If I Told You Your Atmosphere Absorbs Too Much Solar Heat, Would You Hold It Against Me?

Like every issue which involves an industry that stands to lose a few bucks, the global warming debate is full of nonsense and misinformation.  Is global warming real?  Is it manmade or natural?  Or both?  Does the amount of carbon in the atmosphere make a difference?

Well just in case you’ve been wondering, lemme clear a few things up with some perfectly good pre-bullshit-propaganda-campaign science.

Scientists have known about the greenhouse effect for decades.  We have seen what it can do to a planet.  How?  Because earth isn’t the only planet.

Venus, the closest planet to earth, is somewhat closer to the sun and somewhat hotter, but given it’s size and distance from our star it ought to be more or less habitable, if uncomfortable for it’s occupants.  The average temperature ought to be about 90 degrees in some places.

Instead the average temperature is about nine hundred degrees.

Why?

Well lets take a look.

This is Venus.  Compare it to earth:

Now to totally bastardize quite a bit of physical science, I’ll simplify this for the sake of my own laziness.  Or at least try to… 

If light passes through something or is reflected off of it (like a mirror) it does not absorb the energy from the light.  If something absorbs energy and we see it as a color (such as the blue ocean or the brown soil for instance) that means some light is being absorbed and some is being reflected, and what is being reflected is what our eyes/minds perceive as blue or brown or whatever. 

The sun pumps vast amounts of energy into space, so much so that the tiny amount that hits us is enough to sustain every living thing on the planet.  When you run up a flight of stairs or have sex or think really hard or do anything that requires energy, that energy ultimately comes from the sun.  Some of the sunlight is transferred into chemical energy by plants, which are eaten by animals which are eaten by insects, bacteria etc, and we get our food at some point in this chain.  So enough energy from the sun hits the earth to power every living thing on the planet, every metabolic process, enough power to digest every meal every animal eats, heal every wound, and do everything all 6 billion humans do in the course of a day. 

We’re talking about a LOT of energy.  Enough to make the energizer bunny look lethargic.

Some of this energy doesn’t get transferred into biological energy, but instead becomes heat energy.  Light hits a mountain or a bit of dirt and the energy that’s absorbed becomes heat.  Well when there’s too much carbon in the atmosphere this has a sort of double-whammy effect.  The massive amount of energy from the sun hits the earth, and then what would normally be reflected back out into space gets absorbed by the impurities in the atmosphere instead.  I did another blog that mentioned that we put well over a hundred billion pounds of carbon in the air every single year – that’s just our one country.  That’s 100 billion pounds of crap in the air absorbing additional heat.

Now go back and look at those pictures again.

Notice anything that might account for the average temperature being 800 degrees higher than it should be?  Maybe it has something to do with the fact that the surface of Venus isn’t even visible there’s so much crap in the atmosphere.

See on earth particles in the air are, well, nutrients.  They get incorporated into life.  Plants suck carbon out of the air and use it the way we use food.  There’s enough carbon in the coral reefs alone to kill every living thing on the planet if it were ever released, and if all life on earth died our planet would look more like Venus, one big smog-heap.

And that’s what we’re doing.  When we burn stuff, coal, wood, gas, oil, we are putting more crap into the atmosphere which not only is poisonous to us, but has the added benefit of making our planet hotter and hotter and hotter. 

Think this doesn’t have any impact?  Two continents are starting to melt out of existence.

Hurricanes and tornadoes are caused when hot and cold or cool fronts come together and feed into a spiral gaining more and more power.  The warmer the air and water currents, the more intense the phenomena is.  Think that doesn’t matter to people living where there are tornadoes and hurricanes?

How did I find out about this whole Venus global warming thing?

I read about it, in a 30 year old book.  Scientists have considered global warming and the greenhouse effect facts for decades.  It’s only when big fat corporations stand to lose a buck that it becomes a “controversy”.  Like healthcare, like oil, like everything these days.

