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Forum Post: On climate change: Global Dimming and methane gas

Posted 2 years ago on April 14, 2012, 7:49 p.m. EST by gnomunny (5691) from St Louis, MO
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Although I'd heard of the potential ticking time-bomb that is locked-up methane gas (in the permafrost), I'd never heard of "global dimming." Since there have been a few threads today on climate change, and I didn't know if any of you had heard of this, I thought I'd post it. It's another not-so-common aspect of the whole debate, but an important one:

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article15809.htm

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50 Comments


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[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (20419) 2 years ago

Okay. I'll comment. LOL! I read a little about this recently, but don't have time to watch the video right now. It's not that easy to comprehend, at least for me, but it seems that the affects can be devastating. Here's a link to a good article that outlines "global dimming."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2003/dec/18/science.research1

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Thank you BW for the article and thank you gnomunny for the POST and Video.

From the article :

That means something must have happened to the Earth's atmosphere to stop the arriving sunlight penetrating. The few experts who have studied the effect believe it's down to air pollution. Tiny particles of soot or chemical compounds like sulphates reflect sunlight and they also promote the formation of bigger, longer lasting clouds. "The cloudy times are getting darker," says Cohen, at the Volcani Centre. "If it's cloudy then it's darker, but when it's sunny things haven't changed much."


Particulate pollution this was my 1st thought too. Mans contribution in the industrial age? - Coal - recent phenomenal increase in use/burning? _ Chinas major industrial revolution.

Is man the only problem here? ( particulate pollution ) no there are also volcanic contributors like the activity that shut down air traffic from Europe to the USA originating from Iceland (?) if I remember correctly. But man is the only truly consistent contributor - consistent and growing contributor.

Another nail in the coffin for fossil fuel? ( I would think so )

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (20419) 2 years ago

I agree. And, even if the biggest contributor were natural, such as the volcanic eruptions (I thought of Iceland, too), wouldn't it be smart to lessen man's additional impact? Seems like common sense.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Yes it does- but a common saying ( sorry about that ) is that common sense is not common.

We should as a matter of coarse be working to make the least impact on our environment as is possible - through continuous process improvement. This should never be an option but always a requirement - otherwise it is never budgeted and put into planning or operations.

They always say we have time and can do it later when it is less expensive and when we have better technology. Treated like that the day never will arrive. Then also when do unused technologies become cheaper? When do prices drop over the long run? That is just not dealing with reality.

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (20419) 2 years ago

All true. Waiting is not an option.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

That is why I am glad for the advent of this movement and the participation of people like you.

[-] 0 points by gnomunny (5691) from St Louis, MO 2 years ago

One thing I found amazing was the possible link to the dimming and it's devastating effect on the annual monsoon in Africa that may have led to the Ethiopian famine back in the eighties. As if the civil war wasn't bad enough.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Our environment is much more touchy than some would like us to understand.

[-] 0 points by gnomunny (5691) from St Louis, MO 2 years ago

Thanks. I've bookmarked your link and will check it out tomorrow for sure.

[-] 2 points by francismjenkins (3713) 2 years ago

At least the scientific community is finally accepting this data (while it was viewed as paradoxical for a long time, this is becoming an understood phenomena). Equally disturbing is things like the Siberian permafrost. I really can't understand why this area of research isn't our top priority.

[-] 1 points by gnomunny (5691) from St Louis, MO 2 years ago

It definitely should be way up on the list. Money, or rather oil interests, are probably the reason why not. I've said it many times: greed may very well be our ultimate undoing.

[-] 2 points by francismjenkins (3713) 2 years ago

Of course I spoke loosely, and you're obviously right, the reasons this research isn't a higher priority are easy to understand. In our current society, one merely needs to follow the money :)

[-] 1 points by gnomunny (5691) from St Louis, MO 2 years ago

It's a bit frightening, isn't it? The pathology of greed over the very survival of our species is, to me, practically incomprehensible.

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (17806) 2 years ago

I watched this BBC 'Horizon' Documentary on TV when it was first broadcast in 2005 and have seen it repeated on The BBC since. It raises several issues and is compelling viewing. 'Global Dimming' is one aspect of where some of the maths and the equations re. Climate Science can lead and it is one aspect of future climate change possibilities.

