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Letter to the Editor: It’s simple cause and effect science

Earth’s climate has been ‘remarkably’ stable for the last 10,000 years. During this period, humans went from scattered spear-hunter tribes to agriculture-based resourceful civilizations (first was Mesopotamia – 3500 B.C.E.), to our so-called intelligent civilizations of today. Sure, some climates can change, but they are isolated and comparatively short lived, for example El Nino and La Nina.

Scientists have been measuring the Global Earth Temperature since 1880. There have been many improvements to this process as scientists continually prefect their measurements. They use readings of the air temperature above land and sea to derive the yearly Earth temperature. There are four entities throughout the world that compute this temperature.

What is causing scientists to sound the alarm of climate change is that the global surface temperatures have been steadily rising above average since the 1980s with zero years below average. Scientists have directly correlated increased CO2 with increased Earth temperatures.

Just like thermometers, scientists use precision sensors to measure CO2. The location they chose is the most remote area on Earth on top of the highest mountain and that is in Hawaii. Two independent teams, using two different sensors, analyze the CO2 data and report the daily atmospheric CO2 levels. Air bubbles contained in ice cores were used to determine the CO2 ppm up until 1958 when the Hawaii CO2 sensors came online.

The 10,000 years of climate stability had CO2 levels at ~280 ppm (parts per million) until the 1800’s. Then, CO2 levels begin to rise steadily until about the 1940’s (310 ppm) when the rise of CO2 rose at an alarming rate (like a hockey stick). Today’s CO2 reading is 421.33 ppm. The last time the CO2 levels were greater that 400 ppm was ~10 million years ago.

Just like 280 ppm CO2 warmed the Earth just right for human development, too much CO2 will bake the Earth. Simple experiments prove that CO2 traps heat. Billions of tonnes of CO2 have been emitted into the atmosphere since the 1800’s. Since 1980, between 10 billion and today’s 37 billion tonnes per year have been emitted into the atmosphere, and brought us to today’s 421 ppm CO2.

Just one tonne of CO2 would occupy the space of a box measuring 27 feet for the length, width, and height. Now imagine 37 billion of these boxes stacking up in the atmosphere every single year. The CO2 didn’t magically appear in the atmosphere. Humans, by burning carbon-base material (coal, oil, natural gas) are directly responsible for this massive increase in CO2.

Massive frequent wildfires (even in the Arctic), killer heat waves, floods, hurricanes/tornadoes, and Earth’s poles 40 to 70 degrees above normal are happening today. Unless we stop burning fossil fuels, we will burn up the Earth and humans and higher life forms will cease to exist. It’s just simple cause and effect science.

Mark Mihevc


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