DO YOU TRUST SCIENCE? You do when you go to the doctor for a shot of penicillin or a cardiac evaluation. You do when you think the Earth revolves around the sun. You do when you get on to an airplane to fly to a destination hundreds of miles away. You trust science when you rely on your cell phone to tell you what the weather will be in East Peoria, or in Tampa, FL. If you trust science in all of these areas, and thousands of others, do you trust science when it tells you that climate change is real and that it is caused to a large degree by people and the burning of fossil fuels? What makes you trust one kind of science and not another? Is that logical to trust science in most areas and not on the issue of climate change?
Here are some of the signs that scientists say show that climate change is happening.
- The Arctic Ice Shelf has been getting smaller from 1979 – today.
- Sea level rise has been relatively small, but it is happening. It has caused ‘Sunny Day Flooding. Cities like Miami and Key Largo, FL have started to raise roads by 1 ft. – 18 in. and added pump systems to keep key roads passable during sunny days. This is very expensive.
- From 2002 – 2016 CO2 has risen from 365 parts per million (ppm) to 425 ppm. These heat trapping gases are causing a greenhouse effect raising the temperature on Earth. An example is the fact that Mercury is the closest planet to the sun, but it is hotter on Venus because of the thick CO2 cloud cover.
- Global Temperatures have risen since they began keeping records in 1884. The global surface temperature has risen by 1.6 degrees C from 1951 through 2017. Both NASA and NOAA confirm this with their studies. This is true of air temperature and also the temperature of water in our planet’s oceans.
- 16 of the 17 hottest years on record have happened from the year 2001 to the year 2016.
Some of these developments impact other actions of climate change. For example: when more glacial or arctic ice melts it exposes more soil. Since dark soil surfaces absorb more heat than the white reflective color of ice sheets there is an added temperature rise from this occurrence of scientific fact. In addition, the dust from the soil that blows onto the white snow helps to melt the snow faster. Two other factors are the droughts that mean more soil is in the air and the wildfires like California has had puts more black soot into the air. Finally think of activities such as: logging, farming, and the burning of coal from power plants. Some of these issues are natural and added to by man’s activities. Other activities are only because of man. It is true that global temperatures are rising at different rates across the Earth with the fastest warming taking place in the Arctic.
In the distant past the CO2 gases were about 280 ppm or less now they are at 425 ppm. Scientists can tell this even though the numbers were not recorded until recently. They drill out ice cores from glaciers. When they study these ice cylinders they can tell the amount of CO2 in the air when the ice formed. This evidence studied by the scientific community shows man has caused a great deal of the problem. This is a known fact because scientists can now analyze molecules of CO2 and can tell which molecules come from man burning fossil fuels, etc. and which molecules come from naturally occurring events such as volcanic eruptions. It has been shown that the Carbon atoms are heavier or lighter depending on their origin.
Because of these advances in science fact scientists know that at least 2/3 of atmospheric and ocean temperature rise is cause by people.
Believe the science of climate change. Find ways to reduce the amount of CO2 that you produce.
There are many actions you can do to control your production of CO2.
- Drive a car that gets good mileage.
- Don’t idle your vehicle when you are not going anywhere and don’t warm up or cool off the car before you get going.
- Improve the energy efficiency of your home by putting in CFL and LEED light bulbs, improving the amount of insulation you have in your home,
buying Energy Star rated appliances for your home.
- Recycle all the items that can be recycled. It naturally takes less
energy and fuel to make a soda can out of one that has already been
used. You don’t have to go out and find the raw materials and
process them into a new can.
There are many other ways to cut the amount of CO2 you and your family are adding to the Earth’s atmosphere. Look at some of the environmental websites and become an environmental expert.
Some good environmental sources can be found on our website www.eastpeoriagreen.com with links to others.
Sources for this article were: