Global Warming, Harmful Air
Business, Government, and technology forecasts look about five or ten years out, fifty years at most. Among climate scientists and meteorologists, there is some talk of century's end. In reality, carbon dioxide dumped into the atmosphere today will affect Earth hundreds of thousands of years hence.
How can greenhouse gases change the far future? Nobody can say for sure exactly how Earth as a planet will respond, but climate scientists using mathematical models built from knowledge of past climate systems, as well as the processes that impact climate and the laws of physics and chemistry can make predictions about what the Earth might look like.
Scientist are witnessing the future envisioned by many of these models take shape. As predicted, there’s been more climate change over land than over the oceans, more at the northern and southern poles than near the equator, more in winter than in summer and more at night than in the day. Extreme rain showers have become more and more common. In the Arctic, ice and snow cover less area than ever before, and methane-rich permafrost soils are beginning to melt. Weather is getting weirder, with storms fueled by the additional heat.
What are the ultimate limits of the change that we are causing? The best example history have giving us comes from the 100-million-year-old climate of the Cretaceous period, when moist, hot air enveloped dinosaurs leathery skin, crocodile-like creatures swam in the Arctic and plant life flourished in the CO2-rich air. The greenhouse that is forming now will have consequences that last for hundreds of thousands of years, maybe more. But first, it will profoundly affect much of life on the planet, especially homosapiens.
Global warming threatens our economy, our dreams, our very lives. But individuals, businesses, and nations can solve the problem if worked on together.
Many if not all scientists are now convinced that global warming is indeed happening and that...