The Carbon Ratio
Figure 1: The amount of carbon human activity has put back in the atmosphere, divided by the amount photosynthesis has removed and converted to fossil fuels, will determine the Carbon Ratio. Disrupt this ratio sufficiently and agriculture, and our civilization, can no longer continue.
The facts supporting the Carbon Ratio and climate change are obvious and easy to understand.
Carbon molecules in the atmosphere are like ping pong balls in a lottery cage. If you increase the number of balls in the cage the probability of winning will decrease. Likewise, if you increase the number of carbon molecules in the atmosphere the quality of life will decrease.
When you take ping pong balls out of the lottery cage they can no longer influence the probability of winning or losing. When you take carbon out of the atmosphere in the form of CO2, and convert it into fossil fuels, it can no longer increase or decrease the Earth’s temperature.
The Science Behind the Carbon Ratio
There Is No Counter Argument To Science
In order to understand climate change it is important to remember that the number of carbon molecules on the planet is exactly the same today as it was when the Earth was first formed. All that has changed is the location of the carbon. It is the location of the carbon that determines the Earth’s temperature. This is referred to as the Carbon Ratio.
The carbon sequestered in the earth as fossil fuels is no longer in the carbon cycle. The Earth has now been permanently cooled. Conversely, carbon taken out of the Earth in the form of fossil fuels, and put back in the atmosphere in the form of carbon dioxide (CO2), has now permanently warmed the Earth. It does not matter how fast we burn the fossil fuels, or how much we reduce our carbon footprint, once the CO2 has been released into the atmosphere it is back in the carbon cycle – forever.
In Figure 1, below, the circle on the left shows the Earth when it was first formed. At that time all the excess carbon was in the atmosphere in the form of carbon dioxide. This caused the earth to be too hot for life – at least on land.
The Carbon Ratio Explained
The circle in the center of Figure 1 shows the Earth 800 million years ago during a period called Snowball Earth. At this there was very little carbon in the atmosphere and therefore the Earth froze over from pole to pole.
The circle on the right of Figure 1 shows the earth prior to the Industrial Revolution. At this time there was a great deal of carbon in the earth in the form of fossil fuels, coal, oil and natural gas, but there was also enough carbon remaining in the atmosphere to keep the earth at an ambient temperature of 56 F°. This is when agriculture, and then our civilization, evolved.
Figure 2, below, shows the Earth’s temperature during the last ice age. Notice on the far right hand side of the graph that the weather extremes appear to have calmed down. This period started 12,700 years ago. Scientists today say they are not sure why this happened. That may be true from a scientific perspective, but common sense says there can only be one reason the weather became less extreme, and that is because there was just the right amount of carbon in the the atmosphere. The predictable weather that resulted allowed for mankind to stop being hunter-gathers and settle into a communal life supported by agriculture.
Our civilization was able to evolve during this period because the Carbon Ratio was perfect.
This Is When The “Carbon Ratio” Was Perfect
Just Like Ping Pong Balls in a Lottery Cage
The Carbon Ratio is the amount of carbon (CO2) human activity has put back in the atmosphere, divided by the total amount of carbon photosynthesis has naturally removed from the atmosphere and converted to fossil fuels
This percentage can then be multiplied times 21°F, which is the temperature differential between 77°F – 56°F, in order to determine what the Earth’s temperature will eventually be. These two numbers are important because 77° is as hot as the Earth can get if all the carbon there is available to go into the atmosphere, is in the atmosphere, and 56° is important because it is the temperature of the Earth prior to the Industrial Revolution, when the Carbon Ratio was perfect.
It is not possible for humans to continue to burn fossil fuels, and thus disrupt the Carbon Ratio, and expect our civilization, and even our species, to continue.