Halcyon Days of a Warmer Europe
Europe is heating up much faster than climate researchers expected, and now they think they know why: air made dramatically cleaner by anti-pollution programs. With less particle pollution clouding the air, more sunlight is coming through and the continent is getting warmer.
"Our findings contradict the IPCC," said Rolf Philipona of MeteoSwiss, Switzerland's national weather service. He and his colleague Christian Ruckstuhl, who now works as a researcher in California, analyzed data from 25 weather stations in northern Germany and eight in Switzerland.
"We found that the increase in radiation on the ground is considerably greater under a cloudless sky than a clouded one," Philipona told SPIEGEL ONLINE. The direct impact of particulate pollution is about five times greater than the indirect impact, he explained. That shows, he claims, that sulfate aerosols play "a truly important, immediate roll" in Europe's climate conditions.
Europe's air is not likely to get much cleaner than it is now -- neither in summer or in winter. "The concentration of aerosol is stabile," said ETH Zurich's Wild. And Philipona of the Swiss weather service, is sure that "this increase in temperature, as we saw in Europe in the 1980s, will not happen again."
I have previously blogged on the Central England Temperature record and pointed out that the rise is mainly due to the rise in the Tmin (minimum temperatures) recorded at Rothamsted.
Rothamsted shows a marked increase in minimum temperature compared to other UK sites, and that it probably was the one most affected by the decrease in smoky chimneys.
Rothamsted Research Sulphur (pdf) gives us a simple graph showing the decrease in Atmospheric Sulphur (No apologies to my valued American visitors, that is how we spell Sulfur!)
(Woburn is 25 miles north west of Rothamsted and is an outlying station.)
Just north and north west of Rothamsted lies the Bedfordshire brick fields, an average distance would be about twenty miles away. There used to be over 130 chimneys there belching out sulphurous fumes. As we know this sort of pollution cools the atmosphere and is bad, so they have all been knocked down apart from one or two, which try to be as non polluting as possible.
This is the area in 1974:
No wonder it is a bit warmer at Rothamsted now!