Global warming: the polluter does not pay

In the face of global warming, we will not all be the same. Some will be more affected than others.

A new research, led by Monterey Bay Aquarium (United States), e published on Science Advances, illustrates the disparity between the origins and impacts of greenhouse gas emissions responsible for the destruction of the global climate system.

The study reveals that those who emit the most greenhouse gases won’t necessarily suffer the most from the effects of climate change.

“One of the“ dirty tricks ”of climate change is that the pollution emitted locally has far-reaching consequences. When we burn fossil fuels – coal, oil or gas – they mix in the atmosphere of our planet. Result: impacts of heating often exported to distant places. “ This is the comment of Kyle Van Houtan who led the research team.

In this map, in turquoise, the countries that emit relatively more greenhouse gases (GHGs) than expected temperature rises. In red, those that have emitted few GHGs increase compared to the expected temperature.

Scientists worked on emissions of the four major greenhouse gases (GHGs) which accounted for 92% of emissions between 1970 and 2018: carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O) and carbon black. They compared the sources of these emissions with temperature projections across the planet. With the first general observation: if 90% of emissions are generated on 8% of the planet’s surface, more than half of the territory will experience extreme warming by the end of this century.

The study also shows that industrialized countries, such as Western Europe and northeastern North America, which emit most greenhouse gases will experience relatively less climate impact. Others, such as Africa or Central Asia, which emit less CO2 will suffer more from the effects of warming.

In the image, some countries, ecosystems and regions classified by the effects of warming relative to the magnitude of their greenhouse gas emissions.

“Our results also provide an amazing rendition of what the ocean does for us,” says Kyle Van Houtan. While it covers just over 70% of the earth’s surface, it absorbs more than 90% of the excess heat that results from our greenhouse gas emissions. Emissions that in any case reach over 95% of the mainland. One more reason to protect the health of the ocean “, concludes the researcher.

At this link the complete study

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