Creation Cries Out: Is Anyone Listening? Mt. Pine Beetle damage, Montana (NYT, 11/17/08) Dr. Bill Blair, astronomer, Johns Hopkins University
Dept. of Physics & Astronomy Take Home Points Gods Creation is awesome, but fragile. Global Warming is real, and is driving significant climate changes on our planet. The human impact is undeniable and significant. There is an urgent need to change our behaviors.
As Christians, there are significant stewardship and social justice concerns that should motivate us to Care for Creation. The Greenhouse Effect Sunlight comes through glass. Light is absorbed and
re-radiated as heat (infrared light). Heat is trapped (warms interior of greenhouse). Need for balance to keep it from getting too hot/cold.
BALANCE The Earth is so big! How can we affect things? The Earth is so big! How can we affect things?
By affecting the BALANCE Apollo 11, July 1969 Venus - Our Twin Planet?*
Closest planet to earth. Nearly the same size as earth, but CO2 atmosphere 100x denser than earths. Surface temp 900 degrees F. Example of Runaway
Greenhouse effect. Venus - Our Twin Planet?* Closest planet to earth. Nearly the same size as earth, but CO2 atmosphere 100x denser than earths.
Surface temp 900 degrees F. Example of Runaway Greenhouse effect. BALANCE *(Lets hope not!)
Greenhouse Gases Water Vapor H2O Methane CH4 Carbon Dioxide CO2 A trace constituent, but very effective at trapping heat.
Fact: Atmospheric CO2 levels are increasing. Direct Evidence Evidence of Warming 2003
1938 Glacier National Park, Montana North Polar Ice 2007 Larsen B Ice Shelf, Antarctica, 2006
Climate Impacts Katrina 2005 Warmer sea temperatures cause stronger storms and affect atmospheric and sea circulation patterns.
Can cause droughts in some areas and excessive rainfall in others. Add to the rise in sea level. Warm Warm water water has has a a larger
larger volume. volume. Past Climate: How do we know? Ice core samples: Greenland, Antarctica, etc. Ice traps gas bubbles, dust particles, biological material, and other materials. Chemical isotope ratios are proxies for Temp,
CO22 levels, etc., at various times in the past. Layers in ice core are similar to tree rings - showing annual cycles. Past Climate - Natural Variations
Are we responsible? You decide. What can we do to motivate ourselves? Consider Global Warming as a social justice issue. Consider Global Warming as a
stewardship issue. Consider Global Warming as a survival issue. Money (e.g. green capitalism!) Economic drivers such as green building, green jobs, green energy, entrepreneurship, etc. Energy Needs vs. Sustainability
Global Sustainability U.S. per capita energy consumption (hence, CO22 production) is 32x that of the developing world. The U.S. consumes energy at a rate comparable to 10 BILLION people in the developing world! If the developing world rises to our level of
consumption, the energy needs are immense. If they do it with fossil fossil fuels, fuels, we are are toast! toast! Our level of energy consumption is not
sustainable and is not just by the worlds standards. >> We must reduce our consumption and help the rest of the world cope with their needs. Let us take care of the Earth.
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