Global Warming:
Physics and Consequences

by Tom Schneider

Ready to act? Sign up for Arcadia! Whether you own or rent you can make your electricity be from solar or wind! Why do this? See below!
This graph, based on the comparison of atmospheric samples contained in ancient ice cores and more recent direct measurements, provides evidence that atmospheric CO2 has increased dramatically since the Industrial Revolution compared to paleoclimatologic (past climate) measurements over the past 800,000 years. (Credit: Luthi, D., et al.. 2008; Etheridge, D.M., et al. 2010; Vostok ice core data/J.R. Petit et al.; NOAA Mauna Loa CO2 record.)

Global warming is happening and it is caused by humans burning fossil fuels.
All coastal cities are in danger.
Climate Spiral

Here are resources that demonstrate these facts and some of the effects it is causing.

Brief summary of the PHYSICS of what is happening
  1. When we drive a gas car or use electricity generated by oil, coal or natural gas the fuel burns and generates CO2.
  2. The amount of CO2 gas in the atmosphere is rising way beyond historic levels.
  3. The CO2 allows visible sunlight through the atmosphere.
  4. The visible and infrared sunlight heats up the earth.
  5. The heat is re-radiated as longer wavelength infrared light.
  6. Light radiates into outer space, cooling the planet.
  7. But infrared light gets absorbed by CO2, trapping the heat.
  8. So the CO2 we are adding to the atmosphere does NOT allow the heat out as much.
  9. CO2 is called a "greenhouse gas" because it works like a greenhouse - heating up the container it is in. (But see real greenhouses)
  10. So the earth is heating up and it is our fault.
  11. The heat warms the oceans, causing more water in the air, leading to more severe storms, which we are seeing.
  12. In some places the extra heat causes droughts.
  13. In Syria the extra heat caused a drought. The global-warming caused drought triggered the war. See: Researchers Link Syrian Conflict to a Drought Made Worse by Climate Change, by Henry Fountain March 2, 2015.
  14. Storm intensity has been shown to be increasing. See:
  1. Weather patterns change, many places will become drier but others wetter since heating the oceans causes more evaporation.
  2. Storms are already bad and getting worse.
  3. Wars are already being fought over resources.
  4. The pole ice caps are melting.
  5. Melting ice on land is causing the sea level to rise.
  6. The sea expands in the heat and raises the sea level.
  7. Coastal cities all around the planet are already in trouble and many will have to be abandoned.
  8. Species are migrating northward and many species are dying that cannot migrate.
  9. The permafrost in places like Siberia is warming up, releasing methane, another gas like CO CO2. If enough is released, it could cause run-away heating
  10. Many humans are already dying from the heat.
  11. My opinion: these changes could lead to human extinction.
    1. Civilization collapse
    2. Humanity will become fragmented
    3. Fragmented species are in danger of extinction
      Quantification of habitat fragmentation reveals extinction risk in terrestrial mammals Crooks et al. PNAS 2017.
    4. Here's an essay about Facing Extinction by Catherine Ingram
    5. The Future by Leonard Cohen

How Science Works
Read this page to understand what scientists do to make sure that their science is correct.

Videos to watch

Things you can do

Other good links and News