This is a very complicated subject because there are so many contributions to the atmosphere. Volcano’s, forest fires, swamps, gas belching from mines or oozing from holes in the ground or lakes during Limnic eruption and melting of permafrost. If I had good data I could calculate the information that the press is looking for, but the data is changing almost as quick as it is collected. The melting glacier ice has been noted for a very long time, but the USGS administrators were afraid that it would panic the public, because there was no apparent solution to the problem. Dad was a senior scientist for the USGS and I was there several decades ago when Dad was told officially to drop the subject by the administrator of Glacier National Park.
Do humans contribute to the problem, Yes. How much? Probably not as much in our day to day life as we are lead to believe. The worst things were nuclear testing using open air burst, which we aren’t supposed to do anymore. The open air burst burns a hole in the ozone layer all the way to the top of our atmosphere, very bad idea. We have jet airlines and military jets in the ozone layer burning the ozone 24/7 whether they have a full load on the plane or not.
War is very bad for the atmosphere because everything done in war ends up with something burning. War ships burning tons of oil, burning oil wells to make a political statement, burning buildings, bombs, artillery, rockets and burning fields or forest as a tactical maneuver. War in general is bad for the people and the environment.
The Rainforest which is a major contributor to clean air was cleared and burned. Clear burning of fields like the Serengeti just before spring and draining the Everglades may not be the best choices. Letting the trees of the Sierras and other mountain ranges burn off or die off or cutting them down and not replacing them are also bad ideas. Over half of the trees have disappeared from the Sierras in the last 20 years. The idiots that set forest fires are committing crimes against humans, wildlife and the planet. People die, families and their homes are destroyed, livestock and wildlife are murdered and for what??? So someone can watch a fire!!!! Trees are usually growing in places because they are needed. Randomly cutting down trees without replacing them or burning them seriously degrades the environment. These are places where we can make a real changes.
The amount of carbon caused by factories and vehicles that we save by regulations can be wiped out by a single forest fire and there are hundreds of square miles of forest burned each year just in California. A volcano puts more bad crap in the air in one day than humans in a year. I don’t have a good solution for climate change because there isn’t one. 420 million years of ice has melted and we have absolutely no possibility of putting it back. We don’t have the power available or means to do it even if we could find the power. Power always creates heat so the laws of thermodynamics are completely against us from the start.
Weather and the jet streams as we know them are anchored by the ice. Putting the ice back is the best solution, but we have to wait for the next ice age for that. In other words we have to cycle through the millions of years where the Sun is blocked out by clouds and endless ice storms which is the part where we all die. This is not a good solution for me, but it would be the sixth time this has happened. As the ice continues to melt we are finding evidence of past history that was difficult to obtain because of the tons of ice covering ancient artifacts and more carbon is released from the melting permafrost.
How long do we have? No one can say. Personally, I am hoping for at least a thousand years because of grandchildren etc. If the ice continues to melt at an accelerated rate, things could get rough for us but I believe we can find solutions needed for our short term survival. I would not try to make any predictions, but the main thing is to look for opportunities as we go. For example, Glass windows for constructing high rise buildings could have technology in the glass to automatically block or allow heat and automatic dimming of Sunlight. Cars with heat reflective paint or fiberglass panels that would automatically block or allow heat transmission to control temperatures in the car.
I went through Baker, California when it was 120 degrees. I saw at least a hundred cars on both sides of the highway over heated and broke down. The people couldn’t sit in the car because it was too hot in the car and they couldn’t stand outside the car because it was too hot. There were only a handful of emergency vehicles and perhaps 300 stranded people. Recently I saw in the news that it was 130 degrees outside of Las Vegas. With that kind of temperature, a breakdown in building air conditioners or breakdown of vehicles would be fatal to people. Typical air conditioner systems in buildings or cars are not designed to work at these temperatures. Today’s typical black car would be a death trap at these temperatures.
Many are worried about the water rising, but perhaps we should be more worried about the survival of the thousands of other different species on Earth. As the more intelligent and resourceful species on Earth, it will be up to us to help the other species. This is actually a selfish necessity because our survival depends on the survival of the other species of plants and animals to preserve the quality of our drinking water, our food and the air we breath. As the other species of plants and animals die off it affects our chances of survival because we do not eat rocks or breath poison gas. Our drinking water is very sensitive to being cleaned and oxygenated by the plants and animals that live in the creeks, rivers and lakes. Our air needs the fields of plants, trees, the Rainforest and the Everglades etc. The oceans need living plants and animals to keep it from turning to a poison mess that could kill us as well. A very high percentage of the oxygen comes from the oceans.
To survive we must start looking at future problems and looking for solutions. What can we do to improve our odds of survival or our quality of life? We are the intelligent beings on the Earth and it is up to us to survive, adjust, adapt and to be responsible for our destiny instead of watching TV and hoping for the ice to come back and weather to return to what we consider to be normal, because it just won’t. If you think of something useful write it down and pass it on. Too many good ideas fall by the wayside and we cannot afford to waste ideas at this point.
Good planning, Good execution and Good luck to the Planet. Thanks for reading this.