China smog a smokescreen to temperature rise

5 July, 2011 by (comments)

China’s coal burning frenzy in the last decade may be the reason behind stagnating global temperature rises between 1998 and 2008, a new study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests.

While increasing carbon emissions, burning coal can have an overall cooling effect with the release of aerosols into the atmosphere, which reflect heat back into space, the BBC reports. Aerosol particles were potentially most abundant between 2002 and 2007 when China’s coal-use doubled.

The seasonal change from a El Niño (warming) to La Niña (cooling) phenomenon and declining solar activity during the period also stemmed the warming trend, the researchers said.

The study mounts against climate change sceptics who use the absence of global warming in the decade 1998-2008 to argue that man-made climate change doesn’t exist.

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Filed Under: Climate Change