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SCI/TECH: Fossil Fuel Curbs May Speed Global Warming

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posted on Jan, 12 2005 @ 07:06 PM
In a new documentary to be aired on BBC televison, scientists are suggesting that cutting down use of fossil fuels could accelerate global warming rather than slow it down. This is due to particles present in fossil fuel emissions reflecting the sun's rays which are ultimately"dimming temperatures" on the planet. The researchers are saying that cutting down use of coal, which is the goal of most international treaties dealing with the environment, will not remedy the problem, but perhaps further exacerbate it after the initial cooling period passes. This is yet another view regarding global warming, around which there is much debate as to its causes and potential effects in the future.< br /> Cutting down on fossil fuel pollution could accelerate global warming and help turn parts of Europe into desert by 2100, according to research to be aired on British television on Thursday. "Global Dimming," a BBC Horizon documentary, will describe research suggesting fossil fuel by-products like sulfur dioxide particles reflect the sun's rays, "dimming" temperatures and almost canceling out the greenhouse effect.

The researchers say cutting down on the burning of coal and oil, one of the main goals of international environmental agreements, will drastically heat rather than cool climate.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

This is yet another interesting view on an issue almost everyone has an opinion about and that's mentioned almost everywhere, and one I've not encountered before. I'd like to read more about this, or watch the program and go from there as it really is an interesting idea and seems to suggest that if global warming is a naturally occuring phenomena then the fossil fuels being released into the atmosphere are keeping the temperature relatively stable. The claim made at the end of the article, regarding tackling fossil fuel byproducts without addressing the greenhouse gas issue seems to be a sound claim. If the sun reflecting particles are removed and the greenhouse gases left more heat will enter the atmosphere and be unable to leave.

This definitely warrents more research

[edit on 12-1-2005 by Banshee]

posted on Jan, 12 2005 @ 08:46 PM
It seems you can find almost as many takes on global warming as there are scientists studying it.
I had never heard of global dimming. So, of course, I had to google it:

Global dimming is the hypothesised gradual reduction in the amount of sunlight reaching the Earth's surface measured since the 1950s, as first reported by Atsumu Ohmura in 1989.

Apparently, this theory of reduced pollution = more warming is being discussed in several places. I think global dimming will be heard about more and more in the future. Certainly, it will help to heat up the global warming controversy.

*SNIP* While air pollution is not a good thing, some scientists think it may, in the long run, actually help counteract global warming. The pollution particles in the atmosphere can reflect sunlight and help create more cloud cover, which may cause an overall reduction in the amount of sun, and thus heat, that reaches the surface.

Adding to the confusion is the fact that satellite images of clouds seem to suggest that the skies have become slightly clearer since the start of the 1990s, and this has been accompanied by a sharp upturn in temperature.

This is a critical question -- if the Global Dimming has been caused by pollution, efforts to clean up the atmosphere may actually speed up Global Warming

[edit on 12-1-2005 by DontTreadOnMe]

posted on Jan, 13 2005 @ 05:04 AM

Apparently, this theory of reduced pollution = more warming is being discussed in several places. I think global dimming will be heard about more and more in the future. Certainly, it will help to heat up the global warming controversy.

Too true, this article is just merely demonstrating(to me at least
) that we gotta take on all of these problems at the same time, not just cherry pick. I believe we have to have a multi-pronged approach to handle things at home and abroad, I will not list them here as its a long list but I might start a thread on it sometime in the future.

Coal has long be known/suspected to block sunlight and it was confirmed last summer that the amount of sunlight has declined 10 % over said period of time, this is sort of old news to me and I think it may have been discussed before on ATSNN as well, looking for the link. I believe I read somewhere that the emissions from Coal plants can actually have an insulating effect as well as blocking light from reaching the surface(was it reflected or absorbed, because if the light was absorbed by particles in the atmosphere then the warming will still happen just in the upper atmosphere though, so it wouldn't have as much an effect, might even delay it somewhat but on paper the results are still .... uncertain at best right now but do we want to sit idly by while something which could be potentially devastating to our species is happening right now and we did nothing and years later after it is too late we figure out we COULD have done something how will people who are still alive then feel about us now hmm? :@@

[edit on 13-1-2005 by sardion2000]

posted on Jan, 14 2005 @ 04:16 AM
You can read a transcript of the programme here

some interesting stuff. But ion it's own it's only part of the complex climate change jigsaw - and in typical Horizon fashion they did go a bit OTT at the end with predictions of it being hotter than it has been for 4 billion years (it may become as hot as it was during the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximumn around 55 milllion years ago though)


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