Kevin Copeland: Read up on climate
Do you presently accept the alarmist prophecies of this administration, its EPA and countless, unelected, unaccountable environmental extremists and bureaucrats, spewing misrepresented doomsday rhetoric about the changing climate ? If so, enlighten yourself with the following facts.
Eons past, as our young planet cooled from its molten state and condensed into solid form, the surrounding atmospheric mixture was hydrogen and compounds containing hydrogen. When combined with oxygen, water was formed and became oceans, while carbon-containing compounds, principally carbon monoxide and methane, combined with oxygen to form carbon dioxide. All this took place in about half of Earth’s lifetime and left the atmosphere depleted of oxygen.
Life got a foot hold in the oceans with algae and bacterial organisms propagating without oxygen. Billions of years of additional experimentation, life came up with its most consequential evolution, photosynthesis, and so learned to live off CO2 and sunlight. Land plants evolved and lived by the reaction.
During the Carboniferous Period, plants proliferated, covering the land surfaces with lush forests of giant ferns trees and plants of all varieties. Because the atmosphere was rich in CO2, but poor in oxygen, dead material did not decompose rapidly, so layer upon layer, was laid down in blankets hundreds of feet thick, that throughout time would become coal, petroleum, peat, oil shale and tar sands.
Toward the end of this period, the concentration of oxygen slowly rose and CO2 decreased. Because of this, forests thinned and dead material began to oxidize more rapidly. Evidence of this change is that there are no coal deposits younger than 65 million years. Animal life also found this change to its liking, so mammals and dinosaurs flourished
Earth then went through the Mesozoic Era in which it was stifling hot and humid with forests extending much closer to the poles and growing twice as fast as they do today. During the age of the dinosaurs, the tropics were steamy jungles, mid-latitudes were dry cypress woodlands and the North Pole was mostly pines.
As recently as 2.6 million years ago, the Quaternary Period, Earth experienced several ice ages. This is a period of the long-term temperature reduction of Earth’s surface and atmosphere, resulting in the presence or expansion of continental and polar ice sheets and alpine glaciers. Within an ice age, individual pulses of cold climate termed “glacial periods” and intermittent warming periods called interglacials, occur. Glaciologically, ice age implies the presence of extensive ice sheets in the Northern and Southern hemispheres.
By this definition, we are currently in an interglacial period, the Holocene, of the ice age that began 2.6 million years ago at the start of the Pleistocene epoch, because Greenland, Artic and Antarctic ice sheets still exist.
Without saying, Earth has experienced, and will continue to experience, changes in climate.
Presently, we are enjoying the effects of a cooler geologic period. In the past 600 million years of Earth’s existence, only the late Caboniferous Period, Quaternary Period and our present age have witnessed the lowest global temperatures with CO2 levels lower than 400 ppm. Historically, CO2 levels in our atmosphere have been much higher than exist today. The Jurassic Period averaged 1800 ppm, and the Cambrian Period at nearly 7000 ppm — about 18 times higher than today.
To the consternation of global warming proponents, the late Ordovician Period was also an ice age, while at the same time CO2 concentrations were nearly 12 times higher than today at 4400 ppm. So according to greenhouse theory, Earth should have been exceedingly hot.
Instead, global temperatures were no warmer than today. Clearly, other factors besides atmospheric carbon influence Earth’s temperatures and global warming.
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