Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Return of Global Dimming

A while back the theory of global dimming made many afraid of pollution cloud caused global cooling. However, fears of global warming and the desire for clean, breathable skies have pushed global dimming out of mind. Well, its back.

The American Geophysical Union recently published Aerosol and cloud effects on solar brightening and the recent rapid warming. The paper uses evidence to theorize that the recent drive to clean our skies of pollution aerosols has increased the amount of sunlight that reaches the Earth and has aided the greenhouse effect in warming the Earth.

This, if true, is a prime case of good intentions pave the road to Hell. No one can deny that the Earth is a massively complex system and ideas that tinker with processes like climate cycles need to be fully weighed before initiated. Clean skies seems like a simple, noncontroversial idea. However, it serves as a warning from jumping to conclusions.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Are you trying to tell people its ok if they pollute?

Catholicgauze said...

Anonymous,
No, quite the contrary. I favor as clean an environment with healthy scale of living as possible. I am just pointing out that the climate system is a very complex one and simple ideas on how to fix it have hidden failures.

Remember how people said biofuels were so great? Now food prices are higher, people are starving, and biofuels cause more pollution with production and lack of efficency.

James P said...

I think this is what Garret Hardin said about Tragedy of the Commons (and in his book Living within Limits). The root problem is human over-population and we all think the commons (sea, air, water, open space) are free so we utilize it to the max.

So we - human breed, use fossil oil, pollute air, water and land.

Contrary to what religion told you life is joy too many life bring misery but they won't tell you. Look at Africa, India and China and all the developing countries. When a country natural resources and human resources can't support their livelihood suffering begins.

When the world goes downhill, those developing countries are the first to suffer. In a scale down scenario, when Katrina hit New Orleans the rich can fill up gas and go to some safe place do some sightseeing. The poor stay and face the storm.