Will Global Warming Create "The End Of The World"
The signs of global warming on our planet are becoming more evident as the days go by. The recent ice melts in Greenland, Antarctica, and in the Arctic Ocean are the most visible effects of global warming.
Scientists have determined that greenhouse gases are responsible for the majority of these global warming issues. Carbon dioxide is the culprit, and the burning of fossil fuels has created this carbon dioxide laced witch’s brew that floats around in our atmosphere.
Carbon dioxide takes roughly 100 years to disperse in the atmosphere, which means that we have carbon dioxide still floating around in our atmosphere from the early 20th century, and every metric ton that we pump into the atmosphere today will take at least 100 years to dissipate.
Roughly 30% of the sun’s energy that reaches the earth is reflected back into space. How much of this solar radiation that is absorbed and how much of it that is reflected affects global temperatures. Scientific calculations suggest that human produced particulate matter has had a cooling effect on our climate, as these particles in the atmosphere reflect energy, thereby mitigating some of the warming effects of greenhouse gases. From 1945 to 1975 the planet has experienced a slight cooling in overall temperatures, and has been steadily rising since 1998.
Average temperatures on the planet earth have risen 1.4°F since 1880, with much of this being attributed to the Industrial Revolution. The decade between the year 2000 and 2009 was the hottest decade on record, with 8 of the hottest 10 years on record having occurred since that time.
The Arctic Climate Impact Assessment has concluded that over the last 50 years, the average temperatures of Alaska, Eastern Russia and Western Canada have increased by as much as 7°F, which is almost twice the global average.
Ocean acidification is becoming a major problem on our planet. 30 to 40% of the carbon dioxide in our atmosphere is absorbed by the oceans, raising the pH level of these waters. This in turn affects the calcification of shell fish and coral reefs as the calcium carbonate ion is absorbed at super-saturating concentrations, affecting ocean life throughout the world.
A coral reef is a highly diverse ecosystem, often described as the rain forest of the sea. They are home to approximately 25% of all species of marine life, including fish, mollusks, worms, crustaceans, sponges as well as other forms of sea life.
Coral reefs around the world are in rapid decline, as the effects of ocean acidification take their toll.
What it all boils down to is this. Human activity on the planet earth has a direct correlation to global warming, as all evidence points to the fact that greenhouse gases are responsible for the rising global temperatures of recent decades.
With ocean acidification threatening life in the sea, rising temperatures on the planet creating ice melts of ancient ice, the effect that this is having on recent storm activity, i.e. massive hurricanes and floods, is extremely detrimental to our planet.
Earth has seen a major in increase in the frequency of earthquakes measuring 5.0 or larger on the Richter scale, and combined with recent volcanic activity leads one to wonder if this all isn’t connected somehow.
If things don’t change soon, perhaps we will see the end of the world as we know it. One thing’s for certain, we need to reduce the amount of fossil fuels that we burn on this planet, in an effort to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. Hopefully this will reverse the effects of global warming to some degree.
Think Globally, Act Locally.
Article by Jim Donahue