New Earth-Moving UN Study Says Half Of Arctic Warming Caused By Soot (And Not CO2)!

H/t: Reader Dirk H

CO2 being the primary cause of global warming is disappearing – fast. Now a new UNEP-sponsored study says.

Half of the temperature increase in the Arctic can be traced to black exhaust dust (soot).

We’ve always known that CO2’s greenhouse impact on global warming was inflated, maybe 10-fold. The T-Online News here presents a summary of a recent UNEP study written by a German alliance of environmental organisations called Russfrei Fürs Klima, in English: “Soot-Free for the Climate”. T-Online writes:

Because of these new findings, the so-called German Environment Aid group (DUH) is now calling for diesel filters for heavy construction machinery.”

Ed Caryl wrote about black soot’s impacts on glaciers some time back, read Glaciers – The Dark Side.

Okay – the UNEP study says “half the Arctic warming” and not half of the “global warming”. But recall that scientists have long said that global temperature rise would be most apparent in the Arctic. Now that we know half of it is caused by black soot, then it indicates the problem over the rest of the globe is nowhere near as bad.

T-Online News writes:

‘The black carbon settles on snow and ice,’ explains Dietmar Oeliger, transportation expert of the Nature Protection Alliance Germany (NABU). ‘It leads to more absorption of solar heat by ice and snow, and thus melt more quickly.”

and (emphasis added):

‘The UNEP study is so important because it has finally offcially identified soot particles as a climate driver,’ said Axel Friedrich, international transportation consultant. “The detrimental effects of CO2 on climate have been discussed for a long time, while the topic of soot was always ridiculed.’ “

Soot deposits in glaciers

Of course these concerned environmentalists would like to have us believe that soot is equally as harmful as CO2. But all they have done is convinced me that CO2 is much less a problem then they’ve been claiming.

And another important factor in warming from 1980 – 1998 (there has been no warming since 1998) are the oceanic oscillations, which were in their warm phase from 1980 – 1998. That doesn’t leave much room left for CO2. Call it the incredible shrinking CO2 warming effect.

I think the call for exhaust filters is a reasonable proposal and I’d support it. I’m in favour of less soot in the air that I breathe. Filters wouldn’t be that expensive, and would have a real impact – if the study’s results are true.

Frankly, I think the study is a bit odd in that it places most of the blame on construction equipment. Maybe the environmental groups are trying to shake down the construction equipment manufacturers for money. Factory production and the earlier, very dirty burning of coal by power plants certainly had an impact that was equally great, if not much greater.

25 responses to “New Earth-Moving UN Study Says Half Of Arctic Warming Caused By Soot (And Not CO2)!”

  1. Jimbo

    The soot issue is nothing new. It even applies to the Himalayan glacier melt.

    Hey, never let the facts get in the way of a good eco-scare.

    Nasa says “…aerosols likely account for 45 percent or more of the warming that has occurred in the Arctic during the last three decades.”

    Soot:
    “We conclude that decreasing concentrations of sulphate aerosols and increasing concentrations of black carbon have substantially contributed to rapid Arctic warming during the past three decades.”
    Climate response to regional radiative forcing during the twentieth century
    [Full pdf paper]

    “Plausible estimates for the effect of soot on snow and ice albedos (1.5% in the Arctic and 3% in Northern Hemisphere land areas) yield a climate forcing of +0.3 W/m2 in the Northern Hemisphere. The “efficacy” of this forcing is ~2, i.e., for a given forcing it is twice as effective as CO2 in altering global surface air temperature.”
    Soot climate forcing via snow and ice albedos

    ————-

    Wind:
    “…..the combined effect of winter and summer wind forcing accounts for 50% of the variance of the change in September Arctic sea ice extent from one year to the next (^SIE) and it also explains roughly 1/3 of the downward linear trend of SIE over the past 31 years.”
    Geophysical Research Letters – [Full pdf paper]

    ————-

    Natural Climate Cycles
    “The analysis suggests that the recent well-documented retreat of ice cover can partly be attributed to a manifestation of the positive phase of the 60–80 year variability,…persistent ice retreat since the second half of the 19th century….”
    Historical variability of sea ice edge position in the Nordic Seas
    1750–2002
    See also:
    The Early Twentieth-Century Warming in the Arctic

    Please remember that Arctic sea ice extent has be on a downward trend since 1860.

    Please remember that the Arctic has been ice-free before due to natural climate variation.
    See here, here and here.

