Guest Blog - An Aspect Of Climate Change
We, mankind, are part of nature. So whatever mankind does to nature, nature does upon itself.
Nature obeys precise universal laws. These laws are unchanging and the same throughout the universe. Mankind has developed Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry to understand these laws. From Physics we (Mankind) know about the second law of Thermodynamics, which states that all (physical/chemical) processes lead to a higher state of disorder. To clarify this consider the running of a petrol engine. The engine converts the potential (stored) energy of the petrol into kinetic (motion) energy. The molecules of the petrol before combustion have an ordered construction compared to disordered assemblage of molecules after combustion. The disorder of a System is a measure of Entropy. (Entropy is a scientific concept, as well as a measurable physical property that is most commonly associated with a state of disorder, randomness, or uncertainty. Wikipedia)
Climate Change increases Entropy. It is therefore possible to assume any change can be reversed by creating greater disorder i.e. obeying the Second Law of Thermodynamics (The second law of thermodynamics establishes the concept of entropy as a physical property of a thermodynamic system. Wikipedia)
The present Climate Change is different.
A concerned audience will have heard about climate change being a ‘Cyclical Process’ spanning from periods of Global Glacification to periods of Global Warming.
There is a belief that the present climate change is part of a natural cyclical pattern and as such will eventually revert back to a cooler phase.
Historically speaking, nature has never polluted the stratosphere with greenhouse gases, not even the most active volcanic eruptions have managed to penetrate the tropopause to enter the stratosphere, until now. Nature in the last 70 years has managed to pump greenhouse gases into the stratosphere by flying jet airliners.
For the first time in the history of a stable earth do we have an accumulation of greenhouse gases in the stratosphere. In the stratosphere there is no rain to wash out a major greenhouse contributor, CO², to be filtered out by vegetation. Ironically there is a possible cleansing mechanism in polar regions whereby the CO² freezes and falls below the tropopause and thaws out. Unfortunately there is no circulation mechanism in the stratosphere to transport greenhouse gases poleward.
It is my belief that the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the stratosphere negates any possible reversal to a cooling phase in our climate change.
No known natural process has thus far violated the second law of thermodynamics. All natural processes increase entropy i.e. greater disorder. Order can be created by creating a greater disorder. The building of a house seems at first glance to have created order, but if all the processes involved in building the house are examined carefully one finds more disorder was generated, like the fuel burnt to generate electricity to manufacture the glass, the paint etc etc.
Since the economic activity has slowed down worldwide with aeroplanes grounded, people in lock-down or working from home not using their cars, factories shut and so on, the air quality over Europe and China has temporarily improved. For climate scientists, the way millions of people around the world have changed their behaviour clearly shows the possibility to do the same to slow down climate change. Will we realise that it is only through collective, ambitious action that we have a chance to halt the worst impacts of climate change?
There Is Only One Earth - ‘Ignorance Is Not Bliss’
Written by Norbert Brecht, Meteorologist 1969-1989 in Australia
(Producer of Australia's first Global Automatic Analyses Scheme, that of the Sea Surface Temperature, driven by having a good record of Sea Temperature and the understanding of Climate Change)