Yet, there is still quite a surprising number of non-believers, who argue that humans have nothing to do with changing temperatures, providing their favorite argument- the recent slow down in temperature increase. Ironically, a study published in the latest issue of Nature Geoscience, shows that this slow down is triggered by human activities, and more specifically, by the UN’s Montreal Protocol, which was implemented to stop the release of industrial gases to the atmosphere.
In 1987, a group of scientists established that chlorine and bromine-containing substances, released in the atmosphere as a consequence of their use in refrigerators and solvents, were the main cause of ozone layer depletion. That same year, the Montreal Protocol was signed with the sole purpose to ban the use of these chemicals and hopefully prevent any further atmospheric destruction. Many argued that the harm has already been done, and the protocol will have little impact, however, as it turns out now, it actually did work.
According to the study in question, without the Montreal Protocol, the increase in average global temperatures would have been 0.1 degrees Celsius higher than it is today. The authors from the Autonomous National University of Mexico present statistics, indicating that in the period between 1998 and 2012, the rise in temperatures has been much slower, breaking the continuous trend from the past half a century.
Although skeptics claim that these same statistics show that reduction in greenhouse gas emissions has not had any influence, and most efforts of governmental and non-governmental organizations have hidden agenda not related to environmental protection, the authors prove that precisely human action is what prevented an even greater disaster from happening.
It is true that the 15-year period that the scientists refer to could be considered short, and cannot serve as an indication for any long-term climate trends, however the authors show that reducing emissions does influence climate, and efforts to phase out fossil fuels should not be stopped.