Global dimming

Image source:

I watched a scarey documentary on BBC the other day on the phenomenon of global dimming. I had heard about this but not fully understood it. This Horizon programme certainly cleared things up but left me feeling pretty depressed. In short, it appears that the climate change problem may be much more severe than previously thought. Ironically, the tiny airborne particles of soot, ash, sulphur compounds and other pollutants in the atmosphere are serving to moderate the global warming effect. The problem is that as countries take action to reduce their emissions of pollutants (e.g. through filters) this reduces the moderation effect while not reducing greenhouse gases. The only solution is stop using fossil fuels and move to a hydrogen-based economy as soon as possible. As the Horizon programme reveals, the consequences of not doing so are potentially catastrophic.