A bit of a bombshell from the AGU IGBR: Black carbon is a larger cause of climate change than previously assessed

From the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme via Eurekalert, some of the heat gets taken off CO2 as the ‘big kahuna’ of forcings, now there is another major player, one that we can easily do something about. I’ve often speculated that black carbon is a major forcing for Arctic sea ice, due to examples like this one.  – Anthony

Reducing diesel engine emissions would reduce warming

blackcarbonl[1]

This shows black carbon processes in the climate system. Credit: American Geophysical Union 2013. Credit D. W. Fahey

 

Black carbon is the second largest man-made contributor to global warming and its influence on climate has been greatly underestimated, according to the first quantitative and comprehensive analysis of this issue.

The landmark study published in the Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres today says the direct influence of black carbon, or soot, on warming the climate could be about twice previous estimates. Accounting for all of the ways it can affect climate, black carbon is believed to have a warming effect of about 1.1 Watts per square meter (W/m2), approximately two thirds of the effect of the largest man made contributor to global warming, carbon dioxide.

Co-lead author David Fahey from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said, “This study confirms and goes beyond other research that suggested black carbon has a strong warming effect on climate, just ahead of methane.” The study, a four-year, 232-page effort, led by the International Global Atmospheric Chemistry (IGAC) Project, is likely to guide research efforts, climate modeling, and policy for years to come.

The report’s best estimate of direct climate influence by black carbon is about a factor of two higher than most previous work, including the estimates in the last Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Assessment released in 2007, which were based on the best available evidence and analysis at that time.

Scientists have spent the years since the last IPCC assessment improving estimates, but the new assessment notes that emissions in some regions are probably higher than estimated. This is consistent with other research that also hinted at significant under-estimates in some regions’ black carbon emissions.

The results indicate that there may be a greater potential to curb warming by reducing black carbon emissions than previously thought. “There are exciting opportunities to cool climate by reducing soot emissions but it is not straightforward. Reducing emissions from diesel engines and domestic wood and coal fires is a no brainer, as there are tandem health and climate benefits. If we did everything we could to reduce these emissions we could buy ourselves up to half a degree less warming–or a couple of decades of respite,” says co-author Professor Piers Forster from the University of Leeds’s Faculty of Earth and Environment.

1-blackcarbonl[1]

This shows global climate forcing of black carbon and co-emitted species in the industrial era (1750-2005). Credit: American Geophysical Union 2013. Credit D. W. Fahey

The international team urges caution because the role of black carbon in climate change is complex. “Black carbon influences climate in many ways, both directly and indirectly, and all of these effects must be considered jointly”, says co-lead author Sarah Doherty of the University of Washington, an expert in snow measurements. The dark particles absorb incoming and scattered heat from the sun (solar radiation); they can promote the formation of clouds that can have either cooling or warming impact; and black carbon can fall on the surface of snow and ice, promoting warming and increasing melting. In addition, many sources of black carbon also emit other particles whose effects counteract black carbon, providing a cooling effect.

The research team quantified all the complexities of black carbon and the impacts of co-emitted pollutants for different sources, taking into account uncertainties in measurements and calculations. The study suggests mitigation of black carbon emissions for climate benefits must consider all emissions from each source and their complex influences on climate. Based on the analysis, black carbon emission reductions targeting diesel engines followed by some types of wood and coal burning in small household burners would have an immediate cooling impact.

In addition, the report finds black carbon is a significant cause of the rapid warming in the Northern Hemisphere at mid to high latitudes, including the northern United States, Canada, northern Europe and northern Asia. Its impacts can also be felt farther south, inducing changes in rainfall patterns from the Asian Monsoon. This demonstrates that curbing black carbon emissions could have significant impact on reducing regional climate change while having a positive impact on human health.

“Policy makers, like the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, are talking about ways to slow global warming by reducing black carbon emissions. This study shows that this is a viable option for some black carbon sources and since black carbon is short lived, the impacts would be noticed immediately. Mitigating black carbon is good for curbing short-term climate change, but to really solve the long-term climate problem, carbon dioxide emissions must also be reduced,” says co-lead author Tami Bond from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

###

FULL REPORT: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jgrd.50171/abstract

Images to use for reference in the report for this press release:

Figure 1.1 Schematic overview of the primary black carbon emission sources and the processes that control the distribution of black carbon in the atmosphere and determine its role in the climate system [Bond et al., 2013].

Figure 9.1 Quantitative estimates of black carbon climate forcing. This study indicates the direct effects due to black carbon are nearly twice the number reported in the 2007 IPCC Fourth Assessment [Bond et al., 2013].

###

The International Global Atmospheric Chemistry (IGAC) Project was formed in 1990 to address growing international concern over rapid changes observed in the Earth’s atmosphere. IGAC operates under the umbrella of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP) and is jointly sponsored by the international Commission on Atmospheric Chemistry and Global Pollution (iCACGP). IGAC’s mission is to coordinate and foster atmospheric chemistry research towards a sustainable world (www.igacproject.org). The IGAC International Project Office is hosted by the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado, USA.

The new assessment, “Bounding the role of black carbon in the climate system: A scientific assessment,” is published online at the Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres, a journal of the American Geophysical Union, and can be accessed free of charge. The four coordinating lead authors are: Tami Bond (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), Sarah Doherty (Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean, University of Washington, USA), David Fahey (NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory and Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, USA) and Piers Forster (University of Leeds, UK).

Other co-authors are: T. Berntsen (Center for International Climate and Environmental Research-Oslo and Department of Geosciences, University of Oslo, Norway), B. J. DeAngelo (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency), M. G. Flanner (University of Michigan, USA), S. Ghan (Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, USA), B.Kärcher (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany), D. Koch (Department of Energy, USA), S. Kinne (Max Planck Institute, Germany), Y. Kondo (University of Tokyo, Japan), P. K. Quinn (NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, USA), M. C. Sarofim (Environmental Protection Agency, USA), M. G. Schultz (Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, Germany), M. Schulz (Norwegian Meteorological Institute, Norway), C. Venkataraman (Indian Institute of Technology, India), H. Zhang (China Meteorological Administration, China.), S. Zhang (Peking University, China), N. Bellouin (Met Office Hadley Centre, Exeter, UK), S. K. Guttikunda (Desert Research Institute, USA), P. K. Hopke (Clarkson University, USA), M. Z. Jacobson (Stanford University, USA), J. W. Kaiser (European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasts, UK; King’s College London, UK; and Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Germany), Z. Klimont (International Institute for Applied System Analysis, Austria), U. Lohmann (Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich,, Switzerland), J. P. Schwarz (NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory and Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado, USA), D. Shindell (NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, USA), T. Storelvmo (Yale University, USA), S. G. Warren (University of Washington, USA), C. S. Zender (University of California, Irvine, USA).

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169 Responses to A bit of a bombshell from the AGU IGBR: Black carbon is a larger cause of climate change than previously assessed

  1. Chris4692 says:

    Its a good thing they didn’t find it to be more influential than CO2 or their study wouldn’t be taken seriously.

  2. Theo Goodwin says:

    Someone please tell me if I am wrong. With black carbon, no one is going to claim that it is randomly distributed throughout the atmosphere. There are identifiable sources, identifiable paths from sources to threatened areas of the environment, and distinct kinds of impacts on those areas of the environment, right?

  3. DCA says:

    I was just going to email this to you Anthony but you are on the ball, as usual.

    How does this affect CO2 sensitivity? If I’m thinking right it would make it 0.8C.

  4. Brian says:

    Drat – more juice for the fireplace gestapo in California.

  5. AleaJactaEst says:

    and what a specious comment ….”The dark particles absorb incoming and scattered heat from the sun (solar radiation); they can promote the formation of clouds that can have either cooling or warming impact; and black carbon can fall on the surface of snow and ice, promoting warming and increasing melting. In addition, many sources of black carbon also emit other particles whose effects counteract black carbon, providing a cooling effect.”

    Hot-cold, wet-dry, they don’t realise what utter idiots they appear after making such claims.

  6. omnologos says:

    Black carbon kills children. One would’ve thought climate worriers would’ve jumped at the opportunity years ago and pushed something practical at the various COPs.

    Alas children aren’t on top of.their agendas.

  7. Kon Dealer says:

    Well what a surprise!
    First we have a far greater role for Solar than previously thought- now black carbon.

    Not much of a role left for CO2!!

  8. milodonharlani says:

    All the more reason for the US to sell China its higher BTU density, low sulfur coal!

    Also, did you see this:

    http://news.yahoo.com/big-chill-vs-global-warming-whats-going-165639216.html

    Mikey as expected claims that bitterly cold & snowy winters are a sign of “climate change”. I have to agree that the climate changes from summer to winter. But of course climate changes all the time, in cycles long & short, from years to billions of years.

  9. Sam the First says:

    “Based on the analysis, black carbon emission reductions targeting diesel engines followed by some types of wood and coal burning in small household burners would have an immediate cooling impact”

    So once more it’s the ‘little person’ who gets targeted, right after trucks and lorries and other diesel vehicles, never mind that petrochemical and other industrial plants, and forest /industrial /domestic building fires must each of them pump out a huge amount more carbon than individual homes with a fireplace!

    It’s time fire-setting was made a very serious offence esp in developed countries, for all kinds of reasons; and that forest maintenance was made a priority. So many of the raging forest fires are avoidable with more vigilance and foresight.

  10. Alec Rawls says:

    Sounds like good news, since black carbon is something we can control in either direction. We should be dotting the great white north with coal-electric generation plants that are designed to maximize soot production at any sure sign that always-dangerous global cooling is on the move. It would probably not be efficient to try to move the electricity over any large distance so the generation would be for local use only and the plants should have a clean-burning option built in so that this service can still be provided when global warming is not needed, but the primary function would be soot production.

  11. temp says:

    Hey look CO2 not working out as the proper devil lets shift blame, goalposts, etc, etc, etc in order to save face.

    Stuff like this is scary because it will become the “next global warming” with the same goals, same laws, same everything. Just another propaganda shift because the last bit of propaganda was so fake that it even the billions spent to prop it up has failed.

  12. jaycurrie says:

    Pretty soon there is not going to be any warming left for CO2 to be blamed for. Solar, Black Carbon, UHI…and given the scarcity of any warming at all for the last sixteen years the CO2 bogeyman is looking a lot less scary.

  13. Bruce Cobb says:

    They keep recycling black carbon, which is a red herring, along with Methane. The only reason to clean up actual air pollutants, including soot, is for health reasons, nothing more. One only needs to look at what is happening in China now to know that.

  14. Jack says:

    So turns out the greens blocking slow burns actually create soot from massive bushfires. Irony as thick as their hypocrisy. But still a lot of work to be done before ny politician seizes the excuse for another tax and another round of alrmist grants.

  15. Gary Pearse says:

    “…reduce these emissions we could buy ourselves up to half a degree less warming–or a couple of decades of respite,”

    Now folks, you very diligently found an underestimation of the effect of soot on temp. Don’t now underestimate how much respite this will buy. 0.5 C reduction in warming estimates will buy maybe 10 decades of respite, not a couple of decades.

  16. gator69 says:

    Black carbon is nothing new under the Sun. About half is emitted naturally, much from forest fires which we now suppress. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

  17. Phil says:

    “Black carbon” or soot is a product of incomplete combustion. If the combustion were more complete, then CO2 emissions would be higher. Elimination of diesel engines would cause a tremendous increase in poverty, because there are no good substitutes. Substitutes are generally (a) more expensive, (b) less efficient and/or (c) less reliable.

  18. Jimbo says:

    I’ve often speculated that black carbon is a major forcing for Arctic sea ice, due to examples like this one. – Anthony

    No need to speculate. I know you’ve seen this before.

    Dr. James Hansen and Larissa Nazarenko – November 4, 2003
    Soot climate forcing via snow and ice albedos

    Plausible estimates for the effect of soot on snow and ice albedos (1.5% in the Arctic and 3% in Northern Hemisphere land areas) yield a climate forcing of +0.3 W/m2 in the Northern Hemisphere. The “efficacy” of this forcing is ∼2, i.e., for a given forcing it is twice as effective as CO2 in altering global surface air temperature. This indirect soot forcing may have contributed to global warming of the past century, including the trend toward early springs in the Northern Hemisphere, thinning Arctic sea ice, and melting land ice and permafrost. If, as we suggest, melting ice and sea level rise define the level of dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system, then reducing soot emissions, thus restoring snow albedos to pristine high values, would have the double benefit of reducing global warming and raising the global temperature level at which dangerous anthropogenic interference occurs. However, soot contributions to climate change do not alter the conclusion that anthropogenic greenhouse gases have been the main cause of recent global warming and will be the predominant climate forcing in the future.
    http://www.pnas.org/content/101/2/423.short
    ————–
    Full paper.
    http://faculty.missouri.edu/~glaserr/current_news/Article_PNAS_Soot_423.pdf

  19. Craig from Belvidere says:

    OK, so why believe this any more than anything else. I am sure we will now get lottsa models for billions of dollars that tell us whatever is in vogue with the political powers approving the grants. Climate “science” is corrupt and might be beyond redemption so we need to take a generational break from the topic.

    I think that “researchers” should just post their raw data on-line and let everybody have at it (we paid for it anyway so it should be ours). Then in 20 years or so we can decide what data is actually representative of reality versus what was researcher biased and then begin to make some decisions.

  20. Jimbo says:

    Mitigating black carbon is good for curbing short-term climate change, but to really solve the long-term climate problem, carbon dioxide emissions must also be reduced,” says co-lead author Tami Bond from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

    Of course. :-p

  21. oldfossil says:

    Brian says:
    January 15, 2013 at 10:54 am

    Drat – more juice for the fireplace gestapo in California.

