Tuesday, December 22, 2009

New scientific paper says CO2 irrelevant to climate

A new paper from Prof. Lu of the University of Waterloo suggests that global warming has been caused by halogens, not by CO2. Halogens had previously been associated with the ozone hole and Lu suggests that, through a mechanism that also involves cosmic rays and atmospheric ice crystals, halogenated molecules may also control global temperatures. His 87-page paper on the subject, to be published in Physics Reports, can be found here. In the plot below, he compares the rise and fall of halogen concentrations, measured as "equivalent effective stratospheric chlorine" (EESC), with global temperatures: Since halogens were banned by the 1987 Montreal Protocol, the EESC concentrations have started to decline. Note that this decline seems to match the decline in global temperatures observed this decade. If Lu's theory is correct, then we can expect to see declining temperatures for several more decades as EESC values drop back to natural levels.

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