CO2 and temperature increase in close synchrony in the geological records, illustrating that once the temperature begins to rise (which it can do for a number of reasons) CO2 becomes the dominant force to continue increasing the temperature. By contrast, CO2 is often slower to decline in atmospheric concentration than the temperature declines. What does this mean?
The subject of climate science has essentially three discussions going on at the same time, all of which feed into the decision-making processes that will ultimately determine the use of climate science as it is applied (or not applied) to controlling global warming. Because these discussions often reach just about anyone who is the least bit connected to the communication systems of the world, it is important to understand how each operates and how they can and will determine the decisions of politicians, industry leaders, and even how the decisions will enable or disable climate research.
Small modular reactors are great, in their place. They are great for powering submarines and surface warships. They could be great for powering the world’s merchant marine — and that nuclear-powered fleet could remove a lot of CO2 in two ways — first by replacing the old smokers, and second, by extracting dissolved CO2 from their condenser cooling water — or even by making synthetic petroleum.
The animations represent aerosol optical thickness from a portion of GEOS-5 simulation from September 2006 to April 2007. Major tropospheric aerosol types are emitted into the atmosphere and transported by winds, turbulence, and deep convection across the globe. Dust is represented with orange to red colors, sea salt with blue, organic and black carbon with green to yellow to white, and sulfates with ash brown to white. The yellow and red dots on the land surface indicate the locations of wildfires and human-initiated burning that have been detected by the MODIS instrument aboard the NASA Terra and Aqua satellites
The greenhouse gas effect can be complicated to understand. It is important because it is the mechanism that causes global warming. By adding excess CO2 from fossil fuels, poor forestry practices, poor agricultural practices, and using carbon-intensive industrial processes, we enable the greenhouse gas effect to increase our planet’s average temperature. Too much of this is going to be a very bad idea, so understanding what is happening is smart. Here are some details with a “sort of” simple explanation to start with.
Climate models are a mathematical representation of the climate. The models divide the earth, ocean and atmosphere into a grid. Variables, such as surface pressure, wind, temperature, humidity and rainfall are calculated at each grid point over time, to predict their future values. The finer the resolution the shorter the interval between each computation.