Introduction to man-made climate change


Now we all know the basics of climate change – why it happens and how. Nevertheless, there is a lot of misinformation that revolves around. Most of them are reluctant to accept climate change, and some sources question the accuracy of our data or our role in the process.

Photo credit to Paul Brenn.

Some of these allegations are based on the truth exchange, but are then washed away from their roots so that they lose practical significance (for example, that climate may change for natural reasons).

Today, I want to talk about the mechanisms that shape climate formation, their interactions, and how we perceive the whole picture.

Natural Climate Change

Climate patterns on our planet show a degree of natural variability. Climate is the product of many factors. Non-biological effects include volcanic activity, distribution and strength of ocean currents, planetary orbit changes, or solar fluctuation.

Volcanoes primarily work by erupting to cool the climate. In such an event, clouds of smoke and ash cover large areas of the earth, reducing the sun's energy; These usually dissolve on the surface for three months. In the case of volcanoes, the longer the cooling agent is sulfur dioxide. It reacts with water vapor in the atmosphere to form sulfate aerosols that reflect sunlight into the cosmos for one or more times. Although the eruptions emit CO2 that emits greenhouse gas, their cooling effect far exceeds that – for example, the 1991 Pinatubo mountain eruption caused temperatures of 0.5 ° C over several years at global temperatures.

Explosive eruption.
Image via Wikipedia.

Ocean streams move around the planet heat, which contributes to the homogenization of temperature and has a profound effect on climate patterns. They move warm water from the equator to the poles.

Going into Earth's orbit can have a major impact on climatic conditions, possibly beginning and ending the ice age. Although really strong, they are also slow, and their impact on the climate has been noticeable for only thousands of years. The tilt of the planet (relative to the perpendicular plane of its orbit, currently at 23.5 ° C) affects the strength of the various seasons. More inclines make for a warmer winter and colder summers, and less incline makes every season look shiny and more alike.

Since the sun is ultimately the earth's greatest energy source, any change in its output will affect our planet's climate. Although you couldn't tell in the daytime, our star output time is different. The decline in solar activity, for example, is believed to have led to a small ice age before the 15th and 19th centuries.

Although strong, these changes are slowly taking place. It takes thousands of years for the Earth's orbit or its currents to pass naturally, and the sun is similarly slow. Volcanic eruptions are relatively fast, but their results are much less dramatic and have a shorter life expectancy.

Where life comes into the picture

Image via Pixabay.

Life can only sustain itself by changing the environment. Even the most modest microbes in the basin must destroy and replace those chemicals that can generate and save energy. Pollution is part of being alive.

This pollution can have a huge impact on the planet and everything on it. About 2.4 billion years ago, cyanobacteria (the bacteria that can be photosynthesized) began to contaminate the earth with oxygen, in the name of what is known as high oxygen. He laid the foundation for oxygen breathing, the formation of a complex life, but in the case of other microorganisms living at the time, this led to a large-scale extinction. With this highly reactive gas, all of the ecological niches were opened, causing cyanobacteria to eventually multiply in their lives.

The red and green lines are our upper and lower estimates of atmospheric O2 throughout the Earth's history (billions of years, Ga). 0.2 corresponds to 20% of the volume.
Image credits Heinrich D. Holland, (2006), Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B.

Another picture of history showing how biology and climate interact is the Carboniferous, a geological period that occurred about 360 and 300 million years ago. By this time, forest trees were expanding, sea levels were falling so clean, swampy lands, and there were no micro-organisms that still knew how to lignin from the wood. Atmospheric oxygen levels increased while CO2 concentrations decreased. The average temperature at the start of the period was high, at about 20 ° C (68 ° F), but in the middle carbonaceous they fell to about 12 ° C (54 ° F) – a change of 8 ° C for about 30 million years. .

It has been recognized that biological activity may act more rapidly on climates than on nonbiotic factors. However, its results are directly proportional to the size and diversity of the biosphere and less dramatic on the front lines, but difficult over time. Finally, biological factors tend to maintain conditions that contribute to life in its current form (Gai's theory). For example, plants and animals use each other's pollution (O2 and CO2) as fuel, maintain concentration, and influence climate.

Manually created climate changes

Image credit Ralph Veterile.

