We all know that according to basic science CO2 is supposed to warm the globe. And based solely on its radiative properties I would agree.
However… I horrible thought crossed my mind the other day.
Anyone who has been reading my blog will know about the effect of pollutants like SO2 which seem to in some way affect cloud droplet formation (they cause more clouds that can have a cooling or warming effect depending on their height and other factors).
It’s also well known it produces acid according to the following equation:
SO2 + H2O + 1/2 O2 → H2SO4 ⇌ H+ + HSO4–
But doesn’t CO2 behave very similarly to produce an acid in water:
- CO2 + H2O ⇌ H2CO3 ⇌ HCO3− + H+
But what if the critical component in cloud nucleation was the H+? In other words both SO2 and CO2 could BOTH promote cloud formation (although CO2 being a much weaker acid would have a much reduced effect).
As such there is a possibility that marginal increased levels of CO2 could REDUCE GLOBAL TEMPERATURE (in the presence of an atmosphere with water-droplet formation).