WATERLOO, ON, May 30, 2013 /CNW/ - Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) are to
blame for global warming since the 1970s and not carbon dioxide,
according to new research from the University of Waterloo published in
the International Journal of Modern Physics B this week.
CFCs are already known to deplete ozone, but in-depth statistical
analysis now shows that CFCs are also the key driver in global climate
change, rather than carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.
"Conventional thinking says that the emission of human-made non-CFC
gases such as carbon dioxide has mainly contributed to global warming.
But we have observed data going back to the Industrial Revolution that
convincingly shows that conventional understanding is wrong," said
Qing-Bin Lu, a professor of physics and astronomy, biology and
chemistry in Waterloo's Faculty of Science. "In fact, the data shows
that CFCs conspiring with cosmic rays caused both the polar ozone hole
and global warming."
"Most conventional theories expect that global temperatures will
continue to increase as CO2 levels continue to rise, as they have done since 1850. What's striking
is that since 2002, global temperatures have actually declined -
matching a decline in CFCs in the atmosphere," Professor Lu said. "My
calculations of CFC greenhouse effect show that there was global
warming by about 0.6 °C from 1950 to 2002, but the earth has actually
cooled since 2002. The cooling trend is set to continue for the next
50-70 years as the amount of CFCs in the atmosphere continues to
The findings are based on in-depth statistical analyses of observed data
from 1850 up to the present time, Professor Lu's cosmic-ray-driven
electron-reaction (CRE) theory of ozone depletion and his previous
research into Antarctic ozone depletion and global surface
"It was generally accepted for more than two decades that the Earth's
ozone layer was depleted by the sun's ultraviolet light-induced
destruction of CFCs in the atmosphere," he said. "But in contrast, CRE
theory says cosmic rays - energy particles originating in space - play
the dominant role in breaking down ozone-depleting molecules and then
Lu's theory has been confirmed by ongoing observations of cosmic ray,
CFC, ozone and stratospheric temperature data over several 11-year
solar cycles. "CRE is the only theory that provides us with an
excellent reproduction of 11-year cyclic variations of both polar ozone
loss and stratospheric cooling," said Professor Lu. "After removing the
natural cosmic-ray effect, my new paper shows a pronounced recovery by
~20% of the Antarctic ozone hole, consistent with the decline of CFCs
in the polar stratosphere."
By proving the link between CFCs, ozone depletion and temperature
changes in the Antarctic, Professor Lu was able to draw almost perfect
correlation between rising global surface temperatures and CFCs in the
"The climate in the Antarctic stratosphere has been completely
controlled by CFCs and cosmic rays, with no CO2 impact. The change in global surface temperature after the removal of
the solar effect has shown zero correlation with CO2 but a nearly perfect linear correlation with CFCs - a correlation
coefficient as high as 0.97."
Data recorded from 1850 to 1970, before any significant CFC emissions,
show that CO2 levels increased significantly as a result of the Industrial
Revolution, but the global temperature, excluding the solar effect,
kept nearly constant. The conventional warming model of CO2, suggests the temperatures should have risen by 0.6°C over the same
period, similar to the period of 1970-2002.
The analyses indicate the dominance of Lu's CRE theory and the success
of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.
"We've known for some time that CFCs have a really damaging effect on
our atmosphere and we've taken measures to reduce their emissions,"
Professor Lu said. "We now know that international efforts such as the
Montreal Protocol have also had a profound effect on global warming but
they must be placed on firmer scientific ground."
"This study underlines the importance of understanding the basic science
underlying ozone depletion and global climate change," said Terry
McMahon, dean of the faculty of science. "This research is of
particular importance not only to the research community, but to policy
makers and the public alike as we look to the future of our climate."
Professor Lu's paper, Cosmic-Ray-Driven Reaction and Greenhouse Effect
of Halogenated Molecules: Culprits for Atmospheric Ozone Depletion and
Global Climate Change, also predicts that the global sea level will
continue to rise for some years as the hole in the ozone recovers
increasing ice melting in the polar regions.
"Only when the effect of the global temperature recovery dominates over
that of the polar ozone hole recovery, will both temperature and polar
ice melting drop concurrently," says Lu.
The peer-reviewed paper published this week not only provides new
fundamental understanding of the ozone hole and global climate change
but has superior predictive capabilities, compared with the
conventional sunlight-driven ozone-depleting and CO2-warming models.
Cosmic-Ray-Driven Reaction and Greenhouse Effect of Halogenated
Molecules: Culprits for Atmospheric Ozone Depletion and Global Climate
Qing-Bin Lu, University of Waterloo
Published on May 30 in International Journal of Modern Physics B Vol. 27
(2013) 1350073 (38 pages).
The paper is available online at:
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Image with caption: "Annual Global Temperature over Land and Ocean (CNW Group/University of Waterloo)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130530_C3585_PHOTO_EN_27298.jpg
Image with caption: "11-Year Cyclic Antarctic O3 Hole & Stratospheric Cooling (CNW Group/University of Waterloo)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130530_C3585_PHOTO_EN_27299.jpg
SOURCE: University of Waterloo
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