Caution: Fighting Global Warming May Cause Global Warming

by Matt Patterson on October 25, 2011

in Blog, Features

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File under: “D’oh!”  From Discover Magazine’s 80 Beats blog:

“A new study published in the Journal of Climate claims that painting rooftops white—a method championed by energy secretary Steven Chu and others to combat climate change — only minimally reduces local cooling, and actually causes a slight increase in overall global warming.”

Yes, I know it’s hard to believe, but a harebrained, government-promoted scheme to alter the climate of the Earth with paint brushes may be backfiring.  Why?  Apparently, the global climate model used in the study (adorably named GATOR-GCMOM) found that;

“[W]hite roofs means less surface heat in cities (which is obvious enough to anyone who’s sat in a car with a black interior in the sun). Lower local temperature means less water evaporates and rises up to eventually form clouds, says lead author and Stanford University researcher Mark Jacobson. The decrease in clouds allows more sunlight to reach the Earth’s surface, leading to higher temperatures overall.”
So, concludes Jacobson, conversion to white roofs globally is probably a bad idea.  Instead he recommends – wait for it – “if you want to make a difference, install…solar panels on your roof.”

Solar panels!  What a great idea.  Maybe the government could get involved in promoting those…what could be the downside to that?

BobRGeologist October 25, 2011 at 10:01 pm

Will this hokum ever run out of steam? I maintain that in an Interglacial period as we are today you need a warming climate to avoid the onset of another Ice Age. I believe as long as our poles are iced up another glaciation is likely. It will not be sudden (within a human lifetime) but will will require thousands of years. It required 6000 years to melt the late (Wisconsin stage) away. Can’t we get it through our heads that long term climate trends are like climbing a slippery hill? But, never forget the fact that at times our sun is inadequate and that it takes a robust greenhouse gas to prevent our world from becoming a snowball. CO2 is our friend, never forget it.

Paul Pierett October 25, 2011 at 10:13 pm

It is all about Sunspots and there are not enough to keep the earth warm enough for much more of this propaganda.

Tamara October 26, 2011 at 10:54 am

Bakugan Brawl!!!

hayden bishop November 1, 2011 at 4:28 am

you suupid litl kid

Manoel October 30, 2011 at 3:18 pm

Less water evaporates? Isn’t all the heat enough to evaporate the necessary water to form clouds anyway? Even with rooftops painted white? As far as I know, clouds do not remain fixed, but travel long distances, so supposedly clouds that reach a certain region may have been formed by water evaporated somewhere else. Over the sea for example. One thing I know: It’s damn hot where I live (Northeast Brazil) and rains have become more frequent, and stronger, but the earth also dries faster, and trees look shriveled.

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