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View Diary: President Obama can and must take serious action on climate change with and without Congress (160 comments)

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  •  Fun with numbers. (0+ / 0-)

    So what, exactly does that magic 72 mean?

    As things stand, if all of the methane in the atmosphere were to disappear overnight -- we'd reduce radiative forcing by about 20%.

    That's nice, definitely  not something to dismiss, but methane's not going to disappear overnight. For one thing, human activity accounts for only about half. So...
    if we eliminate all human-caused methane from the atmosphere overnight, we reduce radiative forcing by about 10%.

    Still nothing to sneeze at, but due to be overwhelmed by CO2 very quickly, especially since we're not going to eliminate all human-caused methane from the atmosphere overnight.

    The effect of carbon soot on glacial albedo is something to think about.  I wonder if anybody's studied that in comparison to dimming effect in the atmosphere.  One thing that occurs to me is that aerosols cover the entire planet, whereas snow and glaciers are not.  Additionally, those albedo-reduced glaciers would lie beneath an atmosphere that was permitting less sunlight to shine down, so there would be at least a small trade-off there. Finally, i would expect that reduced albedo comes and goes with each snowfall...but might not.  I could also imagine snow carrying particles out of the atmosphere and onto the ground.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 05:39:39 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

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