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Columbia Climate School, NASA & Global Warming: Geology & 2021 CO2 Emissions

NASA just released animations showing the CO2 being added to Earth's atmosphere over the course of 2021.

Before that, lets' see what geology has to say about global warming, according to an article by William Menke, professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University.

"The geological record of ancient climate is excellent" in the past 50 million years (1% of Earth's age).

"Ancient temperatures can be determined very precisely, because the composition of the shells of corals and other marine organisms varies measurably with it. Furthermore, the plants and animals that lived during a given time and are now preserved as fossils indicate whether the climate was wet or dry. The overall climatic trend has been cooling, from an unusually warm period, called the Eocene ... 55-45 million years ago, to an unusually cool period, colloquially called the Ice Age, which ended just 20,000 years ago. The overall range in temperature was enormous ... The earth was so warm during the Eocene ... that Antarctica was ice-free ... Palm trees grew at high latitudes and cold-blooded animals, such as crocodiles, lived in the Arctic."

  • Variations in climate are mainly due to processes occurring on the earth, as contrasted to in the sun

  • Atmospheric CO2 levels are highly variable, with the highest levels being associated with warm periods and the lowest levels associated with cold periods

So what happens when the life style of 8 billion "earthligs" becomes an accelerator of atmospheric CO2? Can mankind do in a few decades what nature did in 35 million years?

Click at the image below released last Friday by NASA's Global Modeling and Assimilation Office. Emissons are color tagged: (a) fossil fuels, orange, (b) burning biomass, red, (c) land ecosystems, green (d) the ocean blue. And dots on the surface show how atmospheric CO2 is being reabsorbed: land ecosystems, green and the ocean, blue. Basically 3 animations:

  • North & South America. Pollution hotspot in the northeastern United States, and the fast oscillation over the Amazon rainforest as plants absorb carbon while the sun is shining and then allow it to build up overnight

  • Asia & Australia. Pollution hotspot near Beijing, China, and the relative lack of fossil fuel emissions in Australia, due to low population density

  • Europe, Middle East & Africa. High fossil fuel emissions coming from Europe and Saudi Arabia, and also the cloud of red agricultural burn emissions in central Africa

Carbon credits, carbon capture, hydrogen, renewables are urgent.


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“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”

“I am among those who think that science has great beauty”

Madame Marie Curie (1867 - 1934) Chemist & physicist. French, born Polish.

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