CLIMATE CHANGE - An opinion
There has been much debate around this planet as to the cause of climate change.
There are those who accuse mankind for polluting the air with particulates from manufacturing, energy production, and aerosols. Another group advocates the climate change cause to be natural, such as the particulates caused by volcanic eruptions.
For what it’s worth, the fact that Krakatoa made the Earth cooler for several years after its major volcanic eruption, causing the “year without summer” and snow in July in the United States, makes one believe the naturally created particulates definitely make for climate change. The estimated 7-cubic miles of atmospheric dust shot into the atmosphere by the volcano Krakatoa caused the sunrises and sunsets to be blood red for almost 8-years. That Krakatoa was the loudest noise in written history has nothing to do with the temperature changes it created. The Earth was cooled as the sunlight was blocked from reaching the surface of the planet.
Krakatoa was a minor volcano compared with some of the others that have erupted around the world. I suggest the volcanic eruption at Yellowstone National Park as being one of the more massive here in the United States. Will it happen again? Absolutely as the continent moves over the hot spot. There have been many changes happening underground as North America moves about a centimeter per year in a generally west direction. The current magma mass under Yellowstone has been rising and causing ground water temperatures in that area to also rise.
If you use the Internet search engines, you will find the exact shape of the moving magma mass, where it is right now, and the rate of upward motion. How high need it rise to create another massive eruption? I have no idea. But I am glad I am east of the Mississippi River and not near that phenomena.
As great as some of these volcanic disturbances have been in our planet’s history, the natural changes that take place in our nearest star, the Sun, have to be the major cause of climate changes. Even though we have evidence of maps dating back over 10,000-years, we don’t have written records of climate. However, most significant is an ancient map showing Antarctica with NO ICE. Ancient mariners were proficient enough to create a map which has proven to be quite accurate showing land mass shapes now hidden by ice.
What caused a climate change so great that Antarctica was totally exposed? Continental shift was not the cause, for the shift in that time period was negligible. There were not that many people living on Earth and definitely not the industry causing particulates. If not earthly geological causes, it had to be the Sun itself.
There are probably many cycles of the Sun which we have not discovered and due to the minute life span of humans, may never be discovered. Perhaps there are 30,000-year warming trends. There may be cycles from 10,000-years to over 100,000-years. Mankind has not been keeping records long enough for us to examine the Sun’s cycles. The following climate change graph from NOAA is found at this Internet address: http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/2011-temps.html.
This graph of climate change between the years1880 and 2011 show a gradual upward trend in the last hundred years. There is no way anyone can state the exact cause of the warming trend.
Have there been more particulates put into the air by industry and human life? Absolutely. Has that caused the latest climate change? Unknown. There are probably facts that could be brought forth from many different areas to “prove” the climate change was caused by this or that. The truth remains that we’re not sure.
I personally believe the Sun, our nearest star, is going through one of its cycles where the outer temperature rise, small as it may be, has created a warming trend on the planets. Is this cycle a repeating cycle? The word cycle reflects the opinion that it is. However, the warming trend may be a one-time event caused by changes within the evolution of the star.
Our star, Sol, is a very healthy star, in the opinion of many astronomers. Let’s hope the general consensus is correct. Astronomers study the Sun to learn about all the other stars. If you study one daisy in the field of flowers, you naturally assume the other daisy flowers are going to be found similar. The findings you learn about one can be easily applied to the rest. The same can be said about stars.
Do all stars behave like our Sun? We can’t be sure, but by studying our Sun, this closest star to Earth, we can learn more about the other stars. We know there are different types of stars categorized by temperature, color, size, magnitude, etc. Shades of Hertzsprung and Russell, there are many similarities too!
If our star is heating up, does that mean other stars also go through heating and cooling cycles? Most likely, yes. Probable and possible. The desert of the American southwest may once again bloom like the mighty Sahara desert it once was. Was continental drift the cause of that desert? Or was it some warming cycle of the Sun? I tend to think it was from a natural warming cycle of the sun. I offer this as opinion, not fact. Being human, my opinions are fallible.
Should we do what we can to make our precious atmosphere clean of manmade particulates? Absolutely. Let’s not rule out mankind as a partial cause to this warming trend. Total cause? No way.
I am more worried about the pollution taking place in the ocean than in the atmosphere. I write singular “ocean” as all the named oceans and seas are connected to be one. We just give that one different names to distinguish geographical areas on Earth.
This ocean absorbs and reflects sunlight and is a great impetus to atmospheric changes on Earth. Look at the stability of Earth temperatures below the equator where there are no large land masses compared to the Northern Hemisphere. The specific heat capacity of the water is a stabilizing effect on the Earth. Yet over time, the ocean temperatures change and by conduction, that brings changes and fluctuations in our atmosphere.
What heats the ocean? The Sun. Yep, we go back to the Sun as the main contributor to the ocean temperatures.
Conclusion? In my humble opinion, the Sun is the culprit for the primary climate changes on Earth. If we knew more about the Sun, we could more accurately predict the weather. But that’s another story. :-)