in

Understanding Climate Change

Before I begin, let me state that I have a degree in Anthropology with a strong minor in Geology, hence I am writing not as a ‘flat earth’ theorist but with my feet well planted in science.

Source

The Past

The Earth has been much warmer and much colder than it is today.

There was a time when the entire Earth was covered by ice, a time when Wales was warm enough to host hippopotomi.

Source

There was a time when sea levels were far higher, so that many towns which are now five miles inland were on the coast.

Doing a brief search of the Earth’s climate over a few million years one is struck by the fact that there never was anything resembling a ‘norm’.

Considering the Earth is close to Four point Six billion years, and life first arose one Billion years later, we are dealing with a planet which has supported life for over Three Billion Years.

Life which produced sexually, contra cells simply dividing is about One point One Billion Years old.

Somewhere between Five Million and Two and one half million comes the life forms which would evolve into humans.

Skipping forward to Two Hundred Thousand years ago, a brief time in Geologic history, the climate changes during that period were quite significant.

There were periods of ‘Ice Ages’ then periods of warming, followed by Ice Ages.

For example, what would become modern Britain only emerged at the end of the last Ice Age around 10,000 years ago.

Source

 

What had been cold, dry tundra on the edge of Europe became warmer and wetter as the ice caps melted.

The Irish Sea, North Sea and the Channel had been dry land. In about 6,100 BC Britain broke free of mainland during the Mesolithic period – the Middle Stone Age.

It is considered that landslides in Norway triggered one of the biggest tsunamis ever recorded on Earth.

The water struck the north-east of Britain, force  turning low-lying plains into what is now the North Sea, and marshlands to the south into the Channel.

Britain became an island nation.

This was due to Global Warming.

There were no cars, no factories, no man made pollution. What happened was a Geological process in which humans had no effect.

Today

There are many parts of Earth which are virtually uninhabitable.  They are simply too cold to support life.

Source

Persons who visit these areas, such as Antarctica, need to carry supplies, for they can not grow anything.

If the Earth became warmer, if Antarctica was as possible as Finland to support life, the ability for people to migrate to that area, and create cities would cut down the population in other areas, giving people a virtual ‘new world’ to inhabit.

This would not be a bad thing.

Further, if the current areas became warmer, what is tundra today would be agricultural land.  More food could be grown.

The Confusion

The problem most people have is accepting what existed fifty years ago as a standard and comparing what pertains today as an aberration.

Yet, if one reads history, one is struck by the change in climate.

Source

How the Vikings could travel to Canada where there were grapes growing, yet the Titanic sunk hitting an Ice berg, and the water so cold, people froze.

 

How was it that the Vikings could travel in an open boat, reach Canada, basically in the same lanes, but a bit over one thousand years later, in April, which was ‘spring’ that area was so cold people froze?

If one looks at the clothing people wore in ancient Greece and Rome, and how they were dressed in the middle ages, there is no question but that the Earth had gotten so much colder.

What is Normal?

There is no ‘normal’. There have been fluctuations all through history.  Those fluctuations are normal.

Source

What is NOT normal is the pollution humans cause. Whether one points to nuclear waste or toxins dumped into rivers or plastic creating an island in the Pacific Ocean.

What is not Normal is reluctance of people to confront their involvement in pollution and stop it.

What do you think?

3 points
Legend

Written by jaylar

Wordsmith BuddySmarty PantsLoyal BuddyBookwormStory MakerYears Of MembershipContent Author

21 Comments

Leave a Reply
  1. Jaylar, You say that you studied geology, so therefore you must be aware that the retreating sea in Scandinavia is due to the land rising as part of a long-term process caused by the reduced weight of ice from the last Ice Age. Likewise, Great Britain is rising in the far north and sinking in the far south, for the same reason. That is why you can see “inland” sea stacks in western Scotland and why the Isles of Scilly are islands. Nobody is claiming that these phenomena are the result of current climate change.

    I am surprised at your comment on coal and gas. For one thing, it is the burning of coal – producing carbon dioxide – that causes the problem. For another, the evidence shows that the current global temperature rise began at the precise point when the Industrial Revolution took off. The two are closely connected.

    Do not be surprised at increased cold weather events in recent years. Global warming will lead to increased snowfall in some regions, simply because of the greater amounts of water vapour that the atmosphere is able to support when it is warmer.

    The question is “What is causing Planet Earth to get warmer?” – which it undoubtedly is. All the evidence points to the fact that natural causes are not sufficient to account for the degree and pace of current warming. All sorts of natural factors have been suggested and examined and none of them – even in combination – fit the facts. It is only when human intervention is factored in that all the pieces fall into place.

    • One of the important factors is to actually ascertain how many people in the world actually participate in the this great human control of the Planet!

      One of my favourite images is the ‘Earth at Night’ when you notice that more than half of the continents have no lights.
      https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/images/712130main_8246931247_e60f3c09fb_o.jpg

      In Biblical Times people could walk through the desert and not freeze to death. The Earth was much warmer then. Which is why you hear of sandals not boots. Take a look at how Roman soldiers were dressed.

      In the 1970s, geologists predicted an approaching Ice Age. All the signs were there. Thirty years later the term is ‘Global Warming’.

