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Reminder: Global Dimming offsetting Global Warming? (13 posts)

  1. truthmod

    We are all seeing rather less of the Sun. Scientists looking at five decades of sunlight measurements have reached the disturbing conclusion that the amount of solar energy reaching the Earth's surface has been gradually falling. Paradoxically, the decline in sunlight may mean that global warming is a far greater threat to society than previously thought.

    Dimming appears to be caused by air pollution. Burning coal, oil and wood, whether in cars, power stations or cooking fires, produces not only invisible carbon dioxide (the principal greenhouse gas responsible for global warming) but also tiny airborne particles of soot, ash, sulphur compounds and other pollutants.

    This visible air pollution reflects sunlight back into space, preventing it reaching the surface. But the pollution also changes the optical properties of clouds. Because the particles seed the formation of water droplets, polluted clouds contain a larger number of droplets than unpolluted clouds. Recent research shows that this makes them more reflective than they would otherwise be, again reflecting the Sun's rays back into space.

    If so, then this is bad news, according to Dr Peter Cox, one of the world's leading climate modellers. As things stand, CO2 levels are projected to rise strongly over coming decades, whereas there are encouraging signs that particle pollution is at last being brought under control. "We're going to be in a situation, unless we act, where the cooling pollutant is dropping off while the warming pollutant is going up. That means we'll get reduced cooling and increased heating at the same time and that's a problem for us," says Cox.

    Even the most pessimistic forecasts of global warming may now have to be drastically revised upwards. That means a temperature rise of 10°C by 2100 could be on the cards, giving the UK a climate like that of North Africa, and rendering many parts of the world uninhabitable.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  2. chrisc

    BEIJING (Reuters) - A three-kilometre thick cloud of brown soot and other pollutants hanging over Asia is darkening cities, killing thousands and damaging crops but may be holding off the worst effects of global warming, the UN said on Thursday.

    The vast plume of contamination from factories, fires, cars and deforestation contains some particles that reflect sunlight away from the earth, cutting its ability to heat the earth.

    "One of the impacts of this atmospheric brown cloud has been to mask the true nature of global warming on our planet," United Nations Environment Programme head Achim Steiner said at the launch in Beijing of a new report on the phenomenon.

    The amount of sunlight reaching earth through the murk has fallen by up to a quarter in the worst-affected areas and if the brown cloud disperses, global temperatures could rise by up to 2 degrees Celsius.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  3. chrisc

    The guy behind the Money as Debt video has also produced a video on Chemtrails, see:

    While I think it contains many innaccuries, and unproven assertions (like the one about the massive dedicated fleet of spray planes) and it links to many disinformation sites in the credits at the end there is one aspect of this film that marks it out from the other chemtrail disinfo (for some background on chemtrail / 9/11 related disinfo see: ).

    That aspect, is that it proposes that the "spraying" is being done to mitigate the effects of global warming. All the other "chemtrail" material I have seen is linked to global warming denial if the subject is mentioned at all.

    This is a very scary proposition, which I think is thankfully un proven at this stage -- the only site on the serious matter of aviation smog and persistent contrials that I think is worth recommending is this one:

    The BBC programme on global dimming reports that there was a significant rise in tempratures in N. America in the days after 9/11 -- where there was no commercial air traffic.

    Crazy interventions to mitigate the effects of climate change are probably only year off...

    Posted 9 years ago #
  4. emanuel

    Can we please bury the chemtrails issue here once and for all? We are intelligent people, and it doesn't take much to research contrails and learn that they are a perfectly normal phenomenon. Here's a place to start:

    Also, don't think I dismissed the chemtrails claim as soon as I heard about it. On the contrary, it was a very intelligent woman (Catherine Austin Fitts) who first tried persuading me of the notion. (She sent me a chemtrail link from, btw). Because I trust and respected Catherine at time time, I followed her link, and the online avenues that spread out from there (pun intended), and spent the next three days researching everything I could about the claim. But it only took about a day and a half for me to realize it was complete nonsense. Allow me to dare to make some obvious assertions here.

    1. When you look up and see white trails following airplanes, this is water vapor condensation, whether it persists and leaves a long trail across the whole sky, perhaps spreading out to form clouds, or whether it fades away as the plane moves. These are all various types of contrails. They are normal. They have a long, documented history, and have been studied extensively, because they do have an effect on climate and temperature.

    2. If the government or any entity is spraying chemicals into the air, contrails are not evidence for it.

    3. The vast, vast, majority of people who promote the idea of "chemtrails" use only the phenomenon of visible contrails as evidence. Nothing else. (Some sites talk about creepy spider-web film on the ground, ostensibly the chemical residue that falls down--but need I debunk this claim too?)

    4. There is some evidence that during MK-Ultra in the 70s, the CIA spread chemicals and/or radioactive dust over San Francisco and/or other cities via airplane, and for all we know other secret tests like this could have happened. But if they are, they have absolutely nothing to do with contrails.

    The "chemtrails" claim/hoax is one that many good activists and deep politics researchers fall for. When someone first realizes the truth of a major conspiracy like 9/11, it often makes them wonder what other "official stories" they might be falsely believing. This puts them in a vulnerable head space to fall for hoaxes. While every claim should be taken seriously--even extraordinary claims--every claim should be researched thoroughly. I am confident that anyone on this forum, if they were to spend just a few hours researching "contrails" online, would realize there is no basis in the claim that these are the results of chemical spraying.

    I can't tell you how much I value truthmove. I hope it doesn't degrade into nonsense debates. I have mixed feelings even posting this post, because with "chemtrails," the debate itself is the distraction/disinfo. It's fine to debate issues that are, well, debatable, but chemtrails is not one of them. I don't want to this forum to become like the rigorous intuition forum, where anything goes and while there is some good info there you have to sort through so much nonsense.

    As for the Money as Debt guy producing a chemtrails video, that is unfortunate. I like the Money as Debt video.


    Posted 9 years ago #
  5. chrisc

    Emanuel, have you actually read what I have written on this matter in the past?

    In what way have I started nonsense debates?

    Posted 9 years ago #
  6. chrisc

    The transcript of the BBC programme on Global Dimming starts like this:

    NARRATOR: September 12th 2001, the aftermath of tragedy. While America mourned, the weather all over the country was unusually fine. Eight hundred miles west of New York, in Madison, Wisconsin a climate scientist called David Travis was on his way to work.

    DR DAVID TRAVIS (University of Wisconsin, Whitewater): Around the twelfth, later on in the day, when I was driving to work, and I noticed how bright blue and clear the sky was. And at first I didn't think about it, then I realised the sky was unusually clear.

    NARRATOR: For 15 years Travis had been researching an apparently obscure topic, whether the vapour trails left by aircraft were having a significant effect on the climate. In the aftermath of 9/11 the entire US fleet was grounded, and Travis finally had a chance to find out.

    DR DAVID TRAVIS: It was certainly, you know, one of the tiny positives that may have come out of this, an opportunity to do research that hopefully will never happen again.

    NARRATOR: Travis suspected the grounding might make a small but detectable change to the climate. But what he observed was both immediate and dramatic.

    DR DAVID TRAVIS: We found that the change in temperature range during those three days was just over one degrees C. And you have to realise that from a layman's perspective that doesn't sound like much, but from a climate perspective that is huge.

    The site ran two articles on the show, the first one contains:

    Though there are serious issues with the quality of some of the data (birds drinking out of uncovered evaporation pans, drift and inhomogeneities in the solar radiation measuring instruments), in the most global assessment, Beate Liepert estimated that there was globally a reduction of about 4% in solar radiation reaching the ground between 1961 and 1990.

    A change of that magnitude in the incoming solar radiation itself is not possible since satellite observations would have seen it. Thus, it must be something that is happening in the atmosphere to intercept solar radiation. There are only a few possibilities: clouds, water vapour or aerosols .

    First of all it is important to note that even pure greenhouse gas forcing will lead to a slight decrease in surface solar radiation (due to the concurrent increased humidity) and potential cloud feedbacks. Cloud cover and thickness are both like to vary as a function of climate change.

    Contrails (those wispy trails left behind high flying jets) have increased over the period and may be important. But estimates of their global effect, even making very generous assumptions about their spread are small (Minnis et al, 2004 ). Aerosols are also known to have increased over this time, and so they are a natural candidate. However, simulations using the relatively straightforward 'direct effect' of aerosols (the increase in albedo of the planet due to the particle brightness) do not match the inferred changes. The final candidates are numerous interactions of aerosols with clouds, the so-called 'indirect effects'.

