Climate researcher Steve Smith of the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the Joint Global Change Research Institute in College Park, Maryland published a new climate change model in the Aug. 12, 2013, issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that indicates eliminating carbon soot and methane will have a much smaller effect of global temperature increase than previously predicted.
According to Smith’s scenario, the elimination of all carbon soot and methane from human activity will only reduce global temperature rise by 0.3 degrees Fahrenheit compared to previously predicted reductions of one degree Fahrenheit. The previous prediction of the effect of eliminating soot and methane is 25 percent of the expected global temperature increase that will occur by the year 2050.
Soot and methane are transient atmospheric contaminants that are converted to less harmful substances by natural processes.
Carbon dioxide remains in the atmosphere for as long as 1,000 years.
Smith recommends more attention be made to the reduction of carbon dioxide as a means to abate global warming based on his model that considered 1,400 potential scenarios considering the reduction of soot and methane only versus the reduction of carbon dioxide using the Global Change Assessment Model.