CO2 is Greening The Earth
The climate is changing and it has been for billions of years. I would actually be far more worried if the climate stopped changing, I think that everyone could agree with that. The point of contention in this climate debate is the reality, magnitude, causes and consequences of climate change and how much of that, if any, is actually caused by human actions.
Obviously, this is going to be different than my other videos, but since this topic has become highly politicized and a major voting issue, I thought it was only fair to present a contrarian perspective on this topic that will then be picked up by YouTube's Al-Gore-Rhythms and buried somewhere deep within the cockles of the Internet along with my other politically incorrect videos. And before you say “Truth Cat, you have no authority to talk on the subject because you're not a climate scientist”, neither is Al Gore, Leonardo DiCaprio, Greta Thunberg, Bill Nyen, or any of these people. So I figured a talking cat might as well weigh in on this too.
The main focus of climate science today is specifically on carbon dioxide created by the burning of fossil fuels. Since Al Gore became a multi-millionaire peddling climate doomsday predictions, the idea that CO2 is an evil toxin has been forced into our earholes, along with the idea that if something isn't done about it immediately that all life on Earth will cease to exist — or we'll live in some sort of apocalyptic Mad Max scenario — and while some Chicken Littles seem to get off on this sort of doomsday porn, CO2 is not the bogeyman, the sky is not falling, and we are not experiencing a climate emergency.
But let's start with the very basics that I think everyone can agree on.
Visible light energy from our Sun travels through our atmosphere. The earth and our oceans absorb that energy. The ground is warmed and then it releases some of that heat in the form of infrared radiation back into the atmosphere in order to cool itself. And then greenhouse gases trap some of this heat like a lid on a pot. While greenhouse gases get a bad rep, without them Earth would be an ice ball and life as we know it simply wouldn't exist.
And CO2 is an especially important greenhouse gas that has existed in Earth's atmosphere long before mankind grazes planet. Despite the mass hysteria around it, CO2 is not a toxin. It's essential for all life on Earth. Of course, if you breathe only CO2, you'll die, but the same could be said about water — something also naturally-occurring essential for all life and just happens to make up 95% of all greenhouse gas in the atmosphere.
So while it's true that CO2 has taken a sharp increase over the past 40 years, this is what it looks like compared to all other gases in our atmosphere: CO2 makes up only 400 parts per million or 0.04% of Earth's atmosphere and human activity makes up only 3.5% of all CO2 emitted each year with the rest occurring naturally.
Theoretically, the amount of man-made (otherwise known as anthropogenic) CO2 in the atmosphere has only prevented the earth from cooling itself by about 1%. That doesn't mean that this increase in CO2 can't have any effect, but it also doesn't necessarily mean it's responsible for astronomical warming or that it's even a bad thing. In fact, our current CO2 levels and temperatures are actually very low when compared to the vast majority of Earth's history.
With a notable exception of 300 million years ago, during the late carboniferous period which closely resembles our current climate — and just like today this was in a period of major cooling. At this time, atmospheric CO2 dipped down to around 350 to 400 ppm as carbon was sucked into the earth. This is ironically responsible for the formation of coal that we burn today that releases some of that CO2 back into the atmosphere.
Climate alarmists say that it's imperative that we lower our current atmospheric CO2 and cool the earth. Even though we know from the end of this period as CO2 concentrations continue to drop so did plant diversity and Earth was only inches away from being locked into a snowball state, killing almost everything on it — but “how dare you” or whatever! The earth was only spared from becoming a popsicle by lucky natural occurrences including the appearance of termites which still to this day are responsible for about 2% of all CO2 in our atmosphere.
So what happens if earth continues to warm and CO2 continues to rise?
Well, we have proxies that go back hundreds of millions of years. Proxies are indirect ways of measuring climate and atmosphere using natural recorders like ice cores, tree rings and fossils. Now, these certainly don't give us an exact number and I wouldn't exactly call them hard science, but they give us an approximation of Earth's past climate conditions, kind of like looking at chapters in Earth's history rather than individual pages. And when we look at these proxies stemming back millions of years, it makes our current climate change look far less alarming.
We can estimate that during the Cambrian explosion, CO2 levels were up to 17 times higher at about 7,000 ppm and this was considered the advent of modern life. These high temperatures and CO2 levels were essential for the creation of many major groups of animals that still exist today that developed within the first 40 million years of this era. If we look back 55 million years ago, during the Paleocene thermal maximum (or PETM) there was a large influx of CO2 and methane thrust into our atmosphere. The CO2 levels doubled in a short period of time and temperatures rose five to eight degrees Celsius and it was much warmer than than it is today.
This period has become a historical focal point when trying to connect global warming to increased CO2 and while many climate reactionaries will try to argue that this happened over a much slower rate than what is happening today. A new study based on proxies from mud challenges this assumption when they traced the oxygen and carbon isotope flips associated with this period, they found that they were contained in just thirteen bands. It suggests that the full PETM temperature surge came in just 13 years. Compare that to today is one degree in the last 150 years.
The most likely explanation for this is that the PETM was triggered by a comet which there are some evidence of. And while it suggested that most of this warming came from methane rather than CO2, this event was far from a negative occurrence. Poland fossil record suggests that this increased temperature and CO2 levels dramatically boosted biodiversity over a short period of time. It was these warm humid conditions that allowed the earliest true primates to appear and flourish. This leads me to question the doomsday predictions if global temperatures go up another degree and a half.
