UNEP Releases Report on Atmospheric Brown Clouds
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13 November 2008: The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) released a report on Atmospheric Brown Clouds (ABCs) that shows that, in addition to affecting agriculture and human health, this layer of soot and manmade particles can both aggravate, via the absorption of sunlight, and counteract, via the reflection of sunlight and effects on cloud formation, climate […]

Cities Across Asia Get Dimmer: Impacts on Glaciers, Agriculture and the Monsoon Get Clearer
13 November 2008: The UN Environment Programme (UNEP)
released a report on Atmospheric Brown Clouds (ABCs) that shows that, in
addition to affecting agriculture and human health, this layer of soot and
manmade particles can both aggravate, via the absorption of sunlight, and
counteract, via the reflection of sunlight and effects on cloud formation,
climate change due to greenhouse gases.

The report also finds that: some “hot
spot” cities have experienced a decrease in sunlight of over 20% since the
1970s; the local effects of ABCs seem to vary widely across China and India;
ABCs appear to play a part in monsoons by contributing to new gradients in
surface sea temperatures; and the resulting acceleration of the retreat of some
glaciers threatens the water supplies for millions of people. Speaking on ABCs,
Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and UNEP Executive Director, called
on developed countries to support the development of green energy in developing
countries. He noted that by doing so, they would tackle climate change and
“turn off the soot-stream” that feed the formation of ABCs worldwide.
He added
that the source of greenhouse gases and soot are often the same: unsustainable
burning of fossil fuels; inefficient combustion of biomass and deforestation. [UNEP
Press Release
] [The
Report
]

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