Cutting air pollution in cities may raise global temps, says scientist

by Michael Smith

Cleaning air in Beijing and in other large cities suffering from pollution problems by limiting car and power-plant emissions may raise global temperatures instead of lowering them, a German scientist warns.

Aerosols, or particles suspended in air, have a cooling effect on the Earth, countering global warming linked to carbon dioxide, said Hans-Joachim Schellnhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Research.

A drop in aerosols in the atmosphere could cause a "rapid" rise in temperatures, he said.

Airborne pollutants act as an umbrella worldwide while CO2 provides insulation, trapping heat attempting to escape into the atmosphere. A rise in temperature because of declines in aerosols in the atmosphere can be offset by slashing CO2 emissions, he said. By not reducing carbon output, humanity "is closing the last door we have through which we can possibly influence the global climate," Schellnhuber said.

Now we are in real problems. What do we do now? Now the pollution is supposed to be good for the Earth's climate. What next?

Sometimes I am beginning to wonder whether those supposed experts have any clue whatsoever and the more I see and read the more I believe they have about as much an idea as the ordinary person in the street; namely none. In fact some of the ordinary people on the street probably have more.

The problem is that no one wants to admit, it would seem, that Mother Earth is throwing a wobbly and it has nothing to do with what we do or what we have done.

As I have said before and will say again, while there may be nothing we can do to stop the change in climate we must clean up the Earth so that, whatever, we can still continue to live on this Planet, which is the only one in the Milky Way (no, this one is not edible) that can support human life as it is.

The more we allow the pollution to carry on, however, the more it will make it difficult for many of us to live on this planet properly. Already more and more people are suffering from chest problems and other heath problems that are, as it would appear, being caused by pollution. In addition to that we have everything, including people, being poisoned by leakages from landfill and so many other causes that we must do something. Otherwise we might as well give up and go and find an new planet where we can live. There is none, however.

So what now?

© M Smith (Veshengro), October 2008