13 Jan 2012:
Reducing Methane and Soot
Will Reduce Warming, Study Says
An international team of scientists says that governments can significantly reduce global warming, and prevent millions of premature deaths, by targeting emissions of methane and soot
. In a new study published in the journal Science
, the researchers say simple strategies that target those emissions and use existing technologies could shave nearly 1 degree Fahrenheit off the warming projected by mid-century. And with international efforts to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, the main cause of climate change, largely stalled, it represents a cheaper and more attainable approach. Strategies to reduce methane emissions include improving methods of capturing gas from mines and oil- and gas-producing facilities and reducing leaks from pipelines and landfills; global levels of soot, or black carbon, can be cut by requiring more efficient filters for diesel vehicles, developing cleaner-burning cook stoves and imposing bans on burning agricultural land. Such measures would prevent 700,000 to 4.7 million air pollution-related deaths per year, the study says. “Ultimately, we have to deal with CO2, but in the short term, dealing with these pollutants is more doable, and it brings fast benefits,” said Drew Shindell, the lead author and researcher at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies and Columbia University’s Earth Institute.
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Tribal people and ranchers join together to stop a project that would haul coal across their Montana land. Watch the video.
is now available for mobile devices at e360.yale.edu/mobile
An aerial view of why Europe’s per capita carbon emissions are less than 50 percent of those in the U.S. View the photos.
Ugandan scientists monitor the impact of climate change on one of Africa’s most diverse forests and its extraordinary wildlife. Learn more.
video series looks at the staggering amount of food wasted in the U.S. – a problem with major human and environmental costs. Watch the video.
video goes onto the front lines with Colorado firefighters confronting deadly blazes fueled by a hotter, drier climate. Watch the video.
A three-part series Tainted Harvest
looks at the soil pollution crisis in China, the threat it poses to the food supply, and the complexity of any cleanup. Read the series.