What do we really know about Climate changes? Are the Greenhouse gases the only thing we have to worry about? What does really cause Global warming and how are we taking part in it? There is more to the climate itself. Our atmosphere, Earth's orbit, our galaxy and many other less covered aspects of the whole subject.

The whole world has been talking about #Trump leaving the #Paris agreement. Even China, among the world's biggest pollutants, agreed this is a big issue. What impact could that actually have, or will it have any?

What do we actually know about climate changes?

Climate changes have been happening long before we set a foot on our Planet. They did not happen over night, but they were there before. How much do we actually know, and how much can the science actually prove? It is a slow process, it takes time, but science has always more than one view on every situation. This is the case on climate changes, too. University of Cambridge has actually made a really nice point by proving this during their researches around the river Nile.

So, what do we need to take into the consideration? Are the Greenhouse Gas Emissions the only thing that is harming our planet? Do you actually know what are Greenhouse gases?

Here is the list of all the greenhouse gases, sorted by amount:

  • Water vapor (H2O)
  • Carbon dioxide (CO2)
  • Methane (CH4)
  • Nitrous oxide (N2O)
  • Ozone (O3)
  • Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)
  • Hydrofluorocarbons (incl. HCFCs and HFCs)
  • Other

Now, are those gases the only thing that affects the whole picture? No, there are many other things that affect the GHG effect.

One obvious factor that contributes to the whole Global warming process are the clouds. Most of you probably already knew this. Clouds absorb part of the radiation coming from Sun, part of it gets reflected, and the remaining part that goes through can as well stay on Earth due to clouds sending those rays back.

GHG are not here to harm us though.

These gases actually keep the Earth warm. If we removed all the gases our average temperatures would be −18 °C (0 °F). Sadly, we have reached the stage where they are slowly starting to hurt our lives. Carbon dioxide is part of our world. It is actually one of the reasons we are alive. Plants use CO2 to produce Oxygen which we obviously need. Carbon dioxide is also providing us with enough warmth so we don't have to experience those cool temperatures we would have without it.

What are the negative sides of CO2?

Other than changing the climate, there are few other things that excess CO2 harms. #Carbon dioxide is partly absorbed by the oceans. Now, the bad part. Increased CO2 emissions lead to acidification of the oceans.

This is well known. It hurts the ecosystem. Oceans also take part of absorbing some heat from the Sun, as well. Since the temperatures have risen over past few decades, oceans just can't absorb all that excess CO2 anymore. As the oceans continue to warm, ice starts to melt. Another known fact.

What about deforestation? Plants use CO2 to produce O2. We have proven to be really bad when it comes to preserving nature and deforestation has its "penalties". With fewer forests, there are less trees that would absorb all the CO2.

Carbon dioxide emissions should definitely be reduced, but how much? Shouldn't we focus on Reforestation more? We have already done enough harm to many ecosystems. Reforestation would surely help us with excess CO2.

But how far should we actually go with the CO2 removal? CO2 has an important role in keeping our planet warm enough. I have already explained what would happen if we removed all the #Greenhouse gases. But what if we actually pushed the limits with CO2? What if our CO2 emissions got so high?

Lets have a look into the galaxy

A good example of what CO2 can do to the planet can be found in our very own galaxy. Mars has 95% of carbon dioxide in its atmosphere. How horrible does that sound? Is the planet burning? No, it isn't. Mars has a very thin atmosphere, and I do have to mention that Mars also gets less sunlight than the Earth does.

Average temperatures on the Mars are 80 °F (-60 °C). During the winter near the poles temperatures can get down to -195 °F (- 125 °C).

There are more facts to take into the consideration here though. Another thing that does not contribute to Mars being warmer is the absence of oceans. In fact, water contributes to the warming process much more than the CO2 does. With almost no water present heating up just isn't possible.

Lets have a look on #Venus now. Venus has 96.5% carbon dioxide and 3.5% nitrogen in its atmosphere. Venus has a thicker atmosphere than the Earth does.

How can we connect Venus or Mars to Earth and global warming? There are many speculations on this topic, but some NASA scientists claim that Venus had oceans before, as well. Due to its close proximity to the Sun, water has eventually evaporated and CO2 took most of the atmosphere.

Venus does have a thick layer of clouds, however. There have been a lot of discussions on this, but those clouds and the thick atmosphere are one on the big factors why Venus is so hot. It isn't just its close proximity to the Sun. Beneath the thick atmosphere lies a scorched land. With clouds covering most of the planet it is really hard for anything to pass. Venus does have a lot of Sulfur and with some minor presence of water vapor in upper part of its atmosphere, acid rains are quite an often thing on Venus.

Once again, back to the atmosphere. The atmosphere and lack of water on both Mars and Venus can lead to disassociating of the H2O into hydrogen and oxygen. Our atmosphere is different.

Our distance from the Sun also makes this subject a little bit harder to discuss. For more information about this claim continue reading the article.

