Global heating and its partner, ocean acidification,
are more important than any of the other things we are now worrying
about. This is my attempt to summarize what I have learned.
Around our planet wraps an exquisitely thin
film of air and water, inside which exists all the life we know.
The planet is eight thousand miles wide, the film of air and water
is just a few miles thick, and outside it is the cold vacuum of
Conditions in the life-supporting film have
rather suddenly started changing. The air is heating, and the ocean
Both trends are caused by increasing quantity
of carbon dioxide gas in the atmosphere. That extra gas is being
pumped into the atmosphere by us.
The basic science
atmosphere was once full of carbon dioxide. Plants replaced most
of that with oxygen, which animals can breathe.
gases, including carbon dioxide, control the atmosphere's temperature.
amount of carbon dioxide in the air is drastically increasing.
temperature of the atmosphere is therefore rising..
dioxide driven into the ocean is acidifying it, which is dire for
the life in it.
permafrost across northern continents is thawing and releasing jets
of methane a terrible feedback loop and a starkly visible
proof of global heating.
Does it matter? Won't it be rather nice
to get warmer? No. We're heading for a desert world.
and snow cover are dwindling, glaciers are in retreat, the Greenland
and Antarctic ice sheets are shrinking.
global ocean is rising.
will be more extreme weather: storms, droughts, heatwaves.
and vegetation zones are shifting; seasons are changing.
feeds the heating.
and animals are affected. There is a global extinction going on.
refugees are pressing from the worst affected countries into the
The argument. There is really no argument
within the serious scientific community, but.those who profit from
business as usual have been able to confuse the public with spurious
Have we been saved by a sudden change to cooling?
cold here! where's global warming when we need it?
on page 493.
conspiracy on which side?
it just the sun?
Solutions, besides the obvious ones
of slashing our vast emission of carbon dioxide from industry and
geo-engineering the remedy?
Perennial varieties of
food crops would store carbon, besides saving water and fertilzer and tilling, and increasing yield.
farming inside cities can bring food close to where it is needed,
save fuel, and let landscape return to nature.
successful precedent: the ozone hole.