Global Dimming

Ξ August 27th, 2007 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Politics and Society |

    "We are all seeing rather less of the Sun. Scientists looking at five decades of sunlight measurements have reached the disturbing conclusion that the amount of solar energy reaching the Earth's surface has been gradually falling. Paradoxically, the decline in sunlight may mean that global warming is a far greater threat to society than previously thought.

    The effect was first spotted by Gerry Stanhill, an English scientist working in Israel. Comparing Israeli sunlight records from the 1950s with current ones, Stanhill was astonished to find a large fall in solar radiation. "There was a staggering 22% drop in the sunlight, and that really amazed me," he says.

    Intrigued, he searched out records from all around the world, and found the same story almost everywhere he looked, with sunlight falling by 10% over the USA, nearly 30% in parts of the former Soviet Union, and even by 16% in parts of the British Isles. Although the effect varied greatly from place to place, overall the decline amounted to 1-2% globally per decade between the 1950s and the 1990s."

    Watch now or read the programme summary

    If you have children ("But mommmmmyyy, you promised I could get a camel for Christmas if I was good!") you may want to get them to watch this, so that they can plan their education and lifestyle based on the world as it could well be when they are grown up. If you live near the coast (or say, you know, only a few metres above sea level) you may also wish to invest in a boat. If you live in a region with a warm climate, well... ya probably don't need to bother.


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