Global Dimming and Global Brightening

These are the first three of nine videos in this series, on Global Dimming & Global Brightening.  If civilization came to an abrupt halt, how much would the global temperature change? Would it spike 0.5 or even 4 degrees Celsius as some claim, or could it even drop?
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Part One // Published on Mar 11, 2017

This is a a very tough question. Aerosols in the atmosphere are of many flavours. The sulphur type reflect sunlight causing surface cooling, while the black carbon type absorb sunlight causing net warming. Both types change cloud properties; both have great spatial variability. I examine these factors in great detail.
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Part Two // Published on Mar 11, 2017

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Part Three:  Black Carbon Aerosols Cause Global Dimming But Overall Warming  // Published on Mar 12, 2017

Aerosols are small particles or droplets (non-water) in the atmosphere that punch above their weight. The sulphur dioxide type reflect sunlight, shielding the surface (global dimming) and thus causing cooling. The soot (black carbon) type absorb sunlight and thus heat up the atmosphere more than they shield the surface, and thus cause global warming. The net effect thus depends on the aerosol composition/mix. Both types change the physical structure/reflectivity/longevity of clouds, complicating the story.


In the next several days, Paul will continue to release the next six videos.  They are already loaded and done.   Video Four will be on SRM, or Solar Radiation Management.
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About paulbeckwith

Well known climate science educator; Part-time Geography professor (climatology, oceanography, environmental issues), University of Ottawa. Physicist. Engineer. Master's Degree in Science in Laser Optics, Bachelors of Engineering, in Engineering Physics. Won Association of Professional Engineers of Ontario gold medal. Also interested in investment and start-ups in climate solutions, renewable energy and energy efficiency. Avid chess player, and likes restoring old homes. Married with children.
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