    There are an ever increasing number of these 'indirect effects', but the two most discussed are the aerosol/cloud opacity interaction (more aerosols provide more sites for water to condense in clouds, thus cloud droplets are smaller and clouds become more opaque), and the cloud lifetime effect (smaller droplets make it more difficult to make drops big enough to rain, and so clouds live longer). Estimates of the importance of such effects vary widely, and while they are thought to be significant, the uncertainty associated with them is very large. These effects are nevertheless a necessary part of the suite of human-related forcings that are being assessed in order to understand the climate of the 20th Century.

    It should however be stressed that there are as yet no completely convincing explanations that quantitatively match the (admittedly uncertain) observations of this phenomena (Liepert and Lohmann, 2004 ).

    And the second article contained:

    Why is solar radiation changing? From observations we can separate cloud-free skies and cloudy conditions. We can hence infer clouds or atmospheric transparency as possible causes for the dimming. In my study of the US data I identified clouds as the main reason for the dimming of sunlight. Only about a fifth of the dimming could be observed during cloud-free conditions.

    Why should the atmospheric transparency change at all in cloud-free conditions? V. Ramanathan explained it in the BBC documentary. Sunlight is reflected by air pollution or absorbed in the atmosphere before it reaches the ground. Field campaigns like INDOEX show this clearly (well, not "clearly" in the literal sense!). Advanced climate models include this "direct" aerosol effect and base their inputs on experiments like INDOEX.

    Why should clouds change? Global warming for example. Surprised? Most climate simulations predict some "global dimming" due to the water vapor and cloud feedback of greenhouse gas forced global warming. Global warming, however, affects the entire atmosphere whereas global dimming is only a surface and near-surface phenomena. Hence global warming and global dimming are not exclusive or contradictory. (Incidentally, the decline of solar energy at the surface inferred in my study is about 60% of the increasing longwave radiation in a typical global warming climate simulation (Feichter et al. 2004 )). With global warming, atmospheric moisture increases and this makes the atmosphere slightly less transparent to sunlight. Furthermore once clouds are formed, they tend to hold more water and therefore look a little darker.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  7. chrisc

    A press release about a talk by James Lovelock contained:

    Professor Lovelock will also warn that cutting back on fossil fuel use could actually exacerbate global warming. This is because current global warming is being partially offset by global dimming the two to three degrees of global cooling caused by aerosol particles in the atmosphere from man made pollution. These reflect sunlight and nucleate clouds that reflect even more sunlight.

    He will say: "Any economic downturn or planned cut back in fossil fuel use, which lessened the aerosol density, would intensify the heating. If there were a 100 per cent cut in fossil fuel combustion it might get hotter not cooler....We live in a fool's climate. We are damned if we continue to burn fuel and damned if we stop too suddenly."

    The talk he gave is available as a MP3 from Ecoshock's 2007 archive:


    Posted 9 years ago #
  8. emanuel

    My apologies chrisc. I mis-interpreted your post. It felt like you were fence-sitting on the chemtrails issue. In re-reading it I now see you were probably just being diplomatic. For me, I have a very hard time being diplomatic to chemtrail promoters because this was one of the main ways used to disrupt our early 9/11 truth campaigns, by associating us with the "chemtrails conspiracy." For example, I would call the suggestion of a massive fleet of spray planes "utterly ridiculous" rather than simply an "unproven assertion."

    Oh yeah, and when you said that the notion of spraying the atmosphere to reduce global warming was a "very scary proposition," I mis-interpreted you. I thought you meant the exact proposition you describe from the video; i.e., that the contrails we see in the sky today are the result of secret chemical spraying to reduce global warming. That proposition is not scary (because it is completely and utterly ridiculous). And of course, I certainly agree with you that the notion that some government might start doing such things is, indeed, a very scary proposition, especially because it has been seriously proposed, as you point out.

    Again, sorry for the confusion.


    Posted 9 years ago #
  9. chrisc

    For clarification, here are some extracts from the first post I wrote in the thread at Truth Action:

    "Chemtrails": No-Planes linked Disinfo?

    It appears to me that there is a overlap between people who think "chemtrails" are a NWO plot and people into no-planes / DEW type nonsense

    it's clear that on some days contrails do end up covering the whole sky and form a haze and on other days this doesn't happen

    Clearly there is an relationship with climate as the BBC show on Global Dimming illustrated and there is an increase in humidity and increased air traffic and aircraft exahust will obviously contain some chemicals.

    This is an area of research that doesn't appear to have attracted much acadamic study and the best site I have found on the issue is .