Here's the wiki on the matter as well as two other useful links :

There is alas, a rather overwhelming international scientific agreement in the actuality of rising temperatures. Even if the US Govt. wishes not to accept or acknowledge the science of major US scientific institutions, such as The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute ( http://www.whoi.edu/ ) or The Scripps Institute of Oceanography ( http://sio.ucsd.edu/ ) etc., internationally the scientists have known for well over a decade that 'something' is afoot.

'Mother Nature' has locked away VAST amounts of Ancient Carbon in the form of peat, coal, oil and gas. We know that there is a Carbon Cycle just as there is a Water Cycle, but that the time scale of the Carbon Cycle (which includes Geological processes) is much, much longer than in the case of water (simplified here to : evaporation, condensation, precipitation & run off).

Therefore, how can we as a sentient species, consider that we can bypass the Carbon Cycle and extract huge amounts of carbon based fuels, burn them and almost instantly (in geological time) return this carbon to the atmosphere Without There Being Any Repercussions ?! What is our individual and collective intuition on this matter ?!!

That Carbon Dioxide even tho' it is essential to life via photo-synthesis, is also a 'Greenhouse Gas' is undeniable. The Greenhouse Effect is well understood and without it life on this planet would not exist. We owe our previously relatively stable climate to this and the level of CO2 has been pretty stable at ~ 300ppm (0.03%) for a very, very long time (verifiable from ice and lake sediment cores). However, that proportion has risen in the last 40 years to ~390ppm (0.039%) which is a 30% increase in CO2 levels.

Further, both water vapour and methane are also greenhouse gases and the level of both will also rise with rising global temperatures. This is termed 'positive feedback'. A Human Influenced and possible 'run away' Greenhouse Effect is empirically, scientifically and mathematically possible, so the question is do we accept or 'believe' that it is happening ?

The atmosphere is but a film above us like cling-film on a water melon. It's easy to assume that we can have no effect on the vastness of the atmosphere but this is not true. As the atmosphere warms, the dynamic and apparently chaotic but actually relatively ordered 'Climate System', has 'more energy' and will operate at a higher energetic level. Thus, 'The Climate' will be seemingly more chaotic to our perception. We are already witnessing weather records being taken to new levels throughout the world and this matter is not really up for debate - unless there is a truly vast international conspiracy of scientists at all levels !

Globally, as a species we can feel and detect that 'something is changing', that something is different now to how things were but we may choose to behave like the proverbial 'frog in a pan on a stove' &/or as a 'rabbit caught in a bright light' !!

Sadly, I don't really think that we will stop either our behaviour or its results in the short or even medium terms. It's now a question of adaptation, however consider this : That "The International 'Darksider-Sith' Ruling Elites" [translation : 'Parasites' !] actually do NOT mind countless hundreds of millions of the rest of us perishing if it means more for them and Less Of Us !!!

The above is compounded by 'Militant Pro-Industrialism' as well as by Religious Nutters - who IF they have belief in 'Biblical End Times' (ie some Jews, Christians and Muslims !!!) do not think human action can possibly affect The Earth's Climate as only 'God' could do that AND when compounded by the ignorant, those in denial and those who know but just don't give a shit ... well, we have quite a recipe for forthcoming perturbations, to say the least ...

~*~

fiat lux ...

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (17806) 2 years ago

Increasingly 'The Professional Corporate PR Denialists' and their surrogates are trying to appeal to 'psychology' (and indeed perhaps 'psychopathology'!) in order to further their insidious, darkly sinister, deeply selfish and nefarious objectives. Further to my post above, please also find the following links :

a) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_cycle ;

b) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_dioxide_in_the_Earth%27s_atmosphere ;

c) The Excellent 2007 Australian Doc. Film "Crude" : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BVIl3CcmgzE [NB : Audio Kicks In At 3:30!]

d) Pick & Choose from 'Pro & Anti' Docs. @ http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/category/environment/ ;

e) For posterity and for the interested : "Beyond the Brink -- A Climate Change Investigation" :

~*~

ad iudicium ...

