Editorial about Global Weather Changes:
(Sorry about this font size issue – it is pasted in from my original writing.)
9-9-2007 – After watching a very compelling show on Nova on PBS, I have been inspired to wrote this editorial. I have been told by Geologist and Engineers that “Global Warming” is bunk. I have been told that it is politically derived. I have been told that it is cyclical. I have been told that it does not exist. I listened and did not respond. There is no arguing with people that cannot see what is really going on. Below, I will explain what current scientists have observed and found in their continued studies to understand what is happening to our earth.
First there are real statistics: In the last century the average temperature has gone up by .6 to .8 degrees C. The current rate of increased green house gasses is +2%/year. (Yes, I believe what they say on Nova.) The Greenland ice sheets are now melting. If a >3 degrees rise occurs, we will have severe global effects. If polar ice caps continue to melt, at some point methane hydrates stored there may be released into the atmosphere.
Models predict we will reach >5 degrees rise C. over the end of this century. If that occurs many plants will not survive. There will be a large scale death of trees. Drought and soil erosion will occur. Sea levels will rise several meters/century.
Now here is the kicker: (I had no idea about how this all fits together, but now I see what the scientists are dealing with to try to figure out what we can do to help earth’s environment.) WE MUST CONSIDER, NOT ONLY GLOBAL WARMING, BUT GLOBAL DIMMING, INCREASED LEVELS OF CO2, LEVELS OF PARTICULATES IN THE ATMOSPHERE, AND THE DATA FROM LONG TERM PAN EVAPORATION STUDIES. WE MUST LOOK AT THE BIG PICTURE.
I will attempt to explain some of the data. Studies on Global Dimming correlate exactly to decreases in evaporation rates. With less evaporation, and particle pollution in the atmosphere (ash, soot, sodium, sulfates, and nitrates to name a few), this causes smaller water droplets in the clouds. Smaller water droplets in the clouds act as a mirror effect to cause Global Dimming, reflecting sunlight. So now we have greenhouse gasses causing global warming, and particle pollution causing global dimming. Global dimming equals a cooling effect. The reflective clouds also alter rainfall levels.
This global dimming may in fact be protecting us from accelerated global warming. A study done during the grounding of commercial airlines for 3 days after 9-11, indicated that contrails from commercial airlines were globally causing a decrease in the overall temperature ranges. They were encouraging more rain. During those 3 days they compared temperature ranges to the past 30 days and found that the range increased with no contrails. Very interesting. Days were warmer, and nights were colder.
So what is the bottom line? If we only treat atmospheric particulate levels and do not treat the greenhouse effect, we will possibly create a “double whammy” of increased global warming. Editorial by Jane Cunningham, President, 2007