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About agnophilo

Nerd.
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25 Responses to If I Told You Your Atmosphere Absorbs Too Much Solar Heat, Would You Hold It Against Me?

  1. I am 37 years old.  They have been talking about global warming since I was a kid.  Somehow I think both sides think science is on their side and I am going to guess that no one really knows.  But in general, if you leave garbage all over your house and don’t clean it you will have a real mess on your hands.  If you leave garbage all over your planet and don’t clean it, you will have a problem on your hands.

  2. SerenaDante says:

    Dude, I totally always thought that Venus was just that color on the surface, and had no water to speak of, but that the atmosphere was clean… I feel extremely stupid right now, lol.Great post. I learned something new today.

  3. I am writing a research paper on global warming right now.  It’s really easy to find information, but do you have a particular cite/ source/ book/ documentary that you’d recommend? Its for a writing class, not a science class though the undeniable scientific proof is pretty convincing – to those who don’t think science is Satan deceiving us.  I really enjoy your posts on the subject so thanks for inspiring me on this project I have. šŸ™‚

  4. There’s so much irony in global warming.  Like people building solar thermal panels in the desert.  Guess what?  The desert is a huge C02 sink, and when those solar panels disturb the sand, the C02 is released.Or we destroy the Amazon rainforest, another huge C02 absorber, to make “green” ethanol out of sugar cane.And actually, according to Dennis Avery, an agricultural economist with expertise in environment, global warming would warm the poles first, which would lead to a more average ocean temperature, which means less hurricanes.But the ice around the poles has actually been the same or increasing the past few years.

  5. angel_vow says:

    It’s not like we can take a nice taxi to the next cozy planet.So people, save energy and resources and cut out the bad gasses. All the stupid rants are only using up the Earth’s precious oxygen and send carbon monoxide into the atmosphere.

  6. moss_icon says:

    Nicely put. I’m 29 years old and first read about Venus when I was 7. I’ve understood the problems of having a crap-filled atmosphere for 22 years now.But leave it to the Cons to sweep that all under the rug. I mean, they probably believe in Creationism, that the moon is made of cheese and that Venus is the cool, silvery paradise they thought it to be when it was first discovered (hence the planet being given the name of a Love Deity!):Disclaimer: I know not all Conservatives are idiots. I’m just on an anti-con kicker lately and it’s fun to generalise!

  7. Anonymous says:

    900 degrees!!!!

  8. “Hurricanes and tornadoes are caused when hot and cold or cool frontscome together and feed into a spiral gaining more and more power.  Thewarmer the air and water currents, the more intense the phenomena is. Think that doesn’t matter to people living where there are tornadoesand hurricanes?”It definitely matters a lot to my country where agriculture is a major livelihood. Also, I’ve noticed it now floods more often in the city I live in.

  9. ccRowp says:

    You know what we should do? All people should gather and start praying to their own god. At least one of them should come with a hoover and clean the atmosphere a bit. Great post man. I hope that many people will read this.. 

  10. agnophilo says:

    @TheTheologiansCafe – Yeah I know.  Even if global warming were totally made up it still wouldn’t be a good idea to shit where you eat.Or rather, where you breathe.

  11. agnophilo says:

