environment,energy,greenhouse,gas,carbon,dioxide,global,nuclear energy,clean energy,emissions,global climate change,environmental impacts, Nuclear Energy Can Save US: Will The Earth Get Hotter or Colder?

Nuclear Energy Can Save US--America�s 100 nukes equal four million barrels of oil per day.

Billions of lives and civilization itself may be at risk from the Global Warming & End of Cheap Oil, Crisis. Rising sea levels and rising oil prices could be the end of civilization as we know it. The problem is so huge that the most powerful answer, many nuclear plants, must be deployed. Currently, America‘s 100 nukes deliver the energy of four million barrels of oil per day. Wind and solar cannot do the job, and may delay the real answer too long. Still, all kinds of clean energy, plus conservation, plus reducing deforestation, will be needed to help the poor half of the world, and for civilization to survive through this century.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Will The Earth Get Hotter or Colder?

It is hard to see why anyone denies the idea of climate change. We know about nature's Ice Ages in the past; they will probably return some century. Some may think that the Global Warming theory means that humans can effect the world the way nature can; but that is not so. At the height of the last Ice Age, sea levels were 360 feet below where they are now. A rise of 360 feet over 140 million square miles of ocean, means that nature melted about 10 million cubic miles of ice. The debate now, is about the last few scraps of ice in Greenland and Antarctic, maybe 5% more. These scraps however, could raise sea levels the last 20 feet; catastrophic, since so many people live near the oceans.
A History Channel show, titled,"Little Ice Age: Big Chill" gives some perspective. The Little Ice Age lasted 500 years from 1300 to 1800 AD; in a sense, just before our own time. The onset took only a few decades and dropped average temperatures by three to six-degrees F, for the period.
The History show concentrated on Northern Europe, and northeastern areas of America. Maybe the problem only hit this area. One leading theory is that the worldwide thermohaline flow (which includes the Gulf Stream) was interrupted in the North Atlantic by a flood of fresh water from the ice sheets. This may have been caused by the previous 300-year medieval, warm spell, which in turn, was caused by lower volcanic activity, worldwide. The 300-year warm spell was such a good food growing time in Europe that the population doubled. JUST AS WE DO NOW, the Europeans felt that this benign weather had always been the same, and would not ever change. They were completely unprepared. Between famine and plague, Europe was decimated.
Within the Little Ice Age, another drop of 3-degrees F, occurred worldwide for 70 years (1645-1715), due to lower Sun energy, in the so-called Maunder Minimum of sun spots. This came on in one decade, lasted 50 years, then eased in another decade. Sol is a slightly variable star.
If such events occur now, we will probably notice the onset, and have a decade or two to prepare a response. The situation could effect how we handle the need for clean energy.
ONE: Suppose a Sun Spot Minimum is detected. We would have time to plant hardier crops or stockpile food. It would offset Global Warming to some extent, allow all out use of coal for a while, and give us many more decades to set in place a complete clean energy solution.
TWO: A slowdown of the Gulf Stream, possibly caused by melting glaciers, might create a Little Ice Age; much more serious and lasting longer than a Sun Spot Minimum. Wouldn't it be better if we could also avoid this counter catastrophe, with clean energy in place, worldwide?

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