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Thread: Scotland: Greenhouse emissions drop by 16%

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    Scotland: Greenhouse emissions drop by 16%

    Greenhouse emissions drop by 16%

    There was a decline in power station output, the report said
    Scotland's greenhouse gas emissions have fallen by 16% since 1990, according to new figures.
    In the same period, the European Union had an overall increase.

    The figures were published as Environment Minister Ross Finnie attended a climate change conference in Kenya.

    The decline in Scotland's emissions was said to be due to a drop in coal-fired power station output. However, vehicle emissions continued to increase.

    Net emissions of the main greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, have fallen by 14% since 1990.

    'International response'


    On an annual basis, the figures showed climate change emissions in Scotland in 2004 fell by 5% compared with the previous year.

    Speaking from the Climate Group Event at the UN Climate Change talks in Nairobi, Mr Finnie said: "Small countries, states and regions have an important role in building momentum towards a concerted international response.

    "That is why I am delighted that today's figures demonstrate that Scotland is taking the lead in tackling climate change."

    The minister said he hoped to use the conference to build on international action and showcase Scotland's achievements.

    The Scottish Green Party said any reduction in emissions was unlikely to be a result of Scottish Executive policy.

    It said most of the reductions were from the decline in heavy industry and that energy use and transport, which account for more than half of Scotland's emissions, were increasing.

    Green MSP Mark Ruskell said: "If a saving has been achieved in this one year, it is through luck on the part of the executive and certainly not through design.

    "Labour and Lib Dem policies - especially on transport and energy - are hindering, not helping Scotland play its part in dealing with the most crucial issue facing us all."

    Duncan McLaren, Friends of the Earth Scotland chief executive said: "On the face of it, these figures show good progress - but to really face up to the challenge of climate chaos, annual reductions of this scale will need to be made for the next 25 years.

    "That's why Friends of the Earth is pressing for annual targets to be enshrined in legislation in the government's promised Climate Change Bill."

    The figures were produced by the National Environmental Technology Centre for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

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    Greenhouse emissions drop by 16%

    Recent work in ionospheric physics has shown that a possibly significant part of the present global warming can be attributed to changes in the cosmic ray flux into the Earth's atmosphere.

    Nucleation of cloud droplets is greatly facilitated by ions produced in the atmosphere by cosmic ray particles. This is the principle of the Wilson Cloud Chamber, used to visualise the paths of of cosmic ray particles. The higher the cosmic ray flux, the greater the overall cloud cover and the higher the albedo (reflectivity) of the Earth's atmosphere.

    Recent fluctuations in the solar magnetic field have deflected cosmic ray particles, reducing the cosmic ray flux in the Earth's atmosphere, thus reducing its albedo. Hence, more solar radiation reaches the Earth's surface. The relative importance of the albedo of the atmosphere and the retention of heat by the greenhouse effect is unknown and requires further investigation.

    CO2, the most important of the greenhouse gases is emitted copiously by volcanoes. The relative importance of volcanic and man-made CO2 emissions has never been determined and requires further study.

    For the aforesaid reasons, the effectiveness in reducing emissions of greenhouse gases by human activity in slowing or reducing global warming remains very uncertain.

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