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (17806) 2 years ago

We should NOT feel that there are no solutions or that the changes we need are beyond our wits or our humanity. However "The Market" and Modern Industrial 'Consumer Kaputalism' are increasingly clearly antithetical to Global Sustainability. 'Built In Obsolescence' is integral to 'Consumer Crapitalism' as 'THEY' need us to keep buying the stuff - over and over again. For example, just with reference to cars and engines, the technology for ceramics and non-rusting alloys to be used for the 'half a million mile engine' already exists and various carbon fibre body shells could attached as the whim takes us.

Consider that wherever we live on This Good Earth, our beautiful, shared and only home - we have the wit to bypass our terrible interference in the Carbon Cycle as Cellulose from Any Plant Material can be fermented and distilled into alcohol, which can be then burnt as fuel. Fast growing plants such as hemp, jute, flax and many others, can grow and lock up carbon and be used to provide food, fibre and fuel at extremely low prices - nearly free if big enough economies of scale were utilised.

Thus, we could utilise a 'Carbon Loop' - growing plants, locking up carbon, fermenting and distilling the alcohol fuel and then burning and releasing some of the carbon back, as opposed to burning 'Ancient Carbon' that The Earth in its Wisdom has locked away to maintain the balances we used to live under. Fibre from these same fast-growing plants and others can be used to make Carbon Fibre - so strong that racing cars and jet planes are made from it - thus metal use and its hugely energy consumptive processes can be bypassed. Hemp seeds for example are also food and a source of oils which are excellent lubricants.

Finally, consider that where we have sunlight, flowing water, geo-thermal sources, waves and wind then we have the means to produce electricity sustainably and at very low cost. Sunlight alone via highly efficient photo-voltaic systems is a highly efficient way to provide the electricity for the Electrolysis of Water - splitting it into its constituent elements - hydrogen and Oxygen - which the last time I looked, is in essence and in fact, Rocket Fuel.

All the above and much, much more is eminently doable - but because The Corporations can not compute Free and Abundant then they will suppress these technologies (as they have in the past) purely so that they can turn a fast buck. However, "False Scarcity and Artificial Abundance" are currently the order the day for most of us on earth.

Modern Consumer Capitalism and The Maniacal and Messianic Prophets of Profit and 'Magical-Money Madness' - are antithetical to sustainable & balanced human living and in future our descendants will look back and shake heads wearily, wondering WTF took us so long to realise.

~*~

respice ; adspice ; prospice ...

[-] 0 points by gnomunny (5691) from St Louis, MO 2 years ago

Damn it, man! You know I can't run YouTube clips! I'm trying, really, I'm trying. ;-)

Have bookmarked your links and will commandeer my sister's laptop as soon as I get the drop on her.

~*~ = pineal gland? The proverbial "third-eye?" Like!

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (17806) 2 years ago

You are the first to spot that - it's not for nothing that I call you 'gno(sis)' - cos you'll need 'gnomunny' (as you'll see beyond, past and through it) - when you've got gnosis bro' !!!

Also I didn't recall your 'YouTube Crisis' but I do recommend that enchanting little documentary which was made by a very young person but has lessons for us all.

Stay well and aware 'g' ~:-)

pax et lux ...

[-] 1 points by gnomunny (5691) from St Louis, MO 2 years ago

Didn't get my PM about using a ShopVac to molest my motherboard? I hate when messages get lost in the ether!

What's inexplicable is the fact that I went straight to ICH and tried to run it from there, and couldn't, but I was able to watch another clip about the "third and fourth world wars." Whah???

I will watch it. On my sister's laptop tonight, whether she likes it or not!

Peace and light . . . in equal measure.

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (17806) 2 years ago

'g' : I did get it but it got lost in my brain mush but I remember now ... was mistokin' earlier <ahem> and forgot !!! Damn short term memory !! Need to 'shake & vac' my skull me thinx ! Cool 'n' The Gang Bro' and you'd better bake your sister some cookies, lol. Btw - thanx for this thread and the opportunity it gave for me to vent a little - as evidenced by the third 'pineal instalment' above' ~:-) pax .

[-] 1 points by gnomunny (5691) from St Louis, MO 2 years ago

What . . . kind . . . of . . . cookies, . . . Shadz? Hmmm?

