All right today, I’m gonna give it to you straight about climate change. Perhaps you’ve heard of it like on TV or something at this point, I think we’re all pretty much in saturation on climate change, the past 10 years it’s been all day and all night on the News, climate changes, global warming trend, climate change, global warming, climatic changes, climate change, climate change is real.
Climate change is coming to blow up your house and eat your dog. So basically, I’m, not gonna be not anymore. I’m, not gonna be needing that, but what does even mean and what does what it means mean, and should you even care uh yeah, you should care.
I realize that climate change is one of those things that some people don’t believe, and specifically there are people who challenge the widely held belief that it’s getting hot in here, which I think was firmly established by Nelly in 2002, just before he requested that we take off all our clothes and that unfortunately turns out to not be a particularly effective strategy to combat global warming.
Fun, though, actually some of the deniers agree that it’s getting warmer. They just disagree that the cause is the way that we as humans live our lives, which is understandable. I guess because who wants to believe that their actions are hurting other people in the world and other generations as well.
You know, besides rational responsible adult people who want to do the right thing, if at all possible, and what are we doing, that’s so wrong? Well, in the immortal words of one of my heroes, Nancy Sinatra: we’ve, been messing where we shouldn & # 39.
T have been a message, so we release massive amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere by burning coal and gas and oil and jet fuel, and we also really like to destroy natural carbon sinks like the Amazon rainforest and then in the place of those rainforests.
We like to put other things that produce greenhouse gases like cattle here’s, the kicker. The earth has seen these massive increases in carbon dioxide concentrations in our atmosphere in the past and every time it’s been a complete disaster.
What scientists can’t completely agree on is what nightmare apocalypse scenario is going to get to us. First or you know I guess they could all all of them happen all at once. There’s, always that one thing they are agreeing on, not zombies, so we’re safe from that.
So here are the five scariest things that could happen or probably are already happening because of climate change, so that I’m, a five scariest thing about climate change. Everything is just getting so confused up in here, so people talk about global warming and basically talking about the fact that over the last hundred years or so, the average tip of the earth has increased by about a degree and a half Fahrenheit, and most of that Increase has happened in the last thirty years, or so so here’s, why? You should be thinking of the earth it it’s, a beautiful, precisely calibrated and self-regulating machine, and it’s more complex and amazing than we will ever be able to understand seriously you guys it’s, a freaking masterpiece, But let’s say that a terribly intelligent group of animals on its surface starts to drastically alter the composition of its atmosphere.
In that case, all of those elegant and beautiful, self-regulating systems start to go all screwy stuff. That seems totally inconsequential like rain. Following a few weeks later than an otherwise would can affect, when the streams are full which changes when the plants bloom, which changes when the insects, hatch and that could affect historically synchronized, pollenization of crops and fish spawns and bird migrations and water supplies for drinking irrigation.
What we’re, seeing now with just over a degree difference in the temperature of the earth, is significantly affecting our weather. Already some places are flooding, some places are experiencing record droughts, we’re, seeing ice caps, melting and the historic ranges of animals and plants either shrinking or expanding.
Let me check it out. In the past ten years they’ve actually had to change the little maps on the back of seed packets. To tell you when to plant your cucumbers, the worldwide redistribution of growing conditions and freshwater cuz.
You know you have air conditioning, and so it’s, not too big a video if the world gets super hot, but you know who doesn’t have air conditioning cucumbers and cows and other stuff that we like to eat.
Those things have to be outside that’s, how they work, and so they care. If suddenly, everything gets super hot and dry and right now, a lot of the wealth and a lot of the people in the world are distributed in the places where there’s really good growing conditions and as the Earth continues to warm places with Historically, really amazing growing condition like central California could become lifeless health escapes, and that would be a perfect habitat for zombies, but not so good for cabbages and strawberries, and by the time we reach something as subtle as a three degree increase in global temperatures, which scientists Say could happen as soon as 2100.
Saskatchewan could be the next Central, California, and all of the Fertile Crescent of the world may stop bringing forth their marvellous bounty and what always comes along with poor growing conditions in drought.
Well, you get famine and you also get his brother horseman war. In case you didn’t hear back in October, the human population hits seven billion people and every single one of them wants to eat food, and when people get really hungry, they start to hurl little hunks of metal through each other’S bodies, which is one of my least favorite recreational activities of humans, so famines, pretty scary and so is number three, which is displacement and mass extinctions due to sea level rise.
So you’ve, probably heard of this one, because it affects all the cool kids like polar bears and people who live in Brooklyn. So it’s, getting hotter right and all that precious fresh water. That’s. Locked up in the polar ice caps is melting.
