Saturday, July 28, 2012

Critical, getting baseline information about our environment before our planet warms more.


Besides this (see story below) startling discovery that Climate Change may be destroying the ozone layer over the US, is this, “there are no historical data about how much water vapor has been moved upward by such storms over time.”

As scientist look more deeply into how Climate Change is going to change our environment they are doing to come across items like how warming affects our planet’s ozone layer and when they do there won’t be the information they need to nail this down. Increasingly, I believe, because we don’t have an idea of what a healthy environment actually looks like, a baseline from which to measure change against, we will be hampered severely in our attempts to adapt and mitigate Climate Change.

When you read most Climate Change studies, they urge somewhere in the document that more information be gathered by scientists and sometimes by citizen scientists to fill knowledge gaps in our understanding of our own environment.

We are missing a lot of information because we made a lot of major changes to our environment without creating baselines. Fracking is another example, where some citizen scientists are out establishing a baseline for our fresh water before a Fracking accident happens.

Creating baselines, getting historical data, about our existing environment before we warm up or do something as incredibly disruptive as Fracking, should be at top of any Climate Change plans—not buried in the details.

This idea that our ozone layer may be eroding because of Climate Change might take awhile to nail down:

Climate Change Could Erode Ozone Layer Over U.S. For the past 25 years, it seemed that we’d pretty much solved the ozone problem. In the 1970s and 80s, people around the world grew increasingly alarmed as research revealed that chemicals we were producing—such as CFCs, used in refrigeration— had started destroying the crucial ozone layer, high up in the atmopshere, that protects us from the sun’s harmful UV radiation. In response, world governments came together to sign the Montreal Protocol in 1987, which phased out the production of ozone-depleting chemicals. The concentration of these chemicals in the atmosphere leveled off within a decade. (July 27, 2012) History, Travel, Arts, Science, People, Places | Smithsonian Magazine

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