peak oil saves the day
Unintended Consequences The Stinkin' Desert Post
Cleaner air, air that has fewer particulates and aerosols sounds like an unalloyed good. But climate researchers modeling the effect of particulates and aerosols on sunlight absorption have found a serious side effect of cleaner air: warmer temperatures a-coming. From New Scientist:
Global warming looks set to be much worse than previously forecast, according to new research. Ironically, the crucial evidence is how little warming there has been so far.
Three top climate researchers claim that the greenhouse gases already in the atmosphere should have warmed the world more than they have. The reason they have not, they say, is that the warming is being masked by sun-blocking smoke, dust and other polluting particles put into the air by human activity.
But they warn that in future this protection will lessen due to controls on pollution. Their best guess is that, as the mask is removed, temperatures will warm by at least 6°C by 2100. That is substantially above the current predictions of 1.5 to 4.5°C.
So, 6°C warming is not good. I realize this is somewhat speculative.
It is also absurd, in that we are running a big, uncontrolled carbon experiment on our planet.
Thank goodness for peak oil. Maybe the decline in available fuel will save us from REALLY messing things up.