dimming warming brightening
A solution to global warming – pollute more!
Research presented at a major European science meeting adds to other evidence that cleaner air is letting more solar energy through to the Earth’s surface.
Other studies show that increased water vapour in the atmosphere is reinforcing the impact of man-made greenhouse gas emissions.
Between the 1950s and 1980s, the amount of solar energy penetrating through the atmosphere to the Earth’s surface appeared to be declining, by about 2% per decade.
This trend received some publicity under the term “global dimming”.
But in the 1980s, it appears to have reversed, according to two papers published last year in the journal Science.
The reversal of “global dimming” has been proposed in some circles as an alternative explanation for climatic change, removing the need to invoke human emissions of greenhouse gases.
Dr Wild dismissed this picture. His analysis suggests that “global dimming” and the man-made greenhouse effect may have cancelled each other out until the early 1980s, but now “global brightening” is adding to the impact of human greenhouse emissions.
“There is always this argument that maybe the whole temperature rise wasn’t due to greenhouse warming but due to solar variations,” he told the BBC News website.
“During the solar dimming we had really no temperature rise. And only when the solar dimming disappeared could we really see what is going on in terms of the greenhouse effect, and that is only starting in the 1980s.”
Just in case you thought you were alone in your confusion.