“Clearer Skies, Warmer Planet? The Paradoxical Impact of Lower Emissions Amid a Pandemic”

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From Watts Up With That?

Climate alarmism often presents a single-sided view of environmental issues, highlighting the dangers of greenhouse gas emissions and promoting drastic measures to curb them. Recently, however, a study from Stockholm University has offered a more nuanced perspective on the issue, challenging the simplistic narrative of ‘less emissions equals a cooler planet.’

According to the study, the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting shutdowns in South Asia led to an unexpected consequence – warmer climate. While reduced air pollution emissions improved air quality, they also unmasked a climate-warming effect. The researchers found that the concentration of short-lived cooling particles, such as sulphur and nitrogen oxides, were greatly reduced, while the concentration of long-lived greenhouse gases remained largely unchanged.

These short-lived particles have a cooling effect because they reflect incoming solar radiation back into space. When their concentration decreases, as during the pandemic, this cooling effect diminishes, resulting in increased climate warming. The study reported a 7% increase in solar radiation reaching the Earth’s surface, thereby raising temperatures.

The findings highlight a delicate balance and interconnectedness in our atmosphere, underscoring the complexity of climate dynamics.

Professor Örjan Gustafsson, who led the study, explained,

“During a couple of decades, emission reductions risk leading to net climate warming due to the ‘masking’ effect of air particles, before the temperature reduction from reduced greenhouse gas emissions takes over.”https://www.su.se/english/news/reduced-emissions-during-the-pandemic-led-to-increased-climate-warming-1.658706

Nevertheless, he urged that we still

“urgently need a powerful emission reduction.”https://www.su.se/english/news/reduced-emissions-during-the-pandemic-led-to-increased-climate-warming-1.658706

Because of course he did.