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View Diary: Volcanoes, aerosols, and global warming (16 comments)

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  •  100 years ago they feared "global dimming" (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DWG, Deward Hastings, northsylvania, RWood

    They honestly thought that all the coal dust in the air - which unlike volcanic ash, they expected to stick around for the foreseeable future, since we sure as hell weren't going to stop burning coal - would trigger a second ice age by reducing the solar radiation reaching the ground.

    Unfortunately, aerosols don't solve the problem of warming.  At best they delay it, but their effect is already being swamped by the sheer quantity of CO2 we're pumping into the atmosphere ... never mind the methane bomb, which we recently found out will go off even if we stop burning fossil fuels today based on temperature rise that's already "locked in".  Aerosols also don't do anything about ocean acidification, which is an existential threat all by itself: killing off the very base of the food chain (the phytoplankton), which also produce 2/3rds of the oxygen we breathe.

    •  That is an important issue (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      northsylvania

      The carbon problem goes well beyond temperature impacts, particularly ocean acidification.

      I look at the aerosols data as a piece in the climate system puzzle rather than a solution to our carbon pollution problem.

      Be radical in your compassion.

      by DWG on Sat Mar 02, 2013 at 11:26:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  If there is a reduction in O2 ... (0+ / 0-)

      Can you post a link that examines the prospective decline in oxygen relative to phytoplankton decline? What is the timeline?
      Just checking...

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