China reduced sulfur dioxide emissions from its power plants by 7–14% between 2014 and 2016. Mainstream climate models had expected China’s air pollution to increase. Lower pollution is better for crops and public health. China has over 1 million deaths from the particulate air pollution that also comes with the sulfur dioxide air pollution.
But aerosol air pollution, including sulfates, nitrates and organic compounds, reflect sunlight. This shield of aerosols has kept the planet cooler, possibly by as much as 0.7 °C globally.
This means China and the USA and other polluting nations were already accidentally geoengineering the planet for global cooling for nearly half the global warming effect.
So some of the pollution, the CO2, was bad and causing long-term warming, another part the soot and black carbon was really bad by making ice darker and increasing warming and another part was good for temperatures and increasing the cooling by reflecting sunlight.
China was solar engineering to save the world. But it was costing 1.2 million people in China to die earlier from heart and lung disease from the particulates.
Acid rain is caused by a chemical reaction that begins when compounds like sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides are released into the air. These substances can rise very high into the atmosphere, where they mix and react with water, oxygen, and other chemicals to form more acidic pollutants, known as acid rain.
The coal and other polluting plants can actually filter out the deadliest particulates while allowing sulfur dioxide to pass.
So there has been at least three parts to the whole emission story in terms of two things increasing temperatures and another part lowering temperatures.
The climate scientists need to explain to me again with this method of geoengineering or different ones involving specially built planes releasing material to create an artificial volcano is bad. We have been performing over three decades of geoengineered cooling already.
They will use a balloon suspended 12 miles above Earth to spray tiny chalk particles across a kilometer-long area, with the intention of reflecting the Sun’s rays away from the planet.
Restating the Nature Report in a Condensed Way Because the It Happened Aspect is Skipped
The Nature report is saying, the world has been geoengineering from up to 1.8 degrees Celsius of warming down to 1.1 degrees Celsius of warming for decades. They are saying that we are going to get accelerated warming because we are dialing down the sulfur air pollution. The pent-up warming is hitting because China is fixing its air pollution in an effective way. China is saving 500,000 of 1.2 million deaths by cleaning up its air pollution. The lives saved is mainly from particulate reduction. The temperature cooling effect is from the sulfur dioxide. The point of emphasis is past tense geoengineering and past tense is starting to stop doing it. And past tense starting to get pent up warming.
The reports could be wrong about the sulfur dioxide cooling but then it would seem they would be wrong about accelerated warming.
If they are right about accelerated warming and the cause of it then sulfur dioxide has been cooling.
There is error margin around the how much cooling from sulfur dioxide.
Emphasizing the Past Tense Aspects and the Three Primary Pollutant Components
The vast majority of the 7 million air pollution deaths per year (4 million outdoor air pollution, 3 million indoor) are from the particulates and soot. Particulates have a warming effect that is about 0.5 degrees celsius) and the kill most the people by a large margin.
If we wanted the “tested” geoengineered cooling then we continue releasing sulfur dioxide but try to modify the release to make it safer for people. We can still filter out all the particulates and work on the long-term reduction of CO2.
The science indicates we have 1.1 to 1.2 degrees Celsius of warming already. However, 0.5 degrees of it is from particulates and soot making white and reflective surfaces darker. Dark things absorb more light and heat and lighter reflects more light and heat.
We can modify the mix of status quo combination of pollutants being emitted that would move toward the desired target of less warming and fewer deaths. We need to save the 7 million per year and cool the climate. The inference from the Nature report and other science reports is
Sulfur dioxide up to 0.7 degrees of cooling – so we keep doing it but safe as possible
CO2 is 0.6 degrees of warming and rising – we dial that back as we are able
Particulates, soot, black carbon 0.5 degrees of warming and not rising as fast and 7 million death per year. Stop this entirely and as fast as possible. The speed is especially true since this 0.5 degrees warming elimination is twenty times cheaper and much faster to achieve than the CO2 fix.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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