Friday, February 25, 2011

Solve Climate News on new UN Report on black carbon... and why Obama's proposed budget is off base


EPA 's budget eliminates a $60 million program to curb soot, as UN scientists report that tackling such pollutants is key to fighting climate change

By Elizabeth McGowan
Feb 25, 2011

WASHINGTON—Environmental organizations weren't feeling any love on Valentine's Day when the White House announced that it would slash funding for retrofitting dirty diesel engines in the 2012 budget.

Now they're hopeful an enlightening report about the climatic benefits of curbing soot and ground-level ozone emissions will force President Obama to experience a change of heart.

Remarkably, slicing these pollutants on a worldwide basis by 2030 could halve the projected increase in global temperatures in the first half of the century, according to a report issued by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) this week.

The study, "Integrated Assessment of Black Carbon and Tropospheric Ozone," points out that regulators would be wise to focus on soot and ground-level ozone in tandem with reining in carbon dioxide emissions.

Its authors say that reducing black carbon and ground-level ozone, which includes methane, has a more immediate effect on climate because they have short lifetimes. Carbon dioxide, on the other hand, lingers in the atmosphere for much longer periods.

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