Destroying Your House with a Sledge Hammer?
If you, as a home owner, were worried about the stability of your home, it is very unlikely that you would take a sledge hammer to it and start beating on the structure you are so worried about. In other words, why would you make something worse than it already is?
So why destroy the atmosphere with one?
Let us assume that the increase in temperatures and the increase in dangerous weather occurring around the world is a natural occurrence and NOT caused by human activity. For this discussion, let us assume this. Much like the story in the previous paragraph, is it a good idea to make climate change even worse by exacerbating it with human activity?
Human Activity - Green House Gases
It is a known fact that CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) is, what they call, a green house gas. There are others, Methane is one, caused by the out-gassing of farm animals, animals in general, including human beings. What does this mean? Carbon Dioxide is one of the green house gases on the planet Venus, second closest planet to our star, the Sun. Carbon dioxide allows visible light to pass through it to the surface of the planet, but does not allow the invisible light (invisible to humans) called Infrared Light, to pass through it back into space. Where does infrared light come from? It comes from all objects that are heated up by visible light. So, since carbon dioxide and other green house gases do not allow this infrared light to reflect back into space, it heats up the atmosphere. This is the basis of the green house effect.
So, is human activity creating additional green house gases? Here are some sources (per 1 million BTU's of energy produced or used - the approximate energy that a single person will use in 1 day):
- Gasoline: 157 pounds of Carbon Dioxide
- Coal: 215 pounds of Carbon Dioxide
- Natural Gas: 117 pounds of Carbon Dioxide
- Propane: 139 pounds of Carbon Dioxide
- Cows (Cattle): 550 pounds per day - produces over 4 times the Natural Gas per day that a human needs for energy
What does this mean? It means that the more we burn the above substances into the atmosphere or cultivate the above animal(s), the more green house gases we put into the atmosphere and the warmer it will get since CO2 won't let the infrared heat escape the atmosphere.
Prove it to me!
It is very simple to conduct your own experiment to prove that Carbon Dioxide increases temperature (Video of this experiment is coming soon)
Place the glass containers on a table with the thermometers inside each facing up so their digits are visible
Cover the tops with a sheet of the plastic wrap and secure them with string or rubber band(s).
Put these outside so they get the same amount of sun light or shine a sun-lamp on each. It would be best to shine a separate lamp on each to assure the experiment is fare.
After about an hour, check the temperature of each and write down the values. They should be the same. If not, keep track of the differences between the two. This will be your base-line measurement.
Now, if there is still enough light shining on the jars (if not, do this next step the next day at the same time you began step #2), slide the aquarium hose inside one of the jars under the plastic wrap and use the CO2 bicycle inflators to put CO2 into the jar. This will send carbon dioxide into the jar which will sink to the bottom of the jar because CO2 is much heavier than the other gases (Oxygen, Nitrogen, Argon, and others) in the atmosphere. You could breath into the jar instead of using the bicycle inflator, but this will add moisture to the air in the jar which would increase temperature because of the humidity in your breath, not the CO2.
Remove the aquarium hose from the jar being careful not to let too much air out of it.
After a couple of hours, check the digital thermometers again. Using your base line measurement taken in step #4, subtract or add the difference in the temperature of the jars. You will see the jar you breathed into is warmer than the one you did not breath into. Note that you are looking for a difference in temperature between the two jars, not the temperature of each jar. So if the day gets hotter or cooler, you are only interested in the difference between the two temperatures (one jar compared to the other).
- Two large glass jars
- Two digital thermometers
- A CO2 bicycle tire inflator and a couple of CO2 canisters for it
- Some plastic wrap
- A couple of large rubber bands, tie wraps or string
- One small plastic hose (what you might use in an aquarium that keep fish) about 2 feet long