Monday, May 16, 2011

More on climate

Previous blog entries related to climate:
Misc update (climate) - Jan 29th, 2011
Climate denial - Jun 5th, 2010
More on climate - Jan 31st, 2010
Climate change and doubt - Jan 24th, 2010
Meet Dr. Rajendra Pachuri - Jan 23rd, 2010
We wuz wrong - Jan 23rd, 2010
Saving the day... - Dec 20th, 2009
Skimmed milk masquerades as cream - Dec 17, 2009

Previous blog entries have argued that "... shoddy reporting combined with the complexity of the science made it difficult, nay, make that quasi impossible, for an informed and discerning layperson to have an independent understanding of climate science. Also that occasional reporting of additional theories and or data sometimes seemingly at odds with the consensus position, can and do muddy the waters... "

For example, the previous blog entry referenced the claim by the Indian Environment Ministry that solar activity could account for up to 40% of global warning, and that as a result it's not entirely about man-made activities and the resulting carbon cycle-related greenhouse gasses...

Now up, a study that implicates ozone depletion and the ozone "hole" as major contributors to changes in atmospheric flow and circulation (and this precipitation). "... The ozone hole is now widely believed to have been the dominant agent of atmospheric circulation changes in the Southern Hemisphere in the last half century. This means, according to Polvani and Kang, that international agreements about mitigating climate change cannot be confined to dealing with carbon alone— ozone needs to be considered, too. “This could be a real game-changer" ... a hole in the Antarctic ozone layer was discovered in the mid 1980s. Thanks to the 1989 Montreal Protocol, now signed by 196 countries, global CFC production has been phased out. As a result, scientists have observed over the past decade that ozone depletion has largely halted and they now expect it to fully reverse, and the ozone hole to close by mid-century... “While the ozone hole has been considered as a solved problem, we’re now finding it has caused a great deal of the climate change that’s been observed.” So, even though CFCs are no longer being added to the atmosphere, and the ozone layer will recover in the coming decades, the closing of the ozone hole will have a considerable impact on climate..."

The "good" in this development for climate change? That the world's phase out of CFC production pursuant to the Montreal Protocol of 1989 (which stopped the world's ozone depletion) shows that international agreements can, and have, been successful in the past!

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