Global Warming. What is it, really?

by Lahela
(Wisconsin, USA)

Artist's Conception?

Artist's Conception?

"Global warming." The very words bring up pictures of stranded polar bears, flooding, hurricanes, drought and disease. But what is it, really? Are we really looking at global warming, or merely climate change?


The world has accepted that Carbon Dioxide, or CO2 is a "greenhouse gas." But what is not very well explained is what a "greenhouse gas" is, or how it could cause global warming. Simply put, a greenhouse gas is a gas that retains heat. The way that the global warming hounds say it, you would think that it means that CO2 CREATES more heat. But the only way that would happen is if chemical reactions are being caused to release the energy it already has. This does happen, turning the CO2 into two seperate molecules (namely Carbon and Oxygen). This happens in plants all the time. But again, this is energy that is already stored in the molecules.

Carbon Dioxide is not the most potent greenhouse gas we have. In fact, the greatest greenhouse gas is water vapor. CO2 only absorbs energy in three small parts of the spectrum, where water vapor absorbs energy in nearly all parts. This means that more water in the air, the more energy retained in our atmosphere, the warmer it stays. Did you ever notice that the temperature drops when it rains?

Also, most of our global warming doom-sayers have been ignoring our most important source of global warming. It's the same source that keeps the atmosphere above freezing. Any six-year-old could tell you what it is. The biggest source of global warming is our personal star, the Sun. In all talks for global warming, the Sun is very rarely mentioned, and if anyone brings it up, they get ignored. After all, our sun is constant, isn't it? It's what is in our atmosphere that matters. Well, no. Those who watch the Sun are saying that even the Sun goes through cycles, and that it is about to get cooler. That means that it will be sending out less energy. That means that less energy will be coming to our Earth to warm it up.

I'm not saying Global Warming will not happen. After all, the sun-watching scientists could be wrong. Or the chemists who claim that water contains much more energy than CO2. I've even heard it claimed that we SHOULD already be in another Ice Age, and that greenhouse gasses is all that's keeping it at bay. Who really knows? What we should be doing is looking at ALL the facts, not just selected bits and proclaiming the sky is falling. By doing that, hopefully, we'll do the right thing.

Barry's Response - Thanks Lahela. We know climate change and global warming is a complex system. More than humankind can fully understand. If we see it turn around and become cooler, it will no longer be such a hot issue, so to speak.

Global Warming. What is it, really? I was never really sure if GW is really a bad thing to begin with.

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