What humanity has that other species cannot even come close to is full capacity and speed.

We are the dominant form of life on earth, and our achievement is so long that we become one of the main forces shaping the evolution of the planet. No other species or group of species transforms and consumes more environment than we do. Very few natural forces are incompatible with our capabilities, and virtually none can compete with the speed of action. Although we always had the impact of climate, it became problematic after the 19th century industrial revolution, with few exceptions (which is why it is used as a reference point in discussions on climate change).

What we see today is an average temperature rise of 0.9 ° C (1.62 ° F) since the beginning of the 19th century. This rate of change is 3,750,000 times faster than the Carboniferous rate. Unlike Carboniferous, the average temperature is now rising. The last five years have been the hottest on record, and they are the worst offenders in the consistent, hottest years since the 70s.

This trend has been predicted since the 1860s, when published by Irish physicist John Tyndale The physical coupling of heat and radiation by gases and vapor, and radiation, absorption and conduction.The article that is the basis of climate science today. Tyndale was the first to demonstrate that gases in the atmosphere absorb and retain varying degrees of heat – carbon dioxide is the main culprit. By 1896 Svante Arenius conducted his work to show that increased levels of atmospheric water vapor and CO2 would increase the average ground temperature (Impact of carbonic acid on soil temperature). The link between CO2, other greenhouse gases, and climate change is that these compounds hinder warming on the Earth's surface, reflecting the cosmos.

Today the CO2 levels in the atmosphere are the highest they have been for the past 3 million years, breaking 415 ppm (parts per million) in May last year. Like average temperatures, they grow steadily.

Two factors contribute to this factor: higher emissions from daily activities and massive environmental degradation. We put a record amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere – about 37 billion tonnes of product per year – while reducing the ability of natural systems to remove it.

About 10% of annual greenhouse gas emissions are caused by forest fires. This land will then be transferred to crop production (agriculture generates 10% to 11% of human greenhouse production annually), industry (24% of human greenhouse annually), infrastructure (transport generates 23% of global greenhouse gas production in 2010), or housing Places (which also generate greenhouse gases from their GHGs) H).

Where does that leave us?

Whatever way you cut it, the point is that we work together and destroy the natural system around us. We take too much, too fast and too much indiscretion to handle the environment.

I like to think of nature as an economy. Every species has its place in the wider system and is paid (consumes resources) for the job (its ecosystem role). By this analogy, unfortunately, humanity is a huge monopoly. We put ourselves in the earlier free markets (ecosystems) and get the most out of them, giving us as little benefit as possible. Of course, there are fluctuations in this market that have nothing to do with us, but the development of their influence is significant to us.

Because of the scale and speed with which we change the world around us, natural systems do not have the time to clean up the mess. Climate change is a by-product of this imbalance, but it is not the only one: extinction rates, aquarium drainage, soil degradation, or adaptation to animal wake cycles, patterns of disguise, and geographical distribution are all signs that we do not control nature but master it.

Fortunately for us and our beautiful opposing fingers, the solution is actually pretty simple in theory – use fewer resources or do more to support natural systems. Not both. Carbon capture techniques help to narrow the environment and reduce the overall level of CO2 (currently processed by plants). Alternatively, initiatives such as the trillion trees are an example of how we can promote ecosystem health and act to achieve the same goal. We could have produced less plastic to reduce our resource consumption, or we could have improved and expanded recycling efforts to reduce waste and reduce natural impacts.

Personally, I have a gut feeling that supporting natural functions, rather than reducing the use of our resources, should result. Ideally, we would both do that, but at a time when there are about 7.8 billion people alive – all of us working for a happier, more feathered life and for having children. In my opinion, we should try to use as little as possible to get the most effect while working to minimize our impact on the environment as this is the medium we most want to get.

Of course, for that to happen, we must act on it. სამეცნიერო საზოგადოებამ მიაღწია კონსენსუსს კლიმატის ცვლილების შესახებ – ეს ხდება და ეს ჩვენი ბრალია – მაგრამ პოლიტიკურ და სამოქალაქო დისკურსს იგივე არ აქვს გაკეთებული. იმავდროულად, როგორ აპირებთ კლიმატის ცვლილების წინააღმდეგ ბრძოლას? გააცნობიერე კომენტარებში.