... global warming and cooling
Knowing of your interest in global warming or cooling as from the article by Bob Carter [09/04/06] you might be as well interested in a program I saw last night on the same subject.
Concern these many years about pollution and CO2 mitigation of the atmosphere and its theoretical greenhouse effect on global temperatures has now grown to involve particulate in general circulation around the globe. Many countries have been able to reduce emissions in the last ten years but India and China continue as the major 2006 polluters.
The question facing scientists is: what is slowing down global warming? Research has now shown that particulate now is a factor of solar reflection so that much solar energy is reflected away. [At this time] equatorial areas are failing to receive the energies of 50 years past. The Sahal [sp.] in Africa has experienced failing rain periods with the result of famines in that area and a most serious famine in Ethiopia back in 1970's through the '80s.
Now, if industrial nations can reduce pollution and particulates, the resulting cooling balances would tend to stop and global warming would accelerate. The Greenland ice shield would melt, raising ocean levels to the extent that Florida and New York City would be flooded; solidified methane now firmly isolated on the ocean floors would enter the atmosphere and constitute a warming factor ten times the value of CO2. The methane now stable on the ocean floors is in the weight of tens of millions of tons.
It is speculated that the Amazon basin would dry out and burn, removing the oxygen generating force there and adding prodigious quantities of CO2 in an already sick atmosphere. That is rather an over-simplification but I am sure you get the picture. For our grand children it is most serious. Methane corruption has happened in the past and its destructive presence is recorded by geologists and paleo archeologists. Humans would not survive. To exacerbate that lovely picture, were a mega volcanic eruption occurs similar to the Mount Toba eruption on Sumatra 74,000 years ago, that would be the ballgame. In the volcanic winter that ensued, it is calculated that all but 10,000 humans perished. Those were our ancestors in East Africa. Combining calamitous global warming with a mega eruption would most likely be the end for all of us.
July 7, 2006