Understanding the Climate

This semester I am taking several classes which relate to climate change, they include: paleontology and atmospheric science. In these classes I have already learned a lot about the history of the Earth as well as the present and what we can expect for the future. Being able to understand the inner workings causing climate change, and understanding what we don’t know about it, has helped me grasp our role in the future of the climate. The Earth has been going through warming and cooling phases throughout its history. The temperature changes throughout these time periods can be determined by analyzing fossils and other geologic features. Modern data makes it clear that humans have accelerated the gradual warming trend that has been underway for many years. The industries we have created have caused a distinct change in the composition of the atmosphere. The increased warming returned by greenhouse gases in the atmosphere causes the environment to change in such a way that methane and CO2 are released into the atmosphere, thus further accelerating the warming in a positive feedback loop.

I have learned just how much energy Earth receives from the sun. It accounts for around 90% of the energy on earth. This energy is the huge driving force that allows our atmosphere to function in our environmental system. It will be very beneficial and necessary for us to improve our extraction of this energy. The energy extraction techniques we primarily use now tend to remove resources from their natural place in the geological environment and displace them into our ecological system in harmful ways that disrupt the functioning of sensitive environmental network.

There are many possibilities for any field of work to create harmony between humans and the environment. This is because of the seemingly infinite aspects involved in these interactions. Possibly because we are born and raised on the earth, it is what we learn from. In fact, science is based on natural observations of the Earth and universe.

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One comment

  1. rogerwleblanc · February 19, 2016

    Hey Bryan, thanks for this awesome blog post. I think you bring up an important point that climate shifts historically have been from natural causes and now this current shift has been dramatically accelerated by human activity. This point is often misrepresented by climate denial proponents, so having a good understanding of what makes climate change different that previous shifts is really important when talking to family and friends about this issue. Thanks for sharing what you learned and reflecting on it. – Roger

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