(WattsUpWithThat) A new paper (O'Dowd et al.) from the National University of Ireland presented this summer at the 19th International Conference on Nucleation and Atmospheric Aerosols suggests that clean air laws put in place in the 1970's and 80's have resulted in an increase in sunlight impacting the surface of the Earth, and thus have increased surface temperatures as a result. In one fell swoop, this can explain why surface temperature dipped in the 1970's, prompting fears of an ice age, followed by concerns of global warming as the air got cleaner after pollution laws and controls were put in place.
WUWT covered a similar effort (Wild 2009) here and paper here (PDF 1.4 mb) which showed the issue but fell short of showing a provable causation for temperature.
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Now with this new effort by O'Dowd et al., it seems quite likely that cleaner air is in fact allowing in more solar radiation to the surface, and thus increasing surface temperatures by that increase of insolation.