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Global Warming -- Reality or Myth?
Ice melting in Greenland
This is a question that hasn’t been answered with 100% certainty. And maybe it can’t. But there is a theory about global warming with a lot of scientific basis to it. But is it irrefutable? Many “experts” have tried to convince us that there is too much uncertainty and controversy to accept it as fact. I have talked to many people about the issue of global warming and there are many different opinions about this topic. I am not going to “hash” over the many theories about global warming, I’m not going to try to convince you either way that global warming is for real or not. What I’m going to do is play “mind games’ with you.
What if? What if we continue to do as we are now and do nothing about it? What if we believe that this is just a “quirk” of nature? The earth has been through this before. Warming trends and cooling downs, A cycle of ups and downs. We continue to burn fossil fuels emitting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere at unprecedented rates. We are producing 26.4 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide every year. A gigatonne is a billion tones. Fossil-fuel energy is embedded in pretty much everything we use or consume.
The skeptics want to believe that: firstly, humans are not creating the greenhouse effect but that is a natural occurrence; secondly, the amount of carbon dioxide we produce is insignificant compare with other gases; thirdly, that the science is not there yet – there is too much uncertainty that the climate is actually changing; and lastly, what if we are wrong? If we stop burning fossil fuels, the economy will collapse. And then we find out that global warming was a myth! Catastrophic, right?
Do you want to take that chance? What if global warming is not a myth? The skeptics will tell you – unless we are one hundred percent certain – we shouldn’t do anything. Let us continue to consume our fossil fuels.
There are so many things that could happen if we are wrong: that is, we believe that global warming is a hoax and, it is really not.
Here is what could happen. A rapid warming trend increases the energy into our climate system. More energy means more storms and more destructive ones. More destruction means more costs to our economy in terms of insurance claims, infrastructure damage and rebuilding, aid to families without food, water or shelter. The searing heat during the summer months means using our air conditioners more often. Heat waves with temperatures above 32 degrees Celsius could last for several days in a row
Global warning’s effect on the Earth’s climate is a bit like a finger on a light switch. Nothing happens for a while, but if you increase the pressure at a certain point, a sudden change occurs, and conditions flick from one state to another. This is what climatologists call “tipping points”. Tipping points are situations where, under certain conditions, the balance of nature changes suddenly and new conditions prevail. These new conditions seek a new equilibrium and are irreversible. These new conditions could change the climate for hundreds of thousands of years. These conditions could prove hostile to humans making life very difficult, if not impossible to endure.
A tipping point has already occurred in the recent past – in 1976 in the western tropical Pacific Ocean. Between 1945 to 1975, the temperature of the surface commonly dropped below 19.2 degrees Celsius, but in 1976, a major shift occurred and the surface temperature rarely went below 25 degrees Celsius. This area of the Pacific Ocean is the warmest area of the global ocean and a great regulator of climate. It controls tropical rainfall and the position of the Jet Stream, a powerful current of air high in the atmosphere. The following year, there was unprecedented mild conditions in Alaska and blizzards in the lower fourty-eight states. The immediate cause was a shift in the Jet Stream. This tipping point causes a second tipping point. The El Nino cycle, which is normally every eight years, started to occur more frequently and bring more severe climatic events to much of the world.
Future tipping points could prove more disastrous. At the bottom of the oceans, buried just below the ocean floor, frozen, lies millions of cubic feet of methane trapped in rock called methyl hydrates. Under the pressure of the deep ocean and very cold temperatures, the methane is solid but if the ocean floor ever warms up, the methane would be released as a gas and bubble to the surface. Methane gas is twenty-one times more potent than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas
A more likely scenario may occur in the Northern parts of Russia. The land contains thousands of square kilometers of peat moss. Tundra is frozen for most part of the year. With global warming, the permafrost will thaw out and release the methane gas trapped in the peat moss. If it is true, the land above the Arctic Circle is warming at the fastest rate and the release of the methane gas could be released suddenly. A tipping point,. But yes it could be one that would be catastrophic. One scientist called it a searing hot tsunami. And you know what damage a tsunami can do and how quickly it can happen. Scary? Yeh!
Become informed. It is hard to believe everything you hear on the radio or read in the newspaper. “Experts” will lie to you in order to maintain the status quo. To get a really good perspective of what is happening behind the scenes of the great climate debate, read the book The Carbon War by Jeremy Leggett. Jeremy Leggett worked in the oil industry for eleven years and acted as a consultant for the oil industry. He is well respected in both the scientific and the business community