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A different perspective on carbon footprint

To the editor:

The Feb. 7 “Can’t ignore need to increase renewable energy,” warns: “It’s time to come to terms with the urgent issue of reducing the state’s carbon footprint.”

“Carbon footprint” means carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions humans create by burning fossil fuels. Put a glass of soda in a cooler and it will retain the dissolved CO2-fizz for a long time. Put the soda in the oven and the CO2 will out-gas in a short time. The oceans hold a huge amount of dissolved CO2 gas, and have a 40,000 mile long chain of mountains under them that are volcanically active and emit CO2; along with lots of heat to warm the ocean; depending on rate of activity, very little of which is being monitored.

We see atmospheric CO2 rising each year. Why? If the ocean is being heated by volcanic activity and if the sun’s rays are not being reflected back into space by certain cloud types and particles in the air then we should see more CO2 out-gassing from the ocean as it heats up.

Look at the NOAA annual mean growth rate of CO2 chart covering 1960 through present at Mauna Loa observatory. CO2 growth rate dropped to .28 and .48 ppm for years 1964 and 1992. How come? Did people suddenly burn less coal, gas and oil those years? No, Mt. Agung (1963-64) and Mt. Pinatubo (1991-92) blasted about one cubic mile of ash into the air to a height of some 22 miles. This causes a shading/cooling effect on the ocean which then expels less CO2.

But wait! We forgot water vapor! About 95 percent of the greenhouse gas effect comes from water vapor. Only about 0.117 percent of the greenhouse effect is due to man-made atmospheric CO2 (these figures take into account the heat retention capabilities of the gases; water vapor holds a lot more heat than CO2).

Those who say man-made CO2 is causing global warming, need to show us from a thermodynamics perspective, how man’s microscopic contribution of CO2 (one part in 2400) into the atmosphere can force the entire globe into thermal disaster.

Phil Drietz

Delhi

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