I sent the letter below to scientists who prepared a report from NOAA and NASA titled Projections Based on Emissions Scenarios for Long-Lived and Short-Lived Radiatively Active Gases and Aerosols (www.gcrio.org/library/sap-final-reports.htm). It’s become the primary focus for the new direction we’re heading with our greenhouse gas policies. There really isn’t much new in the report other than their claim that soot from China might cause warming trends here in the Midwest by the year 2050, at least that’s what their computer models tell them if the trends they used in their modeling don’t change between then and now. Up until now, their theories have been bent more towards soot actually contributing to a global cooling.
The highlight of the report is their recommendation that we limit our emissions of volatile organic compound (VOC’s)and carbon monoxide (CO) because they are what is causing our climate change problems here in the US. It’s revolutionary that they’re drawing so much serious attention to what they call short term gases being the cause of the weather pattern changes that we previously have been attributing to a global warming process caused by long lived gases like carbon dioxide. But it’s been known for a long time that VOC’s and methane reacting with water vapor in the suns rays effect regional weather pattern changes, it’s just been more publically popular to talk about carbon dioxide and global warming.
The letter -
I read about how soot from China will cause warming in the Midwest in a news article published by the Associated Press titled “Asian soot, smog may boost global warming in US” by Seth Borenstein on September 4, 2008. It came following the release of your report titled “Climate Projections Based on Emissions Scenarios for Long-Lived and Short-Lived Radiatively Active Gases and Aerosols” authored by Hiram Levy II, NOAA/GFDL; Drew T. Shindell, NASA/GISS; Alice Gilliland, NOAA/ARL; M. Daniel
Schwarzkopf, NOAA/GFDL; Larry W. Horowitz, NOAA/GFDL
and Anne Waple, STG Inc. l (their personal profile information can be easily accessed by searching their names).
I am happy to see that the administration is adopting your new perspective on climate change. I am however disturbed that the news media is choosing to focus on the more salacious speculative predictions in your report about how China is going to cause the US climate warming problems in the future while basing their assertions your computer modeling for the next 90 years. They seem to have missed altogether the real world recommendations you made calling for immediate reductions of carbon monoxide (CO) and volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) here in the US while your department is doing nothing but encouraging them to focus in this direction.
You claim that reducing CO and VOC’s can have significant benefits for climate change which means your research clearly shows they are problematic. So what you’re really saying is that the CO and VOC’s we’re emitting into the atmosphere now are causing the weather pattern problems we’re having now and doing it at a local level where the emissions come from. There is no other way to view your work unless you are claiming that in the future, you expect these gases to change their physical properties and start causing us problems.