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MadVlad

Global Dimming

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I was just watching a show on PBS about Global Dimming. What this entails is a decrease in the amount of sunlight that reachs the Earth. What they explained is that we are in a deadly catch 22: pollutants increase a haze around the earth, increasing greenhouse gasses and raising temperatures, but also reducing the amount of potential temperature rise by creating a haze. The catch 22 comes in when reducing the pollutants reduces the haze which accelerates the amount of global temperature rise. So, the choices are leave the pollutants and watch temperatures rise slowly but irreversably, or end the pollutants quicly and watch a sharp spike in temperatures creating a potential for disatsers, but maybe saving us long term. Also coming to light is the fact that if a significant amount of ice melts in the arctic, it will not only raise water levels but release something even more deadly: a huge amount of trapped methane on the ocean floor. Either way it looks like Florida and Louisiana are sunk and you all should move to Hartford. Just kidding, but they did specifically say Florida and Louisiana will probablt end up under water by the end of the century and NYC and DC will also be flooded.

Happy New Year....

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Wow, glad the great lakes are 550 feet above sea level. Still get to have waterfront and big boats, but im still safe. :D

Seriously, this is quite a predicament.

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The global dimming was caused by soot from burning coal and also other pollutants that reflect sunlight like sulfur dioxide.

This is all a very recent find as the earth has brightened up quite a bit in the past 15 years or so and now temperatures are rising at quite a clip to adjust.

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Interesting, I haven't heard about this. I've been watching a lot of shows on the history channel lately about things like this that will doom us, also global warming, black hole, etc. About the glaciers melting, in one of the shows they were talking about how high the water would rise (obviously) and as a result whole islands will go underwater.

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I've just heard about this recently, and I'm in the camp that we need to get these pollutants out of our atmosphere. It may not be pretty and things are going to be tough, but the planet and human civilization will be better off if we take it on the chin now instead of letting it go...

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People always bring up the cost. "But the cost will be too high, billions, trillions!!". Really? How about Florida completely submerged by the Atlantic, how much would that cost?

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How about Florida completely submerged by the Atlantic, how much would that cost?

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People make catastrophic predictions like that all the time. In the '70's they said the world would a "wasteland" by the year 2000.

Yeah...right.

I'm not saying that there isn't warming going on around the globe, it's just that catastrophic predictions, especially ones confined to a time period as small as a generation (~30 years) or even a century, are usually way off.

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People make catastrophic predictions like that all the time. In the '70's they said the world would a "wasteland" by the year 2000.

Yeah...right.

I'm not saying that there isn't warming going on around the globe, it's just that catastrophic predictions, especially ones confined to a time period as small as a generation (~30 years) or even a century, are usually way off.

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I think most people in the 70's assumed we would have nuked civilization into oblivion by now and we would be living in much more of a "Mad Max" type of world. Fortunately, the drugs have wore off now and we can see things much more clearly....

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My daughter is 3 months old today, at this point, I'm almost willing to do anything to ensure she has a world to live in...

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Ironchapman.. it's the same as the "There's no snow in my backyard, so the ski area must not have snow" syndrome that leads to depressed business at ski areas even when theyv'e had plenty of good snowmaking weather. Just because you don[t see changes in your backyard doesn't mean they aren't happening.

Just throwing in "I mean, I'm sure there's warming, but the scientists are mostly wrong" is a weak argument.

Louisiana is already disappearing into the ocean. At present rates, New Orleans will be a coastal city within 30-40 years. The state is losing about a football field of land to the ocean every day. This is documented and it is aggravated by rising sea levels.

It doesn't take much of a rise in sea level for most of Florida to go underwater.. just a few feet.

If this is not a threat, then why did the Bush administration feel it necessary to protect Polar Bears? Nobody doubts the science of human-caused global warming anymore except a small minority of conservatives that have even been abandoned by most of their own party.

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Ironchapman.. it's the same as the "There's no snow in my backyard, so the ski area must not have snow" syndrome that leads to depressed business at ski areas even when theyv'e had plenty of good snowmaking weather. Just because you don[t see changes in your backyard doesn't mean they aren't happening.

Just throwing in "I mean, I'm sure there's warming, but the scientists are mostly wrong" is a weak argument.

Louisiana is already disappearing into the ocean. At present rates, New Orleans will be a coastal city within 30-40 years. The state is losing about a football field of land to the ocean every day. This is documented and it is aggravated by rising sea levels.

It doesn't take much of a rise in sea level for most of Florida to go underwater.. just a few feet.

If this is not a threat, then why did the Bush administration feel it necessary to protect Polar Bears? Nobody doubts the science of human-caused global warming anymore except a small minority of conservatives that have even been abandoned by most of their own party.

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I find it ironic that President Bush can't seem to get on the bandwagon, yet it's his brother's State that will be submerged....

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Obviously not. He ruined any chances of Jeb advancing his political career any further.

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Scientists in meeting in Paris said that the global temperature would augment between 1.8

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If we had 1.8*C warming and 19cm of sea level rise, it would be mostly manageable. Some forests would be disturbed, and some animals would go extinct that were already on the brink. Also, there would be more trouble than anywhere at the poles. But most of all, if we could escape with only that much warming in the next 100 years, it would be a LOT less painful. We're talking Minneapolis adopting a climate more like Madison, Wisconsin. Both lie in the same biome.

I would guess that the lower end projections are based on lower CO2 concentrations assuming that we would take action to curb them.

A rise of 4*C would be pretty devastating. I know 4*C doesn't sound like much on a day to day basis (7*F), but that's average for the globe. The poles would warm nearly twice as much, meaning a 12-15*F rise in temperatures... that would bring spring up about 3 weeks and push fall back 3 weeks... in perspective, that would make Chicago's climate more like Memphis and Boston's climate more like Washington, D.C.

A 58cm rise in sea level (23" or so) would also make it very difficult for low-lying coastal regions, affecting millions of people.

Also, as has already been written.. a violent rise in temperatures could trigger an irreversible melting of the Greenland icecap. Mass amounts of water spilling into the Atlantic could disrupt the currents and plunge northern Europe into an ice age with temperatures falling as far as 15-20*F in some places. It would be largely inhabitable.

This could also shift weather patterns in many places of the globe making the eastern U.S colder while making the western U.S much hotter (this has been happening.. the west is warming much faster than the east).

It's all scary to think about.

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