CO2 emissions in the atmosphere present the most widespread and long-term contributor to climate change. Although up to 50% of climate change may be caused by pollutants other than CO2, a surprisingly significant amount of progress has been made in that regard. Two decades ago, many potent greenhouse gases such as CFCs and about 100 other ozone-depleting substances used in product manufacturing was phased out by the Montreal Protocol. If this hadn’t happened, the amount of ozone-destroying substances in the atmosphere would have risen 1000%. The good thing about many of the other pollutants that contribute to climate change, inlcuding black carbon and nitrogen compounds, have much shorter lifespans in the atmosphere. That means decreasing those emissions may have the fastest effect. CO2 however, remains a vital issue in the climate change arena because it is a long-term issue. Carbon in the atmosphere can be trapped for decades before it is recycled out naturally.
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