Sunday, December 19, 2010

NASA - 'Man Caused Global Warming May be Staving Off The Next Ice Age'

Does this mean we should be blaming non-polluters for this frigid winter? Seriously though, why is it so hard for people to say we really are unable to calculate (or even know?) all of the factors involved with the Earth's climate. Taking 'action' will have a significant, and almost certainly negative, impact on many people's lives. Before we do something major, I think it would be a good idea to know that the sacrifice being asked of us will actually have an impact, and that the impact will be a positive one. (via)

"Earth's orbit around and orientation toward the Sun change over spans of many thousands of years. In turn, these changing "orbital mechanics" force climate to change because they change where and how much sunlight reaches Earth. (Please see for more details.) Thus, changing Earth's exposure to sunlight forces climate to change. According to scientists' models of Earth's orbit and orientation toward the Sun indicate that our world should be just beginning to enter a new period of cooling -- perhaps the next ice age.

However, a new force for change has arisen: humans. After the industrial revolution, humans introduced increasing amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, and changed the surface of the landscape to an extent great enough to influence climate on local and global scales. By driving up carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere (by about 30 percent), humans have increased its capacity to trap warmth near the surface.

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