Climate Change Overview

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There is so much detailed news and science about the climate emergency, but it is hard to make sense of it all.  This page tries to give you an overview of what is known and happening, along with relevant links. 

As you are reading this, the world is absorbing more heat from the sun than it is radiating.  The average global temperature is increasing.  It has already increased by 1 degree centigrade on average, more on land, and less at sea.   

It seems like a small number, but because of the laws of physics the impact is much much greater than one would expect.  The reason is that energy varies as the square of the temperature measured in Kelvin.  So if the water temperature is 7 degrees centigrade, the temperature is 300 degrees kelvin, the square is 900.  If we increate the water temperature to 8 degrees centigrade, 301 degrees Kelvin, the square is 90601.  For a 2 degree rise, the squire is 91204.  More than  a 10 % rise in energy.   And all of that water vapor is also a green house gas, further accelerating planetary heating. 

That means a lot more water evaporates.  A lot more precipitation follows.  There are floods. f  A lot more turbulence in the atmosphere.  As well as more floods, you get a lot more more heat waves, and more droughts.  Agriculture is so optimized, any change is bad for production.  But the biggest impact is in the arctic. 

Since they started using satellites to photograph the ice extent, the north pole ice has shrunk by 50 % in area, and by another 50% in thickness.  It is well known that ice reflects more sunlight than black water.  So the warming affect is accelerating.  The IPCC predicts that within 12 years the North Pole ice will be all gone in the summer.  In practive w are far ahead of their predictions.  And that is not even the biggest problem. 

 

It is not just the North Pole.  In Brazil they are cutting the rain forest, 3 football fields every minute.  The smoke is so bad, it covers 3 million square km.  All of the EU is only 4.5 million square kilometers. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Greenouse  gasses modify that dynamic.  In particular CO2 acts like insulation it traps heat, and increases the planet's temperature.