Geology 1001/1101. Sec 003 Chris Paola Class 14: the Anthropocene. Chapter 14. HUMAN IMPACT ON EARTH’S ENVIRONMENT. What is burning?. CH 4 + 2O 2 CO 2 + 2H 2 O + energy. methane oxygen carbon dioxide water. Relative carbon emissions. What is the “greenhouse effect”?.
Sec 003 Chris Paola
Class 14: the Anthropocene
HUMAN IMPACT ON
CH4 + 2O2 CO2 + 2H2O + energy
methane oxygen carbon dioxide water
1. Energy must balance: output = input
2. Higher surface temp higher rate of energy radiation
1. Incoming solar radiation
3. GHG return some of the outgoing energy back to earth as infrared radiation
NO ATMOSPHERE, e.g. Moon
WITH ATMOSPHERE, e.g. Earth
2. Surface temp increases until energy balances
4. Higher surface temp required to balance extra input energy
The observed increase in CO2 levels are anthropogenic
The Earth’s climate has warmed over the past couple of decades
CO2 is not the most effective greenhouse gas
Other anthropogenic changes work against GW
The Earth’s climate undergoes important natural cycles that are not well understoodbut…
A new “green” economy could be beneficial
There is strong scientific consensus about GW
By acting in haste, we will create an economic catastrophe
A warmer climate could be beneficial
Science is not a democracy; dissenting voices are being suppressedBoth sides now…
There is no way around the fact that this and other important decisions about the environment will have to be made with imperfect scientific understanding. What is the best way to do this?
UM Institute on the Environment Momentum
Could stimulating plankton with Fe speed up the biological pump?
“Give me half a tanker of iron, and I’ll give you an ice age”
– John Martin, former Director, Moss Landing Marine Lab
Land loss in coastal Louisiana associated with river diking & flood control
The total earth moved in the past 5000 yr would be sufficient to build a 4000-m-high mountain range, 40 km wide and 100 km long.
If current rates of increase persist, we could double the length of our mountain range in the next 100 yr.
R. L. Hooke (2000) Geology 28:843
Sanderson, E. W. et al. (2002) Bioscience, 52, 891-904.
Fraction of US land area that is:
Coterminous US, from Riitters, K. H., and J. D. Wickham (2003), Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 1, 125-129.