Nordic workshop on action related to Short-lived Climate Forcers

Organised by the Nordic Council of Ministers Climate and Air Quality Group

image of Nordic workshop on action related to Short-lived Climate Forcers

Nordic Ministers of Environment adopted in March 2012 the “Svalbard Declaration” with decisions to reduce the negative impacts of the climate changes and air pollution caused by the emission of the so-called Short-lived Climate Forcers (SLCFs) such as black carbon (soot) and methane. Along with CO2, they are the main reasons why the ice in the Arctic now is melting rapidly.  At a workshop organised by the Nordic Group on Climate and Air Quality in June 2012 researchers and policy-makers discussed the recent scientific findings, the national experiences with emission inventories, identification of cost-effective measures to cut emissions and the drawing up of national action plans as well as the development in the field of international co-operation on SLCFs. The report presents policy recommendations, conclusions and recommendations on scientific research and monitoring.



Climate impacts of emissions of Short-Lived Climate Forcers (black carbon, methane and other ozone precursors) in the Nordic countries

There is sometimes a bit of confusion about exactly what is meant by the term “short-lived”. What should be the threshold for the lifetime of the emitted species (or an atmospheric product) to be called short-lived? This can refer to the lifetime being short compared to atmospheric mixing times, i.e. days/weeks, or that the lifetime is short compared to the timescales of climate-mitigation targets, i.e. decades (i.e. the 2°C target). The first definition would include ozone precursors (NOx, CO and NMVOCs) and aerosols (e.g. black carbon (BC)), while gases like methane, HFC–134a and HFC–152a are excluded. In the following, I will use the term Very Short-Lived Climate Forcers (VSLCFs) for the first group of compounds, while SLCFs will also include methane, etc. VSLCFs have the ability to create a more spatially heterogeneous radiative forcing pattern, possibly with a more heterogeneous (regional) climateresponse pattern. For the longer-lived gases (methane, HFC–134a, HFC– 152a, etc.), the pattern of impact is similar to that of CO2. However, mitigation is now more important for the rate of change (cf. UNFCCC, Art. 2) and, to a lesser extent, for the long-term stabilisation target.


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