Periods closer to modern times that had temperature spikes were at the Roman warming period and also the medieval warming period from about 900 to 1300 AD. And there's plenty of evidence as supports that. This was a global warming event as a resides of both warming in the northern and southern hemispheres, including glaciers in New Zealand. During this period, populations increased and Vikings colonized Greenland — her stories of them sailing through the Arctic Ocean where there's permanent ice packs now — crops flourished and vine grapes were grown as far north as England where growing grapes is not feasible today. The written records are pretty indisputable, this along with tree ring data from the South-Western United States suggests that it may have been upwards of one degree warmer than it is now — meaning not only did man survive in periods of extra warmth, he prospered during it. And like most warming periods throughout history this had nothing to do with the rise of CO2.
But what about Al Gore's movie, The Inconvenient Truth, where he shows a direct correlation between CO2 and temperature from an ice core sample?
Well, the only inconvenient truth here is that Al Gore is a liar!. You see, Al Gore intentionally reversed the data in order to swindle you into thinking that he's not a total idiot — spoiler alert he is. Several major ice core surveys all show that there is a 600 to 800 year lag between temperature and CO2 increases. CO2 was the product of the heat here, not the initial cause of it. This lag is caused by the warming of oceans which eventually causes CO2 and methane to be released into the atmosphere like fizz from your sod.
Following this logic, you could argue that the steady increase of CO2 that has been slowly rising for almost 200 years could be influenced by the lag time from the medieval warming period which ended about 700 years ago. We're also naturally experiencing a slight warming period since the end of the Little Ice Age ended around 1850. This factors into a natural rise in CO2 and temperature over the last century completely separate from human action. On the flip side, as temperatures decrease it can trigger events that cause the earth to rob the atmosphere of a much-needed CO2. And there have been several examples in history where CO2 has fallen to dangerous levels.
If we look at ice core samples from the Antarctic, we know that during the Last Glacial Maximum, around 18,000 years ago, atmospheric CO2 concentrations descended close to 108 ppm only 30 ppm above the level required to sustain life. Within a single generation of exposure to low CO2, modern plants show an average reduction in photosynthesis and biomass production of 50% which directly impacts all of their life on earth. Even today, our current CO2 levels are a lean diet for most plants because most plants that exist today evolve during a time of high CO2 concentrations.
The benefits of carbon dioxide supplementation on plant growth and production are well known as hundreds of studies have shown that plants benefit from enriched atmospheric CO2 concentrations. This has been easiest to study in a greenhouse environment where increasing CO2 to 1,000 ppm will actually increase photosynthesis by about 50% compared to regular ambient CO2 levels.
So what happens when CO2 levels in our atmosphere increase?
Well, exactly what you would expect: it has a greening effect that's been observed in up to half of Earth's vegetated lands over the last 35 years. According to a new study, it's estimated that 70% of this greening effect is caused by increased levels of CO2. In the last century, plants have been growing at a rate far faster than in any time in the last 5,400 years. It's miracle growth and while climate alarmists say that this won't last because temperatures rising will cause mass droughts and decrease water that plants need, increased temperatures actually lead to increased precipitations. Also more vegetation leads to more transpiration which leads to more rainfall. More rainfall leads to more vegetation.
In the last decade, record-breaking rainfall events have occurred in many places around the world. Water flow will actually increase over the century. This is why we're seeing a greening effect in places that are normally too arid to promote that kind of growth. It's estimated that by the end of the century, global biomass will have increased by 40% and since we're also currently experiencing warmer temperatures, this creates longer growing seasons and faster growth rates for plants. Longer growing seasons means more CO2 from the atmosphere will be metabolized by these plants as seen in this NASA model when it turns from winter to spring (at 12:06 in the video).
In fact plants are converting 31% more carbon dioxide into our atmosphere than they were before the Industrial Revolution. This means that we're getting far more food from each acre of land than we were a century ago.
Look, the earth is doing fine. I can't necessarily say the same for mankind.
Though in comparison low CO2 levels during the Little Ice Age from (about 1300 to 1850) were more likely responsible for the bad harvest experienced in this time as we know from the records kept by monks and winemakers, bad harvest lead to starvation of millions of people, poverty and civil unrest. Unlike what Greta is trying to propagate, not only do more people starve during cold periods — a recent study showed the deaths from cold are about 21 times higher than those from heat. In fact, climate related deaths have dropped from half a million per year in the 1920's to less than 25,000 per year in the last decade.
And despite the propaganda, heat waves have not increased, drought and flood have not increased. Neither have hurricanes or wildfires and tornadoes have decreased significantly since the 1950's. How can this level of warming be so dangerous? Fear remains well below the natural temperatures of several prior interglacial periods.
We know from history that humans and the biosphere typically do better during warm periods with higher levels of CO2. So if it's actually true that humans can engineer and control global temperatures, why isn't anyone asking what global temperature is optimum? What if we're unknowingly helping the earth reach a Goldilocks point by releasing CO2 where conditions are just right for our biosphere the way termites did 300 million years ago and it's ironically these so called eco warriors who are actually trying to impede that process?
And while there are causes for naturally occurring emissions of CO2 like volcanic activity and termites, there's no evidence that large volumes of new CO2 have been added to the atmosphere during the 140 million year decline leading up to the present era. In fact, it's been steadily decreasing on a trend where life could have extinguished itself in a short geologic well time from now had man not released sunken carbon back into the air. Therefore in the absence of human-caused emission, it could recently be presumed that CO2 levels would have continued to fall as they'd done for the previous 140 million years.
Which brings me to this important question: how long would it have been in the absence of human caused CO2 emissions until the gradual depletion of CO2 in the atmosphere fell well below life-sustaining levels signalling the beginning of the end for all life on Earth?
Transcribed by Ey@el
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