Joe Hanson, Ph.D. produced a video to try and explain in layman’s terms basic Climate Science and how it relates to Climate Change and Global Warming.
Some of the science behind why scientists overwhelmingly agree that our climate is changing, Earth is getting warmer, sea levels are rising, and why it’s primarily because of humans putting lots of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
Climate Science: 24 Basic Facts You Need To Know about Climate Change and Global Warming
- 70% of solar energy that hits the Earth is absorbed and re-emitted, some is trapped by greenhouse gasses
- Without the Greenhouse effect, Earth would be -33C colder
- CO2 levels have increased 40% since the Industrial Revolution
- Solar Activity and temperature show opposite trends in recent decades
- The lower atmosphere is warming while the upper atmosphere is cooling
- Humans have added 2,000 gigatons of CO2 to the atmosphere since 1870 and 40% has remained there
- CO2 levels haven’t been as high as 400 ppm since before humans existed 800,000+ years
- The Earth is Warming 10 times faster than at the end of a typical ice age
- Carbon isotopes tell us that increased CO2 in the atmosphere is from burning fossil fuels
- Volcanos only emit about 1% of the carbon being released into the atmosphere
- Historical Carbon sinks and carbon sources are out of balance
- Methane & Nitrous oxide are increasing due to human activities
- Climate models can’t be adjusted to replicate observed warming trends unless man-made CO2 is taken into account
- There were twice as may record high temperatures recorded than low temps since Y2K and the past 3 decades have been the warmest on record since 1850
- Average global temperatures have increased about 1C since 1900, with most of that change happening since 1970
- The past 30 years is likely to be the warmest in 8 hundred years
- Oceans absorb 90% of the Earth’s heat
- Sea Levels have risen about 8 inches since 1901 and are now rising 0.1 inches per year
- Sea Levels rise not only because of melting ice but do to the thermal expansion of water
- Melting ice on land contributes to rising sea levels not ice that melts in water
- CO2 dissolving in the oceans increases ocean acidification
- Oceans could hit a pH level of 7.1 within the next 100 years
- Summer sea ice levels have decreased 40% since 1978
- Melting Sea Ice increases the heat absorbed by oceans, which causes more ice to melt in a vicious cycle.
Video: Climate Change & Global Warming the Basic Climate Science You Need to Know
Reverences Goggle Docs page for each of the 24 listed climate science facts:
Dr Joe Hanson makes videos about science for his blog and show “It’s Okay To Be Smart” from PBS Digital Studios, he has also previously written about science for publications such as Wired.com and Scientific American.
I am very happy that such educational video’s exist, however, I don’t feel that it is in the best interest of humanity to downplay or sugarcoat for the public the severity of the situation.
What is a huge concern is the rate of climate change that is happening relative to the changes that took place during the previous ice ages and warming periods etc. Humans have never walked the earth before when temperatures where on average 2 degrees C warmer than they were back in 1900 and since then we have added a whole 1 degree C in a very short time. No doubt a large number of plants and animals won’t be able to adapt fast enough for the changes that humans can’t stop from happening already even if we stopped using fossil fuels a decade ago.
Even with just a 1 degree change the southern express polar vortex is now a real thing that the people and orange trees from Georgia to Florida USA are experiencing for the first time with alarming regularity. Historically large, strong and record breaking Hurricanes and Typhoons are appearing each year etc. Also 100+ year floods, droughts and heat waves are occurring with alarming regularity.
Sadly the fossil record shows it doesn’t take a whole lot of change to cause a mass extinction event, where say 95% of all biodiversity vanishes from the planet. For instance Ocean Acidification can change the ocean’s food chain relatively fast, warmer oceans risk the release of gas methane hydrates, if additional snow melts continue to expose historically more Arctic permafrost in Alaska, Canada, Russia even more methane hydrates will be released—that’s a source of hydrocarbon that is larger than all of the world’s oil, natural gas and coal resources combined.
Even if all the glacier ice were to melt from Greenland it would raise sea levels by 20 feet, that figure could increase to 200 feet if the ice from Antarctica were added etc.
Human society really doesn’t have time to worry about the profits of the world’s largest and most powerful fossil fuel energy corporations, nor is it necessary to convince everyone that changing their personal carbon footprint via sustainable habits is in the best interest of everyone to start making changes in one’s personal life.
It also means that it is way past time to try and remain diplomatic and non confrontational by cordially entertaining the scientifically challenged that can typically only parrot back what talking heads on TV tell them. These Climate Science deniers are not just brainwashed or purposely uninformed but dangerous to survival–not just themselves but others as well.
EV of the Year Judge, independent green journalist, photographer, author and sustainability activist that has published over 1000 articles. Mr Burridge’s travels have taken him to over 30 countries and 300+ major cities. He is originally from the USA, but has been residing in Australia for the last seven years. Connect to Ken Burridge on: Twitter, facebook, Google+, Linked in or website