1. CDRW
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    CDRW Contributing Member Contributor

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    Is pollution slowing global warming?

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by CDRW, Jul 13, 2008.

    Is Pollution Slowing Global Warming? A new study throws yet another wrench into our understanding of global climate change
    By Stuart Fox Posted 07.09.2008 at 12:54 pm 8 Comments


    Of Sun and Smog: Photo by Edwin Maolana (CC Licensed)Wait, now pollution is preventing global warming? That’s the conclusion of a recent study in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, which says rising temperatures seen in Europe over the last few years result as much from the reduction of air pollution as from the creation of it. The research, which looked at the effects of aerosols on climate, confirms an older concept known as global dimming, and complicates our understanding of how mankind affects the climate.

    According to the study, temperatures in Europe have risen over the past 28 years far faster than could be explained by the greenhouse effect alone. After looking at the aerosol concentrations in the atmosphere in six spots, the authors of the paper realized the temperature rise was assisted by more sunlight penetrating the newly pollution free skies. It seems that the stricter pollution standards, adopted in part to slow global warming, may have sped it up.

    The idea that pollution may be reflecting some of the sun’s energy is not new. The term global dimming is decades old, and some believed that the reduction in pollution was the cause global warming. But now, with the link between greenhouse gas pollution and global warming firmly established, papers like this one highlight how complex the situation is, and how solutions like simply cutting air pollution may have a range of unintended and counterintuitive consequences.

    Here's the original link http://www.popsci.com/environment/article/2008-07/pollution-slowing-global-warming
     
  2. Crazy Ivan
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    Crazy Ivan Contributing Member

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    Hoo boy.
    Seems like we're damned if we do, damned if we don't.
    And there's not much we can do beyond that.
     
  3. Pix
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    Pix Senior Member

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    So by fixing our planet we are destroying it? How poetic. LOL

    Great article. Thanks for sharing it.
     
  4. Crazy Ivan
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    Crazy Ivan Contributing Member

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    Yes, if we were written by a very very mean poet. :D
     
  5. Fluxhavok
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    Fluxhavok Active Member

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    ... awesome. good thing i bought that SUV then, instead of that prius.
     
  6. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    "Nuclear winter" cures "global warming!"
     
  7. SonnehLee
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    SonnehLee Contributing Member Contributor

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    whats nuclear winter?
     
  8. Fluxhavok
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    Fluxhavok Active Member

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    "Nuclear winter is a hypothetical global climate condition that is predicted to be a possible outcome of a large-scale nuclear war. It is thought that severely cold weather can be caused by detonating large numbers of nuclear weapons, especially over flammable targets such as cities, where large amounts of smoke and soot would be injected into the Earth's stratosphere. The term has also been applied to one of the after-effects of a comet or asteroid impact, also sometimes termed an impact winter, or of a supervolcano eruption."

    - courtesy of wikipedia.
     
  9. SonnehLee
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    SonnehLee Contributing Member Contributor

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    oh cool. well, then, kill the people! Save the animals!
     
  10. adamant
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    adamant Contributing Member Contributor

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    But people are animals as well...
     
  11. gigantes
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    gigantes Banned

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    yes, animals with enormous hubris.


    re: the article,
    yeap, not a new concept. particulate matter created by aerosols and other pollutants have a sunlight-blocking quality. this is what caused a decades-recent slight cooling effect and is the kind of thing which people who try to deny global climate change hold up as evidence that atmospheric CO2 doesn't correlate to global temperature.

    anyway, putting up a bunch of particulate matter to regulate global warming might be something that we'll be desperate enough to try one day in order to save civilisation, but it's a pretty loserish idea in general. modest shifts in global temperature are enough to cause things like ice ages and huge regions of arable land turning into deserts, so the particulate matter would have to be titrated and regulated with extreme accuracy. you'll also have an inevitably-rising greenhouse effect* you're trying to balance against, one that will quite possibly be too strong to regulate no matter how much atmospheric pollution you can conjure up.

    * per our current ability to deal with our carbon pollution.
     

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