Category Archives: Geology

Is Carbon Dioxide the cause of , or is it the Effect of, Global Warming?


carbon dioxide earth
Is the Earth Warming because of Carbon Dioxide?
Do we really know the cause of the rise in carbon dioxide?

For the past twenty years we have had a growing concern about global warming world wide. The Earth’s temperature has risen somewhat dramatically over the past thirty to forty years and has convinced some people that we are witnessing the long term rise of global temperature. Yet the reality is that geological events tend to happen slowly over many thousands of years. Even an event like the Toba super-volcano explosion some seventy five thousand years ago actually happened over a very long period of time. It may have involved a series of eruptions that could have occurred over many thousands of years. So it is that most great geological events tend to happen over a very long period of time.

The truth is that we are not very likely to be witnessing a dramatic change in the Earth’s temperature because such a change might actually take many thousands of years to become significant. More than likely we are viewing a passing phenomenon most probably due to the natural oscillation of climate cycles, and perhaps even the  carbon cycles themselves are in a long term oscillation! I am not at all convinced for example that the rise in Carbon Dioxide is certainly being caused by our civilization or whether  it is being caused by some natural phenomenon that prevents the absorption of Carbon Dioxide instead. The small rise in methane which we are experiencing may also be due to a rise in temperature of the Earth itself that causes that gas to be released as well. Thus there is some doubt in the matter. Is the rise of Carbon Dioxide the cause of Global Warming or is it the effect? In reality we cannot be very sure of this question either way. Yes there will be those who will jump out with all kinds of claims of knowledge of some system or other. My opinion is that none of these people really know for certain that the Carbon Cycle is well understood. The fact is that we do not know the true nature of the Carbon Cycle, and we actually have a huge hole in our understanding of how Carbon Dioxide is being absorbed by the Earth. What this means is that we really don’t know for certain what is happening to Carbon Dioxide as a whole since we cannot account for all of it;  yes we know we are producing more of it than is natural, this is indisputable, but we cannot be certain that this is a permanent phenomenon, nor can we be sure if the Earth itself is somehow balking at absorbing this extra output, nor can we be sure that this extra amount of Carbon Dioxide is the cause of the rise in temperature, or the effect!   How can we be certain that this rise in Carbon Dioxide is not itself primarily caused by a rise in the Earth’s temperature which at once prevents the absorption of the man made CO2 emissions and then releases more of it due to the warming of the oceans and the melting of the glaciers ?

Be very careful to note the significance of these statements. Natural temperature oscillations have taken place many times before, and the Earth can of its own accord spew vast amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere, and there is too the possibility of the Hot Core Earth Hypothesis which claims that the Earth’s core may itself be of varying temperature and that there are likely bands of heat oscillations rising to the surface from that core and that the core temperature significantly affects the Earth’s climate, as I have stated before. All of these possibilities create some difficulty for the theory of man made Global Warming. We come to the question of what came first? Have man made gasses caused the global rise in temperatures and are now accelerating these temperatures to critical levels? Or were warmer temperatures due to Earth’s own temperature oscillation causing a rise in Carbon Dioxide levels?  Did the chicken come first, or was it the egg?

If in fact the Earth’s Core were warming for example, it would imply the seas are warming, and if the seas are warming very likely they would slowly release the Carbon Dioxide trapped over millions of years by the known function of the Carbon Cycle, since we know that the seas tend to trap Carbon Dioxide and act as a kind of filter, but become less efficient as the temperature of the water rises. Conceivably the rising temperature could be the cause of the rise in Carbon Dioxide, and not the effect. Can I prove that? No! But that’s the problem here, neither can the other side prove its thesis. So for this reason I urge more study concerning this matter, and a lot less conviction. There is more than one possibility here.

There is nothing wrong with conservation. We should conserve, and we should do all we can to contain our carbon dioxide emissions, for no matter the outcome, it is a source of pollution.  We need alternative energy as well for we cannot hope to improve our economy without an excess of energy sources anyway. Nuclear energy will likely play the biggest part. But Bio-diesel and Ethanol are certainly quite possible as efficient substitutes, or contributors to our global supplies, as well as Solar, Wind , Geo-Thermal, and Tidal  to a far lesser degree. But in the end all these new sources of energy may have no effect on the Carbon Dioxide levels at all! For it could be that what we are seeing is an interruption of the carbon cycle for some reason we do not as yet understand.

Going from a Carbon based economy to another will cost trillions of dollars and will be a major transformation in the history of   human civilization.  Though there are excellent reasons to begin this long process, it is in our best interest, I believe, to maintain our attitudes in a balanced and open minded scope of possibilities so as to give our civilization the maximum leeway in implementing this change. The world’s economy is in deep trouble and it will most likely remain pressured for a number of years. As the economy settles down and begins to contract we shall have the best opportunity to begin these changes at a time when it will cost a lot less to change the sources of fuel, and there will most likely be less overall demand on fuel making it much easier to implement small changes in usage. If anything now is the time to begin these changes, and beginning a global project of providing an alternative energy source to the one we already have will also act to stimulate our global economy creating a much needed mobilization of the  global work forces and so helping to stabilize the worlds economy. As long as we maintain a gentle and open minded approach it is very likely we will succeed over the next thirty years to provide our people with  additional energy sources and at the same time lessen the environmental impact. And if indeed Global Warming is being exacerbated by excessive carbon emissions, then we will also help ourselves by reducing those emissions with new sources of energy.