Climate change

August 7, 2010 at 7:12 pm • Posted in ALL POSTS, Climate Change, Government, Science781 Comments

Approximately sixty years ago, scientists were convinced that the earth was on the verge of another Ice Age. Although I was unable to document it, several people (mostly older than me) told me that some scientists asked President Harry Truman to detonate 50 atomic bombs at the North Pole to reverse this perceved threat.
Thirty years ago some scientists started to warn that man-caused emissions into the atmosphere were causing irreversible excelerated global warming. They warned that the polar icecaps are melting. They said that if this continued, oceans would rise 200 feet flooding thousands of square miles of land.
Two years ago on April 13th, it was reported that the Washington State ferry system could not operate ferries because of the record low tides. (Where did all that water go?)
Scientists were right though! The ice caps on Mars ARE receding. They are on earth too. Data from satellites in space indicate that other planets in our solar system have also shown a slight warming trend. Even Pluto (though no longer a planet) had shown a slight upward trend in temperature.
Our planet has been both colder and warmer in the past. Palm leaf fossils in Washington State can be found in the road cuts along Chuckanut Drive between Bellingham and Anacortes. Around 1930, a complete rhinoceros skeleton was found in a small cavern between basalt rock layers in Eastern Washington above Blue Lake about 25 miles northeast of the town of Moses Lake. Details about this discovery are available at the museum overlooking Dry Falls.
Most Americans have heard about the large quantity of dinosaur bones in Central Montana. Similar remains may are also found in North Korea at about the same latitude. I have never heard these locations described of having a tropical climate. Winter temperatures at three of these locations often drop to 30 degrees (fahrenheit) BELOW zero.
About two years ago, a mastadon tusk was escavated from a construction site northeast of San diego. Do they host skiing and other winter sports there? I think not.
FACTS: For the year 2005, the fossil fuel energy consumed by our whole nation was not quite equivalent to the solar energy which fell on Cowlitz County in Washington State during the same time period.
Carbon Dioxide is 51% heavier than air and therefore settles to the earth’s surface.
Hydrogen, helium, ammonia, water vapor, neon,and methane rise because they are lighter than air. (Did you ever hear of someone filling a weather ballon with carbon dioxide?) If the hydrogen in our atmosphere was at the surface, lighting a match would cause the whole atmosphere to explode. Fortunately oxygen (37% lighter than carbon dioxide) is sufficently heavy that it is not found in the layer with the hydrogen or our first rocket sent into space would have been a REAL blast. Gasses DO separate according to weight.
It is also important to note that our day-to-day weather can fluctuate wildly, but the CO2 levels have remained nearly constant for much longer periods of time.
Remember the carbon cycle. If CO2 levels in the air drop too low, near life on earth WILL cease to exist.