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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Chris4692

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

Theo Goodwin

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?

DCA

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.

Brian

Drat – more juice for the fireplace gestapo in California.

AleaJactaEst

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.

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.

Kon Dealer

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!!

milodonharlani

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.

Sam the First

“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.

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.

temp

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.

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.

Bruce Cobb

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.

Jack

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.

Gary Pearse

“…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.

gator69

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

Phil

“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.

Jimbo

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

Craig from Belvidere

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.

Jimbo

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

oldfossil

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?

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

Billy Liar

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?

Billy Liar

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

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

Jimbo

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

Chris Beal

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

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 😉

page488

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.

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.

Peter Melia

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.

Adam Gallon

“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?

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.

Rob Ricket

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.

Dr. Acula

Oh my, those are some mighty big error bars!

Pat Frank

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.

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?

Doug Huffman

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.

G. Karst

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

rogerknights

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

Stephen Richards

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

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!

Kelvin Vaughan

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

John Peter

“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”.

Ed Caryl
Laws of Nature

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

Crispin in Waterloo

@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.

john robertson

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.

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

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?