Did you know that NASA/NOAA have been taking Vital Signs of Earth for 50 years or more?
This graph, based on the comparison of atmospheric samples contained in ice cores and more recent direct measurements, provides evidence that atmospheric CO2 has increased since 1950 beyond ANY KNOWN OR RECORD DATE . (Credit: Vostok ice core data/J.R. Petit et al.; NOAA Mauna Loa CO2 record.) Find out more about ice cores .
The extreme warming trend is of particular significance, because there is a 95% probability it is a result of activity of humans recently and proceeding at a rate that is unprecedented over millennia. Only people now alive, or in the recent past, are responsible for this global warming and climate trend, as judged by carbon dioxide production.
Aren’t the Boomers through Millennial generations in the last 70 years producing more renewable energy, not less? Yes. But in this case, less energy produced from any source may mean more.
As the 2017 report from Battelle-PNNL scientists indicates, we are generating more energy from “renewable, clean energy” wind sources. The hope that larger sources of distributed energy are on the horizon is the ‘saving grace’, for each source has it own, unknown, efficiency. Locally, it may be very efficient or not, sending off its entropy and displacing its heat elsewhere as it produces work for local consumption only.
However, as our species dominates work and growth on Earth, the impact of new and less efficient sources becomes evident. The most efficient energy resources can still only approach Carnot Cycle efficiencies seen below:
The fact that we have more, smaller renewable sources of energy; more wind power; more hydropower and more solar power does not indicate we are more efficient globally. We continues to create unnecessary entropy and heat using small units, even if these units are close to where the energy is utilized. In fact, it is because these units are close to where the work is utilized means they must distribute their entropy and heat outside of the localities to maintain efficiencies or to grow.
In other word, SOMEONE, SOMEWHERE on Earth must at some point be getting less work for the energy consumed if local efficiencies are maintained or increased. Right now, the Arctic is taking the brunt of this and putting off/hiding some of the more parasitic forms of survival. It is our big heat bath, The Arctic, where we allow Th -> Tc with the concomitant disruption to our weather patterns and other species.
This will only work for a certain amount of time before the differences between “Hot” and “Cold” become less globally and locally in a closed system like Earth. Right now the Arctic is our test case on Earth for Tc ~ Th. When they approach equality globally, we die as a species, even without Global War. Or we find a new existence on Mars or other worlds uncharted.
The Hope – Can we find existence elsewhere? On Mars? Or slow growth until we can? Can we slow growth completely here to avoid the death of our species?
Earth-orbiting satellites and other technological advances have enabled scientists to see the big picture, collecting many different types of information about our planet and its climate on a global scale. This body of data, collected over many years, reveals the signals of a changing climate.
The heat-trapping nature of carbon dioxide and other gases was demonstrated in the mid-19th century.2 Their ability to affect the transfer of infrared energy through the atmosphere is the scientific basis of many instruments flown by NASA. There is no question that increased levels of greenhouse gases must cause the Earth to warm in response.
Ice cores drawn from Greenland, Antarctica, and tropical mountain glaciers show that the Earth’s climate responds to changes in greenhouse gas levels. Ancient evidence can also be found in tree rings, ocean sediments, coral reefs, and layers of sedimentary rocks. This ancient, or paleoclimate, evidence reveals that current warming is occurring roughly ten times faster than the average rate of ice-age-recovery warming.3
NASA’s assessment of the Climate Today.