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Global Warming for Parents
 

Global Warming for Parents

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What is global warming? What's Causing it? How will it effect live on this planet. If your not quite sure what global warming is and how it will impact you and future generations, this presentation is ...

What is global warming? What's Causing it? How will it effect live on this planet. If your not quite sure what global warming is and how it will impact you and future generations, this presentation is for you.

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    Global Warming for Parents Global Warming for Parents Presentation Transcript

    • Global Warming for Parents version 1.0
    • Who Am I? A husband and a father I am a teacher and a technologist I am a member of the human race, one of the millions of species that live on the planet I am part of the problem, but also part of the solution
    • Why am I doing this? Because I understand that global warming is a real and urgent problem. Because I don't want to tell my kids that I understood what was happening and didn't try to do anything about it. Because I think I can help people understand what's going on and what we can do to help the situation.
    • What is Global Warning? In simple terms, it's a global rise in the surface temperature of the earth....the entire earth!
    • Does Global warming really happening? The vast majority of scientists involved in climate and the environment around the world are convinced that humans are now the major driving force in climate change on the planet. Debate has now shifted from confirming global warming to concentrating on how it will impact the planet and what we can do about it.
    • Why is the earth's temperature Rising? The primary cause of the warming is that humans are releasing to much CO2 and greenhouse gas into the atmosphere.
    • But aren't Methane and Nitrous Oxide even more powerful Greenhouse Gases than CO2? It's true, methane is 23 times better at trapping heat and nitrous oxide is 300 more effective than CO2. CO2 however is produced in such massive quantities that it accounts for 80% of the greenhouse gasses responsible for global warming.
    • 350 PPM .... What Does that Mean? At the beginning of industrial age the CO2 level in the atmosphere was about 28O parts per million (PPM). We are currently now at about 380 PPM and climbing fast. The safety limit most scientists have targeted for the maximum amount of CO2 the earth can handle and still maintain a climate like the one humans evolved in is 350 PPM.
    • What is a greenhouse gas? The primary greenhouse gasses causing the problem are CO2, methane, carbon monoxide and nitrous oxide.
    • Where do these greenhouse gasess come from? While many of these gasses are released in nature, the problem is humans are releasing them in massive and overwhelming quantities in a such a very short period of time. Think of it like this. A glass of water will refresh you, a tidal wave can drown you!
    • What is the Greenhouse effect? We need some greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere to trap some of the suns heat so that the earth doesn't freeze. When the sun hits the earth, some of the energy gets trapped by the greenhouse gasses, kind of like a blanket and in many ways greenhouse gasses act like a thermostat, the more add to the atmosphere, the higher the temperature goes.
    • It's like Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Have too little greenhouse gasses and there earth gets too cold, have to much and it gets too hot, have just the right amount and we're ok. The problem is we are adding more and more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere every single day, which is effectively turning up the temperature of our planet.
    • Welcome to Spaceship Earth Think of the earth as one gigantic, sophisticated spaceship. If you go outside and look up at the sky, there is less than 100 km separating you from the cold, black void called space! We are completely dependent on on our earth for our current and future survival.
    • Just like on the International Space Station, the actions of every crew member effect the lives of every other crew member on board. If the life support systems begin to fail on the station, everyones life is put at risk. Unlike the ISS, we can't simply get off our planet if something goes wrong! If we viewed our earth as a spaceship that sustains all our lives, perhaps we would put more thought into our decisions and our actions and take better care of it.
    • So what if the Earth warms up a few degrees, what's the big deal? On a day to day basis, you see local changes in temperature and weather. It's easy for an average person to confuse this with global warming, but it's not. Global warming is a rise in average temperature for the entire planet, not just your city, town province or country. Did you know that if your body temperature increased a mere 4 degrees, you'd be classified as having a serious fever. If your temperature went down 4 degrees you'd have hypothermia! In both casses, if you did not do something quickly, both condition would prove fatal.
    • The earth is like you and your body, if we change it's average temperature, even just a few degrees, we can have some very serious and enduring consequences for life as we know it.
