The human impact
02/03/2019 18:23 - Posted by Tom van Leeuwen
Humanity tends to overestimate its influence on the environment. In reality, the influence of human activity is tiny compared with the enormous forces of natural processes. Here we make a rough comparison between the total amount of energy humanity has consumed since the Industrial Revolution and the amount of energy needed for a natural process: the end of a glacial period.
This is not about the scientifically exact values of these processes. In part, we use estimates and approximations to indicate the order of magnitude of the differences.
The end of a glacial period
At the coldest point of the last glacial period, about 25 thousand years ago, both of the Earth's ice sheets together were 52 million cubic kilometers (5.2 x 107
) larger than today
One cubic kilometer of ice weighs 919 billion kilograms (9.19 x 1011
So the total weight of the melted ice was 5.2 x 9.19 x 107
= 4.8 x 1019
Melting one kilo of ice takes 3.34 x 105 Joule
For melting all that ice, 1.6 x 1025 Joule was needed.
The energy required to heat ice from approximately -10°C to 0°C and water from 0°C to 10°C is less than 1% of this amount. This is smaller than the rounding error and therefore we won't take it into consideration.
Mankind's energy consumption since the Industrial Revolution (1850)
In 2013, the total, global energy consumption
of humanity was 5.67 x 1020
Joule. In 1973, that consumption was less than half of that amount and the longer ago, the lower the consumption.
It seems safe to assume that since the Industrial Revolution, humanity's total energy consumption has not exceeded 100 times the 2013 consumption, i.e. 6 x 1022
The result of this rough approach is that the amount of energy required 15 thousand years ago to partially melt the ice sheets was about 270 times greater than all the energy that humanity has consumed since the Industrial Revolution.
Another comparison: The total proven reserves of fossil fuels
are the equivalent of 6,894 x 1012
barrels of crude oil. Each barrel of crude oil provides 6.1 109 Joule
energy. The total amount of energy stored in the form of fossil fuels is thus 4.2 1022
So the completely natural process that melted the ice caps at the beginning of the Holocene consumed 380 times
the total amount of energy stored in the form of fossil fuels.
The energy consumption of humanity is thus almost irrelevant compared to the enormous amounts of energy required for the natural processes that control the Earth's climate.
The political reports of the IPCC are based on the hypothesis that CO2
is the most important control knob of the Earth's temperature. The problem is that this hypothesis does not correspond at all with the empirical data available to science. Forecasts are made using models that are not capable of 'predicting' the past
When discussing “Climate Change” it’s good to have an understanding of how the Earth’s climate has changed in the past. That will give us a reference in order to decide of the current changes are normal or not.
Global temperatures have varied a lot over the last 500 million years. Depending on the timescale used, the current temperature is either cold or hot, so when you want to know the “normal temperature” you’ll have to indicate what timescale you’re using.
This must be the environmental myth with the deepest roots of them all (pun intended). It's compulsory subject matter in public schools around the globe, it's passed from generation to generation and if you dare to question it in public, disbelieve, rejection, jeering and even exclusion from the conversation will be your treat. That's the typical way people react when their beliefs and primary "knowledge" are challenged.
Woods, forests and jungles are Earth's "Green Lungs" that generate and produce the oxygen we need to breath and live.
Last month, the New York Times website published a page titled "Glaciers Are Retreating. Millions Rely on Their Water."
It shows a dramatic image, zooming out of a person walking down a dry glacier bed with the following text:
"In Central Asia, a warming climate is shrinking the Tuyuksu glacier. It’s losing ice every year.
Around the world, vanishing glaciers will mean less water for people and crops in the future."
Computer models are something magical. As powerful computers, located at famous universities and authoritative government agencies are involved, model output is often considered to be a substitute for reality
But it's not.
Since the start of the Global Warming scare numerous predictions have been made about all kind of things related to the climate. As this scam is going on for over 30 years now some of those predictions have reached their due date and the time has come to check the results.