The Changing Global Environment

pp 7-12

Pollution Effects on Global Climate — An Introduction

  • S. Fred SingerAffiliated withUniversity of Virginia

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Neglecting human heat production, the Earth’s climate can be modified by three different methods:
  1. (i)

    a change in the albedo of the Earth’s surface;

  2. (ii)

    a change in the albedo of the atmosphere;

  3. (iii)

    a change in the atmospheric content of gases having strong radiative properties.


The most important mechanisms are briefly described here. Other articles in this volume give a more detailed treatment.