    In your entire lifetime your barbecue and coal/wood stove will output about as much black carbon as a thermal power station in one minute. But we’ve got to keep those bureaucrats busy, right?

    For the last decade at least we’ve had satellites in polar orbits that can measure earth’s albedo. Surely by now there must be enough data to start looking for trends and correlations?

    Here’s another thought. Imagine the whole of earth’s land surface covered in photovoltaic solar energy cells. With all that extra energy being retained instead of bounced back into space, do you think the planet would get warmer or cooler?

  22. Anthony:

    Your article says

    The landmark study published in the Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres today says the direct influence of black carbon, or soot, on warming the climate could be about twice previous estimates. Accounting for all of the ways it can affect climate, black carbon is believed to have a warming effect of about 1.1 Watts per square meter (W/m2), approximately two thirds of the effect of the largest man made contributor to global warming, carbon dioxide.

    and

    The report’s best estimate of direct climate influence by black carbon is about a factor of two higher than most previous work, including the estimates in the last Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Assessment released in 2007, which were based on the best available evidence and analysis at that time.

    Yes, it is precisely “a factor of two higher” and the IPCC were pressed into mentioning the smaller value in its 2007 Report. For example, this was one of my review comments.

    Page 2-4 Chapter 2 Line 2

    Page 2-4 Chapter 2 Line 2 of the draft says nitrous oxide is the “fourth most important greenhouse gas” and Page 2-3 Chapter 2 Lines 50 and 51 (wrongly) say methane is “the second largest RF contributor” (assuming that the effect of water vapour is ignored as is the convention in this Chapter except for Section 3.2.8.). But the draft does not state the third largest contributor.

    Before Page 2-4 Chapter 2 Line 2, the draft needs to be amended to include the RF of particles of sulphate aerosols combined with soot that is the second largest RF contributor.
    1. CO2 has RF of 1.63 W/m^2,
    2. particles of sulphate aerosols combined with soot have RF of 0.55 W/m^2 (ref. Jacobson MZ, Nature, vol. 409, 695-697 (2000))
    3. methane has RF of 0.48 W/m^2.
    4. and nitrous oxide has RF of 0.16 W/m^2.

    The authors of this chapter seem to be ignorant of the warming effect of sulphate aerosols combined with soot particles. But their correct statement that nitrous oxide is the “fourth most important greenhouse gas” implies that they are choosing to deliberately ignore the warming effect of sulphate aerosols combined with soot particles.

    Richard

  23. Billy Liar says:

    What about dust from deserts? The Sahara puts plenty of dust on the glaciers of the European Alps every year, you can see it every summer – it makes the snow look pinkish or yellowish. Plenty of other dry places have dust storms where the finest particles will probably travel long distances. Why single out carbon particles when sand/rock particles are more than likely equally prevalent?

  24. Billy Liar says:

    Oh, I forgot. Dust is blameless because it’s not man-made. Silly me!

  25. Mike says:

    Reblogged this on This Got My Attention and commented:
    There are lots of sources of black carbon!

  26. Jimbo says:

    Back in 1985 there was some speculation about soot on Arctic ice.

    Arctic haze and the radiation balance
    Abstract
    Airborne measurements of the absorption of solar radiation by the Arctic haze indicate atmospheric heating rates of 0.15 to 0.25/Kday at latitudes between 72.6 and 74.0 N during the early spring. The haze interaction with solar radiation alters the radiative balance of the atmosphere-surface system. Generally, this interaction results in an increase of the solar energy absorbed by the atmosphere and in a decrease of the radiation absorbed by the ground. The cumulative deposition of black carbon over the surface produces a change in the optical properties of the ice which may results in an accelerating rate of ice melt. Experimental evidence of the magnitude of this effect is necessary to properly evaluate its consequences. An extended monitoring program is suggested.
    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1985STIN…8720146V

  27. Chris Beal says:

    We can blame this all in the Ice Road Trucker show.
    Volcanos people, Hint 2 years ago when Europe air ports were shut down. Ash went into the Attic regions and fell as ash snow. That ash had major role in this years Attic sea ice melt off also. Sun spot activity increased and extra energy being absorbed by volcanic ash and BC = Fast Melting snow and ice.
    Imiges of China’s Polution from space are not good. http://www.nnvl.noaa.gov/imageoftheday.php

  28. Henry Galt says:

    Nice. But; “… to really solve the long-term climate problem, carbon dioxide emissions must also be reduced …”

    Luckily for us we can ‘crack’ diesel into cleaner burning goodies.

    I helped to build the crackers at Milford Haven in the 70ies. Fell in love with the daughter of the top engineer. Trouble was she was the girlfriend of my best friend’s brother. A part of me is forever Texan ;)

  29. page488 says:

    Seriously – do these people expect anyone to take seriously their claims of any kind of inter-connected effects with respect to soot combined with other so-called “climate forcings.”. I don’t doubt that “climate forcings,” one way or the other, exist, but the scientists can’t really explain the interactions except with wild-ass speculation, especially since they can’t fully explain individual climate forcings with any degree of certainty to begin with.

    The knowledge just is not there – never has been, IMO.

  30. Mike says:

    From the report:
    By far the largest regional source of soot is brush fires and biomass burning in China, India and other parts of Asia, accounting for between 25 and 35 percent of global soot emissions, according to soot emission specialists. The soot emitted in developing nations results from the burning of field stubble and the estimated 2.5 billion people who cook their food on open fires.
    “Dr. Tami Bond of the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign, estimates the sources of black carbon emissions as follows:
    •42% Open biomass burning (forest and savanna burning)
    •18% Residential biofuel burned with traditional technologies
    •14% Diesel engines for transportation
    •10% Diesel engines for industrial use
    •10% Industrial processes and power generation, usually from smaller boilers
    •6% Residential coal burned with traditional technologies

    So, how to solve the fact that 40 percent of the people on Earth live on dirt floors, and 35% of the 6.7 Billion people on Earth burn wood or coal: the answer to global warming is obvious- free birth control for all countries.

  31. Peter Melia says:

    Diesel engine emissions are well fingered in the report. There is a danger in restricting diesel engine usage, in that virtually all of the world runs upon diesel. The poorer peoples of the globe, which is most people, would be vastly more poor if diesel engines were in some way, any way penalised, with results so well described by Willis Eschenbach yesterday. It should be remembered that the diesel engine cycle is the most fuel efficient energy to work transformer known to man. Any attempt to tamper with it would increase fuel costs, and therefore the cost of everything, there is. If diesel engines are to targeted, the efforts should be to maintain the pre-eminence of the diesel engine whilst reducing the carbon content (not carbon dioxide) content of the fuel.

  32. Adam Gallon says:

    “In addition, the report finds black carbon is a significant cause of the rapid warming in the Northern Hemisphere at mid to high latitudes, including the northern United States”
    Hmm, what about the USA cooling somewhat since the 1930s?

  33. This ‘discovery’ would be funny if it wasn’t something already known and acknowledged in many circles. Black soot particles are a known health hazard. Not having read the paper, I can’t say whether or not they acknowledge that one effect of these emissions is to increase rainfall since the particlulates provide a ‘binder’ for the formation of droplets, creating more clouds as well.

    The European Union has been addressing the issue of particulate emissions from diesel engines for the last 20 plus years. We are now on the Euro 4 generation engines, though there are still Euro 2 and 3 engines on the road. The latest emissions reduction Directive aims to reduce these still further. The trouble is that the Eastern Europeans, Russians, Chinese and most of Africa and the Middle East are still running diesel engines that wouldn’t even meet the first Euro emissions requirements. I can speak from personal observations in Tehran and Kazahkstan just to name two locations where every truck, bus and van belches black smoke constantly. There needs to be a clean up of the whole world’s diesel engines to make any impact on this one – and it is unlikely, since every peasant farmer uses diesel in something and in the Far East it’s usually a two-stroke traction unit which pulls everything he can hitch to it.

  34. Rob Ricket says:

    Great news…now all we have to do is waste more food crops on useless bio-fuel to save the planet from the Black Carbon Menace.

  35. Dr. Acula says:

    Oh my, those are some mighty big error bars!

  36. Pat Frank says:

    It’s a 40 MB file – by far the largest scientific pdf I’ve ever encountered. Figure 9.1 shows the “Globally averaged climate forcing in units of W m^-2 from BC emissions in the year 2005 compared to those in 1750 (the industrial era).” The error bars are so large that the net effects of black carbon (BC) are impossible to judge.

    Forcing from BC alone is 1.1(+/-)0.8 W m^-2, and “BC and its co-emitted species from BC-rich sources” is -0.06(+/-)1.37 W m^-2. The confidence intervals are 90%. It’s hard to see how any definitive conclusions are possible.

    It’s certainly true that climate models will be completely unable to resolve the thermal effects of BC. It’s possible that a BC effect on snow albedo and snow melt could be evaluated using a combined approach of observations (BC verified as present on the snow surface), and a semi-empirical (thermodynamic model plus measurements) analytical study.

  37. I’m fascinated by papers by climatologists especially when they have 20 or 40 co-authors just the get greeny points to promote their academic careers. I wonder if even half of them even looked at the paper, not to mention contributed to it?

  38. Doug Huffman says:

    I’m wounded. The red “on-road car” is clearly a VW NB, likely a TDI given the thrust of the cartoon. I wonder what is the mile specific soot emission of a modern diesel engine?

    http://scitechdaily.com/vw-passat-tdi-clean-diesel-vehicle-travels-1626-miles-on-one-tank-of-fuel/

    6.943 lb/US gal x 17 gal (fuel capacity) = 118.031 lbm fuel x 0.86 carbon = 101.5 lbm carbon ∕ 1626 miles = 0.062 lbm carbon/mile gross possibility, about 2/3 identified combustion products are hydrocarbons. Who fails to do arithmetic is doomed, not least to nonsense.

    My $18K 2003 VW Jetta TDI with 160K miles still produces 50+ mpg on every possible occasion. Summer bicycling trips from Wisconsin to Florida via the sponge route generally cost about 60 or 70 gallons.

  39. G. Karst says:

    So we are prepared to severely cut soot emissions to allay warming. Does that mean we are equally prepared to choke the atmosphere with soot in order to mitigate cooling when it finally manifests itself? Have some forgotten climate change has two directional vectors and the consequences of cooling, make warming – a pleasant walk in the park? GK

  40. rogerknights says:

    Another arrow in the elephant. This must mitigate the alarmism of AR5 somewhat.

  41. Stephen Richards says:

    With the CO² meme failing this is just another attempt to find a way to attack the use of fossil fuel cars and lorries.

  42. arthur4563 says:

    Quite amazing how one can describe a system as incredibly complex and with various counter effects , yet claim with confidence the net total effect. I’d say it’s no great insight to realize that black objects in the skies will absorb solar radiation. Is there a soul among us who hasn’t walked on black asphalt?
    Duh!

  43. Kelvin Vaughan says:

    I burnt a plastic dinner tray once. I have never seen so much soot. A thick black cloud shout up vertically into the atmosphere.

  44. John Peter says:

    “jaycurrie says:
    January 15, 2013 at 11:00 am
    Pretty soon there is not going to be any warming left for CO2 to be blamed for. Solar, Black Carbon, UHI…and given the scarcity of any warming at all for the last sixteen years the CO2 bogeyman is looking a lot less scary.”
    If you look here you will note yet another paper promoting the idea that a doubling of CO2 is having a much lower effect than that predicted by IPCC
    http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/new-paper-confirms-findings-of-lindzen.html?m=1
    “A paper under review for Earth System Dynamics uses a novel technique based on satellite data and surface air temperatures to find that global warming due to increased CO2 is is much less than claimed by the IPCC. According to the author, the findings confirm those of Spencer & Braswell and Lindzen & Choi that a doubling of CO2 levels would only lead to an increase in top of the atmosphere temperature of 0.67°C, or global surface temperature of about 0.18°C, instead of the alleged 3°C claimed by IPCC computer models.”
    So maybe Black Soot already has a more powerful warming effect than CO2. Interesting times. This paper might benefit from the “WUWT treatment”.

  45. Laws of Nature says:

    Hi there,
    >> Reducing diesel engine emissions would reduce warming
    actually there is no need for that! There are particle filters, which are capable to filter any black carbon from the exhaust and burn it to CO2!
    I believe Peugeot was one of the first companies to equip all their diesel cars and trucks with such a device.

    All the best regards,
    LoN

  46. Crispin in Waterloo says:

    @Chris4692 says:

    “Its a good thing they didn’t find it to be more influential than CO2 or their study wouldn’t be taken seriously.”

    Patience, patience. This story has been a long time coming and it is being brought forward with deliberate care. Don’t shoot all the messengers. BC is important and received short shrift early on because everyone was tripping over themselves to blame CO2 for natural warming. Well, behind the academic curtain the knowledge has been there for some time – more than 10 years – CO2 is not all that important and BC is. That it is making its way through the journals and gaining validation as ‘real’ with ever-increasing ‘ratings’ is the important part. To get into print you have to say certain things so let’s concentrate on the core message article, not the perfunctory genuflections.

    AR4 said it was important, for the first time. Before that they said BC was a ‘local phenomenon’. It is not, never was. It is widely distributed even though there are obvious smoke trails visible by satellite. Brown clouds and all that. A BC detector http://www.mfgpages.com/company/MAGEE-SCIENTIFIC-COMPANY-5112124/ will show BC collected inside a high altitude airliner, as was demonstrated to me by Magee’s Prof Hopke (Clarkson U). It is everywhere.