    • Emergency? But I don't see the fire? Wrapping your head around the urgency of the problem is a bit challenging for an average person at first. It's really hard to believe in things that you can't see, if CO2 came out in big black clouds, everyone would see the problem right away, but as it turns out, these gasses are more less invisible to your eyes, but that doesn't mean they aren't there. The effects of global warming seem deceivingly small at first and won't present their full impact right away.
    • Global Warming has gained Momentum, not unlike a car or train does when it moves Think of it like driving on an icy road in the winter. If you see you're going to need to stop because there is a car in front of you, you need to put the breaks on well ahead of time, you can't just slam them on at the last minute. We have huge global warming momentum and we need to slow it down now our were in for one heck of a crash. As humans we are not too bad with dealing with immediate life and death emergencies. The problem is because we don't feel the emergency of the situation right now, we have a hard time seeing the urgent need to take action.
    • What's Causing it? The primary source of human greenhouse gasses are produced from burning fossil fuels like coal, gas, oil and natural gas. When fossil fuels are burned they release CO2 in addition to other greenhouse gasses.
    • What are fossil Fuels? Fossil fuels are essentially the remains of dead plants and trees and algae that have been trapped under the earth and ocean and placed under great pressure and heat for millions of years. While rich in energy, one of the many problems with fossil fuels is that they add a lot of C02 to the atmosphere when we burn them in addition to the health and environmental damage they cause to animals and humans. The more fossil fuels we burn, the more greenhouse gasses we release and the hotter the earth is going to get.
    • Fossil Fuel Dependence Do you ... -drive a car -take the bus -consume any manufactured products -use electricity -heat your home -use cement -eat food -travel by plane -wear clothes -like to barbecue -use cosmetics -enjoy the use of hot water -own anything made of plastic
    • Our current way of life is the real problem and global warming is a consequence or symtom of it. In a very literal sense, our current way of life is completely dependent on fossil fuels. Powering our societies the way we currently do requires a huge amount of energy and our current primary source of energy is fossil fuels. For the past 100 years humans have essentially financed our civilizations off of natures energy trust fund, a trust fund that is destined to run out. Fossil fuels are limited and non-renewable, yet another reason we should be making a plan to learn to survive and thrive without them.
    • What is the Carbon Cycle? Carbon is constantly being cycled between the soil, living things, the ocean and the atmosphere. Up until the industrial revolution, this natural cycle has been in balance. Burning fossil fuels and cutting down trees are just a few of the things we are currently doing that upset this delicate balance.
    • What impact will Global Warming Have? I'm not going to suger coat things, you need to see and understand the impact global warming will have and learn about what we can do to slow it down and lesson the effects. The following slides represent a few effects most scientists and analysts believe can and will result from unchecked global warming. There may also be other significant effects that will occur that we are currently not even aware of and hence may not have much warning time.
    • Increased Allergins and respiratory complications including Asthma Higher CO2 levels contribute to many plants (like ragweed) producing significantly more pollin. If you are an allergy sufferer or have a breathing disorder, this is not good news.
    • Flooding Global warming relocates rainfall. Warmer oceans release more moisture. Warmer air holds more moisture. So when it rains, there will be a lot more of it in many areas. This will damage property, take lives and disrupt business.
    • Drought Because rainfall is relocated, dryer areas will get even drier leading to draught conditions. Growing anything in draught conditions will be next to imposible. A large portion of the earths population lives in or near draught prone areas. If people can't grow enough food to eat, millions will starve.
    • Increase in storms and severe weather Expect to see an increase in the number of storms and there severity. Warmer water near the oceans surface will fuel larger hurricanes. We will also see more tornadoes and typhoons and extreme weather related events like Katrina on the horizon. The economic and costs to human life will be immeasurable
    • Spread of pests and disease A warm earth permits pests to take hold in areas that used to be too cold for them. Many of these pest are known to carry deseases harmfull to humans and animals. Some of these pest destroy trees, which could lead to massive deforestation.
    • Water shortages In addition to areas already stricken by drought, melting glaciers and snowpacks in mountainous areas that provide fresh water to millions of people and animals are drying up or running off earlier and earlier. If water becomes scarce people, animals and plants will be at risk and global tensions will rise.
    • Famine Drought and water shortages will make if difficult to grow food. With more and more areas afflicted by this problem, famine will be on the rise. How will the world respond?
