A ‘Major Surprise’ Nature Study Finds Phasing Out Fossil Fuels Will Lead To Decades Of Warming

“We would expect from a 100% switchover from fossil fuels to zero-emission renewables…net radiative heating would increase drastically.” – Nair et al., 2023

Using observational data gleaned from COVID-19 lockdowns in South Asia, scientists publishing in a Nature journal (Nair et al., 2023) have now determined the ongoing switch to zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions renewables will subsequently lead to a dramatic reduction in climate-cooling aerosol (pollution) emissions. Because aerosol emissions have a relatively greater climate impact by reflecting shortwave radiation, the net effect of transitioning to renewables will be to “drastically” increase Earth’s temperatures over the coming decades.

“Mitigation strategies focusing on the phase-out of fossil fuels will lead to quick removal of the short-lived aerosols while the longer-lived major greenhouse gases decrease much more slowly, likely resulting in undesired net warming of the climate during a decades-long transition period.”

Image Source: Nair et al., 2023

The curtailment of industrial and transport energy use in South Asia during COVID lockdowns (March-May 2020) not only reduced fossil fuel (GHG) emissions, but also the associated aerosol (pollution) emissions that serve to cool the climate by reflecting shortwave radiation.

Scientists have assessed a ~7% reduction in aerosol emissions during the initial lockdown months induced a ~20 W/m² increase in downwelling solar radiation forcing.

The magnitude of this reduced-aerosol-emissions climate forcing (~20 W/m² within just a few months) is characterized as a “major surprise.”

To put this into perspective using the conclusions found in Feldman et al., 2015, this aerosol forcing is about 100 times larger than the clear-sky surface forcing (0.2 W/m²) associated with 10 years of CO2 increases (22 ppm).

The switch to 100% renewables, or the phasing out of fossil fuel energy sources, has the (unintended) net effect of causing decades of warming. This is the opposite of mitigation policy intentions.

8 responses to “A ‘Major Surprise’ Nature Study Finds Phasing Out Fossil Fuels Will Lead To Decades Of Warming”

  1. Gerry, England

    One of the reasons given for the warm temperatures seen last summer is the cleaning up of bunker fuel used by ships. The skies over the busy Atlantic route were clearer of clouds due to the lack of seeding aerosols.

  2. Avianthro

    Seems like this could be a strong argument for transitioning to liquid hydrocarbon fuels made by renewable energy powered processes such as Renewable Fischer Tropsch Synthesis. For other reasons, reasons also with higher level of certainty, these types of fuels are far superior to the vision of batteries or hydrogen. They have the specific energy density of fossils, can be stored and transported using existing infrastructure, and of course burned in all existing internal combustion engine types.

  3. Jeremy Poynton

    Have to laugh.

    1. Jimfrey

      It gets even better the more you think about it; it means that the warming has been caused by environmentalists, that there should be more warming, that the warming is entirely natural, and beneficial. Of course if the eco-mob want to cool the globe, perhaps we need some good old-fashioned 1970s pollution? After all in the 70s the climate scientists suggested covering the ice-caps with soot to prevent the ice-caps growing.

  4. tita

    Thanks for sharing informationi really like i GTU

  5. Walter Herbst PhD

    One more reason not to accept computer modeling…too many variables are not accounted for. The real tragedy is that the path we are on has too much invested in it, and as always, when you follow the money you get to the “why” are we doing what we’re doing.

  6. Exit

    The warmer it gets the faster we are in the ice age.

  7. An Honest & Sensible Conversation about Global Energy | Scott Tinker – Newsfeed Hasslefree Allsort

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