    Remember when radio controlled aeroplanes were flown into the Indian brown cloud? The heating was 4 times that expected.

    A couple of times BC has been discussed here in relation to vehicle and cooking fire emissions. Stow the jerking knees. These emissions are real, have real consequences and as detection of them has improved, especially in the past 10 years, we are able to link certain medical conditions to BC exposure. It is nasty stuff when it is really small. I expect as the realisation sinks in that CO2 heating has to be discounted considerably, BC will be appreciated as something we can ‘do something about’. That is fine by me because it is a harmful part of the environment. The fact that BC emissions are largely natural (grass and forest fires) does not mean they are safe to inhale any more than naturally fluoridated water in Western China is safe to drink.

    So instead of blunderbuss snark, please tease out the right things to admire and the wrongs things to be sour about. This issue is complex. Something we can do a lot about is improving combustion efficiency of every device we make and use. Good for us. Fifty % of the BC PM2.5 in the LA basin is from restaurant cooking fires. At least money spent on BC reduction is delivering something tangible – quite different from the worthiness of the bilge that one finds in CAGW science-by-press-release.

    I don’t think BC heats the Earth as much as is claimed – it is a forcing (additional heat) that is quickly dumped vertically. So the forcing is real, but so is the reaction of the system to the presence of additional heat. But it is an important health issue.

  47. john robertson says:

    So CO2 is not working, quick jump to regulating oil use through regulating soot.
    So where is the warming? Soot production has risen measurably in last 4 decades, even allowing for reductions by the West, where is the matching rise in temperature?
    I am cynical, of activist science.

  48. Ken Gregory says:

    Interesting, but a large role for black carbon or soot in Arctic warming has been previously reported, but largely ignored by the IPCC. The vast majority of “global warming” over the last 30 years has been north of 55 degrees.
    http://www.friendsofscience.org/assets/documents/FOS%20Essay/Tisdale_Lat_SST_Model.jpg

    NASA research published in Nature Geoscience in April, 2009 shows that black carbon soot aerosols likely account for 45 percent or more of the warming that has occurred in the Arctic during the last thirty years to 2005.

    Since 2005 China has had a major effort to install state-of-the-art desulphurisation in its coal-fired plants installing more such units than the rest of the world combined. At the end of 2008, 66% of the Chinas coal-fired power plant capacity is equipped with flue gas desulphurisation. Today 75% of all desulphurisation systems are being installed in China. Sulphate emissions from China were:
    Year MT SO2
    2006 25.89
    2007 24.68
    2008 23.21
    2009 22.14
    2010 21.85
    2011 22.18

    MT = million tonnes. See chart:
    http://members.shaw.ca/sch25/Ken/China_SO2_Soot.jpg
    The chart also shows SO2 emissions in China have declined by 14.3% from 2006 to 2011, and soot emissions have declined by 23.9% from 2006 to 2010.
    Here is a graph of China’s temperatures, both satellite and surface measurements from 1980 to 2012.
    http://members.shaw.ca/sch25/Ken/China.jpg
    Many alarmists have blamed China increasing sulphate aerosols for offsetting CO2-induced warming, causing a lack of global warming over the last 15 years. But China’s surface temperatures have increased by 0.34 C/decade, while lower atmosphere temperatures have increased by 0.13 C/decade, 1980 to 2012. Surface temperatures increase faster than lower atmosphere temperatures due to the urban heat island effect.
    Further info at:
    http://www.friendsofscience.org/assets/documents/FOS%20Essay/Climate_Change_Science.html#Aerosols

  49. arthur4563 says:

    A big possible side effect of such an additional forcing will be to call into question, and probably
    invalidate on this basis alone, any and all studies that did not take soot into account. That would
    presumably involve a de-rating of the effects of CO2 . Any thoughts on this, Anthony?

  50. Holbrook says:

    The article made several references to Global Warming…..thought this had stopped 15 years ago?…and in real terms we have of course been cooling for 10,000 years.
    Having lived through the end of major pollution in the UK, I recall anything covered in soot turned black. There is mention of Sahara sand in the article. and thatwould have travelled a longer distance than the soot.
    If it were diesel from lorries the exhaust particles would be kept low near the surface.
    Overall an interesting suggestion but logic tells me warming and cooling are natural.

  51. If AF 1 had been grounded for the year prior to the Nov. election,
    enough BC could have keept from the atmo. for a respite = 1ky

  52. Laurie Bowen says:

    The World Bank – Working for a world free of poverty
    Iceland’s Volcano and Climate Science: Will there be a Silver Lining to the Ash Cloud? 04/22/2010
    http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:0x81irF5hJgJ:blogs.worldbank.org/climatechange/iceland-s-volcano-and-climate-science-will-there-be-silver-lining-ash-cloud+black+carbon+volcanoes&cd=7&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

  53. Auto says:

    Jack says:

    January 15, 2013 at 11:05 am

    So turns out the greens blocking slow burns actually create soot from massive bushfires. Irony as thick as their hypocrisy. But still a lot of work to be done before ny politician seizes the excuse for another tax and another round of alrmist grants.

    =========

    “before ny politician ”
    I bet I make more typos than you do, but this set me thinking. . . .

    MY politician – ahh, you’ve a tame one! How sweet! Why not let it loose, and see if it can earn a living in the real world.

    ANY politician – but ‘extra grants’? theyre already there. And their buddies have earmarked the funds.

    NY politician – Bloomberg? Can’t he pay those grans out of his back pocket? A successful capitalist. Are you confusing him with Johnson – different great city [City]? Not one for grants (happily!).

    MANY politicians – see above, but consider the number of trotters that can fit in the trough! Even a very big CAGW-OS trough!

    NEY politician – I assume the Frenchman is dead, but doubtless Hollande will see if euros can be extracted . . .

    Auto

  54. Dr. Acula says:

    Crispin in Waterloo says: ” Something we can do a lot about is improving combustion efficiency of every device we make and use.”

    That is likely a malinvestment. It’s easy for you to suggest spending other people’s money, but it’s harder when you are investing your own money and risk financial losses for choosing wrongly.

    Crispin in Waterloo says: “I don’t think BC heats the Earth as much as is claimed – it is a forcing”

    This statement bothers me. Despite its instantaneous, certeris paribus effects, black carbon might be keeping the Earth cooler. Isn’t it possible for a positive (negative) perturbation to lead to a negative (positive) outcome when you have a non-linear, chaotic system with zillions of variables like the climate? To really understand, we need climatologists to show the math. But when we do that we get ex ante predictions that don’t work.

  55. Mike Smith says:

    When you subtract the downward adjustments in predicted warming, the thermometers placed next to AC units, solar effects, and particulate pollution contributions, the overall impact of CO2 on global temps has got to be approaching the square root of squat. Those Australian taxpayers must be thrilled to bits.

    Having said that, unlike some on this forum, I’ve never had a problem with governments spending some of our money to reduce particulate forms of pollution. They are unpleasant and the adverse effects on human health have been amply demonstrated with real data!

    Let’s spend some public money reducing the soot; it’s a reasonable and achievable goal. But enough of throwing my hard earned dosh at futile and pointless CO2 reduction, already.

  56. Crispin in Waterloo:

    In your post at January 15, 2013 at 12:31 pm you say

    BC is important and received short shrift early on because everyone was tripping over themselves to blame CO2 for natural warming. Well, behind the academic curtain the knowledge has been there for some time – more than 10 years – CO2 is not all that important and BC is

    Yes, please see my earlier post at January 15, 2013 at 11:31 am.

    If the earlier scares on ‘acid rain’, ozone depletion, and CO2=CAGW are a guide, then the next thing to expect is a claim that ‘natural’ black carbon does not vary and anthropogenic black carbon threatens disaster.

    Richard

  57. pochas says:

    I don’t know… If the surface of the earth were black with a transparent (or no) atmosphere the surface would be at the blackbody radiating temperature of – 18C. If there were so much soot in the atmosphere that the atmosphere looked black from space the atmosphere would be isothermal at -18 C. We know that volcanic ash cools the atmosphere. I hope this isn’t just another gimmick.

  58. Crispin in Waterloo says:

    Pat Frank says:
    >The error bars are so large that the net effects of black carbon (BC) are impossible to judge.

    >Forcing from BC alone is 1.1(+/-)0.8 W m^-2, and “BC and its co-emitted species from BC-rich sources” is -0.06(+/-)1.37 W m^-2. The confidence intervals are 90%. It’s hard to see how any definitive conclusions are possible.

    Certain things are conclusive, such as BC has a much larger effect than had been previously assumed in the absence of measurements and calculations. In other words the measurements are pretty simple, real and consistent.

    As to the effects of BC, they are diverse as the particles are, unlike gas molecules, in constant transition to larger clumps that eventually settle to the ground. A great deal is known about the elemental and chemical composition of BC particles. Because of this, using clever subtractions not unlike those employed in FTIR gas analysis, the source of the particles can be determined. For example BC from low temperature domestic coal fires can be differentiated from high temperature power station combustion even if they burn the same coal. Similarly the wood smoke and diesel exhaust (etc) fractions can be apportioned to source.

    I appreciated the comments above regarding the extreme fuel efficiency of modern diesel engines and the clean burns that can be obtained by modern engineering and retrofitting the equivalent of a catalytic afterburner – Peugeot being the first to use them. They can be fitted to any vehicle, looking like a silencer/muffler but a bit longer. They burn the BC to CO2. There are thermo-electric generators which can be bolted to them to generate power for the vehicle to tax the engine less. A perfect use of technologies that deliver real benefits and efficiencies.

  59. Doug Huffman says:

    Of course, the ultimate extant carbon free power is nuclear power.

    Beware the committed pollution of a new technology, PV or LFMST reactor, as it is integrated across industry.

  60. Doug Huffman says:

    Cutting edge on-road diesels use DPF and Add-Blue. I will not have one for their complexity and fragility. My mechanic-guru assures me that my TDI will last as long as my money without accidents. TAG diesels may be reducing emissions but their cost per mile is skyrocketing.

    Note the recent news of highway taxes shifting from per gallon to per mile.

  61. Gail Combs says:

    Sam the First says:
    January 15, 2013 at 10:58 am

    ….It’s time fire-setting was made a very serious offence esp in developed countries, for all kinds of reasons; and that forest maintenance was made a priority. So many of the raging forest fires are avoidable with more vigilance and foresight.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    What idiocy. Fires are a very effective management tool for farms and forests. My neighbor just burned his fields yesterday.

    I really wish the idiots, especially the activists idiots, would quit spouting nonsense they no nothing about. Fire has been a tool used in agriculture and forest management since BEFORE THE HOLOCENE!

    Go look it up yourself I can’t be bothered.

  62. old engineer says:

    I think they are beating a dead horse. As others have pointed out, particulate matter (of which “black carbon” is a part) is controlled for heath reasons. In the U.S., particulate matter (PM) was one of the first pollutants for which Ambient Air Quality Standards (AAQS) where set over 40 years ago. And the AAQS for PM has been tighten regularly ever since. Yet most of the country is in compliance with the latest AAQS for PM2.5 (the smallest particles, of which black carbon is generally a part.) See: http://www.epa.gov/oar/oaqps/greenbk/mappm25_2006.html

    As for diesel exhaust, it too has been the subject of ever tightening regulations since the early ’70′s, both in the U.S. and Europe. First for on-highway diesels, then off-highway (construction and farm equipment) and then for locomotives. All through the warming temperatures of the ’80′s and ’90′s black carbon emissions were decreasing in the U.S. and Europe. So it’s going to be hard to blame the “hottest year ever in the U.S.” (2012) on black carbon.

  63. pochas says:

    My own opinion at this time is that suspended aerosols or dusts of any kind (or color) act to defeat the Greenhouse Effect and cause cooling. I welcome any arguments.

  64. Terry says:

    The second last line of the table included with the press release indicates that the total BC forcing in 1.1 w/m-2 yet the next line indicates that the total forcing of BC and co-emitted products in only -0.06 w/m-2 (essentially 0 considering the error bars). Combustion (primary source of BC) would also be producing positive forcings from CO2 and water vapor. What are the co-emitted products with very strongly negative forcings that appear to counter the positive forcings of BC? Or am I misinterpreting the meaning of that last line?

  65. MattN says:

    Once we get the correct feedback sign for water vapor amd clouds, which should drop CO2 sensitivity to ~.6C, it will be obvious black carbon is the dominant forcing. Simply getting China and India up to 1980s scrubber technology should by and large solve this…

  66. crosspatch says:

    So once more it’s the ‘little person’ who gets targeted, right after trucks and lorries and other diesel vehicles, never mind that petrochemical and other industrial plants, and forest /industrial /domestic building fires must each of them pump out a huge amount more carbon than individual homes with a fireplace!

    I am willing to bet one rioter burning a tire somewhere produces more soot in that action than I produce all year, possibly more than I produce in a decade. But I am thinking more about how the process works over time. Consider the last glacial. There would have been nearly a hundred thousand years of built up, stratified dust and soot in that ice in the far northern part of North America. While ice is accumulating, it has relatively little impact. The dust gets stratified with the snow. In summer, it might even melt back a little creating a relatively dirty surface. If you have several summers with more net ablation that accumulation, you might get a very dirty surface with several years worth of accumulated dust from several years worth of dust from melted (or sublimated) ice leaving it behind. But all it takes is a few years of net accumulation again to bury it. Once it is below the surface, it has little impact. But this might also be a part of why the ice melts so much more quickly than it builds up. As it melts back the surface gets dirtier and darker until at the end you have tens of thousands of years of accumulated dust on the top of the ice.

