Monday, March 05, 2007

U.S. Predicting Steady Increase for Emissions

NY Times article says the U.S predictions for emissions over the next decade will increase at the same rate as last decade. The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has come out with a report and have upped the certainty of human involvement to 90%. There are now people trying to confuse the concern of global cooling in the 70s to global warming concern now. To set the record straight: the excessive particulate matter in the atmosphere helps scatter the heat before it reaches the earth and thus causes cooling. This has been addressed using particulate matter regulations since the 70s. However volcanoes continue to play a role in global cooling. This is not to be confused with the excessive amounts of greenhouse gases being pumped in to the atmosphere which causes global warming (unfortunate use of language).

from the NASA website (link to .rtf file):
  • How do volcanoes affect the atmosphere? As volcanoes erupt, they blast huge clouds into the atmosphere. These clouds are made up of particles and gases, including sulfur dioxide. Millions of tons of sulfur dioxide gas can reach the stratosphere from a major volcano. There, the sulfur dioxide converts to tiny persistent sulfuric acid (sulfate) particles, referred to as aerosols.
  • How do volcanic emission influence climatic changes? Global cooling often has been linked with major volcanic eruptions. Sulfate particles reflect energy coming from the sun, preventing the sun's rays from heating Earth thus lowering temperatures in the troposphere, and changing atmospheric circulation patterns.

No comments: