Monday, 14 June 2021 : Local To Global News

Reducing greenhouse gases may not be enough to slow global warming

 A new research by a scientist at the Georgia Institute of Technology has determined that reducing greenhouse gases may not be enough to slow down global warming, and policymakers would need to address the influence of global deforestation and urbanization on climate change.

The scientist in question is Georgia Tech City and Regional Planning Professor Brian Stone.

According to Stone, as the international community meets in Copenhagen in December to develop a new framework for responding to climate change, policymakers need to give serious consideration to broadening the range of management strategies beyond greenhouse gas reductions alone.

According to Stone's research, slowing the rate of forest loss around the world, and regenerating forests where lost, could significantly slow the pace of global warming.

"Treaty negotiators should formally recognize land use change as a key driver of warming," said Stone.

"The role of land use in global warming is the most important climate-related story that has not been widely covered in the media," he added.

Stone recommends slowing what he terms the "green loss effect" through the planting of millions of trees in urbanized areas and through the protection and regeneration of global forests outside of urbanized regions.

Forested areas provide the combined benefits of directly cooling the atmosphere and of absorbing greenhouse gases, leading to additional cooling.

Green architecture in cities, including green roofs and more highly reflective construction materials, would further contribute to a slowing of warming rates.

Stone envisions local and state governments taking the lead in addressing the land use drivers of climate change, while the federal government takes the lead in implementing carbon reduction initiatives, like cap and trade programs.