Those dastardly Germans have done it this time — driving another nail into the coffin of manmade global warming:
A study by scientists at Germany’s Max Planck Institute for Meteorology found that man-made aerosols had a much smaller cooling effect on the atmosphere during the 20th Century than was previously thought. Why is this big news? It means increases in carbon dioxide emissions likely cause less warming than most climate models suggest.
What do aerosols have to do with anything? Well, aerosols are created from human activities like burning coal, driving cars or from fires. There are also natural aerosols like clouds and fog. Aerosols tend to reflect solar energy back into space, giving them a cooling effect that somewhat offsets warming from increased CO2 emissions.
The Max Planck study suggests “that aerosol radiative forcing is less negative and more certain than is commonly believed.” In layman’s terms, aerosols are offsetting less global warming than was previously thought. And if aerosols aren’t causing as much cooling, it must mean carbon dioxide must be causing less warming than climate models predict.
The Obama administration reasserted its commitment to combating climate change on an international scale Tuesday, submitting its plan to the U.N. to cut U.S. carbon emissions by up to 28 percent by 2025.
The plan, which essentially formalizes an identical pledge President Barack Obama made during a November summit in China, met an informal first-quarter benchmark for nations to unveil how they plan to reduce heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions.