The role of CFCs in the depletion of the ozone layer has been known for decades, but based on detailed statistical analysis, scientists from University of Waterloo were able to relate the concentrations to global warming too. According to the authors, carbon dioxide emissions are not the driving force behind increasing temperatures.
Qing-Bin Lu, a professor of physics and astronomy, biology and chemistry in Waterloo’s Faculty of Science, and his team, draw their conclusions based on data dating back to the Industrial Revolution. The team shows that it is a general misconception that carbon dioxide has influenced atmospheric temperatures.
The study shows that increase in temperatures is closely related to increase of CFCs. Although most prediction models indicate that further rise is to be expected, the findings indicate that this is not true. The cooling of the Earth, taking place since 2002, is related to the depletion of CFC concentrations.
In addition, Lu and his team point out that the depletion of the ozone layer is due to energy particles originating in space, and not the ultraviolet light-induced destruction of CFCs.
Professor Lu is convinced that climate, especially in the polar regions, is completely controlled by CFC concentrations and not carbon dioxide. He demonstrates this by comparing the rise in temperature at the start of the Industrial Revolution, when concentrations of carbon dioxide were high, levels of CFCs low, and temperatures also low.
This study widens the scope and provides new insights to how and why climate change is happening. Understanding the real mechanisms behind the depletion of the ozone layer will allow policy makers to draw the appropriate and most effective future strategies.