Global Warming and Dirty Air
Posted: 05 July 2005 07:16 PM   [ Ignore ]  
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An article in New Scientist raises concerns that pollutants have been artificially masking the effects of greenhouse emissions, and, ironically, the reduction of airborne particle pollution will result in even faster warming.

The first thing that comes to mind (well my sick mind anyway) when reading that, is that maybe we should just keep spewing.  The article goes on to say, however, that particles fall out quickly, while greenhouse gasses tend to hang out, so pollution (in a traditional sense anyway) is, on the whole, a warming force (according to this model).

Still, it does beg the question, is there a way to reduce warming by introducing reflective particles into the atmosphere on purpose?

I'm no friend to big energy, and I certainly feel that GWB and Co. are not doing the world any favors with their environmental policies, but. . .  Let's be really honest here for a second.  Mother Nature is not exactly guaranteed to be kind to us, even if we stop treating her like crap.  While I certainly don't advocate killing her, a restraining order might be nice.

To put this another way:  Kyoto (and its ilk) or no, the future looks warm.  The ability to reduce insolation in a controllable fashion seems highly desirable.  Since we really don't fully understand the carbon cycle anyway, I find the notion that we can control the temperature purely by regulating human CO2 emissions to be sketchy at best.  Sunlight, on the other hand, is easy to understand, and easier to control in a shorter timeframe.

Thoughts?

-Matt

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Posted: 06 July 2005 02:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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[quote author=“psiconoclast”] An article in New Scientist raises concerns that pollutants have been artificially masking the effects of greenhouse emissions, and, ironically, the reduction of airborne particle pollution will result in even faster warming.

The first thing that comes to mind (well my sick mind anyway) when reading that, is that maybe we should just keep spewing.  The article goes on to say, however, that particles fall out quickly, while greenhouse gasses tend to hang out, so pollution (in a traditional sense anyway) is, on the whole, a warming force (according to this model).

Still, it does beg the question, is there a way to reduce warming by introducing reflective particles into the atmosphere on purpose?

I’m no friend to big energy, and I certainly feel that GWB and Co. are not doing the world any favors with their environmental policies, but. . .  Let’s be really honest here for a second.  Mother Nature is not exactly guaranteed to be kind to us, even if we stop treating her like crap.  While I certainly don’t advocate killing her, a restraining order might be nice.

To put this another way:  Kyoto (and its ilk) or no, the future looks warm.  The ability to reduce insolation in a controllable fashion seems highly desirable.  Since we really don’t fully understand the carbon cycle anyway, I find the notion that we can control the temperature purely by regulating human CO2 emissions to be sketchy at best.  Sunlight, on the other hand, is easy to understand, and easier to control in a shorter timeframe.

Thoughts?

-Matt

Thanks Matt.  This one hits really close to home for me personally.  I have seen some results from a model that factors particulates (though it is still weak on cloud cover and albedo effects :(  ). In a medium-case scenario the surface temperature rise is well over the 3 -5 degrees.  Thats a medium case scenario.  The worst-case is - well really bad.  But these models pale compared with those that include positive feedback from the release of methane from hydrates currently frozen on the ocean floor, and from peat bogs and permafrost melt.  Methane is many times more potent as a greenhouse gas than CO2.  As the surface warms about 7 degrees above the 1900 mean we start to see methane release that will accelerate the warming and lead to yet further methane release.  The worst scenario I’ve seen has the temperature rising nearly 20 degrees and believe me, that is the end of life as we know it.

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Posted: 19 October 2005 01:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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this might not have any thing to do with the subject but why are more and more people becoming well in smaller terms dumb about the ozone and how it is breacking apart i mean its kinda oblivious
isent it sorry i have a country actent

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Posted: 20 December 2005 01:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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This is not a popular trend in exploring factors contributing to the global warming (why?) but it is very intiguing to me.

I’ve come across the hypothesis that the only significant impact humans have on the global warming trend is deforestation of the planet. The warming-cooling cycles of the past are explained by the decline-revival of the health of the forests caused by mineralization-deminaralization of the soil. The effect of volcanic eruptions supplying extra minerals in the atmposphere and eventually to the soil is captured by the data we have. However, volcanos only cause short term deviations. The long term cycles are explained by the supply of minerals from cosmic space, specifically from the dust belt on the eclyptic. The orbit of the Earth wobbles relative to the eclyptic and the cycle of the wobble coincides with the cooling-warming cycle.

The interesting implications of the theory are that if this hypothesis is true then we have a very cheap and easy way of controlling the global climate. We could cool the Earth by simply supplying minerals in the form of rock powder to the forests, and of course abstaining from foolishly cutting them down.

A walk in the forest is all it takes to experience for yourself the cooling power of healthy mature trees and its effect on the climate.

Regards,

Thomas Orr

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