So, what is this telling us? Water vapor increases the temperatures more than the CO2 does. As the planet temperatures slowly rise, oceans start to evaporate. Is this going to happen on the Earth? What are the differences?

You see, water vapor does not stay long in the atmosphere. CO2 stays in the atmosphere as long as it doesn't get involved in chemical reactions. But, is there something worse than CO2? Yes, there is. Methane. It is one of the #Greenhouse gases. And it can capture heat much better than CO2 can. CO2 is getting more attention just because it has a bigger presence.

Why don't we actually find a nice line between limiting CO2 and Methane instead of blaming CO2 for everything?

But then again, after close observations of Mars and Venus how can we actually say that CO2 is the main issue?

Let's ask ourselves few questions.

  • CO2 increased our temperatures over past few decades. But what about water?
  • Water absorbs more heat in general as there is way more water on the Earth. What does this tell us?

Water and the Sun relation

We are surely contributing to Global warming. But this is a very small contribution. It does not mean we should not be alarmed by our current greenhouse emissions, but CO2 is not what will be the doom of mankind.

Everything will come to the water in the end.

This might sound silly, but it is true. Global warming will surely bring us problems; rising ocean levels, more extreme weathers, heat-strokes and such, it will all affect us. But there is a lesson to be learned here. With all the issues global warming will bring, this will be a great opportunity for us to evolve. We will have to change our lives, adjust to the changes. But CO2 emissions are only contributing that much. Earth won't be scorched.

The only real damage, the only real issue that could end our lives or make them worse is the continuation of deforestation.

Greenhouse gases shouldn't be taken lightly, though. But, in the end, when it comes to global warming and big temperature rises, water and Sun are the two main factors that will determine the faith of our planet.

That will not happen during our lifetime, though. It won't even happen in next billion years. Does this sound silly? Perhaps, but let me tell you why is this the case.

Back to astronomy

Did you know that our Sun is expanding? It is expanding as every other Sun in the far reaches of the galaxy. It is the how the life of such star goes. As the Sun slowly ages, it starts expanding. As it starts expanding, it gets closer to planets, which means more heat. More heat in our case would mean just exactly what I have mentioned earlier. Our oceans would slowly evaporate until there is no water left. Worst case scenario would include Sun "swallowing" planets.

Growing sun and boiling oceans would contribute towards "runaway greenhouse effect".

This would mean that the water vapor won't stay in the atmosphere anymore. It would dissolve into hydrogen and oxygen and either vanish into the galaxy or form new chemical substances.

This is partly what is happening on Venus. The oxygen we are talking about here is not the one we breathe, it isn't O2. Such oxygen is called atomic oxygen. O2 that reaches space or topmost layers of the atmosphere can be easily split apart by UV radiation.

So, this gives us a small look at what is happening on the Venus. Water vapor still exists on Venus, but only on certain areas of the upper atmosphere. When you split oxygen and combine it with some of the chemical elements you can get a lot of different compounds. This is the case with Venus and its clouds which often form sulfuric acid and acid rains.

CO2 → CO + O . . SO2 + O → SO3 . . SO3 + H2O → H2SO4

This can surely bring hell upon lands underneath. It doesn't reach the surface of Venus though, it evaporates before it does because of the hot surface.

Anyway, back to the Sun. As the Sun ages, it will expand until it reaches the phase of a Red Giant. Our Sun is composed of hydrogen and helium. When it reaches the stage of a red giant, it means that it has used all of its fuel and the Sun will start to grow. Before our Sun actually dies, it would probably already reach the point where all water on Earth would evaporate.

To simplify and make it shorter, here are two interesting YouTube videos, making it easier to follow.

Yet another theory

I would like to point out 1 more study. It is just a theory like many others, but it might be worth considering. New Ice Age. No matter how long it may last, there are some interesting facts about it.

To support this claim, here is an interesting fact you might not have known. Earth's orbit is elliptical. It does not circle the Sun as you would think it does. Some scientist claim that eventually the Earth would move so far away from the Sun that it would enter a small Ice Age. Although this theory has many questions, some scientists believe that it might happen. Even worse, there are claims that the current #Global warming might as well affect the next Ice Age. Want to see how the Earth travels around the Sun? Milutin Milankovitch is the one behind the theory. Modern day scientists still discuss a lot about this. The theory covers Earth's trajectory, climate changes and a lot of other factors. As we are affecting climate on our own, nobody can really tell when this theory might actually come to life.

To summarize

Many theories, lots of discussions. Scientists have been discussing #Global warming & #Climate changes for ages. Some claim that we are the main reason, some claim that we only play a small part in a much bigger picture.

One thing is sure. We are damaging the Earth in more ways than one. #Deforestation, #Toxic Waste, #Industrial and Household Waste, #Oil spills, #Sewage...

Keeping our planet healthy should be our main concern. Earth can survive without us. We can not survive without the Earth.