Climate Scientists have discovered that the amount of sunlight reaching the Earth’s surface has been reducing over recent decades.
If the climatologists are correct, their discovery holds the potential for the most powerful disruption to life on our planet we have faced. Already it may have contributed to many thousands of deaths through drought and famine. The phenomenon known as Global Dimming is not as famous as its counter-part global warming… But could in fact be worse!
This phenomenon is known as “global dimming”. It can reduce heating locally by between 2-3°C. It has allowed us to continue business as usual by disguising the enormous impact we are having on the earth. Because the true impact of greenhouse gasses has not yet been felt, many scientists believe that we may already have passed the point of no return.
This dimming is transient stuff. It could disappear in a few days if there were an economic downturn or a reduction in fossil fuel use. This would leave us fully exposed to the heat of the global greenhouse.
The proof came when all airplanes were grounded for three days after the September 11 attack on the Twin Towers. Investigation found that temperatures then rose by 1.3°C due to the loss of aeroplane contrails.
As James Lovelock said, “we are in a fool’s paradise, accidentally kept cool by smoke.”
But if the glaciers melt or any other tipping point gets triggered, and life in industrial cities becomes untenable, there would be a severe industrial downturn. Then the aerosol would fall out of the atmosphere in a very short time, and the global temperature could take a sudden enormous leap upwards.
It was for this reason that Lovelock wrote The Revenge of Gaia and warned in The Independent that the world has already passed the point of no return for climate change, and that civilisation as we know it is now unlikely to survive. He suggests that efforts to counter global warming cannot succeed because we would be ambushed by global dimming. Therefore human society will probably face disaster to a worse extent, and on a faster timescale, than anybody realises.
He wrote “Before this century is over, billions of us will die, and the few breeding pairs of people that survive will be in the Arctic where the climate may remain tolerable.”
Source: Planet Extinction