    • Soil erosion When trees and plants are removed or can no longer survive, there is nothing to hold the soil in place and protect it. When it rains the nutrient rich top layers of the soil are simply washed way. Without healthy, rich soil, it will be harder for us to grow food to feed ourselves.
    • Melting glaciers In addition to holding a great deal of the worlds fresh water in the form of ice and snow, glaciers effectively act as a mirror and reflect the suns energy back out into space. When the glaciers melt, not only does the sea level rise, but the darker land underneath the glaciers is exposed and traps the suns heat instead of reflecting it, which speeds up the process of melting.
    • Global Increases in sea level Melting glaciers contribute to a global rise in sea level. In addition to this, warm water tends to expand and take up more space, which also contributes to see rising sea levels. Coastal areas around the globe will all be greatly impacted by this side effect of global warming. Millions of people will become climate refuges. Where will they go? How will they be treated?
    • Permafrost Thawing The permafrost in arctic regions is also starting to thaw. As it thaws, these areas contain large amounts of frozen plant matter that will decay and release even more greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere, making the problem even worse.
    • Ocean acidification and coral reef destruction The more CO2 the oceans try to absorb, the more acidic they become. Acidic oceans are bad news for marine life, especially things like coral reefs and plankton. If the smallest creatures in the ocean are effected, then entire ocean ecosystem will be effecting and we could catastrophic collapses in marine life. A large portion of humanity relies on seafood as a main stable to their diet and their livelihood.
    • Fires Extreme drought conditions, increased temperatures and storms will lead to more frequent and severe forest fires. Forest fires release huge amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere. Trees are the lungs of the earth and are one of natures most effective tools for capturing and locking up CO2 from the atmosphere.
    • Species extinction and decreased biological diversity Changing climate will lead many species to relocated or put increased pressure on them to survive. Many species will not be able to adapt and will become extinct. Decreased biological diversity leads weakens ecosystems and puts plants and animals at increased risk of extinction.
    • Economic instability More frequent natural disasters, water and food shortages, troubled oceans, sea level rises will contribute to global economic instability if we don't plot of change of course now. You can not have a healthy economy without a healthy planet a sustainable practices, it just doesn't work that way. There is a huge opportunity for the world to reinvent itself and just about everything we do. I am hopeful we we sieze it.
    • Increases in global conflict The current path we are on will lead to more conflicts due to increased competition for energy and resources. How may conflicts have already happened over the last century due to oil and energy? Now what if we are competing for water and food and sea levels are rising and causing millions of people to relocate, and we have massive draughts and natural disasters occurring at the same time. This scenario ends very badly and is not one we want to play out.
    • Irreversible Runaway Warming, aka the Venus Effect It is possible that if we continued burning all the fossil fuels on the planet, and caused the planet to heat up too much, we could reach a point of not return that would drive the planet into a running irreversible heating effect. This could eventually lead to our oceans boiling away and the earth becoming very much like Venus. As far as we know there is not life on Venus. I don't want this to be our fate.
    • Population Power There are a lot of people on the planet! We are coming up on almost 7 billion people. When 1 person does something, the effect may be small, when billions of people do something, you're going to see a very large effect. If developing countries like India and China where to increase their fossil fuel use to levels seen in North America, the problem of global warming is going to get infinitely worse. That being said, if billions of people decided to find ways to limit their use of fossil fuels and live sustainably we are in for a much brighter future.
    • We are all in this together This is not a US, Canadian, European or Chinese problem, this is a global issue, and one in which we are all part of the problem and the solution. For my part, I have put together this presentation to help people understand global warming and the need for us to take action. Everyone one of us has something to contribute to the solution of global warming. No matter how small your action, it does make a difference. One action you can take right now is this. If you found this presentation useful and informative, please forward it on to others. The more informed we are, the better decisions we can make.
    • I hope this presentation has helped you to understand that global warming is a real and serious problem, perhaps the most serious problem our species has ever faced. We have a choice to make. Do we want this to be our future? Do we want to pass this future onto our kids? How can you and I be part of the solution? Stayed tuned to part II of this presentation ....coming soon!
    • Contact Info Richard Hart dadgoesgreen@gmail.com www.dadgoesgreen.com