Sunday Puzzle- The Paradox of Aerosols
Yesterday I mentioned the Extinction Rebellion protest in Portland. I guess the Extinction Rebellion has officially hit the US, with this action near Times Square in NYC. More to come to a street corner near you.
In case you wonder why such urgent actions are needed to push for action on climate, keep your eyes on the skies. View from the Side Storm Report today has more major damaging storms stretching across a thousand miles of the United States. Yes, these storms are empowered by global warming.
So, climate is already an urgent problem, now, not in the future. How are we gonna heal it, though? That’s the puzzle. And it ain’t an easy one, folks. Are you ready for a new View feature for our Sunday edition? It’s the Sunday Puzzle. Today’s challenge involves untangling a very difficult knot, indeed. It’s called “The Paradox of Aerosols: Global Dimming vs Global Heating.”
Simply put, the puzzle of the paradox is this… Aw, fook it! There is no simple way to put it. If there was, it wouldn’t be much of a puzzle, would it? Listen to this, for an overview, but then…
dig into this in-depth analysis from Stuart Scott to see how tangled this knot really is.
It is understood that reducing emissions will alter solar irradiance and decrease the aerosol masking effect which is providing some cooling. How much is still in question. This cooling could be offsetting global warming by as much as 1°C according to some researchers. You will soon notice that there are at times different estimates given in different studies. On average, 1°C is currently the most widely cited by scientists. Recently a study found that the cooling effect of aerosols in cumulus and MSC clouds could be twice as high as previously thought. “Current global climate predictions do not correctly take into account the significant effects of aerosols on clouds on Earth’s overall energy balance.” says another article on this topic. Make no mistake, this is a daunting and difficult issue with many unknowns.
That’s daunting, all right. The aerosol pollution that kills us with lung disease also slows down warming from CO2, which is released with the aerosols when fossil fuels are burned. We need to stop burning fossil fuels to stop CO2 from rising to even more dangerous levels. When we do stop, the aerosols will diminish, along with their cooling effect. And the full heat caused by CO2 already in the air will hit us on top of the global heating we have already seen. Got it? Me, neither. That’s today’s puzzle.
Send your solutions into the Side using the comment form below.
The winner of the View from the Side Sunday Puzzle will receive a free subscription to every future edition of View from the Side. And a tee-shirt if someone makes one for them.
(I know, I know, it’s already free. And there’s no tee-shirt. So it goes. What, you expect a real prize just for saving the world?)
Here are a few extra links to go with your brunch.
Side War Report: CyberWar goes public.
In P.R. Burn-em’s Two-Party Circus: The Blue Clowns are on the march. They’ve taken off their Dinosaur costumes. They’ve begun to form into ranks; they want to swarm the Trump Bunker, but Nancy won’t let ‘em. She’s still in full Maiasaur outfit, doing the Dino Disco Dance, heading down the path for extinction, and she ain’t letting any little thing like the Constitution get in her way.
74 Democratic House Members have spoken in favor of impeachment. If only Pelosi said yes, all the rest would follow.
And, bless their hearts, The Young Turks have taken on my Dinosaur Democrat metaphor. Their segment titled “Dinosaur Democrats Are Ruining The Party” is pretty fookin’ good! Love you, too, dudes! Keep rockin’ the progressive side of the Dems. And keep on the DinoDems. BTW, did you get your invite to come to the Climate Party?
In case you missed anything from View from the Side this week, here, once again, is a look back at the week in the rear view mirror. You know, that mirror on the passenger’s side, the one that has a blind spot and is never quite in the right position to see that truuuuu…!
Sunday View in the Rear View
Sunday: Sunday View in the Rear View
Last Sunday included a sermon and prayer for the dolphins, a bunch of links to poetry, and the first edition of this new feature, View in the Rear View, a quick look back at the week’s columns.
Monday: Three Body Problem Body 2
The second in a still-to-be-completed meta-trilogy. Holy theoretical metaphors, Batman! Nancy Pelosi wields a mean gavel, with some names named. Some climate links and another glimpse into the Blue Clown Fashion show (which begins for real this week with the first DNC sponsored debates.)
Tuesday: Go, Team Go!
This one is pretty harsh, not for kids today. War-Whore Cheerleaders get a blast from the Side. And some serious thoughts about irony and the function of language in shaping our beliefs. Plus some climate links and cool videos and comedy and Sweet Honey and the Rock.
Wednesday: Hope at Last or Last Hope?
Upcoming testimony from Hope Hicks pre-Viewed. A Pope-ian couplet about Democracy and Secrecy. Wild guesses about future Supreme Court decisions that may never come. (I call those ‘predictions’ here on the Side.) And some glimpses and analysis of the far-far fringes in the coming vengeance campaign against all thing American. This has a scary ending.
Thursday : Dang It, I’m Sorry!
This column carried what I hope will be a rare apology from the Side for excessive belittlement of a broken clock Clown who is trying to figure things out. And a pro-active apology to the people of Iran, who we seem determined to find a reason to kill. Lots of anti-war links. Includes a fun walking tour of Iranian cities.
Friday: Step Back!
Friday was a special day for the VftS, because it marked the first time I have used the phrase ‘President Trump’. I did so in praise of his decision not to, yet, bomb the people of Iran. Lots of political links, lots of environment and climate links. An actual song of my own. And a little Lorax for you, too.
Saturday: Time for a Climate Party?
This one is chock full of environment news, from the river on fire to the world on fire, with a little Extinction Rebellion and Strike for Climate around the sides. And an invitation to a party, a Climate Party! It should be a wild time. I hope you all will join me.
See you then, when the morning comes.