The war over global warming has been going on for years, and has included some stunningly extreme suggestions, such as one U.N. official's call for a new "ark" to save the world or another's suggestion to dim the sun to alleviate the effects.
But now a report on the topic suggests a "rethinking" is needed.
That's because it could be worse than thought, or not.
"The fact that our planet is getting warmer even though aerosols are cooling it down at higher rates than previously thought brings us to a Catch-22 situation: Global efforts to improve air quality by developing cleaner fuels and burning less coal could end up harming our planet by reducing the number of aerosols in the atmosphere, and by doing so, diminishing aerosols' cooling ability to offset global warming."
The comment was from Judy Siegel-Itzkovich, who wrote at Breaking Israel News about new research from an Israeli-Chinese coalition.
"An esteemed Hebrew University of Jerusalem expert on climate has declared that 'we need to rethink everything we know about global warming,' as new calculations show that scientists have grossly underestimated the effects of air pollution," she reported.
"Prof. Daniel Rosenfeld, an expert in the university's Institute of Earth Sciences, writes in the journal Science that aerosol-driven droplet concentrations dominate the coverage and water of oceanic low-level clouds.
"For some time, he wrote, the scientific community has known that global warming is caused by manmade emissions in the form of greenhouse gases and global cooling by air pollution in the form of aerosols. These are tiny particles that float in the air and can form naturally (as with desert dust) or artificially (from smoke from coal and car exhaust). Aerosols cool our environment by enhancing cloud cover that reflect the sunlight (heat) back to space," she said.
"But the Hebrew University-led research shows that the degree to which aerosols cool the earth has been grossly underestimated, necessitating a recalculation of climate change models to more accurately predict the pace of global warming."
The report explains Rosenfeld and Yannian Zhu of the Meteorological Institute of Shaanxi Province in China used satellite images "to separately calculate the effect of vertical winds and aerosol cloud droplet numbers. They applied this methodology to low-lying cloud cover above the world’s oceans between the equator and the 40th parallel south."
They then were more accurately able to calculate the cooling effects of aerosols, and found the impact was nearly twice what it had been thought to be.
The process is explained like this: "Clouds form when wind rises and cools. However, cloud composition is largely determined by aerosols. The more aerosol particles a shallow cloud contains, the more small the water droplets that it will hold. Rain forms when these droplets bind together. Since it takes longer for small droplets to bind together than it does for large droplets, aerosol-filled or 'polluted' clouds contain more water, remain in the sky longer (while they wait for droplets to bind and rain to fall, after which the clouds will dissipate) and cover a greater area. All this time, the aerosol-laden clouds reflect more solar energy back into space, thereby cooling the Earth's overall temperature."
Rosenfeld speculated: "If the aerosols indeed cause a greater cooling effect than previously estimated, then the warming effect of the greenhouse gases has also been larger than we thought, enabling greenhouse gas emissions to overcome the cooling effect of aerosols and points to a greater amount of global warming than we previously thought."
Therein is the Catch-22, he said.
The BIN report said, "Our current global climate predictions do not correctly take into account the significant effects of aerosols on clouds on Earth’s overall energy balance. Further, Rosenfeld’s recalculations mean his scientific colleagues will have to rethink their global warming predictions, which currently predict a temperature increase of 1.5° to 4.5° degree Celsius by the end of the 21st century to provide us a more accurate diagnosis and prognosis of the Earth’s climate. "
WND reported only last month on plans by China, in collusion with Russia, to trigger global warming.
At the time, the South China Morning Post reported the two nations are working together "to modify the atmosphere."
Five experiments were done over recent months, including one in June that caused a disturbance in the ionosphere that covered 49,000 square miles.
In another experiment, the Hong Kong paper said, the temperature of thin, ionised gas in high altitude increased more than 212 degrees Fahrenheit, the report said.
The Post explained electrons were pumped into the sky by an atmospheric heating facility in Vasailsursk, Russia. Called Sura, it was built during the era of the former Soviet Union.
The Sura base fired up an array of high-power antennas and injected a large amount of microwaves into the high atmosphere. The peak power of the high frequency radio waves could reach 260 megawatts, enough to light a small city, the report said.
The results were measured by satellite, and, according to a research paper published in China's Earth and Planetary Physics Journal, the "plasma disturbances" found there provide "evidence for likely success of future related experiments."