How the world prevented more severe warming in this century


But the agreement was finally approved by every country, and its advantages are more extensive than its impact on the ozone hole. Many of these chemicals are also powerful greenhouse gases.Therefore, as a major side benefit, their reduction in the past 30 years has alleviated warming and can reduce as much as By 2050, the global average temperature will drop by 1 ˚C.

Now a New research Nature highlights another important (if unintentional) benefit: reducing the stress on plants caused by ultraviolet radiation from the sun, inhibiting photosynthesis, and slowing growth. Anna Harper, a senior lecturer in climate science at the University of Exeter and co-author of the paper, said that the Montreal Protocol avoided “catastrophic collapse of forests and farmland,” which would add hundreds of billions of tons of carbon to the atmosphere. In an email.

The “Nature” paper published on August 18 found that if the production of ozone-depleting substances continues to grow at a rate of 3% per year, additional ultraviolet radiation will reduce the growth of trees, grasses, ferns, flowers and crops worldwide.

The world’s plants will absorb less carbon dioxide and release up to 645 billion tons of carbon from the land into the atmosphere this century. During the same period, this may raise global warming by 1 degree Celsius. It will also have a devastating impact on global agricultural production and food supply.

The impact of rising CFCs content on plants, coupled with their direct warming effect in the atmosphere, may increase the temperature of this century by about 2.5 ˚C, all of which exceed The already terrible warming forecast in 2100, The researchers found.

“Although it was originally intended as an ozone protection treaty, the Montreal Protocol has always been a very successful climate treaty,” said Paul Young, a climate scientist at Lancaster University and another author of the paper.

All of this raises the question: Why can’t the world formulate an equally aggressive and effective international treaty specifically aimed at tackling climate change? At least some scholars believe that the success of the Montreal Protocol has important but largely overlooked lessons, which are becoming more relevant as global warming accelerates and the next UN Climate Conference approaches.


At this point, no matter what, the earth will continue to warm in the next few decades because The United Nations Climate Report Warning last week. But it gets worse, to a large extent, depending on the efforts to reduce climate pollution in the coming decades.

So far, countries have failed to reach an agreement with sufficiently ambitious and binding commitments through the “Kyoto Treaty” and the “Paris Climate Agreement” to phase out greenhouse gas emissions. The nations will gather at the next United Nations conference in Glasgow in early November, with a clear goal of accelerating the realization of these goals in accordance with the Paris Agreement.

Some scholars write Lengthy paper and Whole book Review the lessons learned from the Montreal Protocol, and Similarities and differences The relationship between CFC and greenhouse gas efforts.

A common view is that relevance is limited. CFCs are a much simpler problem to solve because they are produced by a single department-mainly by a few large companies such as DuPont-and used for limited applications.

On the other hand, almost every component of every sector in every country emits greenhouse gases. Fossil fuels are the energy that drives the development of the global economy, and most of our machines and physical infrastructure are designed around them.

But Edward Parson, a professor of environmental law at the University of California, Los Angeles, said it was time to revisit the lessons of the Montreal Protocol.

That’s because as the danger of climate change becomes more and more obvious and terrifying, more and more countries are pushing for stricter rules, and companies are getting closer and closer to the stage where companies like DuPont are doing: Science has discovered that it is inevitable to raise objections to reluctantly accept the new rules, so they better figure out how to operate and profit from them.

In other words, we are reaching the point where it may be feasible to develop more prohibitive rules, so it is important to use this opportunity to develop effective rules.

Strict rules, consistent execution

Parson is the author Protecting the ozone layer: science and strategy, In-depth history of the “Montreal Protocol” published in 2003. He emphasized that phasing out ozone-depleting compounds is a more complex issue than commonly understood, because a significant part of the global economy depends on them in some way.

He added that one of the most persistent misunderstandings about the transaction is that the industry has developed alternative products and therefore is more willing to agree to the agreement in the end.

Instead, the development of alternatives occurs after regulations are in place. As the rules tighten and rapid innovation continues, the industry, experts, and technical institutions are all discussing how much progress can be made and how quickly. Parson said this has resulted in more and better choices, “in repeated positive feedback.”

The prospect of lucrative new markets also helps. Many of these companies ended up making a lot of money from switching to new products.

This shows that the world should not wait for innovation to reduce the cost and difficulty of tackling climate change. Countries need to implement more and more regulations to reduce emissions, forcing industries to find cleaner ways to produce energy, grow food, produce products, and transport goods and people around the world.


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