Climate change and biodiversity

Published by rudy Date posted on February 8, 2009

Can we stop climate change? Or global warming? The answer is a big no We cannot stop climate change and therefore we cannot prevent global warming. It is all right to be so passionate and emotional about these issues but not to the point of being irrational.

Let us look at a naturally occurring event called “Ice Age.” An Ice Age is used to refer to long, generally cool intervals during which glacial advances and retreats occur. Colder periods are called “glacial periods” when glacial advances occur (ice sheets) while warmer periods are called “interglacial periods” when ice sheets melt.

Throughout the 4.6 billion year of earth’s existence, it had been and still is characterized by climate changes. But many glacial advances and retreats have occurred during the last billion years of earth’s history. Large and important “ice age events” were concentrated into four time intervals and occurred 1st between 850 and 630 million years ago (MYA), 2nd between 460 and 430 MYA, 3rd between 350 and 250 MYA, and 4th 4 MYA. Different species of animals and plants regularly appeared, evolved and became extinct during these periods, while the modern man (meaning us) was not in existence yet. Living beings have endured an ever-changing climate. It is crystal clear that man had no contribution to the global cooling and global warming during these periods.

Factors identified, which might have contributed to these ice ages, include changes in earth’s atmosphere, position of continents, variations in earth’s orbit and in sun’s energy output and volcanism. A new thought-provoking theory on global warming espoused by Svensmark and Nigel Calder (2008) says that “an interplay of the Sun and cosmic rays—sub-atomic particles from exploded stars—seem to have more effect on the climate change than man-made carbon dioxide.” But this will not change the fact, and scientists agree, that the earth has become hotter during the last century.

During the last 2 million years, more than 60 ice age episodes have occurred. Modern man already existed during the last 300,000 years.

The last glacial period culminated about 10,000 years ago. So where are we now? Looking at the previous ice ages, the next glacial period should happen more than 50,000 years from now. We are now in a “short warming period” (glacial retreat) to be followed later by a “cooling period” (glacial advance) to complete one ice age event. It seems that whether we like it or not, the on-going “interglacial” or warming period will proceed. So what’s the problem? Warming is proceeding at a very rapid rate, because of man.

Apparently, with an ever-increasing global population, man’s actions have now contributed to a changing climate. Most scientists have agreed that, indeed, man’s activities have significantly affected our climate that influenced global warming. The rate of increase of global warning is alarming. The greenhouse gases that are largely produced by man have caused the climate to change and facilitated global warming.

As man is now the culprit, so man must make amend and restitution. Aside from changing our environmentally-harmful ways and reducing emission of greenhouse gasses, man must recognize that trees and other plants are natural sequesters and regulators of CO2. Billions of trees have been destroyed resulting to billions of hectares deforested. So, man must stop destroying and must instead restore. And must he restore in billions of trees. So there you are. We cannot stop climate change and global warming. But we can do something about the rate that they are going.

Note: It behooves us to change our ways, whether the man-made CO2 and GHG are considered as the main drivers of climate change and global warming, or the interplay of the sun’s magnetic field and the cosmic rays that contribute to cloud formation. –Blas R. Tabaranza Jr., Manila Times

April – Month of Planet Earth

“Full speed to renewables!”

 

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