So like right now, as I’m eating this hot pocket of our baggage, have I told you, I love hot pockets. There’s, some polar ice cap melting and now we’re talking happening, oh my god, that’s good. This is why they fake eating television shows but screw that so there’s enough water locked up in the ice on our planet, that, if it all melted, we’d, pretty much all be in some serious trouble here in the US.
We can expect to see New Orleans underwater parts of the Bay Area, a lot of New York City, but worldwide. It’s, actually looking a lot worse than that. Entire island nations, like the Philippines and Indonesia, would lose all their fresh water supplies and it’s possible that they would need to be entirely evacuated within this century.
Many of the largest countries in the world, like Bangladesh, Vietnam, India and China all have very high populations living in very low-lying urban areas, and all of that is to say nothing of the diverse and vital ecosystems that could be completely destroyed.
In the event of a large magnitude sea level rise, though, I think Miami would make a pretty sweet, artificial reef. I’m sure the octopi would love it. The acidification of the world’s, oceans. Basically, carbon dioxide is water-soluble, which means that, as the concentration in our atmosphere goes up, so goes up.
The concentration in the ocean, so the oceans have a deal with the atmosphere which is that all the carbon dioxide that the plants on the earth the ocean will suck it up for plants and animals in the ocean to use and the animals in the ocean used That carbon dioxide to create their bones and their shells and their pearls and whatever and then when they die all that stuff Falls Bob in the ocean becomes rock.
This is great. We’re, getting rid of carbon dioxide. However, when carbon dioxide dissolves into water, there’s, a chemical reaction which slightly lowers the pH of that water and a lower pH means more acidic and it’s, not a super huge change.
But it turns out that a lot of the animals in the ocean, especially the ones at the bottom of the food chain, really require a very specific pH. So the govenor oxide gets dissolved in the water. The pH goes down just a little bit and guess what it’s mass extinction; time again, which is like a party except with 70 to 90 % fewer species on the planet.
I’m. Sorry, you’re doing okay! I know this episode’s been kind of a downer, but we & # 39. Ve only got one more horrible scary thing to go and that’s, shutdown of the global conveyor belt. So unfortunately I don’t.
Have time to get into this topic in all the detail that it deserves? But if you want to google it just look up thermohaline circulation there, thermohaline circulation is awesome and it’s, a huge reason why our planet cannot only support so much life, but also such complexity of life.
Basically, all of the oceans in the world are connected together through this giant conveyor belt and it’s, driven by winds in the rotation of the earth and the different salinities of the ocean. But most of all it’s, driven by the difference in temperature between the equator and the poles.
It’s impossible to talk about climate without talking about the thermohaline circulation, because it affects everything. For instance, this conveyor belt brings water up from the Caribbean along the eastern coast of America and then across to England, which is why England turns out to be so balmy.
Even though it’s. Latitude would suggest that it would have a climate more. Like Canada, it also – and this is very important – delivers oxygen from the surface of the earth down to the watery depths where all of those extra weird organisms like angler fish live that we don’t know very much about in the history of our Planet when carbon dioxide levels get above a thousand parts per million, this thermohaline circulation has shut down, which was leading scientists to wonder if this could happen again and if it does, what could happen? Oh, my god, so many bad things would happen.
First, all of the weather in the world would change or stop or something it’s unclear exactly what would happen because all of the models go totally screwy when you shut down thermohaline circulation, but basically it would be dramatic and probably catastrophic.
Secondly, the oceans of the world would become a big stagnant puddle, except for some of the stuff that’s living on the very surface, but most of the ocean would become a freezing black dark, deep oxygen list place like space and third.
This massive lack of oxygen at pretty much every strata of the ocean would lead to a huge explosion in the population of anaerobic bacteria and anaerobic bacteria. They like to produce this compound called hydrogen sulfide, which, if you’ve ever smelled rotting eggs.
You are aware of what it smells like, but in a full, thermohaline shutdown, it would become a much more familiar smell because everything would smell like it. The reason why we think it smells so bad is because hydrogen sulfide is extremely poisonous.
It’s. One of the most toxic chemicals that we know of there would be so much of it that pretty much all of the animals near the coasts would die. So I can’t talk about this anymore because I don’t have time and also because freaks me out.
It is impossible to stress how me this would be. So if you’re here for a worst-case scenario, there, it is everything dies and the entire earth smells like 20 billion rotten eggs and guess what that is still not enough to convince me to stop eating meat and driving to work and flying to The East Coast to see my family and I have no idea why that is.
But I bet that there is a very smart social scientist working on that issue right now, trying to figure out why we are all so stupid and hopefully they’ll figure it out soon. Thank you for joining us here on scishow.
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