    What I haven't found is any convincing evidence of is modified aircraft, secret fleets of aircraft spraying the planet and such like

    It appears to me that the "chemtrail" material has the same effect as no-planes / DEW type of disinformation: it makes it easy for people to dismiss the issue of high-level aircraft generated smog and it's effect on climate as being a topic for loons. Is it a coincidence that it's often (generally or almost always?) the same people pushing 9/11 disinformation that push dubious, un-proven, theories about "chemtrails"?

    In that thread some utterly ridiculous ideas were suggested, "that the contrails are for mapping the scalar shearing of the sky" and that there were sprayplanes running a ""super-secret spraying operation"" and that the contrails form a skynet, "silver and barium spray is used to build 'skytennae' for Signal Intercept SIGINT collection" -- just to make it clear, I think all these suggestions are utterly ridiculous ideas.

    This is the scary issue (found via

    According to model calculations by Brasseur and Roeckner (2005), complete improvement in air quality could lead to a decadal global average surface air temperature increase by 0.8 K on most continents and 4 K in the Arctic. Further studies by Andreae et al. (2005) and Stainforth et al. (2005) indicate that global average climate warming during this century may even surpass the highest values in the projected IPCC global warming range of 1.4–5.8 ◦C (Cubasch et al., 2001).

    By far the preferred way to resolve the policy makers’ dilemma is to lower the emissions of the greenhouse gases. However, so far, attempts in that direction have been grossly unsuccessful. While stabilization of CO2 would require a 60–80% reduction in current anthropogenic CO2 emissions, worldwide they actually increased by 2% from 2001 to 2002 (Marland et al., 2005), a trend, which probably will not change at least for the remaining 6-year term of the Kyoto protocol, further increasing the required emission restrictions. Therefore, although by far not the best solution, the usefulness of artificially enhancing earth’s albedo and thereby cooling climate by adding sunlight reflecting aerosol in the stratosphere (Budyko, 1977; NAS, 1992) might again be explored and debated as a way to defuse the Catch-22 situation just presented and additionally counteract the climate forcing of growing CO2 emissions.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  10. chrisc

    It's also worth noting that globally we don't have dimming at the moment -- things are now getting brighter:

    A 2007 NASA sponsored satellite-based study sheds light on the puzzling observations by other scientists that the amount of sunlight reaching Earth's surface had been steadily declining in recent decades, suddenly started to rebound around 1990. This switch from a "global dimming" trend to a "brightening" trend happened just as global aerosol levels started to decline.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  11. chrisc

    the best site I have found on the issue is

    This might be a better one, but I haven't yet read much of it:

    I found it via a link on the Wikipedia Chemtrail conspiracy theory talk page:

    Posted 9 years ago #
  12. chrisc

    Some comments I posted to Indymedia last year:

    Global dimming, persistent contrails and aviation smog

    Most of the "chemtrail" material on the net appears to be disinformation.

    What I haven't found is any convincing evidence of is modified aircraft, secret fleets of aircraft spraying the planet and such like

    It seems very clear to me that the effect of aviation traffic and clouds on climate change is something that needs more research and that the really far-out claims about fleets of spraycraft and skynets and mapping of scaler shearing of the sky don't help at all...

    Posted 9 years ago #
  13. truthmov
    Key Master

    The dimming effect is definitely an under-studied (or under-reported) issue. I remember several years ago, coming across the concept that intentional "chemtrails" (or whatever you want to call them) were meant to thwart global warming. This did seem like the most feasible hypothesis, if in fact there is anything abnormal about these vapor clouds that many of us see every day. I've probably only spent a couple hours total reading about chemtrails on the internet. I could tell right away that it was a murky, unscientific subject and I didn't think it was an effective use of my time or energy. I can imagine that 9/11 truth probably has that effect on many newcomers as well.

    Gladly, most of us here probably understand that paranoia and ignorance are two of the greatest weapons that the true conspirators have against or cause. Many of the way-out conspiracy theories (chemtrails, shapeshifting aliens, illuminati, etc.) seem to be metaphors of, and methods of externalizing, economic-psycho-social control mechanisms and traumas. Based in mythology and the subconscious, these are immature and ineffective ways of understanding the world.

    We do live in a crazy world, and the mainstream paradigm is at least as crazy as the arch-conspiracy paradigm, but we've got to remain clear-headed, humble, rational, and curious--that's our only hope.

    TruthMove exists to provide a resource and forum for this approach. We'll continue discussing issues such as global warming, global dimming, and sometimes, even chemtrails, in this manner.

    Posted 9 years ago #


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