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (17806) 2 years ago

Hmmmm ... errrr .. dunno !!! LOL !! + extra giggle + coff, splutter & toke !

[-] 1 points by gnomunny (5691) from St Louis, MO 2 years ago

You must be mistokin'.

Lucky bastard!

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (17806) 2 years ago

"I'm Denying It !" - whatever it may be that you're alluding to & that's no lie !! verb. sat. sap. !!!

[-] 1 points by shooz (26740) 2 years ago

This is some pretty new stuff and the DATA needs further analysis and new measurements.

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2005/01/global-dimming/

[-] 1 points by gnomunny (5691) from St Louis, MO 2 years ago

Yes it is. At first I thought they were talking about 'global cooling' which I'd heard of but this is an entirely different animal. Thanks for the link, I will check it out.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

I had not heard the term global dimming used before and I look forward to the video. The environment is so complex - but there can be no doubt that we are experiencing global warming.

Does man affect this? ( I believe so )

Do we need to prove it before we do something about the possibility? ( I don't think so )

What is it that we hurt by accepting the possibility? ( nothing )

We accept the possibility and we do what we can to change our practices. ( why not ? )

We are all well aware of pollution and it's hazards to life.

We do have the technology to change out our fuel base.

In the short term who does this hurt? ( the fossil fuel industry and it's tapeworm speculators )

Everyone else benefits - the auto industry can switch over to a new fuel base and their suppliers can provide the needed equipment for that change. Most of the design features need not be changed.

Manufacturing is also able to change power base and benefit from an expanded power industry.

Changing over our infrastructure is no big deal as it needs to be maintained anyway - put the hundreds of thousands ( millions? ) that are out of work back to work updating our world.

There will always be a market for oil and it's byproducts so that industry will survive it will just be allowed to profitably downsize.

What else is to be gained by ending fossil fuel dependance? Besides new industries? How about the end of fossil fuel pollution and an opportunity to clean-up the environment. Also - almost forgot - end fossil fuel strife/conflict and wars.

Health and Prosperity short term and more so in the long view.

[-] 2 points by gnomunny (5691) from St Louis, MO 2 years ago

Actually, I was going to use this link in a response to you in one of those other threads but felt it might be better served as its own post. The video is an eye-opener in a way. In a nutshell we need to tackle all pollutants, not just CO2 emissions. One without the others could very well be more catastrophic. You seem to have a pretty good grasp of the problem. Thanks.

[-] 1 points by geo (2638) from Concord, NC 2 years ago

No doubt other GHG's and aerosols besides CO2 are major contributors. However, in scientific circles CO2 is thought of as a key indicator... much in the manner that the Dow Jones Industrials or S&P500 are key indicators of Stock Market performance.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

I agree about CO2 being the touted lead indicator. That however does not forward real understanding of the full issue and is in my opinion a mistake on the part of the science council to dumb it down for regular folks.

You can be certain that eliminating automotive exhaust would be a huge improvement in the environment but that would still leave major industrial and power plant pollution and that is where we get into, really get into all of those "extra" nasty pollutants.

The public needs to come to understand the full picture to properly weigh all of the consequences of continuing with fossil fuel.

[-] 1 points by geo (2638) from Concord, NC 2 years ago

'The public needs to come to understand the full picture to properly weigh all of the consequences of continuing with fossil fuel.'

This is a major problem and the world of science really doesn't know how to deal with this problem. To achieve this you really need a better educated population.

With cutbacks to education and firing of teachers, the teaching of Intelligent Design alongside of Evolution in Texas and elsewhere, our public education system is a mess.

Science is loosing the AGW public opinion war because the general population doesn't have the background to distinguish misinformation from the denial group from valid research.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Which leaves it up to us and others like us to reach out with good information and reports to back it up to educate the population because you know as well as I that fossil fuel does not want an educated public.

[-] 1 points by geo (2638) from Concord, NC 2 years ago

I understand, and I wish it was that simple. The general public doesn't know who to believe - given good reports and information. They don't have the background to evaluate them.

