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But perhaps the most alarming aspect of global dimming is that it may have led scientists to underestimate the true power of the greenhouse effect.
They know how much extra energy is being trapped in the Earth's atmosphere by the extra carbon dioxide we have placed there.
What has been surprising is that this extra energy has so far resulted in a temperature rise of just 0.6 degree Celsius.
This has led many scientists to conclude that the present-day climate is less sensitive to the effects of carbon dioxide than it was, say, during the ice age, when a similar rise in CO2 led to a temperature rise of six degrees Celsius.
But it now appears the warming from greenhouse gases has been offset by a strong cooling effect from dimming - in effect two of our pollutants have been cancelling each other out.
This means that the climate may in fact be more sensitive to the greenhouse effect than previously thought.
If so, then this is bad news, according to Dr Peter Cox, one of the world's leading climate modellers.
As things stand, CO2 levels are projected to rise strongly over coming decades, whereas there are encouraging signs that particle pollution is at last being brought under control.
"We're going to be in a situation unless we act where the cooling pollutant is dropping off while the warming pollutant is going up.
"That means we'll get reducing cooling and increased heating at the same time and that's a problem for us," says Dr Cox.