is not directly emitted but is produced from precursors including methane and carbon monoxide. The troposphere is the lower atmosphere - higher up, ozone is beneficial as an ultra-violet sunshield.
Read more on:    un  |  climate change
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
3 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Africa: Land of Billionaires!

Find out who are the richest of the richest in Africa!

 
 

Men24.com

Best bro movies 2014
Every man should be able to do these three things
Goalkeeper saves five penalties with his FACE!
Hottie of the day: Jesselyn

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Hot festive offers at kalahari.com!

Hurry! Stocks are limited. Don’t miss out. Shop Now!

Save up to 60% on toys!

Don’t miss out on this hot offer, save up to 60% on toys. While stocks last. Shop now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may feel divided. Conflict between mind and emotions can create tension or indecision. This could lead to stressful feelings...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.