Is Carbon Dioxide a Greenhouse Gas
Earth Can't Expel Enough Heat
We live on a planet with an atmosphere that protects and promotes life. It contains just enough reflective gasses to repel a lot of the harmful radiation the sun sends our way back into space. it allows in small amounts of that radiation and traps it so we don’t freeze at night.
Earth has been perfecting this amount of atmosphere over the course of millions of years, to the point where life can prosper, thrive within its dome of protection. The atmosphere fluctuates on its own allowing for a differential and temperature, creating a natural freezing and warming slow enough that the life on the planet surface can adapt and learn to tolerate the temperature differences.
Just over 100 years ago, humanity learned that we could burn fossil fuels and dried wood and other chemicals to create heat and power. This didn’t matter as long as there was only a couple hundred thousand of us. Today there’s over 7 billion of us and we all need that heat and power.
We create that heat and power without the thought of what it is doing to our atmosphere. The number of humans on earth can slowly increase the reflective ability of the atmosphere by burning anything that will create enough heat to run our power plants, increasing the amount of carbon dioxide in the air, causing the heat that gets in through the atmosphere from the sun to bounce back in on itself. Very little of it makes it back out into space.
This increase in the heat of our planets will continue to rise as long as we burn to generate our power. The effects of this increase in temperature will exponentially grow causing all kinds of damage to our planet.
How Carbon Dioxide Heats Up the Planet
Earth Temperature Will Rise by 3 Degrees
Scientists believe that the temperature of the planets atmosphere will increase on average by 3° within the next 50 to 75 years. This may not sound like a lot but it is enough to melt the polar ice caps.
We have already experienced a rise in the average temperature on Earth by 2 degrees Since we learned we could use gasoline to power our cars just over 100 years ago.
Natural climate change has increased the temperature by 9 degrees since the last ice age 1500 years ago. This means we are changing the climate about 330% faster than Mother Nature was doing on her own.
It is possible we will burn more fuels to make more power over the next 80 years. We could continue to thicken our atmosphere till the heat rises too high to sustain life. This scares me.
What I hope will happen is we find less invasive ways to make power and new ways to clean the air we have already polluted.
We Create Too Much Carbon Dioxide
There are so many ways we add carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. Many of them we take for granted or don’t even realize the cause.
We know the main culprits. Driving our cars burn gas and exhaust carbon dioxide, not to mention other chemicals. Cars are getting better. There are parts on them that limit the chemicals released into the air. new cars get better mileage decreasing the amount of gas burned.
Some believe battery powered cars are the future. This might help some, but the power used to charge those batteries may come from a fossil fuel burning power plant.
Factories and Production Plants are another source. Many of these plants have changed the way they power their equipment, using closed or recycled systems. Many of them have added solar panels to their power supply.
All the food we eat has to be produced using large machines that probably run on diesel. When we don’t eat that food, companies come and haul it away, to the dump or to livestock who will eat slightly rotten food.
Every time we throw something away, someone else has to burn something to take your trash from one place to the next.
Melting the Ice Caps
As the planet heats up, the polar ice caps will melt. They are melting now. You can find videos all over YouTube, pictures of what the glaciers looked like 10 years ago to what they look like today.
As the icebergs melt, ocean levels will rise. It may only be a few inches of water, but that is enough to send large amounts of water over dikes and sea walls. He increased amount of water will also raise title search is making them more dangerous.
Doubt we will ever see cities complete completely submerged buy water, but the damage will move inland, forcing cities to adjust how they deal with the ocean. They will have to spend millions, possibly billions of dollars to protect their cities as the water levels rise.
The melting ice caps are also Killing Ocean Marine Life because the Salt content of ocean water becomes diluted. I hope the marine life will slowly adjust, adapt and change to become used to the lower side salt content in the ocean.
Deforestation Doesn't Help
We are cutting down between 3 and 7 billion (Yes I said BILLION) trees every YEAR. That is a lot of trees. We use them for everything from building houses and furniture, to shredding them down to make paper and pencils. Wood is a wonderful resource because we can grow then again so we can cut them down again.
Trees are our main source of oxygen production. Without them, we would suffocate. We are not planting trees as fast as we are cutting them down. This means we are robbing ourselves of oxygen.
I have 2 solutions for this problem.
- We should grow a lot more trees more often. If we can replace more of what we take, we can help fix the atmosphere we contaminate everyday.
- Invent an Oxygen Generator. There should be a synthetic way to make oxygen. Plants do it easily enough. We just have to find a way to do it without the use of plants.
Living on a Hot Earth
As things continue to get hotter, We will find it more difficult to live our lives. We will find we don't want or physically can't co outside for long periods of time. Machines will break down more often, overheating, asphalt melting and sticking to tires.
Heatstroke will hit faster as we forget to drink water. There will be more people in the hospital more often with heat related illnesses. Skin cancer will become a problem. Remember to wear your sunscreen.
Is it Too Late
We Have Time to Move, to change how we do things. We can become more self sufficient. We can use less power. We can grow more trees. We can clean the air. We can consume less and reuse more. The biggest thing we need to do is help others see the things they can do to help.
We can reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Growing Trees is a big part of that process. Using more solar and wind power will help reduce coal and oil burning power plants. We can learn and invent new, less impacting technology.
Prove it to Yourself
© 2019 Robert T Gasperson