We have all heard of Global Warming. We know that greenhouse gasses such as CO2 lock in the heat of infrared light as it is attempting to leave the planet, and thereby increase the planet’s temperature. We have heard that in fifty years that temperature increase will start to melt the ice at the North and South poles, and that such melting will cause sea levels to rise and flood low lying areas along the coasts of the world.
We know all this, and it sounds rather benign. In fifty to one hundred years we will get flooding. Our children’s children will have to move to higher ground.
But what if this were some fantasy and the real truth were something starker and much earlier. How would you like to know that there isn’t enough drinking water in many places of the globe today, not ten years from today, but today? How would you like to know that there will not be enough water to grow crops in several large areas of the world and that this crop loss will push food prices higher?
In the last few years we have seen wildfires break out in every country on the globe. These type of wildfires have not been seen before. Why are they occurring? How bad will they get?
OVERHEATING THE PLANET
The consensus of explanations on global warming puts the onus on the effects of greenhouse gases. Supposedly, the CO2 produced by the combustion of carbon found in fossil fuels retains heat within the atmospheric envelope and this retained heat accumulates slowly causing global warming.
Yet, there is a more direct way of heating the planet. The burning of any fuel: petroleum, natural gas, coal or even nuclear fuel, produces heat. All of these forms of energy are heating the planet.
Electricity formed in the power generating plants across the world is sent to cities where it is converted to light and where it heats homes and buildings or cools homes and buildings. This electrical energy when converted also produces heat. The cities of the earth with their towering buildings are hot plates that are constantly heating the air that surrounds them. One can easily see the heat arising from cities on geothermal maps found on the internet.
GREATEST HEAT SOURCE
The Sun, of course, is the greatest heat source. Unimpeded it would fry this planet in a few years. But, yet, the Earth
has gone through Ice Ages. How could the Earth become that cold with the same Sun?
There is an un-acclaimed source of cooling on the planet Earth. It is vegetation. Plant life takes the heat from the Sun and converts that heat into carbon molecules. In the process of photosynthesis great quantities of heat are absorbed. That same heat is released when the carbon molecules are burned.
When the earth was totally covered with forests, so much heat was absorbed by trees that the temperature dropped and ice formed at the poles. This is a highly probable cause of the Ice Ages.
Now, that forest cover has been removed. There are no great forests left on the Earth. Like a naked baby left to lie in the Sun, the Earth is about to burn up!
The Earth’s heating is caused by four processes:
1. Direct Solar Heating.
2. Green House effect.
3. Use of Energy.
4. Deforestation and destruction of vegetation.
Humans create the last three processes.
THE DRYING PROCESS
As heat emanates from the earth’s surface and then is trapped in the atmosphere by CO2 and other gases, the atmosphere gains energy in the form of heat.
Heat energy causes air molecules to move faster and for greater distances. Since there are less air molecules per volume of space, the air is less dense.
Water vapor arising from lakes and oceans on the earth’s surface floats in the thin air. In order for the water vapor to condense and then to precipitate the water vapor requires cold air – air molecules that are moving slowly.
The tracking of heat is by measuring temperatures at the surface. This means nothing. The crucial temperatures are high in the atmosphere. It is high in the atmosphere that the temperature gradients are crucially important for precipitation, rain, to form.
We will see in the next chapter how a very small increase in the world’s temperature can reduce normal rainfall to drought conditions.
To be continued.
After-post: Russia declares state of emergency over wildfires
Published 2 August, 2010
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has declared a state of emergency in seven Russian regions because of wildfires fuelled by a heatwave.
The death toll from the fires has risen to 40, the ministry of health said. The Russian emergencies ministry said 500 new blazes had been discovered over a 24-hour period, but most had been extinguished. Homes have been burnt in 14 regions of Russia, the worst-hit being Nizhny Novgorod, Voronezh and Ryazan.
Nineteen of the 40 deaths recorded were in Nizhny Novgorod, the health ministry said.
The state of emergency was announced in a decree that also restricted public access to the regions affected. Moscow is again shrouded in smoke from peat and forest fires outside the city.
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