Well, we were wrong.
No point trying to hide it (we aren't politicians, after all). We just got it wrong, so we hold our hands up. Tut-tut. Silly us.
For several years now (about three, actually) we've been repeatedly denying that there is anything in the theory that (a) global warming as described by Al Gore, George Monbiot and Co. is real, and that (b) it's our fault. But now we have to eat our words, because a report this week in The New Scientist reveals that it is our fault after all.
Just not quite in the way Al Gore thinks …
Since 1980, the report says, average air temperatures in Europe have risen by 1°C - much more than expected from greenhouse-gas warming alone. Christian Ruckstuhl of the Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science in Switzerland and colleagues took aerosol concentrations from six locations in northern Europe, measured between 1986 and 2005, and compared them with solar-radiation measurements over the same period. Aerosol concentrations dropped by up to 60 per cent over the 29-year period, while solar radiation rose by around 1 watt per square metre (Geophysical Research Letters, DOI: 10.1029/2008GL034228). "The decrease in aerosols probably accounts for at least half of the warming over Europe in the last 30 years," says Rolf Philipona, a co-author of the study at MeteoSwiss, Switzerland's national weather service.
The latest climate models are built on the assumption that aerosols have their biggest influence by seeding natural clouds, which reflect sunlight. However, the team found that radiation dropped only slightly on cloudy days, suggesting that the main impact of aerosols is to block sunlight directly.
So there you have it. Cleaning up the skies has allowed more of the sun's rays to pierce the atmosphere, contributing to at least half the warming that has occurred.
See? All our fault after all.
The GOS says: There is a solution, however. We need to round up Al Gore, George Monbiot and all their supporters, and set fire to them. The resultant pall of black smoke will block the sun's rays and everything will be OK again.
Who'd have thought that manipulating the planet's natural processes could be so simple?
(P.S. Actually this probably won't work at all. In fact, truth to tell it definitely won't work. But the theory's sound, so we really shouldn't let little things like facts or common sense stand in the way. I'll get the matches …).
either on this site or on the World Wide Web.
Copyright © 2008 The GOS
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