- Has increased since 1800’s and took a steep increase since 1960.
- Coal = mainly Carbon (C) Burn it with Oxygen (O) Produce Carbon Dioxide (CO2) which
is a Greenhouse gas and warms the atmosphere
1) Measure it directly Day-to-Day (we’ve only been doing this since 1950’s) Charles
Reeling began measuring it at the top of a Hawaiian volcano.
- Created the Keeling curve, pretty consistent rise in CO2 in atmosphere since began
2) To go back further in time, measure CO2 in air bubbles trapped in ice sheets in Antarctic
and Greenland Glaciers This takes us back about 400,000 years.
- Just like how they analyzed the dust in ice layers, that took the air bubbles trapped in
the ice and analyzed the amount of CO2 in the air.
- These helped show that the scale of human impact has risen dramatically in CO2 in
the atmosphere exponentially.
How does past E.S.E compare to future E.S.E. (Earth systems engineering)? 2 main
1) Scale: in past, was more local, less global
2) Intent: in past, effects were unintended and unanticipated
Thomas Midgely “had more impact on the atmosphere than any other single organism in earth
- Leaded gasoline
- In 1921, Midgley invented leaded gasoline, tetra-ethyl lead