Letters to the Editor

Let’s figure out global warming

How much of global warming is due to carbon dioxide (CO2) levels caused by humans? The experts are giving us all different stories. These debates are so politically motivated on both sides that any scientific claims made are highly questionable.

So what are lay people like us supposed to believe? I suggest that the best course is to try to do some figuring yourself. Here is an example calculation:

The average temperatures of planets are as follows: Mercury: 600 degrees, Venus: 860 degrees, Earth: 56 degrees, and Mars: -81 degrees F. Venus is 45 percent of the way from Earth to Mercury. Therefore, its temperature should average around 300 degrees (600-56)*.45+56. However, Venus is 560 degrees hotter than it should be. Venus’ air is 97 percent CO2 and it is 90 times thicker than our air.

The CO2 in our air is around 380 parts per million (ppm). Venus has around 170,000 times as many CO2 molecules in a cubic foot of air as Earth does. If Venus has 170,000 times as much CO2 and it is 560 degrees hotter than it should be, we can divide and make an estimate. The result is that if we would need to increase our level of CO2 to 304 times what it is today in order to get a 1 degree increase. At current rates of increase of CO2 (doubling the current level in around 200 more years), it would take us around 60,000 years to increase the earth’s temperature by 1 degree.

This analysis is quite simplistic, but it is based on clear, unbiased facts. If you can improve on it, I am eager to read what you have to offer. I desire to see real facts and real calculations. I do not think it is wise to have blind faith in a group of politically-motivated, so-called experts.

Apparently, the earth has actually been warming since the 1600s but is still not as warm as it was around the year 1000, when Greenland was a decent place for Vikings to settle. And, of course, ice ages are apparently a regular natural event on our planet. Anyway, the subject is quite complicated, but I would like to see less politics and more science.

Mark Beeksma

Koloa, HI

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