What is Global Warming and Climate Change?Global Warming refers to the increased retention of heat in Earth's atmosphere--heat that would normally radiate into space, but does not because of the increase in heat-retaining CO2, methane and water vapor. This retained heat then increases the temperature of the world's oceans. The oceans are the main driver of weather aka climate. As the oceans warm, the climate changes worldwide to greater extremes--colder climates, hotter climates, wetter climates, dryer climates, more severe hurricanes, and severe droughts as the oceanic weather engine destabilizes.
The Mistaken ConclusionClimate change deniers and climate scientists all seem to agree that Earth's temperature and CO2 levels have fluctuated, increasing and decreasing, over millions of years. Because of this verifiably factual data, deniers conclude this is just Earth doing its normal thing, so no worries, and everything will be just fine...
This mistaken conclusion ignores several crucial pieces of data:
- The CO2 levels have increased substantially since pre-industrial times. This increase began with large-scale use of fossil fuels 100 years ago or so. It has been increasing ever since to its present ~400ppm levels.
- The methane levels, a worse greenhouse gas than CO2, has also increased substantially and proportionately with cattle/beef production worldwide.
- Because of warming temperatures, water vapor has been increasing proportionately--and water is has the highest specific heat of all the green house gases.
- And very importantly, these past changes occurred over thousands or tens of thousands of years. This gave life forms that existed during those past changes time to adapt,
- Our major cities will be flooded or under water, displacing close to a billion people worldwide. And at what COST???
- Millions of years ago, when humans did not exist on the planet, temperatures were way higher and CO2 levels were way higher (underscoring the correlation of CO2 rise with temperature rise). The issue is, humans are not adapted to breathe substantially higher concentrations of CO2 (plants will do fine, but humans aren't plants), and we are not adapted to substantially higher temperatures.
- Because these recent climate changes are occurring over a mere 100 years or less and are increasing at a quickening rate, many life forms, including humans, will not have time to adapt to the changes.
No. Everything won't be fine just because it happened millions of years ago!