the sun

by emily

the sun is the main cause of global warming because every 100 years the sun moves closer to the earth heating up our atmosphere even more and in 5,000,000,000 years the sun will explode and destroy the part of the universe that we call home

Barry's Response - Thanks Emily, for the insight and cute drawing. See this article I wrote about Milankovitch cycles, in which the earth's proximity and orientation to the sun changes by regular patterns.

Here are some odds'n ends:

It's already 4,500,000,000 years old. I guess it's going through a midlife crisis. Sunlight travels 150 million kilometres in 8 minutes, making it the closest star. The next closest star takes over 4 years to light up our eyes. The sun gives us 94 billion megawatts every day. That's a lot of solar power.

Compared to the billions of stars out there, ours isn't that great. Some of them are thousands of times bigger and brighter than the sun.

By comparison, the earth is insignificant. 1% of the sun's diameter and three millionths of its mass. Makes you wonder why we're so gung-ho on preserving it.

Well, it's all we've got. There's nothing fancy about it, but it works. I'm staying.

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Although the sun plays an important role in Earth's climate, the idea that it moving closer to Earth every 100 years is causing global warming isn't supported by science. Global warming's primary drivers are generally agreed upon by scientists.

A scientist would probably emphasize these points:

- Anthropogenic Influence: Human activities, especially burning fossil fuels and deforestation, are causing greenhouse gas concentrations to rise. Rather than natural factors alone, scientists blame human activities for most of the observed global warming over the past century.

- While the sun's energy output changes over time, the changes in solar radiation reaching Earth are relatively small compared to the warming effect attributed to humans. Natural factors, like solar variability, have contributed only a fraction to global warming.

- Sun Evolution: The sun will change over millions of years. About 5 billion years from now, the sun will run out of nuclear fuel and turn into a red giant. Global warming and its impact on the planet aren't directly related to this process.

These researchers have based their opinions on scientific evidence. Global warming appears to be primarily caused by human activities and greenhouse gas emissions, not natural variations in solar radiation.

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Thank you to my research and writing assistants, ChatGPT and WordTune, as well as Wombo and others for the images.

GPT-4, OpenAI's large-scale language generation model (and others provided by Google and Meta), helped generate this text.  As soon as draft language is generated, the author reviews, edits, and revises it to their own liking and is responsible for the content.