The First of a Series on Climate Change

Part 1

There is so much discussion on this subject, and so much of it is contradictory, that it is easy to feel overwhelmed – but hopefully not here. To get the answer wrong would be dreadful.

If it is happening and we do nothing – disaster. If it isn’t and we assume it is, then a lot of activity will be stopped.  We need to decide for ourselves.  No more time for ‘don’t knows’ and actually some of the science is easy and provable. We will consider the ‘evil’ gas Carbon Dioxide (CO2).  Does it or doesn’t it affect climate?  Is it or isn’t it a greenhouse gas (GHG)?

Back in 1824 (not new science) Joseph Fourier discovered that CO2 in the atmosphere had a greenhouse effect.  Think of the smallest particle of it – the molecule – as a little metal ball.  Any hot thing radiates heat – think radiator – so the Earth (which is a warm object in space) sends heat out which those little balls absorb. But they have to send out what they take in or they would explode, so they radiate it back out. Now they only receive this radiation on one side (facing the Earth), but anything hot sends the heat out in all directions so half of it comes back – the Greenhouse Effect.

If we think about that then the more CO2 there is in the atmosphere – the more heat is radiated back to us and the warmer the planet’s climate must get. That is as certain as it is that a saucepan gets hot when you put a gas flame under it. Denying it is the same as denying gravity. And double the GHG and we double the effect it has.

Just in case some further information is useful, if our planet didn’t have its blanket of CO2 around it the temperature here would be about Minus 18°, so it isn’t an evil gas at all.  It gives us life.

When we burn fossil fuels, which all emit lots of CO2, we must then necessarily warm the climate. So our climate must be warming because of us. But by how much? We will get to this question later as it is not all simply down to CO2.

Next we will consider the Climate ‘Tipping Point’ which those at Copenhagen are trying to avoid.

For the fuller explanation please go to hyperlink.

For some solutions please go to the home page.