I go through this on other forums as well, basically having to give high school level science lessons for them to understand the basic physics. Even then when you simplify things, there is always some wise guy who will throw a ringer in from 'Whattsup', thats made to take advantage of simplification... because in reality it is not a simple topic when you get down to the nuts and bolts, especially explaining the value of 'proxy data'.... but I do keep at it. :)

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

That is all we can do - keep trying. Besides many people know more than they realize - they just have not consciously accessed or considered the information for awhile. Make use of the shared information others have brought as well. Many a fine documentary as well as articles. Share the good things you find and let the recipients make of it what they will. It may prompt questions or start them on their own search. This is a prime time to arouse curiosity considering all that is going on in the world.

{:-])

[-] 1 points by gnomunny (5691) from St Louis, MO 2 years ago

Absolutely. But the global dimming referred to here is thought to be a product of the particulates from pollution rather than another effect from the gases themselves. Basically just another piece in a complex puzzle. If you get a chance to, watch the video, it's worth it. I posted this because I thought it would help give a clearer picture about the problem of pollution for those on here interested in climate change (not everyone on this forum is, of course).

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Thank you for sharing it is a complex issue and not nearly enough have taken the time to consider it. This type of post is a true outreach to the public in stirring awareness. So it is also a move towards addressing the issues. Again thank you. Also along with the particulate problem there is the issue of mercury arsenic sulfate and other pollutants resulting in acid rain mercury and other heavy metal poisons in the air ground-water and food chain - vegetable fruit and meat land born and water born.

People wonder at the rise in incidence of cancers and other rare illnesses well? Fossil fuel pollution is a culprit along with industrial chemicals as well as pesticides etc.

[-] 1 points by gnomunny (5691) from St Louis, MO 2 years ago

Agreed. And although I haven't heard this yet (perhaps you have) I have a sneaking suspicion it's also responsible for what seems to me a rise in degenerative neurological diseases. I've heard quite a lot lately about "neuropathy," something the doctors claimed was a contributor to my mom's death a few years back. They use the word as if neuropathy were a disease. In fact, what it really means is, "You have a neurological problem but we don't know what's causing it." The heavy metals perhaps?

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

As good a guess as any - mercury will do terrible things to the nervous system as well as cause many types of birth defects. And what is up with autism? Many nutritional scientist believe there is a possible link with synthetic food dies - things added to appeal to the eye but have no nutritional value unless that is negative value.

So many things - so little time. All revolving around greed and laziness.

[-] 3 points by gnomunny (5691) from St Louis, MO 2 years ago

Food dyes. Heavy metals. Fluoride is another potential problem, and raging debate, especially where kids are concerned.

So many things to fix, so little time. Greed kills.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Greed is also blind and unreasoning.

That is why it is up to people like us to sound the alarms and rouse support.

This will take a major reclaiming of rights by the Population to correct.

[-] 3 points by gnomunny (5691) from St Louis, MO 2 years ago

It's going to be long road. But worth it.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Yep - long road hard work but nothing more worth the effort, and we are already making some progress.

[-] 1 points by gnomunny (5691) from St Louis, MO 2 years ago

No comments? No opinions? Nothing?

[-] 1 points by gnomunny (5691) from St Louis, MO 2 years ago

Well, it is a fifty minute video, gnomunny.

[-] 0 points by gnomunny (5691) from St Louis, MO 2 years ago

True. But almost 60 responses to our latest troll (needs a) Delousing on his BS thread but nothing on a valid, and new, subject like global dimming?

[-] 1 points by gnomunny (5691) from St Louis, MO 2 years ago

Patience, gno. Patience.

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (17806) 2 years ago

True & chill bro' to : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZlZ9g7O8_Sg&feature=related ~{:-)

pax ... et fiat lux (geddit?!)

[-] 1 points by gnomunny (5691) from St Louis, MO 2 years ago

Heh heh heh. Let there be light. A quote and light-related tune to boot. I would've expected no less! )

Let there be light indeed. In more ways than one!

[-] -2 points by veepveep (-7) 2 years ago

One collective fart will push us over the edge.

[-] 0 points by gnomunny (5691) from St Louis, MO 2 years ago

Good first comment veep. Humor is an asset (especially here).