Cli­mate change part of our his­tory, adapt like al­ways

Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin - - NEWS -

BE­FORE the ver­bal guns come out, I’m no de­nier, cli­mate change is real. That said, cli­mate change has ex­isted since our planet first formed an at­mos­phere.

Many nat­u­ral el­e­ments con­trib­ute to cli­mate change – the Sun, Earth’s or­bit, com­po­si­tion of the iono­sphere and con­cen­tra­tion of veg­e­ta­tion are some.

Through­out its his­tory, our planet has been sig­nif­i­cantly warmer and colder than it is to­day, re­sult­ing in wa­ter lev­els that were higher and lower.

Our cur­rent fo­cus is on car­bon diox­ide, CO2, an in­vis­i­ble gas cred­ited with heat­ing our planet.

CO2 is also es­sen­tial for plant life which stores it, and in the process gives off oxy­gen, a gas es­sen­tial to our life cy­cle. That CO2 stor­age in some cases re­sulted in the for­ma­tion of the coal we burn to­day, free­ing the CO2 stored in forests 300 mil­lion years ago.

The same ap­plies to oil de­rived from or­ganic ma­te­ri­als, mainly con­cen­tra­tion of dead an­i­mals.

We are jus­ti­fi­ably con­cerned about our reefs yet the con­sid­er­able sed­i­men­tary lime­stone de­posits (cal­cium car­bon­ate CaCo3) we use to man­u­fac­ture ce­ment are mostly made up of de­com­pos­ing co­rals and shells. To­day, reefs still sur­vive. These are ex­am­ples of nat­u­ral oc­cur­ring events where in­creased CO2 lev­els and warm­ing played a part in lay­ing down the fos­sil fu­els and el­e­ments we rely on to­day.

Global warm­ing has oc­curred nat­u­rally many times in his­tory when we were not around to un­der­stand, ob­serve or con­trib­ute to it. Some­how, through all this, our species evolved and spread across the planet.

Nat­u­rally oc­cur­ring cli­mate change will con­tinue re­gard­less of what we do, so do we fight against na­ture or learn from other species and adapt? What did Ice Age peo­ple think of a chang­ing en­vi­ron­ment gen­er­ated through global warm­ing? What­ever the an­swer, ob­vi­ously they adapted, other­wise we would not be here. BOB JANSSEN

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