An Analysis of Change
SCIENCE & ANALYSIS
What’s Different About Climate?
Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring sensitized us to the environmental impacts of human activities. We often think of environmental pollution in terms of air and water quality. There is constant tension over the use of the land: wilderness versus forests versus farmland versus cities versus suburbia. Climate change caused by carbon dioxide pollution is fundamentally different from these environmental challenges. See more at this Wunderground.com blog by Richard B. Rood, Why is Climate Change Different?
Climate change: warming planet, melting ice, rising sea level, and changing weather. The Earth’s climate has always varied, with long periods that were hotter or colder than the climate of the last 10,000 years, when civilizations have emerged. The mixture of the gases in the atmosphere are an important ingredient in determining the Earth’s climate. Water vapor, carbon dioxide and methane all act like blankets, holding heat near the surface of the Earth. The amount of water vapor, carbon dioxide and methane in the atmosphere is related to the forms of life on the planet – that balance of plants and animals. It is not surprising, therefore, that with billions of people digging up and burning carbon-based fuels, coal, oil and natural gas, that we are the life form that is changing the planet.