The aim of carbon neutrality is considered to be a combined and highly complicated problem that has been extensively linked with ecology, climate, energy, environment and society.
It is caused by interactions of several systems, like land, ocean, atmosphere and cryosphere. The climate is considered to be one of the most significant ones among these systems.
Climate has been impacted by carbon emission that is caused by humans and nature, and in return, it also impacts the carbon emission of nature and human activities.
Currently, the climate impacts of the carbon neutrality policy are still obscure. However, to obtain carbon neutrality with comparatively small socioeconomic charges, it is significant to take the climate impacts into account while developing a reasonable carbon emission path to identify the perfect layout of industry, energy, the ecological environment and other fields.
For this problem to be resolved, the journal Fundamental Research invited Professor Gang Huang’s group from the Institute of Atmospheric Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, along with scholars at Hohai University, to share their thoughts on carbon neutrality and climate research The article highlighted that the understanding of climate dynamics against the background of carbon neutrality is of extreme urgency.
As per the article, during increasing stages of CO2 concentration, CO2 radiative forcing is the primary driving force of the climate system. As a result of the small heat capacity, land warms quickly with the increase of CO2 radiative forcing; the response of the ocean is slow as a result of its huge heat capacity.
The thermal variation between land and ocean increases, improving monsoon circulation. Once carbon neutrality has been obtained, CO2 radiative forcing fixes or reduces, while the ocean still absorbs heat and warms gradually.
The land-ocean thermal contrast reduces, declining the monsoon circulation; if the CO2 concentration decreases considerably, the deep ocean will liberate heat to slow down the cooling of Earth’s surface.
Carbon neutrality is not only a technical issue, but also a scientific issue. More attention should be paid to the feedback of climate system and the impact of non-carbon dioxide on temperature.
Gang Huang, Professor, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Huang, G., et al. (2022) Critical climate issues toward carbon neutrality targets. Fundamental Research. doi.org/10.1016/j.fmre.2022.02.011.