The Montreal Protocol has set an extraordinary example by applying scientific discoveries, technological innovations, and swift political actions to solving one of the most urgent environmental problems facing humans. With its ongoing implementation, the stratospheric ozone is expected to return to its 1980 levels around mid-twenty-first century. In addition, the Montreal Protocol has contributed to mitigating climate change by reducing the emissions of certain greenhouse gases. The management of several short-lived climate forcers, including hydrofluorocarbons, tropospheric ozone, black carbon, and methane, is worthy of consideration as a fast-response, near-term measure to curb climate change, while international treaties to reduce the emissions of long-lived climate forcers, such as carbon dioxide, are under discussion. This paper aims to provide a concise overview of the scientific concepts and atmospheric processes behind these policy considerations. The focus is on the fundamental atmospheric chemistry that provides the basis for a co-benefits approach in mitigating both climate change and stratospheric ozone depletion.
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John H. Seinfeld, Deborah S. Gross, and Stephen O. Andersen are acknowledged for their insightful comments. Special thanks go to colleagues who participated in the plenary and the follow-up session on “The Montreal Protocol at the Crossroads” at the 2014 annual conference of the Association of Environmental Studies and Sciences (AESS).
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Gao, S. Managing short-lived climate forcers in curbing climate change: an atmospheric chemistry synopsis. J Environ Stud Sci 5, 130–137 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13412-014-0207-7
- Short-lived climate forcers
- Montreal protocol
- Stratospheric ozone depletion
- Greenhouse gases
- Climate change