Greetings! I have some more sobering news for you on the subject of climate change. CNN meteorologist Chad Myers has been a skeptic of climate change for years. Myers was convinced that the “earth would reach a greenhouse gas equilibrium where the ocean and plant life would absorb the excess CO2 that humans produced.” Than in 2013 – reports that Myers research uncovered explained, “CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere passed ‘400 parts per million’.” That’s when Chad knew the “oceans and plants couldn’t keep up the demand we were placing on them. There would be no equilibrium. And indeed the climate would change.”
Myers explains, “every meteorologist knows the basics, we need greenhouses gases in the atmosphere to survive on planet earth. They trap heat to keep the planet from becoming a frozen wasteland.” But Myers needed a better understanding of which gases were actually causing the most atmospheric damage.
He continued, “The global focus usually revolves around CO2, but that’s not the only gas that is spewing excess into the atmosphere. Methane from rotting garbage and livestock production, nitrous oxide from agriculture and burning fossil fuels, and the CFC’s in our leaky air conditioners are also to blame. All of these gases are coming from man-made sources and their concentrations are all rising. These gases trap heat in the atmosphere like a glass roof of a greenhouse. They keep more heat in the atmosphere that should be released into space. CO2 remains in the atmosphere for thousands of years. Methane, on the other hand, lasts about a decade, but it’s 25 times more powerful at trapping heat than CO2. Nitrous oxide is nearly 300 times, and human created gases like CFCs are a staggering 22,000 times more powerful at holding in heat than CO2. If we’re trying to minimize the warming of our planet, the sources of these gases need to be taken into account – not just CO2.”
Myers goes on and explains the, “climate has indeed changed drastically over the billions of years of earth’s existence. It has swung from much warmer to much colder and than back again. When the greenhouse gas concentrations have been higher the earth was warmer, when the concentrations were lower, the earth was colder. The climate goes up and it goes down – consistently over thousands of years. So it is cyclical, but what we’re experiencing now is significantly more extreme. When the planet warmed at various times in the past it has taken the planet about 5,000 years to warm roughly 5 degrees Celsius – that’s according to NASA. Our problem comes from the fact that the planet has gone from thousands of years of relative stability to rapidly warming in just 150 years since the industrial revolution. The predictive rate of warming for the next century is at least 20 times faster than what can be considered natural. Excess greenhouses gases are responsible for this rapid rate of change. We humans are releasing millions of years of stored up carbon by burning oil, coal, and natural gas. This carbon was formed and trapped underground in fossil fuels by the burying and decomposition of dead plants and animals over the ages. Think of it like slowly blowing up a balloon and popping it with a pin!”
Myers continues with the extraordinary sobering news of his climate change research, “The future of this planet is a warmer one. At our current rate I’m afraid we’ll have no choice but to adapt. The CO2 that is being produced right now will likely take hundreds of years to be absorbed by the ocean or to be used by a plant for photosynthesis. Even if we completely stop using greenhouses gases today, we will continue to feel effects of a warmer world. Glaciers will melt and the oceans will continue to rise.
The sheer number of changes that will take place on earth over the next 50 years will be staggering! Some of the changes may not even be predictable until after they actually occur. From deadly heat waves and droughts to crop killing floods. The effects will be devastating, especially when trying to feed 8 or 9 billion people on an ever warming and changing planet. So we have to adapt and we have to take action now to curb these future emissions. The warmer the planet becomes due to uncontrolled emissions the more unimaginable the effects will be on humans. The Paris Agreement resulted in a goal to limit warming of the planet to 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels. To reach this goal human emissions will have to be reduced – significantly. Otherwise on our current path, 1.5 degrees will likely be reached in the next few decades.”
“Fighting climate change is going to take all of us. The goal is to slow down human greenhouse gas output to allow the global temperatures to find a new equilibrium so that our grandchildren and great grandchildren can survive. If we all work together to solve this seemingly inevitable future, we can do it without destroying the global economy.”
Myers states that replacing your old light bulbs with LEDs is extremely important and it will drastically save on your electric bills. Recycling is also a necessity. Myers explains that, “recycling just one aluminum can saves enough energy to watch TV for 3 hours. Replacing a quarter pound burger with a chicken sandwich would be like reducing your commune by 13 miles.”
Clearly, we all need to participate in recycling to reduce these drastic effects of climate change.
If you are in Florida and you see a sick or injured manatee, please call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at: 1-888-404-FWCC. They are the folks who are responsible for rescuing us in Florida.
Here’s the Save the Manatee Clublink to learn more about manatees …
Here’s a cool link for you to learn more about how we’re rescued and brought into rehabilitation …
~ Kobee Manatee
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