    How much dust would accumulate in, say, 60,000 years of ice? That’s probably the amount of dirt that is going to lie on top of the ice just before it completely melts away if it doesn’t get washed away by rain.

    I’m not convinced that soot is all that much of a problem. It has an impact only when things are generally melting anyway (so it will speed that up) but has no/little impact where there is net accumulation of snow. A couple of years of accumulation just covers it up again.

  67. Gail Combs says:

    Billy Liar says:
    January 15, 2013 at 11:36 am

    Oh, I forgot. Dust is blameless because it’s not man-made. Silly me!
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    WRONG!
    Farm dust bill approved in House Never underestimate what the EPA might decide to regulate.

  68. In addition, the report finds black carbon is a significant cause of the rapid warming in the Northern Hemisphere at mid to high latitudes, including the northern United States, Canada, northern Europe and northern Asia.

    Note the omission of either ‘increased’ or ‘decreased’ black carbon. Most people will interpret this as increased black carbon, which is false. There have been large scale reductions in black carbon and other particulate emissions across the developed world over the last 60 years and over the last 20 years in the former Soviet Union and China*.

    These BC reductions have had both a real warming effect and a measured but not real warming effect as I explain in this article.

    http://www.bishop-hill.net/blog/2011/11/4/australian-temperatures.html

    * It’s a general misconception that BC and other particulates have increased in China. In fact, they have decreased as a few hundred million people went from coal and wood/biomass burning in domestic stoves and hearths to electricity and gas.

  69. The question now becomes which is easier to substantially reduce from our industrialized civilization; black carbon or CO2?

    I’m hoping it’s the former as the world isn’t going cut back in any appreciable amount in its use of CO2-producing fossil fuels anytime in the near or even not so near future.

  70. Matthew W says:

    Billy Liar says:
    January 15, 2013 at 11:36 am
    Oh, I forgot. Dust is blameless because it’s not man-made. Silly me!
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    It’s not man made, but the EPA tried to legislate/regulate it !!!

  71. Zeke says:

    Quote: “The results indicate that there may be a greater potential to curb warming by reducing black carbon emissions than previously thought. “There are exciting opportunities to cool climate by reducing soot emissions but it is not straightforward. Reducing emissions from diesel engines and domestic wood and coal fires is a no brainer, as there are tandem health and climate benefits.”

    1. fantom menace: global warming and atmospheric co2 levels
    2. revised science conveniently timed to support current EPA regulations, by a factor of two
    3. claims of enormous health benefits, and a lack of acknowledgement of all the health benefits of a warm home and efficient diesel delivery of medical, food, building, and fuel supply throughout the country – in particular, these are quickly delivered during an emergency by trucks and private businesses.
    4. scientists claim “health” (narrowly defined and selectively applied) as highest value, thus supplanting metaphysical, ethical, philosophical, traditional, religious, and cultural values and considerations in our society, and of all human life. This is a gross, disorderly, immodest overreach.
    5. claims of both acknowledging complexities and un-straightforward effects of legislation of soot on earth’s systems, while at the same time claiming a solid basis for action: “accounting for all of the ways it can affect climate, black carbon is believed to have a warming effect of about 1.1 Watts per square meter (W/m2)”
    6. requires enforcement of soot and particulates measurements far below replicability or measurement by the rest of us mere mortals: “The federal Environmental Protection Agency’s revised fine particulate matter regulations (PM2.5) have cut the annual level of allowable fine particulates from 15 micrograms per cubic meter of air to 12 micrograms.”

    http://www.thenewamerican.com/tech/environment/item/14016-just-freeze-epa-says-burning-wood-is-bad-but-so-is-natural-gas-coal-oil

  72. tz2026 says:

    But if we can easily fix it there is no need to create soot exchanges, futures, or other things that would make Al Gore and/or Goldman Sachs richer!

  73. Gail Combs says:

    Rob Ricket says:
    January 15, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    Great news…now all we have to do is waste more food crops on useless bio-fuel to save the planet from the Black Carbon Menace.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    NO, No, you have it backwards. We have to STOP producing biofuel.

    Think of all the diesel trucks hauling monsanto’s seed, all the diesel pick ups used by farmers to get the seed, all the diesel tractors used to produce the corn, all the diesel trucks hauling the corn to the ethanol plants and all the diesel trucks hauling the ethanol to the gasoline blending plants.

  74. Bob says:

    Hide this article from Mosher. His beloved CO2 in trouble again.

  75. Richard M says:

    More junk science. I’m sure BC has some warming effects. It also has cooling effects. To claim they know how this all balances out is pure nonsense.

  76. Konrad says:

    At first glance Black Carbon would appear to be a great survival strategy for the Greater Western Spittle-Flecked Doom-Screecher. After all the “adding radiative gases to the atmosphere will reduce its radiative cooling ability” theme does not appear to be working out*.

    The pros look good -
    - The word “Carbon” can still be used
    - The science is uncertain, so anthropogenic warming can still be claimed
    - CO2 sceptics agree that black carbon is a pollutant
    - Fossil fuels can still be implicated

    However there are the cons-
    - With low cloud forming after container ships pass the net effect could be cooling
    - The majority of per capita black carbon emissions are occurring in the developing world
    - Just the cost of administering a BC tax would exceed the cost of mitigation technology in the developed world
    - Residence time is low so generational western guilt cannot be invoked
    - BC concerns are not a suitable vehicle for global taxation under a framework of UN global governance
    - Those that promoted CO2 pseudo-science cannot use a BC scare to erase their advocacy for the CO2 scare in the age of the Internet.

    Cleaning up BC will be a good thing for the planet. It however is no lifeline for the Greater Western Spittle-Flecked Doom-Screecher.

    * – Have a think about what would really happen if we removed radiative gases from the atmosphere. 33C cooler? No! Radiative cooling at the top of the troposphere is vital for continued vertical convective circulation. Without this the atmosphere heats via conduction and convection but can not cool. Conductive cooling at the base of an atmosphere with a strong vertical pressure gradient cannot offset this heating. The empirical experiment to check this is very simple ;)

  77. Matthew W says:

    old engineer says:
    January 15, 2013 at 1:26 pm
    I think they are beating a dead horse. As others have pointed out, particulate matter (of which “black carbon” is a part) is controlled for heath reasons.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Sure, doesn’t mean they can’t controll/tax it more

  78. nc says:

    What warming?

  79. James at 48 says:

    This site as well as CA targeted black carbon years ago, good to see the mainstream finally catch up. One additional source besides vehicle exhaust – the particulates produced via the wear of tires and drive belts.

  80. Matthew W says:

    40 years ago, it was called “soot”.
    Now they have to call it “Black Carbon” so low information alarmists can conflate it with CO2

  81. Kev-in-Uk says:

    I am still struggling to find a plausible link of BC to any significant warming effect. Yeah, I can just see that black soot on white snow affects albedo and snow melt on ice or glaciers, mountain tops, etc. But I simply cannot see a significant world wide warming forcing from general BC in the atmosphere or even on normal ground surfaces. In the atmosphere, we have the likelihood that soot/carbon is ‘rained out’ – and any direct atmospheric warming effect (of soot absorbing energy) is likely to be very minor – you only have to think of the ‘thermal’ mass of the soot (in a cubic metre of atmosphere for example) to see that it is unlikely to be able to hold significant amounts of energy, over and above water vapour for example.
    On the ground, unless you were talking about massive blanketing (a la massive volcanic ash type covering) – I don’t see the absorptivity of the ground being changed much over and above the normal vegetative and soil cover! Soot onto the sea is equally unlikely to cause a significant effect.
    I find this estimated value of 1.1 w/m2 of forcing somewhat amazing – and I do think it’s been deliberately ‘designed and assigned’ to try and further the significant anthropogenic climatic change cause.

  82. Owen in GA says:

    So this still has the problem that they need to find the massive reduction of black carbon emissions that would account for the fact that THERE HAS BEEN NO STATISTICALLY SIGNIFICANT WARMING FOR THE LAST 15-17 YEARS . I know we have seen an economic downturn over the last 5 years, but I haven’t noticed diesel traffic being down much.

  83. Crispin in Waterloo says:

    @Dr. Acula says:
    >>Crispin in Waterloo says: ” Something we can do a lot about is improving combustion efficiency of every device we make and use.”

    >That is likely a malinvestment. It’s easy for you to suggest spending other people’s money, but it’s harder when you are investing your own money and risk financial losses for choosing wrongly.

    Actually it has been a big surprise to everyone in the domestic stove industry how much PM can be reduced for no cost at all – jsut better designs. It is just that the mental image people have is of old coal fired power stations and they do not think beyond that. Small domestic stoves can burn cleaner than even modern power stations at many times the capital cost per kW. It is aknowledge problem, not a capital problem.

    Coal fired burners are optimised to be as small as possible (re cost) and have high gas velocities with huge fans. A great deal of their ‘soot’ is actually ash blown up by fans, now captured with electrostatic precipitators. There is no need for that (referring specifically to coal) because simply not blowing it up in air in the first place solves the problem of air-borne ash (much of which is not BC anyway).

    BC is created by incomplete combustion and trying to make the burner as small as possible is not how to get perfect combustion of anything. Crosspatch mentions a burning tire – an excellent example of a really lousy, dirty fire, not because tires are inherently dirty, but because an open fire is not how to burn it really cleanly. A tire is just biomass plus carbon black made from natural gas, after all. Nothing special in there – but it needs a high Temperature and residence Time and Turbulence to burn well (TTT).

    >>“I don’t think BC heats the Earth as much as is claimed – it is a forcing”

    >This statement bothers me. Despite its instantaneous, certeris paribus effects, black carbon might be keeping the Earth cooler.

    Cooler is not the case. BC forms part of the total albedo of the atmosphere and is a very strong absorber of incoming or reflected or re-radiated energy provided the particle size is able to interact with the wavelength in question – typically it has to be larger than 1/4 of a wavelength to receive any effect. Perhaps someone else can comment on this aspect. At 1/4 of a wavelength it reflects quite well, whatever the colour.

    BC performs the role that CO2 is supposed to: absorbs strongly. It does it over a far greater spectrum than CO2. Al Gore’s CO2 experiment conducted with black smoke instead of CO2 would have given a very much more successful result because the absorption is significant.

  84. beesaman says:

    If they were wrong about CO2, why should we trust them on Black Carbon?

  85. beesaman says:

    They will of course have to ban lightning, a major source of natural fire and those Africans and Indians had better shape up, can’t wait to see Groanpeace out there stomping out kitchen fires. Maybe they could chase folk around their villages in a big electric powered truck called the Carbon Cooker Crusher! They could chain themselves to open fire cooking pots. What about all the eco zealots with their oil fired Agas and Rayburns?

  86. Steven Mosher says:

    “From the report:
    By far the largest regional source of soot is brush fires and biomass burning in China, India and other parts of Asia, accounting for between 25 and 35 percent of global soot emissions, according to soot emission specialists. The soot emitted in developing nations results from the burning of field stubble and the estimated 2.5 billion people who cook their food on open fires.”

    I suppose need to go back and calculate what countries have contributed the most to global warming. the c02 emiiters or the black soot methane emmitters

  87. BLACK PEARL says:

    I see a new BBQ tax coming and hateful looks from villagers with pitch forks as I pass by in my Diesel Jeep

  88. Kev-in-Uk says:
    January 15, 2013 at 2:19 pm
    I am still struggling to find a plausible link of BC to any significant warming effect.

    Think in terms of 3 types of warming.

    1. Atmospheric warming

    2. Surface warming

    3. Measured surface warming (i.e. effect on measure minimum and maximum temperatures)

    Ignoring cloud effects, atmospheric BC warms the atmosphere, but cools the surface.

    And because of when most BC was (and to some extent still is) produced, atmospheric BC particularly cools minimum temperatures. I explain this in the link above, but 60+ years ago, a couple of hundred million European/N American/Australian households in winter would light a domestic fire around dawn, an activity that produces a lot of smoke (BC and organic particulates) and resulting in cooler minimum temperatures.

    Remove those fires and minimum temperatures rise particularly in winter, which is what we have seen.

  89. Box of Rocks says:

    Billy Liar says:
    January 15, 2013 at 11:34 am
    What about dust from deserts? The Sahara puts plenty of dust on the glaciers of the European Alps every year, you can see it every summer – it makes the snow look pinkish or yellowish. Plenty of other dry places have dust storms where the finest particles will probably travel long distances. Why single out carbon particles when sand/rock particles are more than likely equally prevalent?

    They single out black carbon because it comes from a internal combustion engine.
    And, that is the ultimate prize. algore hates them.

  90. Climate Ace says:

    Peter Melia says:
    January 15, 2013 at 11:55 am

    Diesel engine emissions are well fingered in the report. There is a danger in restricting diesel engine usage, in that virtually all of the world runs upon diesel. The poorer peoples of the globe, which is most people, would be vastly more poor if diesel engines were in some way, any way penalised, with results so well described by Willis Eschenbach yesterday. It should be remembered that the diesel engine cycle is the most fuel efficient energy to work transformer known to man. Any attempt to tamper with it would increase fuel costs, and therefore the cost of everything, there is. If diesel engines are to targeted, the efforts should be to maintain the pre-eminence of the diesel engine whilst reducing the carbon content (not carbon dioxide) content of the fuel.

