2020: Perhaps the most momentous year in human history.

Carbon dioxide has been in the air forever.

However, each year we add about 1000 times as much carbon dioxide into the air as we added in 1860 so the concentration is now 412ppm vs. about 270 in 1860 adding to the heat trapping effect of the CO2.

The difference seems trivial: the earth is about 1°C warmer, but by earth we mean land, air and ocean. That 1°C corresponds to 5,000,000,000,000,000,000 (1018) joules of energy, and that raises enormous havoc.

today, acting a bit like a big blanket is about, 50% more than the time of the Civil War, one and a half times as much. And the earth (land, water, air) is about 1°C warmer.

You gotta be kidding she or he says? That’s not enough to notice.

But it is. Its not the temperature that counts its the total energy and that is enormous. There is such a huge amount of air, water and ground that gets warmed. The oceans get warmed down to hundreds of feet.

The is one of the biggest problems because the water expands, is warmer and makes the air above it more humid. Humidity is fuel for storms.

To raise the temperature of the planet one degree Celsius requires about 5 exaJoules (5 with 18 zeros after it) of energy. That’s the equivalent to the entire energy consumption of the US for 4 million years. Small rise on the thermometer, BIG rise in the amount of energy. And its the energy that upsets the planet.

The figure above left is the story so far. What happens next will determen our future. At present

EARTH TEMPERATURE 5.xlsx
Powered by SmugMug Owner Log In