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Global Dimming

Alida Corpuz Diana Juarez Claire Kolaja Jackie Miller Laurel Oolie Calvin Wong


To educate students about global dimming which is a topic that most people are not aware of. Define global dimming Discuss how global dimming was discovered Identify possible causes of global dimming Discuss contrails Global dimmings effect on global warming Discuss how to fight global dimming
*Global dimming is an important public health issue that affects our environment and health*

The reduction in emittance of global solar radiation. Increase of emittance of solar radiation back into space Dominates in large urban sites. Less solar energy reaching the earths surface (Austin, 2006)

How was it discovered?

First scientific observations of global dimming were made in the late 1960s by independent researchers such as Dr. Gerald Stanhill who tracked temperatures and noticed climate changes. Nobody was certain until 9/11. In response to 9/11, the U.S. Secretary of Transportation grounded all commercial flights for three days. The skies over the U.S.-the most heavily trafficked in the world-became clear of contrail clusters and the days seemed brighter and warmer than usual (Austin, 2006)

Possible Causes

Atmospheric aerosols from anthropogenic air pollution** are considered important contributors to global dimming (Streets et al., 2006) Aerosol particles cause water droplets in clouds to be smaller and more numerous, changing the properties of the clouds to reflect more sunlight upwards instead of down onto Earth. Those super-reflective clouds can, moreover, alter rainfall patterns, thereby causing droughts (Austin, 2006). ls.jpg


Condensation trails (contrails) Hot humid from the jet exhaust air mixes with environmental air (Lohmann, 2005) Aerosols from planes effects: Direct - contrails Indirect freezing nuclei in troposphere Effects:
cooling near the surface in the polluted regions of the Northern Hemisphere changes in temperature are smaller in the tropics and the midlatitudes of the Southern Hemisphere

Urbanization Affect

Urbanization has been suggested as the cause of global dimming Large cities contribute much to the production of anthropogenic aerosols, which in turn contribute to global dimming (Alpert et al., 2005)

Global Warming

Since 1975, the global surface temperature has increased about 0.5C due to greenhouse gas emissions. These have been recorded as the highest temperatures in the last millennium (Hansen, 2000) Global warming is the phenomenon of warming the atmosphere in the annular space in between the earths surface and the modified layer of gas, where the heat emitted by the earth is trapped (Sarma, 2009).

Global Dimmings Effect on Global Warming

Increases in air pollution and the dimming of surface solar radiation could have masked to a large extent the temperature rise induced by increasing greenhouse gases, so that the observed temperature records would not reflect the entire dimension of greenhouse warming (Wild, 2007).

Effects of Global Warming and Global Dimming on our Planet

Increase of temperature throughout the globe due to a modified layer of gas in the atmosphere. Dimming and lowering of the temperature due to black clouds. Less evaporation of sea water from the earth (Sarma, 2009)

Asian Brown Cloud

What are the effects of global dimming on our environment?

The pollutants that cause global dimming can cause human health problems. The decrease of solar radiation may profoundly influence surface temperature, evaporation, the hydrological (H20) cycle and ecosystems (Wild, 2005). This may lead to drastic climate change. Earth life will struggle. osynthesis_1.jpg

Developed countries like U.S. are affected by acid rain due to aerosol clouds Sulfur aerosols when inhaled, can cause respiratory diseases (Shah, 2005) Ecological problems: changes in evaporation, rainfall patterns, and photosynthesis rates. Reduces rainfall and threatens fresh water. Famines during 1970s and 1980s Life-bringing rainfall and monsoons, absence of seasonal rains affect billions of people worldwide. (Shah, 2005).

Combating Global Dimming

The Goal is to reduce the amount of PM Urban Sprawl Lower use of aerosol cans Reduce pollutions Use public transportation Use alternative fuel Stricter industrial regulations

Weaknesses and Conclusions

Most of the globe has sparse population this suggests that solar dimming is basically of a local nature- not global (Alpert, 2011). Most scientist do not believe it exists (Adam, 2003). Most studies were done in the 1950s not relevant to the 21st century.

We have learned that global dimming is the reduction in emittance of global solar radiation and that is mostly due to the use of aerosols and urbanization. It impacts our environment. There are ways to combat global dimming.

Last but not least

Reduce pollution for a sunny solution!


Adam, D. (2003). Goodbye Sunshine. The Guardian. Retrieved from Alpert, P., Kishcha, P., Kaufman Y.J, & Schwarzbard R. (2005). Global dimming or local dimming?: Effect of urbanization on sunlight availability, Geophys. Res. Lett., 32, L17802, doi:10.1029/2005GL023320. Retrieved from y%5CPAlpert.pdf Austin, N. (2006). Climatic 9/11. Retrieved from Hansen, J., Sato, M., Ruedy, R., Lacis, A., Oinas, V. (2000). Global Warming in the Twenty-First Century: An Alternative Scenario. Retrieved from Lohmann, U., Feichter, J. (2005). Global indirect aerosol effects: a review. Retrieved from Sarma, B. (1996). Climatic Design manual for Building Design in Bangladesh. Retrieved from Shah, A. (2005) Global Dimming. Retrieved from Streets, D. G., Y. Wu, and M. Chin (2006), Two-decadal aerosol trends as a likely explanation of the global dimming/brightening transition, Geophys. Res. Lett., 33, L15806, doi:10.1029/2006GL026471. Wild, M., Ohmura, A., & Makowski, K. (2007). Impact of global dimming and brightening on global warming. Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 34, L04702, doi:100.1029/2006GL028031, Retrieved from Wild, M. (2007). Global Dimming and Brightening: A Review. Geophysical Research Letters, VOL. 34, L04702: doi:10.1029/2006GL028031. Retrieved from