Monday, May 09, 2005

Earth's air is cleaner, but this may worsen the greenhouse effect.

news @ - Clear skies end global dimming - Earth's air is cleaner, but this may worsen the greenhouse effect.:

"Our planet's air has cleared up in the past decade or two, allowing more sunshine to reach the ground, say two studies in Science this week.

Reductions in industrial emissions in many countries, along with the use of particulate filters for car exhausts and smoke stacks, seem to have reduced the amount of dirt in the atmosphere and made the sky more transparent.

That sounds like very good news. But the researchers say that more solar energy arriving on the ground will also make the surface warmer, and this may add to the problems of global warming. More sunlight will also have knock-on effects on cloud cover, winds, rainfall and air temperature that are difficult to predict.

The results suggest that a downward trend in the amount of sunlight reaching the surface, which has been observed since measurements began in the late 1950s, is now over.

The researchers argue that this trend, commonly called 'global dimming', reversed more than a decade ago, probably following the collapse of communist economies and the consequent decrease in industrial pollutants."

A few weeks ago I had a discussion with a friend about how a Christian should care for the environment. The main thrust of my opinion was that I find it difficult to trust the claims of Environmentalists because they are so often proven wrong.

And stories like this one make it difficult to even discern what is morally upright behavior with regard to the environement.

I think care for the environment is important, but far less important that care for those suffering genocide, hunger, disaster and other human tragedy. I guess that's just the Judeo-Christian ethics talking.

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