Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Global What?

April is in its second week. As we drove toward aquarobics yesterday we noticed that the service trees (officially Amelanchier, aka "sorbus" trees because of the dialects common to the early European settlers of West Virginia), were blooming on the mountainsides. Why "service" trees? Their blooms revealed two seasonal things: the ground had thawed sufficiently that the bodies of the winter's deaths could be buried; and itinerant circuit-riding preachers could travel to conduct services over those burials and could christen babies born in the season of freezing.
At the same time, for some reason best known to themselves, this year the redbuds (Cercis canadensis) have suddenly bloomed. This means that Spring is well advanced and that we can probably put the bean seeds safely into the ground.
All these signs are encouraging in that Nature is doing its thing, for the most part ignoring politics and politicians. Of course our calendar from last year's garden journal hints that we're two weeks ahead of schedule; so global warming is hitting even us in the mountains.
Somehow in all the talk about global warming and the greenhouse effect, the studies on global dimming have been forgotten. In the few days after 911, when all civilian flights were grounded, the good people at NOAA (national Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency) took the opportunity to calculate the effect of jet exhausts on the planet's atmosphere. Their calculation showed that the planet could be as much as three (3) degrees Fahrenheit cooler because of the jet exhausts than it would be without them. Most of the global-warming studies are talking about 1 degree F in ten years or so--but global dimming is accounting for 3 degrees! Without dimming the world would be 3 degrees hotter today.
Just thought you'd like to know. Blessed be. Gavin and Yvonne

1 comment:

SecondComingOfBast said...

A commenter on Washington Journal made the point the other day, that car exhaust fumes and factory fumes, etc., should never rise far enough into the atmosphere to contribute to Gorebal Warming. Most of it will be filtered out by the rain, (though of course is this is true then in some cases this could lead to problems with acid rain).

According to him, it is airplane exhaust that tends to reach a higher level in the atmosphere, up to where it can't be filtered out by the rain.

I'll have to look into it, but if what he says is true, the main problem is not auto or factory exhaust, but airplane/jet exhaust.

On the other hand, if this is contributing to what you call Global Dimming, that would be a different story all together.

What with all the flights that have been grounded lately, it makes you wonder if there might be a noticeable difference over time, but I'm sure that situation won't go on much longer.