Should we refocus mitigation efforts on methane & black carbon?

As global carbon dioxide emissions rebound strongly after the economic crisis, many are suggesting we should refocus efforts to combat global climate change on emissions of methane or “black carbon” (like the soot particles emitted by wood-fueled cook-stoves). Improving air quality in developing countries would have massive health benefits and could affect the rate of climate change over the next couple of decades, but the impact of today’s methane and soot emissions on the risk of global warming exceeding two degrees is less clear. Oxford scientists were the first to observe that cumulative emissions of carbon dioxide over the entire “anthropocene” are the principal determinant of the risk of dangerous climate change and continue to work with the Met Office and others advising the government on climate change priorities.

Reference

Allen, M. R. et al. Warming caused by cumulative carbon emissions towards the trillionth tonne. Nature 458, 1163-1166, doi:10.1038/nature08019 (2009).

Research Groups Working on Similar Topics

Climate Dynamics

Research includes large-scale atmospheric circulation, ocean circulation and climate variability.

Climate Processes

Research that addresses physical climate processes in the context of anthropogenic perturbations to the earth system with  main focus on aerosol and cloud physics.

Climate Systems and Policy

Research including mineral aerosols, tropical forest systems, climate change in Africa, Himalaya and Andes, changes in global and regional hydrological cycles.

Stratosphere and Climate

Understanding the climate and variability of the stratosphere, and possible links with changes in the troposphere due to future climate change.