There’s a highly informative article on the global warming debate regarding the “non-human caused” theory proposed by Dr. Martin Hertzberg (and championed by the likes of Alexander Cockburn). It’s well worth reading, especially when your in one of those conversations with the (usually) uniformed persons who still insist that global warming cannot be caused by human activity.
Hertzberg insists that global warming is caused by water vapor and not by CO₂ emissions. In fact, according to Hertzberg, it’s never caused by CO₂ emissions of any amount. Yet this theory falls flat on it’s face when the empirical record is examined.
“… CO2 concentrations are cumulative. Once released, the gas remains in the atmosphere for centuries“”unlike water vapor, which quickly precipitates out of the atmosphere as rain or snow.”
Very much related to this theory is the recent story that the oceans are not carbon sinks as once thought, which would shatter Hertzberg’s theory to smithereens (his theory is based in part on the oceans being huge carbons sinks).
In case you missed it, Lonewolf has posted some shocking comments about just how much CO₂ we are releasing with the burning of oil (and these figures represent just oil and nothing else).
NOTHING, not even the oceans (or all the King’s men), can remotely absorb the vast amounts of carbon being extracted from geologic-sinks and injectyed into our atmosphere. The oceans may not be a “sink” but they will surely continue to ‘sink’ as they become increasing acidic.
1 “standard cubic meter” of crude oil = 6.29 bbl = 0.85 MT or 298 lbs/bbl’
Crude oil (mean of grades) is 80% Carbon by weight.
This means each barrel combusted ‘releases’ 239.4 lbs of Carbon into the air.
Global consumption (primarially combustion) is presently estimated at 85 Million barels per DAY (31,025 Million bbl/yr, or 7.4 Trillion lbs/yr) [Trillion = million million or E10^12]
This is an ‘release’ (injection, pollution) scale of 3,700 MILLION TONS of Carbon (just the C atoms) per YEAR (currently !).
When one adds two Oxygen atoms for each Carbon atom (i.e. CO2, Mol.Wt.=44.01) the mass jumps to 13,570 Million Tons.
Try wrapping your mind around that amount of mass.
I double-dog dare you.
The atmosphere of the planet is the most fragile resource we have. In relation to the Earth, it’s eggshell thin and can be easily damaged. Along with the carbon we are releasing into the atmosphere from the burning of fossil fuels, we’re also actively destroying the environmental mechanisms that create and clean the atmosphere.
Of course, I’m referring to the oceans and the Amazon rainforest in particular. The combined effects of human emmissions, pollutants, and environmental destruction on the surface of the Earth are nearly incalculable. But not entirely so, because of the empirical evidence that has already been collected all over the world.
This blog has recorded many of these stories, there is absolutely no debate about what this will mean. Cumulatively speaking, we know that we are killing the planet and all possibility of life.