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China’s Smog Clouds May Prevent Global Warming


China’s Smog Clouds May Prevent Global Warming

I’ve posted articles in the past linking the clean air legislation in the west with more sunshine and therefore more warming. Here is a paper arguing the opposite: the lack of clean air in China is cooling the globe. China is responsible for just 10 per cent of man-made global warming, despite emitting more than one quarter of the world’s greenhouse gases, a new study claims. The study found sulphate and nitrate aerosols emitted by burning fossil fuels had a cooling effect that offset much of the warming caused by greenhouse gas emissions of carbon dioxide, methane and black carbon. As a result, while China’s consumption of fossil fuels and its carbon emissions had increased significantly over the past decades, a corresponding increase in aerosol emissions meant its contribution to man-made climate change had remained largely unchanged since the pre-industrial period. The findings suggest that China’s severe smog could have a “silver lining” in cooling the globe, and the study said that a campaign to clear the air could actually increase the country’s contribution to man-made warming. The study was led by Professor Li Bengang at Peking University and published in Nature.

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