    As usual the BAU boosters avoid the truth. Oh, they will talk about the negative impacts of doing something positive about AGW, but they go into instant denial about the impacts of AGW itself on poverty, and they completely ignore the costs of BAU fossil fuel burning when they wring their hands about poverty. They do the latter simply by externalising fossil fuel burning costs – whether these costs be AGW, or premature deaths or tens of millions of lives blighted by chronic respiratory diseases. Simple thimble trick, no? Just leave the bad stuff out.

    Around two million people a year die prematurely because of black soot. Uncounted tens of millions more have chronic respiratory conditions arising from black soot.

    These needed to be added to the costs side of the so-called ‘cheap’ energy ledger. But BAU boosters ignore them. Neither are the deaths of thousands upon thousands of coal miners every year. Nope. These costs don’t exist.

    Any, and I mean any, attempt to focus on the costs of addressing AGW, and in particular the impact of such on poverty, that does not also internalise two million premature deaths a year and/or the impacts on poverty on the poor having to adapt to AGW and/or to black soot all by themselves, deserves real scepticism. But the vaunted skepticism of self-described sceptics disappears in such circumstances. Phut.

    I am sceptical of the credibility of BAU boosters who deliberately focus on small parts of large, complex problems and large complex solutions. This is a well-known BAU boosting ruse from way back.

  91. DesertYote says:

    ““Policy makers, like the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, are talking about ways to slow global warming by reducing black carbon emissions. This study shows that this is a viable option for some black carbon sources and since black carbon is short lived, the impacts would be noticed immediately. Mitigating black carbon is good for curbing short-term climate change, but to really solve the long-term climate problem, carbon dioxide emissions must also be reduced,” says co-lead author Tami Bond from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.”
    <<<
    First comes a set of desired actions to drive the agenda THEN the study to support propaganda to energize those actions, all worded so as to not interfere with other portions of the agenda. It telling that besides using the Marxist term "Policy Makers" they are applying it to a radical leftist propagandist organization!

    "Based on the analysis, black carbon emission reductions targeting diesel engines followed by some types of wood and coal burning in small household burners would have an immediate cooling impact."
    <<<
    Did you catch that? When the greenies shut off the electricity and embargo the oil, they do not want the common man to foil their plans by burning wood to stay warm.

  92. D Böehm Stealey says:

    I’m sure I am not the only one who is fed up with Climate Ace’s constantly posting ‘BAU’ — business as usual.

    ‘BAU’ is Climate Ace’s psychological projection. The true ‘business as usual’ is the mainstream media’s constant harping on catastrophic AGW. ‘BAU’ is the alarmist clique’s constant harping on catastrophic AGW. That is “business as usual”.

    Scientific skeptics reject “business as usual”.

    When Climate Ace posts ‘BAU’, he is no doubt looking in the mirror.

  93. Berényi Péter says:

    “By far the largest regional source of soot is brush fires and biomass burning in China, India and other parts of Asia, accounting for between 25 and 35 percent of global soot emissions”

    Should be far more than that. Please note the logarithmic scale in Fig. 1a – Global distribution of BC sources

    Review
    Nature Geoscience 1, 221 – 227 (2008)
    Published online: 23 March 2008
    doi:10.1038/ngeo156
    Global and regional climate changes due to black carbon
    V. Ramanathan1 & G. Carmichael

  94. Climate Ace says:

    Sam the First says:
    January 15, 2013 at 10:58 am

    “Based on the analysis, black carbon emission reductions targeting diesel engines followed by some types of wood and coal burning in small household burners would have an immediate cooling impact”

    So once more it’s the ‘little person’ who gets targeted, right after trucks and lorries and other diesel vehicles, never mind that petrochemical and other industrial plants, and forest /industrial /domestic building fires must each of them pump out a huge amount more carbon than individual homes with a fireplace!

    It’s time fire-setting was made a very serious offence esp in developed countries, for all kinds of reasons; and that forest maintenance was made a priority. So many of the raging forest fires are avoidable with more vigilance and foresight.

    Someone in Australia just got 17 years for fire setting. Penalties have been going up but around 40% of fires are started either deliberately or accidentally by humans. A signficant number of fires are lit by people with mental illnesses (often fire fighting volunteers). Penalties do not deter them at all, apparently. Sparks from farm machinery and control burns that get out of control are also important sources of fire.

    Around 60% are started by nature usually in the form of lightning.

    Replacing forests with grassland or bitumen is a major carbon source. Forests that burn and then grow recycle carbon but they make little difference to long term carbon distribution.

    I await some noble BAU boosting story about the poor but noble Greek man who was recently busted for chopping down a tree for firewood. He had no other way of warming his family. He had his dignity, followed by a homily on the wickedness of trying to do something, anything to prevent AGW.

    I am skeptical of BAU boosters who argue that the world’s remaining forests need to be cleared in order to fuel and feed the poor because the poor exist and that is the only useful way of addressing poverty. Pap adulterated with pseudo-economic schmaltz is still pap.

  95. Climate Ace says:

    Matthew W says:
    January 15, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    Billy Liar says:
    January 15, 2013 at 11:36 am
    Oh, I forgot. Dust is blameless because it’s not man-made. Silly me!
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    It’s not man made, but the EPA tried to legislate/regulate it !!!

    I am skeptical of your claim that some dust is not man-made. OTOH, I am not at all skeptical of your claim to be silly. You have demonstrated to a reasonable level of certainty already.

    REPLY: I’m skeptical of your ability to continue to comment here when you waste everybody’s time like this “ace” – Anthony

  96. anticlimactic says:

    Oh dear! Here in the UK it is trendy to install wood-burning stoves. I assume because they burn wood rather than fossil fuels so it is ‘green’. Do we now have to tell them they are evil people who are killing the planet?

    Also, does it mean environmentalists will stop trying to prevent Africa building power stations and so reduce the use of wood and dung for cooking and heating?

  97. Climate Ace says:

    BLACK PEARL says:
    January 15, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    I see a new BBQ tax coming and hateful looks from villagers with pitch forks as I pass by in my Diesel Jeep

    I imagine that you meant the hate-filled looks from the villaters.

  98. Climate Ace says:
    January 15, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    As usual the BAU boosters avoid the truth. Oh, they will talk about the negative impacts of doing something positive about AGW, but they go into instant denial about the impacts of AGW itself on poverty, and they completely ignore the costs of BAU fossil fuel burning when they wring their hands about poverty. They do the latter simply by externalising fossil fuel burning costs – whether these costs be AGW, or premature deaths or tens of millions of lives blighted by chronic respiratory diseases.

    Those premature deaths are almost exclusively from domestic burning of fossil and bio- fuels in the developing world.

    These deaths were almost completely eliminated in the developing world by coal fired power stations, (plus natural gas) and emissions controls on vehicles.

    I assume we can conclude, you are in favour of building a few thousand coal fired power stations in the developing world.

  99. DavidG says:

    Let’s put car owners on trial!/sarc What nerve to flog this old baloney as if it was steak!

  100. Climate Ace says:

    Is it kind of fitting that Beijing and Delhi are experiencing what-goes-round-comes-round a the moment?

    http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/thought-beijing-air-was-bad-delhi-among-worlds-most-polluted-cities/articleshow/18028753.cms

  101. Kev-in-Uk says:

    Philip Bradley says:
    January 15, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    Yes Philip – we can think back to coal power and domestic fires, London smog, etc and imagine that significant particulate matter was present at low levels in the atmosphere. Fine, it may well have produced the effects you describe but what about now? PM in the atmsophere is infinitely less(ok, that’s an exaggeration, but certainly much smaller than decades ago!) than today. As I said, per cubic metre, what amount of energy do you think the particulate or soot matter is physically capable of ‘holding’ ? compared to water vapour? (or other GHG for that matter). Hey, I don’t know actual figures – I am just thinking that it seems implausible that the sum of this BC and its potential to absorb and ‘hold’ (temporarily or otherwise) loads of energy can sum to the figures quoted.
    I already said, that apart from white snow – I really can’t see BC affecting surface heat absorption significantly (Jeez, I’d think the heat absorbing effect of black asphalt covered roads and even red brick buildings must much larger! – which moves us into the realms of conflating warming from BC with warming from UHI, does it not? – and yet strangely, UHI is not mentioned as generating a significant global ‘forcing’!)

  102. Kev-in-Uk says:

    DesertYote says:
    January 15, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    I can see your point, and I tend to agree. This looks like another big juicy worm added onto the CAGW/AGW scams hook to make sure they have something else to reel (read: tax) us in with!

  103. Climate Ace says:

    anticlimactic says:
    January 15, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    Oh dear! Here in the UK it is trendy to install wood-burning stoves. I assume because they burn wood rather than fossil fuels so it is ‘green’. Do we now have to tell them they are evil people who are killing the planet?

    Also, does it mean environmentalists will stop trying to prevent Africa building power stations and so reduce the use of wood and dung for cooking and heating?

    Good questions. What are the appropriate policy responses to black soot or black carbon? In our town the local government worked assiduously at getting rid of wood burning stoves and fireplaces because we have a significant probability of temperature inversion layers, sometimes for days at a time, during exactly the same season as people really wanted to burn their wood.

    Something about health costs.

    As a general principle I suggest that planting wood lots, using the fuel, and then allowing wood lots to regrow is not such a bad thing as a fuel policy. It should probably be combined with advanced technology hot burning stoves with particulate catchers in chimneys. Just so that you don’t send the locals to hospitals.

    It did not mean people were ‘evil’ or that they were ‘killing’ the planet. The latter would obviously take a far greater effort than a few suburbs full of wood stoves could ever hope to achieve.

    They were injuring their own health, the health of their families, and that of their neighbours and there was no real political opposition to the wood fire reduction instruments.

    As for African power stations, they are, IMHO, badly needed. In the absence of cheaper nuclear power I suggest that gas-fired power stations would be the way to go.

  104. Climate Ace says:

    Philip Bradley says:
    January 15, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    Climate Ace says:
    January 15, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    As usual the BAU boosters avoid the truth. Oh, they will talk about the negative impacts of doing something positive about AGW, but they go into instant denial about the impacts of AGW itself on poverty, and they completely ignore the costs of BAU fossil fuel burning when they wring their hands about poverty. They do the latter simply by externalising fossil fuel burning costs – whether these costs be AGW, or premature deaths or tens of millions of lives blighted by chronic respiratory diseases.

    Those premature deaths are almost exclusively from domestic burning of fossil and bio- fuels in the developing world.

    These deaths were almost completely eliminated in the developing world by coal fired power stations, (plus natural gas) and emissions controls on vehicles.

    I assume we can conclude, you are in favour of building a few thousand coal fired power stations in the developing world?

    I see that you are dodging around the topic a bit.

    My proposition was that BAU boosters do not include the true costs of fossil fuels when doing their calculations about so-called ‘cheap’ energy because they omit costs such as particulate-related premature deaths, the costs of tens of millions of chronic respiratory conditions and the costs of pulmonary lung diseases amongst miners, and so on and so forth.

    These costs are simply excluded. I am skeptical, therefore, about any post that purports to show the overall costs and benefits of so-called ‘cheap’ fossil fuels. This purblind treatment of costs disappears when these same the full costs of AGW responses to the poor are treated in great detail. Then I get very, very skeptical when BAU boosters make a logical leap that responding to AGW can’t possibly be done because it has bad impacts on the poor. The sleight of hand is even more galling when these same posters ignore the differential impact AGW will have on those already in poverty.

    Going to your substantive point, IMHO you provide a simple policy response to a complex problem.

    I would suggest a mix of the following: firstly, provision of hot burning fuel-efficient wood-fired stoves at the family level. It should not be beyond the wit of the world’s great engineering brains to develop such a stove. I would combine this with provision for local woodlot establishment, provision of renewable energy at the grid level; and encouragement of the further development of, and implementation of, nuclear power. While some folk say that nuclear power is more expensive than gas or coal power, I say they are externalising well-known fossil fuel costs and ignoring the costs of AGW.

    In the interim, I would also encourage the establishment of gas-fired rather than coal-fired stations to immediately address some of the drastic energy imbalances between energy use in poor countries and wealthy countries. Finally, I would set up a user-pays market price for CO2 that internalised the current and future costs of fossil fuels into our economies.

    Where this imposes extra costs on those unable for reasons of poverty to pay, as will happen, I would direct wealth transfers from yachties and the like to those most in need.

  105. lowercase fred says:

    Conrad 2:13

    “Great Western Spittle-Flecked Doom-Screecher”

    I’m stealing that one.

    In my mind’s eye I see a picture of Owl Gore on a perch screeching away, alongside a Double-Breasted Mattress-Thrasher.

    Some cartoonist needs to pay attention, but maybe it’s too 2010-ish.

  106. Jeremy Das says:

    “Accounting for all of the ways it can affect climate, black carbon is believed to have a warming effect of about 1.1 Watts per square meter (W/m2), approximately two thirds of the effect of the largest man made contributor to global warming, carbon dioxide.”

    I’m not a scientist, so apologies if I’m asking a stupid or meaningless question, but is this the radiative forcing rather than the warming effect? I thought the warming effect of carbon dioxide was supposed to be half a Watt per square metre…

  107. Tiburon says:

    Thank you, Mr Watts, for reigning in the troll, ” c.ace”.