    90% melting of ice and snow due to soot
    http://www.atmos-chem-phys-discuss.net/9/26593/2009/acpd-9-26593-2009.html
    http://newscenter.lbl.gov/feature-stories/2010/02/03/black-carbon-himalayan-glaciers/

    James Hansen
    http://www.pnas.org/content/101/2/423.full
    http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/abstracts/2005/Koch_Hansen.html

    Soot could equal up to 60 percent of the current global warming effect of carbon dioxide
    http://news-releases.uiowa.edu/2010/july/072710global-warming.html

    Are all Himalayan glaciers melting?
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8387737.stm
    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/326/5955/924

    Himalayan glaciers ‘melting’ due as much to soot and dust as CO2
    http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/himalayan-soot.html
    http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/himalayan-warming.html
    http://www.atmos-chem-phys-discuss.net/9/26593/2009/acpd-9-26593-2009.html

    1. DirkH

      “The “efficacy” of this forcing is ~2, i.e., for a given forcing it is twice as effective as CO2 in altering global surface air temperature.”

      I love this sentence. Whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad.

  2. Jimbo

    I think the call for exhaust filters is a reasonable proposal and I’d support it. I’m in favour of less soot in the air that I breathe. Filters wouldn’t be that expensive, and would have a real impact – if the study’s results are true.

    Sorry to inform you that this is a non-starter for governments as there is no money to be made from it. Green want to use Co2 to hammer development. Governments want to use Co2 to tax its citizens. Gore et. al. want to use Co2 to make lots of money. And as for celebrities they are just a bunch of hypocrites.
    http://jerseynut.blogspot.com/2009/11/celebrity-climate-change-hypocrites.html
    http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/james-cameron-labelled-climate-change-hypocrite-2115151.html

  3. DirkH

    O/T European Emissions Trading Systems ETS; VAT carousel fraud; Deutsche Bank allegeledly involved and more than 50 companies; 850 Mill. Euro in Germany alone; Federal attorney investigates. I think this is just one of many crime stories of the ETS, just run of the mill.

    http://wirtschaft.t-online.de/umsatzsteuerbetrug-staat-um-850-millionen-euro-geprellt/id_44798114/index

  4. Ed Caryl

    Of even more proof is needed, just search the web for glacier images. Unless it was taken in mid-winter, you will see black carbon. As the glaciers melt, BC gets concentrated on the surface. I think the BC factor could be even higher than 50%.

  5. DirkH

    “Of course these concerned environmentalists would like to have us believe that soot is equally as harmful as CO2. But all they have done is convinced me that CO2 is much less a problem then they’ve been claiming.”

    Exactly. The t-online article and all other warmist resports about it leave this question open, it must be a very inconvenient truth for them – when the problem of soot is bigger, the problem of CO2 must be smaller, and they would just much rather that we all forget what we’ve been told for 30 years. Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia. ;-)

  6. dave ward

    “I think the call for exhaust filters is a reasonable proposal and I’d support it.”

    A friend of mine runs a small car repair shop. I called round to see him last year, and he was working on a 2 year old diesel engined Citroen. A warning light had indicated the particulate filter was blocked. These are supposed to be returned to main dealers for exchange at £300 a time, and he was trying to blow the soot out with an airline!! It wasn’t doing much good, and I suggested trying hot water. 2 buckets later it was clear, and the customer happily drove away.

    These filters are supposed to be cleaned automatically during use by a special fluid, a container of which is meant to last 80,000 miles. This car had only done 30,000…

    Now try and scale that up to the 104 litre, 24 cylinder, 3,370 hp engine of a CAT 797!!

    And it would be far more beneficial to require exhaust filters on the massive engines powering ships that bring all our imports from China. These run on very low grade “bunker” fuel, which contains large quantities of toxic materials, removed from normal diesel fuel during refining.

  7. DirkH

    O/T Open season at the EU commission. Energy commissioner Öttinger against Climate commissioner Crazy Connie. Richard Black reports.
    “On Tuesday the commission will unveil a road-map on climate and energy policy.
    Its own analysis said that an EU target of a 25% cut by 2020 could easily be met, and would be economically better than the existing target of 20%.”
    “Environmental groups have urged that in order to meet its “fair share” of global emissions cuts, and to re-invigorate the UN process, the EU should be contemplating 40%. But energy commissioner Gunther Oettinger recently declared that going above 20% would lead to the “de-industrialisation” of Europe.”

    Sanity (at least a bit of it) against madness. What will prevail?
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-12647657

    At least Öttinger has found some clear words.

  8. mindert eiting

    Does anyone understand why warmings have to be explained and coolings not? What is the explanation for the cooling during 1940-1949 at latitude -70 South? That cooling was much more in absolute value than the warming of the Artic.

