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Showing posts from December, 2009

Reducing atmospheric soot a leveraged global warming play

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There's been a lot of discussion of late regarding the contribution of soot and other particulate to global warming. Washington's blog did a nice job of summarizing why soot reduction is important to climate efforts. NASA has been studying the effects of soot for some time. And when Scientific American, BusinessWeek and U.S. News wrote about it, it got me thinking...

In specific, I wondered how much warming comes from areas which are "susceptible" to melting, as a proxy to measure soot's potential influence (light absorption, inducing precipitation, and resulting exposure of darker surfaces under snow & ice)? Fortunately, it's reasonably easy to do a proxy study after a trip to NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies to download some GISTEMP data and after doing some programming handywork.

The findings are telling! Warming is accelerated much more (2x or 3x) in areas which fluctuate on either side of freezing, and no so much in areas which remai…