  108. Katherine says:

    Open burning is only savanna and forest fires? Obviously they didn’t take into account the millions of tons of coal that burn annually in natural coal seam fires.
    http://www.sapient-horizons.com/Sapient/Underground_Fires.html

  109. Tiburon says:

    Speaking of stoves, here’s a low-tech solution, apparently reducing particulate emissions to little, beyond H20 – (steam). Out of the permaculture community. It’s fine to talk about “provision of hot burning fuel-efficient wood-fired stoves at the family level”, but folks who do so, claiming to be able to analyze the embodied energy (and to the degree, attendant negative consequences) within remedial solutions, in this instance certainly are not so able. Would I be far off the number to suggest we’d be talking about ~500 million “hot burning fuel-efficient wood-fired stoves”?
    Much needed ‘economic stimulus’?
    Anyway, there’s the permaculture thing, for consideration: – “rocket stove mass heaters”.
    http://www.richsoil.com/rocket-stove-mass-heater.jsp
    lots of video links re:construction and performance at bottom of page. from the looks of it, takes about a day, an old steel barrel, and some cob – exhaust nearly clean enough to vent inside when running properly (very hot gasses reburn)

  110. Kev-in-Uk says:
    January 15, 2013 at 4:55 pm
    As I said, per cubic metre, what amount of energy do you think the particulate or soot matter is physically capable of ‘holding’ ? compared to water vapour?

    This is about transport/direction of transport of energy. Atmospheric BC turns downward energy (solar irradiance) into energy going in all directions (absorbtion, re-emission and scattering). This is energy that would otherwise have reached the surface. Resulting in surface cooling, atmospheric warming and climate cooling, the latter because the BC intercepted energy has a shorter route to space and thus will reach space sooner than irradiance that reaches the ground. You see this over India, where BC levels have risen steadily over recent decades. Except during the Monsoon which washes all the BC out of the atmosphere.

    BTW, cities generally have higher albedos than surrounding non-urban areas (all that concrete). Although, had the albedo of European cities been measured in the 1950s they would probably have found lower albedos (all those soot covered buildings).

  111. Tiburon says:

    I must say, I’m struck by the truth of the (now) adage that CAWG via the demon gas CO2, is, for some, a fanatical religion.
    And tickled by learning on this thread that a cost effective way to reburn combustion soot (w/thermo-electric power boost benefits) from diesel engines is with an inexpensive exhaust addition, that leaves as principal by-product CO2! A so-very-tasty sandwich of irony and poetic justice!

  112. Bill says:

    It’s interesting that the effect of black carbon may be several times larger than they thought originally. But, it is also amazing that within error it could be 0.2 to 2.0 – so a factor of 10.

  113. anticlimactic says:

    With any piece of ‘climate research’ you have to start by assuming it is just another piece of propaganda. Remember that propaganda has to have an element of truth in it, the problem is determining what part of this paper is actually true and how much is ‘conjecture’.

    [I remember reading Karl Popper's book about Hegel claiming he said 'You need laws to protect your freedom [true], so the more laws there are the freer you become’[propaganda]]

    To me much climate science seems like a return to the Dark Ages where belief is more important than knowledge or science. And of course the suggested punishment for disbelievers/blasphemers are along the same lines!

  114. Sloane says:

    This is certainly worth a look about how space weather and a weakening magnetic field can affect climate…
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xcm9qsVaf0o&list=UUTiL1q9YbrVam5nP2xzFTWQ&index=14

  115. F. Ross says:

    So… since there has been no significant warming for the last, oh, fifteen or sixteen years or so, does this new “revelation” mean that there would have been significant cooling over the same period – were it not for black carbon?

  116. rogerknights says:

    Steven Mosher says:
    January 15, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    “From the report:
    By far the largest regional source of soot is brush fires and biomass burning in China, India and other parts of Asia, accounting for between 25 and 35 percent of global soot emissions, according to soot emission specialists. The soot emitted in developing nations results from the burning of field stubble and the estimated 2.5 billion people who cook their food on open fires.”

    2.5 billion depending on open fires doesn’t mean there are that many open fires, since one fire feeds a family. Therefore, if 700,000 (say) propane burning stoves were made and given away, and propane canister exchange centers were set up, soot emission (and CO2 emission) could be cut, while reducing stress on the environment from firewood gathering, and cutting health problems from sooty air in dwellings. The stoves and lanterns could be manufactured cheaply in developing countries.

    Propane canisters could also power efficient lanterns that could replace sooty oil lamps. The money could come from shuttered renewables-subsidy programs in the West.

  117. rogerknights says:

    Climate Ace says:

    Any, and I mean any, attempt to focus on the costs of addressing AGW, and in particular the impact of such on poverty, that does not also internalise two million premature deaths a year and/or the impacts on poverty on the poor having to adapt to AGW and/or to black soot all by themselves, deserves real scepticism. But the vaunted skepticism of self-described sceptics disappears in such circumstances. Phut.

    Nearly everyone here is in favor of some form of (improved) nuclear power, partly because of the considerations you mentioned. Stick around.

    PS: In another thread you attacked our side for appropriating the word “skeptic.” I object to that word too, and have been repeatedly advocating and using “contrarian” instead, for three reasons. 1) It’s more accurate–we’re not mere doubters, we’re dissenters. 2) It’s more acceptable to the other side, because it’s more neutral. 3) “Skeptic” has been tarnished by its appropriation by groups of “scoffers,” or pseudo-skeptics, whom I call scoftics.

    I’m pleased to see that one warmist sociologist surveying the field has come to the same conclusion I have, and that “contrarian” is finding increasing use in the media.

  118. Climate Ace says:

    rogerknights

    I appreciate the term ‘contrarians’ and think the term ‘scoftic’ is excellent.

  119. Climate Ace says:

    Rogerknights

    By far the largest regional source of soot is brush fires and biomass burning in China, India and other parts of Asia, accounting for between 25 and 35 percent of global soot emissions, according to soot emission specialists.

    Having travelled through central and northern Thailand during the burning season it seemed to me that every single patch of scrub was either on fire, or had already been burnt. There were no attempts to put the fires out and I was told that they were deliberately lit. I did not find out the purpose of the fires but I did see various herds of cattle grazing in the scrub and, even when they were not visible, cowbells could over be heard. The fires burned day and night. It was the cool season so the fires were not necessarily hot burns, and burned especially slowly at night.

    The smoke was horrendous.

  120. John F. Hultquist says:

    Last fall a lightening storm set multiple fires (100+) in central WA State and several merged into a complex called the Table Mountain Fire. First link below. Context, second link. Round up all the usual suspects.

    http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/424685_10151094943463440_1680541527_n.jpg

    http://phys.org/news/2012-09-image-wildfires-washington-state.html

    An analogy to the US Govt. is warranted. The Table Mountain Fire needed and consumed oxygen. The government needs dollars and will take and consume them. Any excuse that can be used to extract money from the economy will be justified. Soot, CO2, sin taxes, fees, sales tax, value added tax, and others will be considered. Changes are underway by entities throughout the country to protect from this onslaught. Check with any small local health clinic to see when they merged (or how soon they will) with a large hospital. Then ask why. At least the fires stopped when blanketed by snow.

  121. anticlimactic says:

    With regards to atmospheric warming by BC :

    All atoms are constantly shedding heat and trying to reach absolute zero [-273C]. The only reason they don’t is that they usually receive about the same amount of heat as they transmit. Their temperature will always move towards equilibrium where the heat transmitted and received is the same.

    If carbon in the upper atmosphere absorbs heat it will be immediately re-radiated. The radiation is isotropic so 50% will go towards space and the rest will go earthwards. As most heat is from the Sun the effect will be cooling for the Earth’s surface.

    Some heat may be transmitted to surrounding molecules by collision, but the carbon would have to be in quantity to have any measurable effect. Also this effect would diminish as the Sun sinks in the sky so by nightfall the effect would be zero.

    At best you could say that carbon in the upper atmosphere may cause a tiny amount of heating for a fraction of the day.

    Note that this, and many other claims by climate science, could be tested in the lab. You are only talking about air, soot and sunlight. Any effects could be measured to a thousandth of a degree or less. The concentration of carbon could be altered to find out the range of possible effects. I have never heard of any experiments like this to put the claims on a firm scientific footing. I think there is a good reason for this – the answers would be ‘wrong’. You would also need confidence that the people conducting the experiments are capable and after the truth.

  122. Goode 'nuff says:

    ” Reducing diesel engine emissions would reduce warming”
    Mostly because of the unreliability of the emissions reductions equipment presently installed on diesel engines is why I am no longer an owner operator. I doubt seriously that engineers will come up with reliable emissions control systems in the rest of my lifetime, it has taken them a damn century just to place the mug/cup holder far enough away from the stereo to keep the coffee from splashing and shorting it out.

    But they sure are a boon to diesel mechanics, these ‘parts changers’ certainly are in high demand.

  123. Box of Rocks says:

    anticlimactic says:
    January 15, 2013 at 8:42 pm

    ” If carbon in the upper atmosphere absorbs heat it will be immediately re-radiated. The radiation is isotropic so 50% will go towards space and the rest will go earthwards. As most heat is from the Sun the effect will be cooling for the Earth’s surface.”

    Just how does energy flow from a region of lower energy to a region of higher energy?

    I have taken several classes in thermodynamics. Somehow I missed this concept.

    I am glad I bailed on the Electrical Engineering degree. Taking a semester class on electromagnetic radiation just drive me to drink.

  124. Climate Ace says:

    [snip - off topic - and not your concern -mod]

  125. Tom O says:

    Let’s see if I’ve got this right, or is it wrong? Since they are failing to eliminate oil, coal, and natural gas as the big evil because the carbon dioxide emissions aren’t doing the job on the climate they want, they are now trying to eliminate oil, coal, and natural gas because black carbon is now a player? Is this new insanity or just the same old insanity wrapped in different wrapping paper? How about if we remember what warms the planet and what doesn’t? I don’t know how it is in your house, but when I turn the furnace down, the house cools. When I turn it up, the house warms. Looks to me with this “that’s more like it, they’ve finally found something worth talking about” attitude, most seem ready to jump into bed with them and forget about the fact that AGW is bogus to start with, aimed at depopulation by natural causes, and I’m pretty sure that the powers that be won’t plan on keeping people that won’t play their game around as nature purges the poor, the old, and poor folks that never even had a chance.

  126. Keitho says:

    Ah yes, the science is settled eh.

    Judging by the annual vast bush fires across Africa and Indonesia I would say that attacking diesel may just be the equivalent of the drunk looking for his keys under the lampost because it’s too dark anywhere else.

    Looks like another agenda driven “discovery” to me.

  127. wayne Job says:

    One has to look on the bright side of a report like this. Cast your minds back or look at some old films and see the soot trails of early jet aircraft, look at the smoke stacks of the early semi’s blowing black as coal. The developed world has already sorted the carbon black emissions, starting in the sixties and seventies to clean our skies. Thus we are not the guilty party, so the UN and IPCC now must point the finger else where, with the American EPA now under siege for past transgressions they also may remain silent for they blame CO2 as an endangerment. Idiots.

  128. Richard in S England says:

    Engineers often say that “If it looks right, it is right” and at first glance I am inclined to accept that the authors’ conclusion about BC may be largely correct. However, the sceptic in me also asks is this the next bogey man needed to keep the grant money flowing now that CO2 is just about a busted flush? I will reserve final judgement until after reading the full paper; quite some task! http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jgrd.50171/pdf.
    Meanwhile kudos to the publishers – Wiley – for making this freely available to all.

    One thing that does immediately strike me is that, even with strict emissions controls in the EU and N America, total global emissions are increasing, while temps over the past ~16yrs are not. Does this mean that BC et al are canceling out an underlying natural cooling? A cooling that is past due, according to some. If this is the case, elimination of BC et al might expedite a far greater catastrophe than the doomsday warming the alarmists keep trotting out. I for one will then be grateful that the pie in the sky idea that all open fire cooking can be regulated – the usual big government BS dished out by leftist control freaks – is doomed to failure.

  129. tallbloke says:

    So, what is the proportion of airborne black carbon from anthropogenic sources to natural sources from, say, lightning started forest fires?

  130. Keitho says:

    I have to say Roger, that the bulk of bush fires in Africa are man made. The fires are often started as a hunting method. The fire drives animals out of their lairs and are then despatched using spears and dogs.

    Also in Africa burning the bush is seen as a cheap way of applying fertiliser, at least for the first growing season. If you look at satellite pictures of Mozambique and Zimbabwe in October you will get an idea of just how huge these fires can be. In 2010 the smoke plumes stretched from the East coast all the way to the Okavango, about 1500km.

    The cure, in Africa at least, lies in the availability of cheap and ubiquitous energy and modern farming methods. Irrespective of the benefits to air quality and black carbon reduction energy will also result in the saving of much of the natural environment.

  131. Konrad says:

    tallbloke says:
    January 15, 2013 at 11:14 pm
    “So, what is the proportion of airborne black carbon from anthropogenic sources to natural sources from, say, lightning started forest fires?”
    ——————————————————————————————————————-
    Whatever the IPCC says it is. Do try to keep up ;)

  132. michael hart says:

    Taken from the IGBP site

    “The international team urges caution because the role of black carbon in climate change is complex.”

    Well, they got that right. Now all they need to do is stop pretending that they understand it well enough to make useful quantitative descriptions of the climatic effects. How many of those same authors previously thought they understood the, probably less complex, effects of carbon dioxide?

  133. WJohn says:

    From my science class, proved by experiment – black things absorb more radiated heat from an external hot body than white shiny things. They also radiate more heat in the absence of the hot body. Will the soot covered snow/ ice absorb more heat during the day / arctic summer than it loses heat during night / arctic winter.

  134. Jeremy Das:

    re the question in your post at January 15, 2013 at 5:47 pm.

