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Human Activities Cause Climate Change

Posted on: March 18th, 2019 by rjohnson

The cause of Climate Change is human activity! Worldwide this is agreed upon with a 95% certainty among climate scientists.  Why is it accepted science that the burning of fossil fuels and other actions of people is the main driver putting our climate in peril?   

Many water, earth, and air measurements are taken by weather balloons and weather stations, ice cores, weather officials, and satellites.  This expanding number of data readings is examined by Climate Scientists. Natural events that effect climate are things like: particles from volcanic eruptions, dust, salt sea spray, the sun, and variations in the amount of snow and ice covering the planet.

The human activity of burning fossil fuels influencing climate are things like: coal and gas power plants, vehicles, the cutting of forests for farming or raising cattle and other reasons demanded by people.  Both natural and manmade actions put CO2 and other heat trapping gases into the atmosphere. 

 Computer models compare by simulation what is observed in real life to what they expect and predict to see.  For example: scientists know the sun is not the only cause of a warming planet.  If it was just the sun all levels of the atmosphere would warm the same.  In reality, the part of the atmosphere below the CO2 level is warming.  The atmosphere above the CO2 is cooling.  This indicates that the CO2 is trapping the heat that is below it.  Another fact that supports the fact that CO2 is causing climate change is that overall night time temperatures are rising faster than day time temperatures.  This indicates that the heat from the warmer day time is trapped in a CO2 blanket and is not allowed to escape during the night time.

The amount of CO2 being added by the burning of fossil fuels has doubled since 1979, to 10.82 gigatons/year.  The amount of total CO2 in the atmosphere is up 22% in that same time, from 337 ppm to 412 ppm.  Since heat trapping gases like CO2 stay in the atmosphere for hundreds of years the effects of our burning fossil fuels will continue long after mankind quits burning them.   A good part of the CO2 that is put into the atmosphere is absorbed and held in the oceans.  As they absorb CO2 their acidity increases. Since the beginning of the industrial revolution the ocean has become 30% more acidic.  According to scientists this is happening faster than it has in the last 100,000 years. 

It is interesting to note that private scientists working for fossil fuel companies like Exxon Mobile advised their companies that climate change was real and that the cause was from burning fossil fuels like their petroleum and gasoline products.  This was being discussed in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s.  It was discovered from the subpoena of internal Exxon e-mails and documents, which were sent from Exxon scientists to Exxon executives.   Exxon may lose a lawsuit brought against it for lying to Congress about knowing climate change was real and the burning of fossil fuels that they were promoting and selling was the cause.  Why would scientists who worked for Exxon and other petroleum companies come to this conclusion if the evidence was not there for them to see?

Climate Scientists can also say that hurricane rainfall and temperature rise are affected more by human activity than events like tornadoes.  The terrible rainfall from Hurricane Harvey was made worse by manmade climate change. Scientists also predicted the incredibly cold weather of Jan. 30,2019 which was caused by a change in winds in the upper atmosphere around the north pole.  This drives the polar vortex down into the Midwest and the Eastern parts of the U.S.  Just because a part of our country is cold sometimes does not mean the Earth isn’t overall getting warmer, as scientists say.

I hope the scientific evidence makes you see climate change is real and caused by people.  There are steps people can all take to lessen global warming and the problems it is causing.  1) Be mindful of how you consume energy.  2) Drive a car that is fuel efficient and don’t idle it for no reason.  3)  Improve the insulation in your home and reduce the amount of heating and air conditioning you use.  4) Use LEED and CFL bulbs.  5) Buy Energy Star appliances.  These are all good first steps in helping our planet and our people.

Source:  Dr. Geeta Persad, Climate Scientist with Union of Concerned Scientists.  She earned her Doctorate in Atmospheric Science from Princeton University. 

Source: The Royal Society Dec. 05, 2018

Tazewell County is hosting an Electronics Recycling Event:

Posted on: March 18th, 2019 by rjohnson

New report says over 90% of coal burning power plants are contaminating water

Posted on: March 6th, 2019 by rjohnson

WEEK Journalist Kyle Beachy has a story on the WEEK website detailing a report from the Environmental Integrity Project. Read the full story and watch the video on their website. Links to the full report can be found there.

EPCHS HOPE Club passes out 334 LED light bulbs

Posted on: October 13th, 2018 by rjohnson

The EPCHS HOPE (Environmental) Club passed out 334 energy efficient LED light bulbs at the 2018 Homecoming parade.  If these light bulbs are used to replace incandescent light bulbs, they will collectively save East Peorians a total of $34,000 in electricity costs over the bulbs’ lifetimes!!