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Short-Lived Halogens : Contributions To Cooling The Environment

Short-Lived Halogens : Contributions To Cooling The Environment

The recently published report of the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology said that halogens’ contributions to cooling the environment could increase to 18-31 per cent by 2100.

Key findings of the report:

  • Oceans, along with absorbing carbon dioxide and moderating the climate, also cool the planet by releasing short-lived halogens such as chlorine, bromine and iodine.
  • The short-lived halogens from the ocean reduce warming by depleting ozone.
  • They increase methane’s lifetime in the atmosphere by destroying hydroxyl radicals (OH).
  • They have increased the global methane burden by 14 per cent and 9 per cent for pre-industrial and present-day conditions.
  • Halogens increase the levels of water vapour, a greenhouse gas in the atmosphere.
  • The emission of halogen from the ocean is not the same across the world.
  • Over continents, the emissions are small, while it is bigger in polar regions and some places with higher ozone levels.

Short-lived halogens:

  • Short-lived halogens refer to chlorine, bromine, and iodine compounds that have a relatively short lifespan in the atmosphere, typically less than six months.
  • These halogens play a role in the Earth’s climate system by contributing to cooling and warming effects.