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.
Who Am I?
A husband and a father
I am a teacher and a
I am a member of the human
race, one of the millions
of species that live on the
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
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
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
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
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
Think of it like this.
A glass of water will
a tidal wave can
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
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
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
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
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
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
-heat your home
-travel by plane
-like to barbecue
-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
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.
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.
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
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
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?
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.
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?
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.
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
Trees are the lungs of the earth and are one of natures most
effective tools for capturing and locking up CO2 from the
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.
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.
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
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
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
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