    Yes, the 1.1 Watts per square meter (W/m2) is the revised value of radiative forcing (RF) for black carbon (i.e. particles of soot combined with sulphate).

    A comparison with RF values for CO2, methane and nitrous oxide is in my post above at January 15, 2013 at 11:31 am.

    Richard

  135. E.M.Smith says:

    I’m not going to get all excited about how great this is until it can be demonstrated real.

    As it stands, it just looks like more of the same to me. More grasping after reasons to force an agenda.

    We’ve had massive forest fires in the past, huge amounts of smoke and soot. I’m not seeing where the cars in Sacramento make more soot than when Yosemite burned, nor more particulates than when Mt. St. Helens bbq’d some square miles of trees.

    Until there are real measurable numbers on things, it’s just more “stuff” from the same “stuff peddlers” in service to the same agenda.

  136. tallbloke:

    At January 15, 2013 at 11:14 pm you ask

    So, what is the proportion of airborne black carbon from anthropogenic sources to natural sources from, say, lightning started forest fires?

    I remind – and repeat for emphasis – that in my above post at January 15, 2013 at 1:00 pm I wrote

    If the earlier scares on ‘acid rain’, ozone depletion, and CO2=CAGW are a guide, then the next thing to expect is a claim that ‘natural’ black carbon does not vary and anthropogenic black carbon threatens disaster.

    Richard

  137. garymount says:

    “Over the last decade, “wildland fires” across Canada have consumed an average of 1.9 million hectares a year.”
    http://cfs.nrcan.gc.ca/pages/153

  138. cedarhill says:

    The perpetual climate machine continues along. Not sure how many man-made or man-generated compounds there are. Pick a number, say 15,000, and discover how much forcing it adds to an area. Mulitple the number you pick by the square miles on the surface and you can have an article like this created each day until you retire. Oh, and be sure to focus on areas where neither humans nor animals nor plants live. Can’t have verification.
    Eventually they’ll derive how much forcing is needed from all those man-made things to account for all this cold weather we’re having of late.

  139. kanga says:

    This paper has the ability to break up the church of co2 gas. This should be are hard stance paper to follow to rid every country of a co2 gas tax and put in place what should have always been fought for and that is a reduction in black carbon.

  140. Geoff Sherrington says:

    If you are going to factor in soot, you have to change some views about CO2 as well, because the two are hand-in-hand in the era when cooking was done over wood fires and that goes back a long way, many centuries. As do volcanos and forest fires and Indian cremations and coal fired steam engines. If you accept that soot should be high centuries ago, possibly global population related, you might accept that CO2 was also higher centuries ago and so the meaning of climate sensitivity takes a new course as doubling starts from a higher base further back in time. We would have to kiss goodbye to those models that have CO2 as a sudden increase in living memory, from a surge in industry, unless our ancestors ate cold salads more often than we think. It’s time to re-read Ross McKitrick on land use changes and global temperature estimates.

  141. Matthew W says:

    Climate Ace says:
    January 15, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    Matthew W says:
    January 15, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    Billy Liar says:
    January 15, 2013 at 11:36 am
    Oh, I forgot. Dust is blameless because it’s not man-made. Silly me!
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    It’s not man made, but the EPA tried to legislate/regulate it !!!

    I am skeptical of your claim that some dust is not man-made. OTOH, I am not at all skeptical of your claim to be silly. You have demonstrated to a reasonable level of certainty already.

    REPLY: I’m skeptical of your ability to continue to comment here when you waste everybody’s time like this “ace” – Anthony
    ========================================================================
    Hey Ace, I never said that some dust is not man made.

    Eco-trolls on blogs are entertaining for the first few posts, then it turns into the same kind of discomfort one would get from chewing on aluminum foil.

    I commend Anthony for having so much patience with your ilk.

  142. A C Osborn says:

    So this is what “Science” has dumbed down to.
    They Estimate this and they estimate that, it is called guessing.
    Where the hell are the Empirical Measurements????
    Where are the Trends, who did any actual measuring.

  143. A C Osborn says:

    Another Bombshell, this time about the Stratospheric temperature measurements calaculated by the UK Met Office.
    See
    http://www.thegwpf.org/met-office-botch-climate-scientists-stratosphere-wrong/
    at the G W P F .

  144. Doug Huffman says:

    In re woodlot heating/power source; my new less expensive insurance company *demanded* the removal of my wood stove, sited on 6 acres of second growth.

  145. rogerknights says:

    Climate Ace says:
    January 15, 2013 at 8:26 pm
    Rogerknights

    Having travelled through central and northern Thailand during the burning season it seemed to me that every single patch of scrub was either on fire, or had already been burnt. There were no attempts to put the fires out and I was told that they were deliberately lit. I did not find out the purpose of the fires but I did see various herds of cattle grazing in the scrub and, even when they were not visible, cowbells could over be heard. The fires burned day and night. It was the cool season so the fires were not necessarily hot burns, and burned especially slowly at night.

    The smoke was horrendous.

    Check out this site’s article and comments for an excellent illustrated how-to on building a rocket stove that’s portable and heats up the room quickly–no thermal mass is involved.

    http://www.iwilltry.org/b/build-a-rocket-stove-for-home-heating/

    Emissions are vented through dryer-duct pipe into a hole in the fireplace’s doors (one glass panel has been replaced by a non-glass panel in which a circle has been cut). Its top could be used as a stovetop for cooking if an oil drum were used instead of an old water heater. It’s intended use is as supplemental heating in the winter. The economics are good. Yankee ingenuity!

    Too bad no off-the-shelf models are being sold. Liability concerns, I guess, and/or permitting worries.

    In Thailand and elsewhere this stove could be used for smokeless burning of stubble, brush, etc. Only steam and CO2 are emitted after it heats up, which takes five or ten minutes. Maybe such biomass could even be stored and dried in sheds for use in winter. Possibly the stove could be used for burning of certain types of trash as well (the type whose fumes aren’t noxious if burned at a high temperature), cutting down on garbage disposal landfills and the problem garbage getting into the ecosystem.

    The UN & environmental groups should get on top of this pronto!

  146. Barry Woods says:

    In 2001 George Bush called Kyoto fatally flawed because of absence of black carbon from it

  147. rogerknights says:

    PS: For cooking and trash-disposal, a rocket stove would be overkill for a house in most developing countries. No room for one anyway. Probably there should be a single village-owned incinerator + communal cook-stove, if the village is fairly compact.

  148. rogerknights says:

    PPS: A tree-chipper could cut down on the volume of the brush for compact storage. I had some trees trimmed recently and the chipper turned the cut-down limbs into sawdust in a trice. A region could own such a chipper and travel around villages in its region for periodic chipping of its accumulated biomass.

  149. rogerknights says:

    PPPS: Here’s a website for an organization that wants to build and distribute rocket stoves in the third world:
    http://www.rocketstove.org/

  150. rogerknights says:

    PPPPS: Here’s a testimonial on the site above from a builder of a rocket stove:

    From Jeanette in Zambia:

    I just wanted to let you know what great success we’ve had. We’ve built [a rocket stove] at both of our children’s centers (in Zambia) and I’ve also just completed a smaller version for a 30L pot (gtz calls it the “changu” stove) at one of our centers. The matron at our original center (where they have cooked over an open fire for the last 11 years) estimates that she has probably been able to decrease the amount of firewood used in a term by 75%! Amazing!!!

  151. ferd berple says:

    Climate Ace says:
    January 15, 2013 at 8:26 pm
    Rogerknights
    There were no attempts to put the fires out and I was told that they were deliberately lit. I did not find out the purpose of the fires
    =========
    Burning the jungle returns the nutients stored in the plants to the soil in preparation for planting crops. This type of agriculture is widespread in the tropics, not limited to Thailand.

    Tropical soils are often nutirent poor. If you simply remove the jungle without burning in place you will get poorer yields. SE Asia’s famous “haze” is the result.

  152. ferd berple says:

    rogerknights says:
    January 16, 2013 at 6:36 am
    PPPS: Here’s a website for an organization that wants to build and distribute rocket stoves in the third world
    ====
    at $100+ each good luck.

  153. rogerknights says:

    PPPPPS: On this page of the site above, http://www.rocketstove.org/index.php/news, the following items appeared, followed by a link.

    The December 21, 2009 issue of the The New Yorker magazine features a lengthy article by Burkhard Bilger, titled “Hearth Surgery”. In the article, Bilger describes our struggle to bring improved cook stoves to the world, with detailed coverage of Aprovecho Research Center, stove camp, Peter Scott and others.
    http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/12/21/091221fa_fact_bilger

    The New Yorker staff writer Burkhard Bilger discusses the quest for a stove that can save the world in an interview on the Brian Lehrer Show, broadcast on WNYC (New York City) on December 15, 2009.
    http://www.wnyc.org/shows/bl/episodes/2009/12/15/segments/146286

    Earlier this autumn, a Financial Times journalist travelled to DRC and spent time with Elisha Moore-Delate, Mercy Corps’ project manager for the cook stoves carbon offset project near Goma.
    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/c5fac58e-e075-11de-8494-00144feab49a.html

    A few weeks after the story appeared in the Financial Times about Mercy Corps, the Charcoal Project sought to know more. So they sent a list of questions to Elisha Moore-Delate, the Environment Program Manager for Mercy Corps in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the person responsible for the stoves program.
    http://charcoalproject.org/2009/12/18/relief-agency-gets-it-with-the-right-stove-in-the-right-hands/

    [this is beginning to look like marketing a product using Anthony's property which is fine if he has agreed . . mod]

  154. Crispin in Waterloo says:

    For all the warmists, scoftics and skeptics out there who want to understand how this research fits into the greater scheme of things, please consider the following:

    BC is emitted largely from burning biomass and is accompanied by a healthy amount of organic carbon (OC) and the current net effect is cooling, slightly. BC is net warming and OC is net cooling. At least that is how it was viewed until this paper documented a need to recalculate the effect of BC and it even puts a value on it (with a large error bar up and down). The large error bar (which is thankfully provided instead of outrageous guesses without them) is caused not by a misunderstanding of how BC heats the earth, but by uncertainties about how clouds work. This is a very important contribution: large error bars, large uncertainties about clouds.

    The heating of CO2 is calculated against a historical record (training the model) and to get a match they included CO2, and initially no BC or OC. Later, they assigned both some role and reduced the CO2 forcing to include BC (had to make room for it to train the models to the same result). Tami Bond et al are saying that the BC element has to be tripled. This implies that the role for CO2 has to be reduced in order to train the models again. Keep your eye on the ball, and stop being distracted by witty barbs about motive. This new knowledge immediately reduces the trading value of CO2 offsets. It also increases the value of BC reduction efforts.

    As has been pointed out by several already, a great deal of BC is emitted by forest fires. Stop viewing that as a ‘stand alone’. Forest fires are net cooling because of the OC that is emitted with the BC. As is clear to the thinking reader, if forest fires or biomass fires or veld fires are reduced to zero, there was thought to be net cooling because of the offsetting OC. Now there is net warming (by corrected recalculation) and a reduced influence of CO2 (by re-training of the models). Remember that the net heating value of CO2 is the raw physics in a model meaning that it is tuned by fudge and jiggery-pokery until it reasonably matches reality during the 20th Century – at least that is the claim. Those calculations must now be significantly adjusted, discounting the CO2 heating value. It is unavoidable.

    The introduction of refined cloud models will necessarily confine the range of BC impact and will clarify the role of BC and OC and CO2. This is good. Knowledge is good – it can be used to improve calculations.

    A second and important misdirection I see in the comments above is the idea that burning diesel or coal necessarily emits BC. BC is from incomplete combustion. When it is complete, there isn’t any BC. Diesel, like paraffin (kerosene) can be burned extremely cleanly, but not in an old clunker with a maladjusted injector pump. I have measured coal stove emissions for hours at a go that were so low, the lab air was being scrubbed of all particles (BC and OC and fugitive dust) as it passed through the stove’s fire. The chimney on occasion for hours at time had zero PM2.5 while burning wet lignite (25% moisture). This shows that there is nothing ‘inherent’ in the coal that ‘produces particles’. The particles are produced by the combustion devices, not the fuel. No point blaming the fuel for the faults of the combustor. Lignite is supposed to be a ‘very dirty fuel’ but I showed that it is not if you bother to use a good burner design. Lignite has a higher H:C ratio and emits less CO2 per MJ of heat (if anyone cares about these things). It carries the ‘dirty’ label because it does not burn well in a power station designed to burn anthracite. Well…duh! Try putting diesel into your gas lawnmower and see what happens.

    The particulate harm to humans, as Philip B has noted, is from inhaling BC in high doses. Very small BC particles can even get into the red blood corpuscles and cross the blood-brain barrier. The effects are real. Don’t smoke.

    Bond et al refers to ‘co-emitted species’ which includes CO, a health-effect gas which is a product of incomplete combustion. Again, a well-designed device emits zero CO which I have also measured in operating domestic stoves, sometimes while simultaneously showing zero PM. Clean combustion is good for everyone. People, please stop guessing that all combustion processes produce particles.

    There are several downsteam implications of Bond’s work. The most obvious (as mentioned right up front in the article) is that the calculated forcing influence of BC in climate models should be tripled and by implication, that of CO2 reduced by the same amount. Domestic stove funding (and fuel efficiency) is bound to get a boost, as will the fuel efficiency of all internal and external combustion vehicles because BC is a fuel energy loss. Cleaning up combustion is a far better idea than ‘sequestering CO2′ down a mine shaft.