  9. Paddy

    I am curious how exhaust from huge diesel earth moving machines gets elevated into the troposphere or higher, becomes concentrated, transported to the Arctic, and dispersed over the vast areas of ice. How is black soot differentiated from dark dust and pollutants that are unleashed from major desert area and other aerosol sources like the Asian brown cloud?

  10. R. de Haan

    I for one am not going to trade in one scare for another.
    To be honest, I am fed up with the entire subject.
    Of course they are talking “Anthropogenic Induced Soot” here so we go from AGW to AIS.

    How stupid the entire concept is only requires short visit to the NASA Earth Observatory blog where they have pictures of entire dessers floating in the air and mighty volcano’s dirtying the entire surroundings.

    I suggest the UN goes and screw it’s self.

    I am not going to accept any of their claims because their past is an indicator of their future.
    In the past hey have proved to be a highly corrupt organization.

  11. R. de Haan

    Besides that.
    It doesn’t take very long before we have entire different problems to keep us occupied:
    http://rarereaders.seablogger.com/2011/03/with-the-world-focused-at-north-africa-and-the-middle-east/#comments

  12. Juraj V.

    I am not convinced either. Just one anthropogenic clue exchanged for another.
    It is OCEAN!! There is a direct relation between North Atlantic SST and ice extent. N.A. ocean SST is varying in 60-year cycle and so does the ice and air temperature up there.
    http://climexp.knmi.nl/data/ihadsst2_280-360E_0-70N_n_su_1900:2011a.png

  13. M White

    Get your own climate model

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-12615599

    “Fate of the World games explore climate change”

    1. DirkH

      “Using real climatic models”!!! “Economists and non-governmental organisation including Oxfam and Friends of the Earth also contributed.”!!

      I guess we couldn’t ridicule warmism half as good as they do it themselves.

  14. R. de Haan

    Ed Caryl
    5. März 2011 at 15:41 | Permalink | Reply
    Of even more proof is needed, just search the web for glacier images. Unless it was taken in mid-winter, you will see black carbon. As the glaciers melt, BC gets concentrated on the surface. I think the BC factor could be even higher than 50%”.

    Ed, forget about the BC factor.
    During the summer time glaciers always look dirty.
    Most of the dirt is produced by the glaciers grinding the rock bed to dust.
    See: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=47082
    Had the wind blown from another direction the dust would have landed on the glaciers.
    Besides that we have the deserts producing gigantic amounts of dust,
    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/view.php?id=46915 the forrest fires and volcano’s as a big source and of course us plowing the lands, exploring open coal mines, our transportation systems etc.
    But nothing to worry about.
    In fact we learn from Iceland that the dust cover from Eya has functioned as an isolation shield preventing the summer ice melt last year.
    Snow, Ice and dust, carbon particles, whatever is as old as the world.
    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/view.php?id=48451

    Just forget about it.

    We are just a flee on the ass of an elephant.

    1. Ed Caryl

      I’m aware of that phenomenon. But glaciers that don’t move rock to the surface get dark also, like the Greenland ice cap, Columbia Ice Field in Alberta Canada, and some ice fields in Alaska, collect lots of soot.

  15. R. de Haan

    This is a nice picture too.
    It’s from Kizimen Volcano and it’s a real dirt bag of a volcano.
    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/view.php?id=49470

  16. R. de Haan

    Just tell me how much of the smoke, dust and soot photographed from space is man made?
    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/quarterly.php?cat_id=7&y=2011&q=1

  17. R. de Haan

    Just go through these pictures photographed from space and tell me how much of that is man made?
    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/category.php?cat_id=12

  18. Soot Emerging As Main Driver Of Arctic Warming

    […] effects of soot on arctic and sub-arctic ice and glaciers, read here Glaciers – The Dark Side and Half Of Arctic Warming Caused By Soot. Scientists are recognising that CO2 is becoming less of a factor and that black carbon soot […]

  19. Dai

    It gets me how people argue over causation…

    I guess when it comes to consumers rationalising consuming it takes a consummate effort…

    http://www.thejournal.ie/bolivia-bans-cars-for-a-day-to-help-reduce-pollution-218356-Sep2011/

    1. DirkH

      You call it rationalizing? Well, Beenstock et.al. have applied the test for Granger causality to the time series of CO2 and global temperature average and find that CO2 does not cause temperature rise.

      http://www.earth-syst-dynam-discuss.net/3/561/2012/esdd-3-561-2012.html

      If you think that that is an example of “rationalizing consumption”, you should better give an explanation. Granger got a Nobel price for his econometic testing methodology, and it is applied all the time to find or reject possible causations betwen economic variables.