In the past 100 years or so the earth has faced several life ending problems, such as global warming, the nuclear issue, a collapse of our ecological system, or the relatively new issue, global dimming. All of these issues have one thing in common; none of them have been solved. This causes a compounding effect in which one issue can worsen another issue. However, global warming’s effects are actually being suppressed by global dimming. This causes a huge problem. If we somehow manage to get the effects of global dimming under control this will only worsen the effects of global warming, however, if we don’t solve the problem of global dimming sooner than later we’re going to see its effect only magnify exponentially.
Global dimming is the effect of humans releasing particulates such as sulfate aerosols into the atmosphere over the last 100 years. These particulates block some of the irradiance from the sun on the earth’s surface. This irradiance is what’s responsible for much of the evaporation of water, which, in turn, creates rainfall. Therefore global dimming is causing a decrease in the amount of rainfall in some of the earth’s most arid places. Areas such northern Africa, where a lack of clean drinking water and irrigation is already a problem and if they get any dryer we could be looking at a disappearance of life on a biblical scale.
Global dimming was first discovered by agricultural biologist Gerald Stanhill, who in the 1980’s, found that light hitting Israel was 22% less than there was in the 1950’s. Then scientists found that pan evaporation, which is simply recording how much water is evaporating from a pan, was slowly decreasing in the 1990’s even though global warming should have been increasing evaporation. Ultimately, in the days after 9-11 when air traffic was grounded in the United States the average temperature rose by one degree Celsius, the largest average temperature rise ever recorded. As stated above the effects...
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