Integrated Knowledge-Based Analyses of Socio-Economic Issues

Report Catalogue Data

  Report Class   General Public Report
  Analysis Type   Situation Analysis
  Issue Category   Environmental Analysis
  Publish Date   05_14_2008
  Last Update   05_22_2008
  Reference Code   GPR-SA.EA.GWG-20080514-GDI
Global Warming & Greenhouse Gases
Global Warming, and Derivative Impact

The symptomatic consequences of global warming also lead to derivative consequences that need to be elicited to reflect the seriousness of the matter of the global warming. Actually, the rising of the sea level is in fact a derivative consequence of the melting of the polar ice caps. However, there are also hidden derivative consequences of this melting of the polar ice caps that can be surmised from consideration of the science involve in the primary consequences.

First, consider that the melting of the polar ice caps changes the distribution of the water masses on the body of the planet Earth. This distribution is bound to impact the rotation of the Earth in manners the consequences of which have not yet been surmised.

The reality of rising sea level, of course, from the knowledge of hydrostatics, is that the weights of water above the Continental plates under the Oceans have increased dramatically. Consequently, these plates now suffer higher stresses and so  adjust to these added weights by undergoing, as per geologic sciences, more frequent movements against the plates under the land masses. Inferentially, these movements will cause several earthquakes in the years to come, and to some extent even will occur in sections of the planet not always known for earthquakes.

By this reasoning the earthquakes of 2005 and 2007 that have visited the islands of Indonesian and most recently visited Myanmar [or Burma] - causing the staggering thousands of deaths - can not be entirely divorced from the possibility of being the consequence of these global warming effect.

Attendant to the movement of the Continental Plates, of course, is that the movement also forces a sliding under of one plate beneath another at different sections of the planet earth. These subductions are, as per geologic science, the cause of volcanic eruptions. Evidently, the increased movement of the plates and the consequential subduction of the plates will cause more volcanic eruptions than have been experienced previously. Volcanoes that have heretofore remained dormant for years will most likely also erupt in the near future. One such example is the recent eruption of Chaiten volcano in southern Chile in South America that otherwise has been dormant for excess of nine thousands (9000) years.

There is, however, an even more serious aspect to the rising sea level than is obvious to most people. Basically, the rising of the sea level brings about more surface area of water from which evaporation of water into the Earth's Atmosphere may now occur, and most likely is already increasing

the water content of the atmosphere. The science supporting this assertion is simply self-evident: The temperature of the earth has increased and at the same time the surface area for evaporation has increased; and both of these impacts the moisture content in the upper atmosphere.

Though not obvious, there is in fact a form of vicious cycle inherent in this development of extraordinary evaporation of the sea water. However, to appreciate this impact, recall is made of the understanding of the constituents of greenhouses gases held responsible for the global warming as including water vapor.

The vicious cycle is postulated to obtain as follows: A mixture of Carbon dioxide and water vapor in the atmosphere causes increases of the temperature, which then cause a melting of the polar ice caps resulting in increase of water evaporation surface, as a result of which more water vapor is pumped into the atmosphere, and therefore resulting in higher temperature accelerating the melting of the polar ice caps as well as more voluminous evaporation of the water, resulting in more greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Of course, the above assertions about the vicious cycle can be argued to be inapplicable on the grounds that periodic rainfalls, albeit very heavy sometimes, eliminates the support conditions necessary for the vicious cycle to prevail. However, such argument overlooks the situation that the continuous increase in temperature will gradually increase the equilibrium content of water vapor in the atmosphere at which rainfall occurs. As such the water vapor content in the atmosphere will in fact increase as asserted above. Further this equilibrium will continue to shift as the temperature increases, due to the vicious cyclic effect, takes hold in full force.

So far, the considerations have focused on the impact of water vapor as a greenhouse gas. The other greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, also impacts the earth very substantially. In fact, not even considered at the moment is also the possibility of reactions between the water vapor and the carbon dioxide at high concentrations under conditions of High Energy [atmospheric] reactions caused by lightening.

In any event, while the rate of increase of the water vapor is mitigated by periodic rainfalls, the effect of carbon dioxide suffers no such Nature-driven mitigating effect.

The impact of the carbon dioxide therefore as greenhouse gas is fully felt by planet Earth. By interactivity then, the augmentation of the impact

of water vapor as a greenhouse gas, due to the contribution of the heating effect of the carbon dioxide is entirely unmitigated. In recognition of this situation engineering and natural scientist have been working to develop greenhouse gas mitigating technologies for the immediate mitigation of the effect of carbon dioxide.


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