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Earth Out Of Balance – Runaway Global Warming Is Upon Us!


By James Donahue

May, 2005


Data from satellite images, buoys and computer models has brought scientists to a conclusion that the Earth’s energy is “out of balance” and that collected greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere are starting to cook our planet.


This study clearly shows a heating planet, according to a report in a recent issue of Science magazine.


The culprits are just what were to be expected. There is an increasing atmospheric pollution including carbon dioxide, methane, ozone and black carbon particles that are blocking the Earth’s radiant heat from escaping into space, absorbing sunlight, and trapping heat within the atmosphere.


The data should be no surprise to the scientists who have been observing melting ice caps, melting glaciers, hotter average surface temperatures and changing weather patterns in recent years.


The problem has been that the evidence that it is really happening could not be found until now.


“This energy imbalance is the smoking gun that we have been looking for,” said James Hansen, director of Goddard Institute for Space Studies.


How severe is this imbalanced heat exchange and what will it mean for the planet? A report by national leaders issued in January, Meeting The Climate Challenge, noted that the Earth is right at the danger point of experiencing runaway global warming that cannot be reversed.


The report said this dangerous point is only two degrees centigrade above the average world temperature prevailing in 1750 before the industrial revolution, when human activities began affecting the climate.


The report notes that the global average temperature has already risen by 0.8 degrees since that point, with more rises already coming at us from continued pollution. Thus the world probably has less than a single degree of temperature latitude before the critical point is breached.


What is frightening is that another study earlier this year, based upon thousands of climate models developed by volunteers from all over the world, show a warming ranging from 6 to 11.5 degrees when atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations reach the levels expected to be seen later this century.


This is dramatically higher than the estimates of from 1.4 degrees to 4.5 degrees predicted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that shocked the world just one year ago. That study suggested such a dark scenario for the planet that world scientists were warning that immediate steps were necessary to save the planet.


Obviously world leaders, especially U. S. President George W. Bush, China’s Jiang Zemin, and India’s Abdul Kalam are not listening. These three nations, clearly the biggest environmental offenders in the world, are turning their backs on an international effort to put the brakes on greenhouse gas emissions.


The reluctance of these three nations to join the world movement suggests a grim future for mankind.


A recent report suggests that because the oceans take longer to absorb the heat, the delayed response of thermal inertia gives us a last chance to reduce the magnitude of a man-made self destruction. Yet the report notes that “even if there are no further increases of human-induced gases, climate will continue to warm about one degree over the next century.”


The report warns that “if the world decides to wait for more overwhelming evidence of climate change, thermal inertia implies that still greater climate change will be in store, which may be impossible to avoid.”


In other words, it may already be too late to head off the looming premature death of this planet, and the total extinction of the human race.

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