Global dimming, more global warming

This is the second frightening blog I’m posting in 2 days.  Sorry about that.  I just watched a video clip which I was pointed to by Jeff Berg, who I know from Post Carbon Toronto.  This is perhaps the most frightening clip I’ve ever seen on global warming.  As always, I hope that the worst-case scenarios it portrays are entirely wrong.  But once again, I question, who would want to take that chance?

What the movie explains in excruciating detail, is the effect that pollutants in the atmosphere have of shielding us from the worst effects of global warming. While these pollutants have been associated with droughts that killed millions in Ethiopia, as well as many illnesses caused by air pollution, they have at least slowed the warming of the Earth.  However, what this means is that we’ve been deceived about the magnitude of the effects of carbon in the atmosphere.  It is, in fact, far greater.  The clip concludes with apocalyptic predictions that current rates of emissions could result in a warming of 10 degrees by the end of the century.  While this would be enough to turn England into a desert and render much of the world uninhabitable, it’s not even the worst news.  Such a temperature rise would release such enormous quantities of methane hydrate (a greenhouse gas far more potent than carbon dioxide) from the oceans that their effect would be greater than the emissions of all fossil fuels combined.  There is no prediction about what this would do.  It’s difficult to imagine life on Earth.

Somewhere in the middle, the movie suggests that we need to solve this problem in the next 25 years to avoid such catastrophic scenarios.  We have no time to waste.

One response to “Global dimming, more global warming”

  1. Steve Harper writes:

    This would also explain why relatively pollution-free areas like the Arctic and Antarctic are suffering such devastating effects already, and why other places seem not to see that much warming.

Leave a comment

To weed out spam, your comment will not appear right away.