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Study illustrates disparities between those responsible and victims of global warming

Globally, the vast majority of the planet is disproportionately affected by global warming compared to its contribution.

A study led by the Monterrey Bay Aquarium in the United States recently highlighted a reality that was already expected: Globally, the biggest polluters are not the ones who make the biggest polluters. costs of climate change.

To reach this conclusion, the researchers worked on the four most problematic greenhouse gases (GHGs): carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and carbon black. According to their data, these four elements represent more than 90% of GHG emissions between 1970 and 2018. They sought to determine the origin of these gases, as well as the areas where their impact is felt.

Compare emissions and global warming

For this, they have developed a specific index, which they call “ihalal climate disparity ndex” (IDCL). This index is positive in regions that emit few GHGs, but where the temperature has risen sharply.

Conversely, it is negative in areas which emit pollutants en masse, but where their impact is low. It therefore makes it possible to know to what extent a region is undergoing warming, in relation to what it pollutes. And the result is final: 99% of the earth’s surface has a positive IDCL!

A world map of the IDCL. In blue, areas that emit more GHGs than they heat up; in red, areas that emit little but are more subject to heating. © Van Houtan and. al.

Localized origins for universal consequences

This shows that if the emissions are concentrated in small geographical areas, the consequences extend to the whole planet. Some areas are particularly affected. As you would expect in light ofstudies recent, we see for example that the IDCL is extremely high in the Arctic. VShis polar zone is getting hotter despite almost non-existent emissions; it is therefore one of the first victims of pollution generated by other regions. From bad students, we count -there again without surprise- Western Europe, North America and Southeast Asia.

Supporting figures, the finding is even more glaring; since 1970, 8% of the earth’s surface is responsible for 90% of the GHGs emitted into the atmosphere by humans. Conclusion: there is a glaring disparity between the regions which contribute the most to global warming, and those which pay the bill. With all due respect to the OECD, the principle of “polluter pays”Now looks more and more like a soft utopia.

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