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Global Warming

It won't be long before science will discover that global warming (now called Climate Change) is a natural phenomenon and not a human mistake.  Global warming has been happening for the past 10,000 years, ever since the last Ice Age advance of the Pleistocene period.  In fact, it would be more accurate to call it Global Thawing. 

Earth is not an ice planet.  It is not natural for broad glaciers to extend to the 45th parallels.  Evidence to support this statement lies in the fact that the polar ice is covering huge plains of peat bogs, which means there were lots of vegetation just before the ice advanced.  If the Pleistocene ice cover was as old as scientists say it is, the vegetation now being exposed would be over 1 million years old.  Further, there would have been no Woolly Mammoths in the polar regions 11,500, 23,000, 36,000, and 42,000 years ago.

The evidence shows that the ice melting there today is anomalous.  Some drastic cooling occurred during the past, and Earth is still thawing out.

What caused the Ice Ages to begin with?  We know dinosaurs lived for hundreds of millions of years with no Ice Ages.  The planet was then about 4 degrees warmer and there were a greater variety of plant and animal life. 

It appears that soon after a major asteroid impacted the earth, a vast portion of plant and animals species went extinct.  The large volume of carcasses and plant debris containing nitrogen and carbon were quickly covered by dust and ash.  The sterile environment kept the dead matter preserved for a very long time.  Continuing volcanic dust and erosion eventually buried the dead matter under hundreds of feet of Earth over millions of years.  The pressure of accumulating Earth eventually transformed the dead matter into petrocarbons.  What was once a significant part of the biosystem became sequestered carbon and remained under the crust until continental drift pushed the petrocarbons into the upper mantle where they were burned and released as carbon dioxide in volcanic eruptions.

The last major asteroid to hit the Earth was about 65 million years ago and was the primary cause for wiping out the dinosaurs.  If left to nature it would take about 100 to 150 million more years before the carbon sequestered as petrocarbons is once again released to the biosphere.

As fate would have it, the human species discovered petrocarbons and have built a civilization based on petrocarbon products.  Unwittingly, we are short circuiting the 200 million year damage done by the last major asteroid impact.  By bringing the petrocarbons back to the surface, we are returning the earth's environment back to its earlier state.

As more carbon is released into the atmosphere, the atmospheric temperature is returned to its natural value, which leads to glacial melting.  The Earth will evolve faster toward a global tropical climate the more the ice melts.  It will become increasingly important for all species to focus on adapting as there will be no other alternative.  The increased global thawing will lead to a more unstable Earth as the biosystem, plate tectonics, and climate all struggle to adapt.  Even human society will have to restructure in order to adapt.

But there is a silver lining to this cloud.  As the planet warms, the upper atmosphere warms.  If the upper atmosphere warms to a significant temperature, it will be impossible for nitrogen to liquefy and thus the Ice Age cycle will be broken.  By burning petrocarbons the earth will once again return to its stable temperature and life will diversify once again and continue uninterrupted until the next major asteroid impact.

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