11:08 PM

Environmental Hysteria Week

Posted by Skye |

How many times has you read of the imminent danger posed to this planet by 'runaway greenhouse gases'?

The world’s leading science journals report that glaciers are melting ten times faster than previously thought, that atmospheric greenhouse gases have reached levels not seen for millions of years, and that species are vanishing as a result of climate change. They also report of extreme weather events, long-term droughts, and rising sea levels.

Statements like the one above beg the questions - What are greenhouse gases and does the Earth behave like an actual Greenhouse?

Atmospheric greenhouse gases are comprised of water vapor, CO2, N20, Sulfur Dioxide, methane and miscellaneous gases such as CFC. Most proponents of a human based global warming catastrophe and staff of The Weather Channel point to CO2 pollution from industrialized nations as the primary cause of 'global warming'.

Human based contribution to greenhouse gases amounts to 0.28% when factoring in water vapor – the most significant greenhouse gas, which happens to be of natural origin. The graph below compares natural and human based contributions to the greenhouse effect. Human activities such as agriculture, manufacturing, transportation and power generation contribute only slightly towards the total greenhouse gas effect.

Despite the lack of any meaningful correlation between CO2 levels and Earth’s temperature, The Kyoto Protocol demands mandatory 30% reductions of CO2 emissions from signatory nations. Vast sums of money are being poured into the ‘problem’ of global warming by the nations, primarily European, who signed up to the Kyoto Protocol – pledging to achieve drastic reductions in CO2 emissions within a defined time frame. Then one day, the Earth belches: A 2005 Cranfield University study revealed “vast quantities of carbon released from British soils since 1978…. effectively canceling out the UK’s recent successes at reducing [CO2] levels.” CO2 is far from being the determining factor in global temperature as this chart so neatly illustrates and the proponents of the Kyoto Protocol so adeptly ignore.

Do Greenhouse gases act like an actual Greenhouse?

In one word: NO.

The term ‘greenhouse effect’ as applied to ‘global warming’ is a terrible misnomer. An actual greenhouse acts as a physical barrier to suppress the actions of convection – nature’s way of transferring heat from an area of high temperatures to an area of lower temperatures by the displacement of the cooler molecules by the warmer molecules. A good example would be the interior temperature of a car with windows closed at midday. Got it? Greenhouse gases let solar radiation pass through to the surface of the earth, then slows the return energy back into space; unlike a greenhouse, they do not ‘trap’ energy forever in our atmosphere.

The Sun emits high-energy short wave radiation while the Earth reflects back longer wave radiation. The Earth absorbs more energy – in the form of radiation- than it releases back into space. This is an important point, if the Earth did not have a net gain of energy (heat), provided by the slow return back to space, Earth’s global temperature would resemble that of the Moon.

The take home message: Despite attempts to label atmospheric carbon dioxide a "pollutant" it is, in fact, an essential trace gas, the increasing abundance of which is a bonus for the biomass globally - 10 out of 10 plants agree!

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