    Lastly, Climate Ace, I note your point about the system costs of, say, coal mining. This applies to all systems and initiatives including those that monomaniacally try to drive up energy prices as a policy as a means of forcing people to use less. It is hypocritical that you have not even touched on the damage the anti-CO2 crusade has already done to the global population, the global economy and the environment with harebrained and badly framed arguments, ‘carbon trading’ and even wilfully misrepresentative ‘science’, preferring to repeat, as you do, old slogans and hand-wave as if it contributes value to the consultation. Rather help us in this war against ignorance, perfidy and theft.

  155. Terry says:

    “When open burning emissions, which emit high levels of organic matter, are included in the total, the best estimate of net industrial-era climate forcing by all black-carbon- rich sources becomes slightly negative (-0.06 W m-2 with 90% uncertainty bounds of -1.45 to +1.29 W m-2).”

    Key point from the abstract, overall net effect is zero. Elsewhere, they indicate that BC from diesel is probably the only addressable positive forcing, something that has already been addressed in the developed world.

    While continuing to address BC and other particulates as “pollutants” and “probable health risks” can be justified, it’s impact on overall BC emissions and subsequent potential impact on AGW would appear minimal.

  156. pochas says:

    WJohn says:
    January 16, 2013 at 2:02 am

    “From my science class, proved by experiment – black things absorb more radiated heat from an external hot body than white shiny things. They also radiate more heat in the absence of the hot body. Will the soot covered snow/ ice absorb more heat during the day / arctic summer than it loses heat during night / arctic winter.”

    Over the long haul, energy absorbed must equal energy radiated according to the First Law of Thermodynamics. That is the way it has been in the arctic for a long time. But year-to-year changes in summertime sea ice cause some people to tell us that mankind must be guilty of something. Ever get blamed for something you didn’t do? Just sacrifice something, maybe your weeks allowance and you will feel better. Whoever ends up with your money is called a rent-seeker.

  157. Justa Joe says:

    I thought that the science was “settled” already.

    I remain skeptical. In the vastness of the globe I find it difficult to believe that man’s puny diesel emission can effect the global climate. Don’t these particulates ever precipitate out of the atmosphere? If I recall wasn’t Gleik’s Pacific institute among the outfits assigned to go after diesel emissions. I also find it strange when the people that are investigating the soot “problem” also provide their proffered soot “solutions” at the conclusion. This aspect seems like it would be going beyond the expertise of the soot investigators.

  158. mpainter says:

    ferd berple says: January 16, 2013 at 6:57 am

    Climate Ace says:
    January 15, 2013 at 8:26 pm
    Rogerknights
    There were no attempts to put the fires out and I was told that they were deliberately lit. I did not find out the purpose of the fires
    =========
    Burning the jungle returns the nutients stored in the plants to the soil in preparation for planting crops. This type of agriculture is widespread in the tropics, not limited to Thailand.

    Tropical soils are often nutirent poor. If you simply remove the jungle without burning in place you will get poorer yields. SE Asia’s famous “haze” is the result.
    =========================
    Yes, these techniques are known as “slash and burn” and this is the age-old method of cultivation employed throughout the tropics of the world. The transient fertility added to the soil is soon exhausted and the cultivator has to move on and repeat the process elsewhere.

    In Central America, there are thousands of abandoned Mayan pyramids that attest to the exhaustion of the tropical soils by this method of cultivation. The pyramids were abandoned to the jungle as soil fertility in the vicinity was exhausted. People emigrated, populations declined, food surpluses disappeared, and no longer could a priestly class be supported. Thus these priestly centers were abandoned time and again.

    The slash and burn techniques continue in the Yucatan region, and if the wind is right, the smoke from these fires sometimes affect the air quality of the US Gulf Coast states, particularly Texas.

    Panic peddlers like Climate Ace attribute the repeated abandonments of these Mayan priestly civil centers to some undefined climate change. It is a standard ploy of global-warming panic-peddlers to attribute decline of past civilizations to some sort of climate change.

  159. Björn says:

    For years I have tried to communicate the concern that black soot is melting ice, in sweden.
    Sweden is, Im sorry to say, tip of the spear for the new world order, global everything, 1984, Orwell etc.
    Well, thats my take on the soot issue.

  160. rogerknights says:

    ferd berple says:
    January 16, 2013 at 7:05 am
    rogerknights says:
    January 16, 2013 at 6:36 am
    PPPS: Here’s a website for an organization that wants to build and distribute rocket stoves in the third world
    ====
    at $100+ each good luck.

    If it saves $25 a year in money or sweat equity for firewood, it’s a worthwhile investment.

  161. R Barker says:

    The forcings chart contains 2 medium LOSU, 2 low LOSU and 3 very low LOSU. Not sure I have a lot of confidence in their findings.

  162. Crispin in Waterloo says:

    @Björn

    >For years I have tried to communicate the concern that black soot is melting ice, in sweden.

    It is melting ice. It was always melting ice. We need to maintain perspective on how much BC there is and what our contribution is. When we shifted from burning damp wood to coal, the BC emissions dropped, but the OC emissions dropped much more. It is important to maintain a bird’s eye view of the whole equation or one can be quickly led into dead-end discussions. There is no need to create ’1984′ (a world that was perpetually at war) in order to burn fuels cleanly and efficiently.

    @Terry
    >>…climate forcing by all black-carbon- rich sources becomes slightly negative (-0.06 W m-2 with 90% uncertainty bounds of -1.45 to +1.29 W m-2).”

    >Key point from the abstract, overall net effect is zero.

    This is in line with previous studies which showed the same thing, though the new information, carefully presented so as not to offend, but still there, is that the models have been greatly underestimating the forcing by BC (by a factor of 3) and this must ultimately be subtracted from the forcing attributed to CO2. Be impressed they got that message into a major publication.

    >Elsewhere, they indicate that BC from diesel is probably the only addressable positive forcing, something that has already been addressed in the developed world.

    Well, diesel/fuel oil and heavy bunker oil. A very good point. It is not about ‘stopping all burning of everything’. It is about doing what engineers already try to do: burn the fuel properly and as fully as possible. You don’t have to ‘clean up’ combustion that is already clean. As I said above, BC particles are created by the combustor, not the fuel.

    >While continuing to address BC and other particulates as “pollutants” and “probable health risks” can be justified, it’s impact on overall BC emissions and subsequent potential impact on AGW would appear minimal.

    I would like to rephrase that slightly. That part of the total impact about which we can do something, over which we have substantial control, is minimal. The effect of BC is large, but most of it is counteracted by the OC that is co-emitted and most of it is not emitted by controllable sources. The area of savannah bured each year is gigantic.

    Diesel and coal combustion are major sources of BC without a lot of co-emitted OC. What the total effect is can be calculated by comparing human-controllable net BC sources with the total. If it is small, then the big win for us is to reduce the obvious health impacts of people breathing smoke. If people want to toss money at a real problem, whether it changes the BC/OC ratio or not, that is fine be me. Those health impacts are real.

    There is no technical reason poor people have to burn their free (or not) fuels badly. The right information is just badly shared, not available or metered through information choke points (organisations) trying to extract benefit as they ‘assist the poor’. We can’t be too surprised by that. I favour broad, free dissemination. See http://www.bioenergylists.org s4group.org http://www.drtlud.com/ http://www.newdawnengineering.com/website/library/ among many other popular websources: http://www.hedon.info/tiki-index.php, http://www.appropedia.org/ etc. There is not excuse not to get the engineering right.

  163. george e. smith says:

    Well I’m not silly enough to not think that soot has some effect on the weather, although the headline chooses to say climate instead of weather. I doubt that a soot particle survives in the atmosphere for 30 years or more.
    However, the first cartoon picture, ceretainly does show numerous ways soot can influence things.
    The first two I noticed, are that soot absorbs solar energy, and warms the atmosphere, but cools the surface. They made a typo and spelled “cooling” incorrectly as “dimming”. That is direct solar spectrum radiant energy that never makes it to the ocean depths, or to the land. So I’ll take that as a net cooling effect; less solar energy stored on earth.
    Then there was the reference to “nucleation”, whereby soot, or black carbon, or pink dust, or other colored particles, result in water droplet formation; even microbes, although I don’t know what color they are.
    So water droplet formation means local deposit of latent heat of condensation, and maybe of freezing as well, about 539 (+80) calories per gram of water droplet formation. Then the clouds that are formed, scatter and backscatter, more solar spectrum radiation, and block additional amounts from reaching the surface by warming the cloud. So that too counts as an atmospheric warming and surface dimming/cooling/whatever effect.

    I’m still searching for the global warming component of black cabon aka soot/dust. I’ll get back to you when I find it. As for melt water, which is highly absorbent at LWIR wavelengths, it makes a better near black body radiator of LWIR than does snow, leading to faster cooling in the arctic. Remember the record ocean ice melting of 2007, which was followed by the fastest refreeze in recent memory, because of that faster radiation from open water.

    So I get the weather change from soot; just don’t see where the global warming comes from; those soot particles on the ground would radiate better than the ice too, wouldn’t they ?

    And keep up the good work Svend, I constantly look for your arctic inputs.

  164. Climate Ace says:

    My proposition was that BAU boosters do not include the true costs of fossil fuels when doing their calculations about so-called ‘cheap’ energy because they omit costs such as particulate-related premature deaths, the costs of tens of millions of chronic respiratory conditions

    You have, deliberately or otherwise, completely reversed the point I made, which is coal fired powered stations have, and will assuming they are continued to be built, saved large numbers of lives, from chronic respiratory diseases. Based on the numbers from China, we are likely talking of millions of lives saved. If this is ‘business as usual’, then we need much more as soon as possible.

  165. Tropical soils are often nutirent poor. If you simply remove the jungle without burning in place you will get poorer yields. SE Asia’s famous “haze” is the result.

    The main source of the SE Asian haze is fires in drained peat bogs. These bogs are drained to create agricultural land often for growing palm oil for biofuels.

    We can add this to the list of unintended adverse consequences from AGW mitigations.

  166. Henry Clark says:

    I wouldn’t come to a conclusion before further investigation, but about all other environmental topics (including CO2 forcing, sea level rise, temperature increase, nuclear radiation, and about everything else) are dominated by the top fallacy of qualitative partial truth mixed with not neglecting opportunities to indulge in quantitative exaggeration, so one should be careful in making a jump from “soot causes warming” to assuming “soot causes the claimed amount of warming as a global average.” With that said, though there isn’t room for a large net AGW warming effect beyond local UHI and local land use change, if about any (after looking at non-fudged temperature history such as http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/ArcticIce/Images/arctic_temp_trends_rt.gif and deducting natural forcings), the fact that Earth has a low climate sensitivity in reality means a figure substantial in W/m^2 terms may be more potentially plausible than would otherwise be the case.

  167. Henry Clark says:

    While the (northern) arctic would be a separate topic, albeit commented on in a moment, one thing is particularly blatant: Soot is not the dominant cause of warming around Antarctica. If soot was, the land (ice) would warm more than oceans, since soot can darken ice/snow more so than oceans (where soot would soon get mixed into quadrillions of tons of deep water). Instead, for instance, during the 1982-2004 period, which was a time of warming for the oceans around Antarctica, the land (ice) very strikingly cooled, even when just a small number of miles from the oceans, as seen in an illustration towards the bottom right within http://s10.postimage.org/l9gokvp09/composite.jpg (click to enlarge).

    What does more contribute to explaining such is cloud cover change (as in http://s13.postimage.org/ka0rmuwgn/gcrclouds.gif ), since the Antarctic ice is so white as to be whiter than clouds, unlike dark blue oceans, meaning that a reduction in clouds cools Antarctica while warming the surrounding ocean. The deviation in Antarctic temperature trends occurred long before CFCs and the late 20th century “ozone hole,” as seen in http://www.space.dtu.dk/upload/institutter/space/forskning/05_afdelinger/sun-climate/full_text_publications/svensmark_2007cosmoclimatology.pdf (though perhaps ozone change as well could have contributed more in earlier pre-CFC history if ozone change was more heavily driven by solar variation and far less quantitatively dominated by manmade CFCs than environmental activists tend to imply).

    Also, while soot presumably can have some effect, the pattern of temperature history does not fit it being a dominant forcing at the northern end of the planet either: As illustrated by http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/ArcticIce/Images/arctic_temp_trends_rt.gif , there was major arctic cooling during the 1940s-1960s,* and that was a time of growth in global soot-releasing combustion including in Asia. What does more fit such by far is seen in the bottom left of http://s10.postimage.org/l9gokvp09/composite.jpg

    * Also note, as http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/ArcticIce/Images/arctic_temp_trends_rt.gif shows, arctic temperatures were no warmer in the 1990s than in the late 1930s, which fits how the late 20th century was not very special for arctic ice extent in the history seen in http://nwpi.krc.karelia.ru/e/climas/Ice/Ice_no_sat/XX_Arctic.htm ,and, as an annual average without cherry-picking a single month alone, arctic extent in the years recent to now (2013) has been comparable to that in the mid-1990s ( http://www.webcitation.org/6AKKakUIo ).

  168. Brian H says:

    Gary Pearse says:
    January 15, 2013 at 11:09 am

    “…reduce these emissions we could buy ourselves up to half a degree less warming–or a couple of decades of respite,”

    Now folks, you very diligently found an underestimation of the effect of soot on temp. Don’t now underestimate how much respite this will buy. 0.5 C reduction in warming estimates will buy maybe 10 decades of respite, not a couple of decades.

    Not to mention that it is crazy to seek respite from the hugely desirable warming trend, which will, as usual, benefit all of mankind and civilization. Warming => More Life; Cooling => More Death. Pick one.

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