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Shit.

The reason global warming is having as little effect on global temperatures as it is? It's probably because other pollutants are significantly reducing the amount of sunlight we're getting.

Still think Kyoto goes too far?

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( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
webby
Jan. 14th, 2005 08:51 pm (UTC)
that is incredibly scary.
uniquecrash5
Jan. 14th, 2005 09:15 pm (UTC)
Yeeps.
night__watch
Jan. 14th, 2005 10:41 pm (UTC)
Scientific Ramble
Disclaimer: this is based on what little atmospheric physics I know...

Well, if the total amount of sunlight is decreasing, that will affect global temperature just a wee bit...

However, if the energy isn't getting through because it's being absorbed by chemicals in the atmosphere, then that energy is added to the atmosphere, which will ultimately serve to warm the planet...

It's only if half that energy is re-radiated and escapes out into space (or reflected, like from the natural clouds of water that perpetually (partially) shrouds the planet) that we can lose solar energy...

So, if the temperature goes up, then the atmosphere can hold more H20 before precipitating. That means: dry places get drier, wet places get wetter. Ice caps retreat, reflection from ice cover goes down, as does cloud cover (clouds are condensed water: if the atmosphere can hold more water vapour, the saturation point goes up; less water condenses; fewer clouds), Therefore more light begins to get through, therefore earth gets warmer still.... the cycle goes hot.

This happens naturally, as part of a 10,000 or so year cycle between ice ages. However, we're seeing it change on a 100-year cycle. Granted, we've only got 400 years of weather data... but the spike is there, and it's related to carbon dioxide.

Hmmm... I can't seem to find where I hid the link to maps of CO2...

tulzscha
Jan. 16th, 2005 06:19 am (UTC)
Yep. Kyoto's crap, just look at the increases in pollutants from powerplants in the developing world alone. Somehow reducing the West's production by 500 million tons is going to offset the 2.7 billion more tons that will be generated by new power plants by 2012 in China and India alone?

The trick is going to be keeping the particulate matter balanced with the greenhouse gases, to negate warming or cooling trends, while we all grope around in the dark with flashlights. And I suppose, making Soylent Green palatable, as at a certain point all crops will fail because there's not enough sunlight.
solar_mango
Jan. 16th, 2005 05:06 pm (UTC)
Kyoto is a great idea that is very young and needs A LOT of work. As is I don't think it can be implemented. But I think it's foolish to through out the work in progress at this point.

FYI. Did you realize the average person produces 5.5 tonnes of green house gases every year! That volume is equivalent to the volume of a few (can't recall exactly how many) 3 bedroom houses! And doing the simplest things, like not idling your car, checking your tire pressure, and washing your clothes in cold water can reduce that amount significantly.

I know, I'm a nerd. :D
selfishidol
Jan. 16th, 2005 11:41 pm (UTC)
I wash my laundry in cold water because I'm too lazy to check the tags. Woooo me!
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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