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Effect of air pollution from coal on temperature?

I was recently made aware of the statement that SO2 (sulfates from burning coal) act like a protective agent in the atmosphere and reducing the temperature. The narrative said that if we managed to stop emissions from one day to the next, then temperatures would hike up right away. (the German statement can be found here: - second paragraph) This connection was attributed to Gernot Wagner then Harvard, now NYU.

Does anybody know of any effects and impacts here? And how this is modelled in En-ROADS?

I looked into the referenc guide but didn't find anything.

1 Comment

Hi Klemens,

Yeah,  sulfate aerosols like those from coal do have a cooling effect while  they also contribute to poor respiratory health. We do factor the  cooling effect of aerosols such as sulfates into En-ROADS. They're  mentioned in the Reference Guide in Section 9.2 with other aerosols. We include them as an exogenous time-varying parameter from Meinhausen et al., 2011.

All the best,

Janet Chikofsky

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