      Most people do not know of the ‘Little Ice Age’ that occurred from the early 14th century through the mid-19th century, when mountain glaciers expanded at several locations, including the European Alps, New Zealand, Alaska, and the southern Andes, and mean annual temperatures across the Northern Hemisphere declined by 0.6 °C (1.1 °F) relative to the average temperature between 1000 and 2000 ce.

      Today some scientists use it to distinguish only the period 1500–1850, when mountain glaciers expanded to their greatest extent, but the phrase is more commonly applied to the broader period 1300–1850.

      The Little Ice Age followed the Medieval Warming Period (roughly 900–1300 ce) and preceded the present period of warming that began in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

      This is scientific data. You can substantiate this through any search. So what caused the warming then?

      It is believed that between c. 950 and c. 1100 was the Northern Hemisphere’s warmest period since the Roman Warm Period.

      It was only in the 20th century that the Northern Hemisphere experienced warmer temperatures.

      Climatic Proxy records show peak warmth occurred at different times for different regions, indicating that the Medieval Warm Period was not a globally uniform event.

      It is postulated that the Medieval Warm Period was caused by increased solar activity, decreased volcanic activity, and changes to ocean circulation.

      As you can see, there is an uncertainty as to why this happened.

      Of course, we can rule out human effect on the climate at that point in history.

      This is why I tend to differentiate between that form of pollution which is entirely attributable to humans and which can be addressed and those events totally beyond our ability to influence.

  2. I suspect the reality of normal is long from us accepting we are both the case and the problem as humans. It is a core part of our nature (we were hunters long before we were hunters) to simply move to the next part of the forest once we have exhausted the part we are in now.

    Someday perhaps…

  3. I have commented, but the system has not displayed it! My comment was to the effect that this post misses the point. The problem we face is made-made climate change that has the potential for doing huge damage to the world and that needs to be slowed down.

  4. I think you’re missing the point. Nobody is questioning the fact of climate change over the history of the Earth, or that relatively short-term changes can be caused by such things as fluctuations in solar output or excessive volcanic activity. The point at issue is whether human activity is causing rapid change (on a geologic timescale), whether that change is irreversible, and what the effects of such change will be in the long term.

    The general view is that prolonged warming would be bad news – rising sea levels, increased storm activity, etc – and it would be in our best interest to slow that change down if at all possible. The good news is that it IS possible, provided that everyone acts together.

    • I think you’re missing the point. Nobody is questioning the fact of climate change over the history of the Earth, or that relatively short-term changes can be caused by such things as fluctuations in solar output or excessive volcanic activity. The point at issue is whether human activity is causing rapid change (on a geologic timescale), whether that change is irreversible, and what the effects of such change will be in the long term.

      The general view is that prolonged warming would be bad news – rising sea levels, increased storm activity, etc – and it would be in our best interest to slow that change down if at all possible. The good news is that it IS possible, provided that everyone acts together.

      • I don’t know what the value is in winter. When it is so cold nothing can grow. When people have to burn fuel for heat. What is the value of tundra? Of Ice Caps? I don’t see warming as dangerous as most people do. I see pollution as dangerous.

        • A world without winter, as you put it, would not support life as we know it. For one thing, if all the ice currently locked up in the ice caps was released into the oceans, many of the world’s great cities, and a huge proportion of its agricultural land, would be under water! Warmer oceans mean far more rainfall and violent weather events. We have already seen what chaos can be caused by successive huge hurricanes – a procession of these across the Atlantic and Pacific would be inevitable, making life impossible in places such as the Caribbean, the southern United States, the Philippines, etc. If the Tundra melts, vast quantities of methane will be released – this is a far more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide – and runaway global warming would be almost certain. This is all to say nothing about the impact on the natural world – a huge number of species would become extinct because they would not be able to adapt to changing conditions in time. Believe me, we really do need winter!

          • I get your point, but as you must know, the sea has retreated approximately five miles since year 1000 in some places, such as the Scandinavian countries, and advanced in others.

            These changes have nothing to do with people. The melting of the glaciers which caused England to be separated from France was not due to human intervention.

            We have to recognise that the Earth, being a ‘living’ planet, will continually be changing.

            REmember when coal was burnt and countries like England were covered in soot… yet… the planet did not warm to any extent. Obviously, coal is far more polluting than gas.

            I know about the sudden increase in the power of hurricanes this year. I live in Jamaica. The tail of Irma caused flooding in Jamaica… 500 miles from the storm at its nearest point.

            We had a major hurricane in 1951, then in 1988, then in 2004, then in 2007.

            We see if 2018 repeats this year or is the usual.

            What throws me off is the fact that a couple of years ago Niagara Falls in NY froze. It hadn’t done that since the 1800s.

            Then there was a ‘snowvember’.

            If you look at photos of Kennedy’s funeral you will notice from the dress of the people it was not that cold in 1963 as it was in 2014.

          • One of the points I left out… it is much colder in Jamaica these past few years than it has been in my memory.

            Since 2015 I have to wear socks to bed starting about October and going through to April… last year… into May.

            Socks.

            I never had to wear socks.

            Other people around me… some in their twenties, are walking around with track suit jackets. It is cold. For us. Few days I can say I’m hot.

            Most days, long pants, long sleeved shirt, sometimes a denim jacket. I live in Jamaica. It is supposed to be the tropics. Yet, we’ve been having global cooling.

            Sure, if you are used to 70o F as your norm yeah, 80o F is warm for you. If you are used to 90oF then 78oF is cold.

Leave a Reply