    @SerenaDante – Glad I could inform : D@LyricallyCharged – Thanks.@Rain_of_Mystic_Sorrow – I think I may have read about it in a book called Red Giants and White Dwarfs, though I honestly don’t remember where I read this.  I just remember at the time looking at the date on the book and it was copyrighted for like 1930.I’m like that, I can quote some long thing verbatim but I never remember who said it.: (Sorry.If you want references though a good place to look for them is to go to wikipedia and check out their sources at the bottom of each article.  When it says what the temperature of the planet is or the composition of the atmosphere, it should have a little number there, click the number and get the source : D  Sorry I can’t be more help.@BebstersBlog2 – That’s more to do with a drop in solar activity.  But we can’t exactly count on that, we know it goes up and down.  Our actions will largely determine the long-term trend.  So far as a cooler ocean temperature in the short term, again, we’re doubly screwed when the poles are melted away and the effect is twice what it appeared to be.  I didn’t know that about solar panels in the desert though, that’s interesting.@angel_vow – I agree : D  Though they’re putting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere : P@moss_icon – I know what you mean.  It doesn’t help the debate that something like half of the people in this country think jesus is coming back within their lifetimes and that earth is just the temporary waiting room for heaven and is supposed to end.  I’ve actually heard christians say “I know I should be worried about global warming but isn’t the world supposed to end anyway?”.@bobjallen – Yup.@flashbulb100w – True.  I didn’t think of the economic repercussions.@ccRowp – Or maybe we could all pray to different types of fairies one after the other…  : PBut yeah, thanks.

  12. tau_1 says:

    Would you agree we F__k up our society with pollution, waste and the like. Now we live on this planet of the death, and we all are part of this. Our water as F__k up. So much land full are F__k up. Every time I drink water, (I pray over it) personal.Now thank for the magnetic field that stop most of the rays from F__king us up. We live in a Capitalist Society so, people are out to make money and don’t care what happen after that.Life goes on!!!!

  13. agnophilo says:

    @tau_1 – This is my blog, you can say fuck : D

  14. @TheTheologiansCafe – Perfectly stated.My boyfriend is an environmental science major and every now and again someone asks him to clear up the global warming issue.  That person then gets glared at and a muttered “it’s natural, but we sure as fuck aren’t helping matters.”  He gets so angry when people ask him about global warming; it’s most entertaining and completely irrelevant.

  15. asrial86 says:

    Very interesting and informative post!!! I know how Venus got to be that way (I’m totally obsessed with space and the planets) and it’s sad to know that earth is going in that direction.

  16. nah its cool dude lol, just wondered if I could borrow youre legwork.  And I have found wikapedia’s source list to be extremely helpful with all kinds of papers.  Thanks for always answering my responses :).

  17. agnophilo says:

    @haloed – Thanks : D  And yes, it is sad.  Especially when we can avoid it.@Rain_of_Mystic_Sorrow – Welcs.  Sorry I can’t be more helpful.

  18. bukeshow says:

    @agnophilo – I read this when you first posted it. Good Info. But the crap( co2) in the air on venus wasn’t man made.

  19. agnophilo says:

    @bukeshow – I know.The only reason the average temperature on earth isn’t the melting point of lead is that the carbon on earth is tied up in living things and trapped in things like oil and coal…  under ground…  not in the atmosphere.

  20. bukeshow says:

    @agnophilo – I did not know that it makes sense though. your not so bad after-all.lol

  21. agnophilo says:

    @bukeshow – Sorry if I’ve ever been a dick on your blog or anything.

  22. bukeshow says:

    @agnophilo – i never took any offense. My thing is people are going to disagree especially on politics and religion. I like pretty much everyone on xanga even if their the farthest of the left thats fine with me. But as soon as you disagree with someone (for me its usually a liberal) they begin attacking and trying to make you feel stupid. I’m sure its the same for you but vice versa. We can disagree and still be friends i wish everyone could understand that. Dem or Rep conserv. or liberal we all have to work together. As a country we need to stay in the middle not go to far left or right. There must be balance and everyones to busy trying to get it their way. Thanks for the apology it wasn’t necessary but its accepted. Sorry if I was ever a dick.

  23. agnophilo says:

    @bukeshow – I don’t remember if you were, lol.  I can’t keep track of everyone on here.I am fine with people whatever they believe so long as they’re rational and open-minded.I found a website the other day where people were calling the president “bastard barry hussein” and claiming he was a bastard and his mother posed nude and he’s not a US citizen etc and it was just this endless stream of the most vile hatred and bigotry.A lot of blogs on xanga are like that.  I really loathe those people.

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