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Originally posted by WhatTheory
Clean Air Causes Global Warming
(visit the link for the full news article)
GOODBYE air pollution and smoky chimneys, hello brighter days. That's been the trend in Europe for the past three decades - but unfortunately cleaning up the skies has allowed more of the sun's rays to pierce the atmosphere, contributing to at least half the warming that has occurred.
Media Research Centre.
Media Research Center Inc. (MRC) is a conservative media watchdog group run by president and founder Brent Bozell. In 2006 the MRC had total revenue of $10.8 million and 50 full-time staff members. It is predominately funded by larger right-wing foundations
Sheppard has used his NewsBusters posts in particular to attack the idea that global warming is caused by humans. Sheppard has also accused Al Gore of being involved in global warming activism solely to make money from it.
The decrease in aerosols probably accounts for at least half of the warming over Europe in the last 30 years," says Rolf Philipona, a co-author of the study at MeteoSwiss, Switzerland's national weather service.
The latest climate models are built on the assumption that aerosols have their biggest influence by seeding natural clouds, which reflect sunlight. However, the team found that radiation dropped only slightly on cloudy days, suggesting that the main impact of aerosols is to block sunlight directly.
The rapid temperature increase of 1°C over mainland Europe since 1980 is considerably larger than the temperature rise expected from anthropogenic greenhouse gas increases. Here we present aerosol optical depth measurements from six specific locations and surface irradiance measurements from a large number of radiation sites in Northern Germany and Switzerland. The measurements show a decline in aerosol concentration of up to 60%, which have led to a statistically significant increase of solar irradiance under cloud-free skies since the 1980s. The measurements confirm solar brightening and show that the direct aerosol effect had an approximately five times larger impact on climate forcing than the indirect aerosol and other cloud effects. The overall aerosol and cloud induced surface climate forcing is ∼+1 W m−2 dec−1 and has most probably strongly contributed to the recent rapid warming in Europe.
Unlike greenhouse gases -- which stay in the atmosphere for long periods and are fairly evenly distributed -- aerosols are more concentrated near their sources and variable in space and time, making it difficult to quantify their impacts. "But their cooling effect may be as large as the warming effect created by humans pumping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere during the last century," said Toon, also a professor in CU-Boulder’s Program for Atmospheric and Ocean Sciences.