J.C. Moore Online
Current Events from a Science Perspective

What Causes Global Warming?

Petroleum geologist John Brock asks, “Can we really stop climate change?” (1) and concludes we can’t. I agree with him that using geo- engineering to reduce global warming is a bad idea but I strongly disagree with the idea that we can’t do anything about it. The Tulsa World article, “Turn up the Savings.”(2) lists a number of things you can do to cut global warming and also reduce your energy bill.

Geo-engineering would  have unintended consequences, and it would not address the underlying problem.  Burning fossil fuels puts 30 billion tons of CO2 into the air annually along with mercury, lead, cadmium, arsenic, nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides, and radioactive isotopes. Much of those end up in the environment and in the food chain. Like carbonated water, the oceans are now 20% more acidic than a century ago (3) and the mercury level in tuna has gone up 30% since 1990 (4).

NASA’s data shows that the past decade has been the hottest on record and that the Earth is now 1.2° warmer than it was a century ago. Global warming, like a fever of 99.8, is a sign that something is wrong. The warming has not been caused by volcanoes, sunspots, changes in solar output, or cosmic rays from the stars, and it is not part of the natural cycle of nature. It’s caused by us and it is up to us to do something about it.

(1)   http://www.tulsaworld.com/opinion/article.aspx?subjectid=65&articleid=20091107_65_A17_Tebgni286922

(2)   http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?subjectid=11&articleid=20091109_15_A1_TlaWrd833051&archive=yes

(3)   http://observationsofanerd.blogspot.com/2009/10/climate-change-whats-worse-than-heat.html

(4)   http://soundwaves.usgs.gov/2009/08/

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