Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Stop It with the Carbon, Already!

Every time I see or hear something about reducing carbon-dioxide emissions, I feel like bashing my head against a wall. They've got cause and effect completely switched.

Take a can of Coke out of the fridge, open it, and pour the Coke into a glass. Have a drink. Fizzy! Let the rest sit on the counter for a few hours till it warms up to room temperature. Have a drink. Not so fizzy.

What just happened? The Coke warmed up, releasing carbon dioxide (the fizz) into the air. When water is cold, it can hold more carbon dioxide than when it's warm.

The oceans of Earth hold two-thirds of the planet's carbon dioxide, just like a really dilute can of Coke. If something were to warm up the oceans, what do you think would happen to the fizz? Into the air it goes!

The ocean is so big that it takes a few hundred years for the carbon dioxide release to catch up to the warming, but release it, it does.

So, what's warming the oceans? Could it be an increase in solar activity?

What could be causing an increase of airborne carbon dioxide now? Could it be an increase in solar activity several hundred years ago? . . . Nah. That would make too much sense.

Oh, and by the way, plants really love it when they get more carbon dioxide. Farmers often triple the amount of carbon dioxide in their greenhouses to get the plants to grow better. Curiously, that tripled level of carbon dioxide approximates the conditions during the age of dinosaurs. They had giant plants back then, too, didn't they?

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