The climate of the early Mesozoic – It’s coming right back at ya through your car’s tail pipe and your power plant’s smokestack. That’s why we are returning to a climate that’s overall going to be a lot warmer.
How? Here are the facts:
1. When adding a large amount of a substance to a semi-closed system such as the earth’s atmosphere, there will be an impact, just like adding a lot of sugar to your coffee.
2. By burning oil and coal, we are releasing back into the atmosphere billions of tons of carbon that has been locked up prior to and during the time of the dinosaurs: about 180 – 65 million years ago for oil, 360 – 65 million years ago for coal.
3. Increased carbon in the form of carbon dioxide creates an insulating layer around a closed system (the earth), just like glass or plastic coverings do for greenhouses.
4. All of the above relates to the laws of conservation of mass and energy. Matter and energy can change from one form to another, but is always conserved. In other words, you can’t pull matter out of the ground and burn it without it ending up somewhere else.
A challenge to those who deny our role in climate change: Please explain how it is possible that the release of a heat-retaining substance back into the atmosphere, one that has been locked away for millions of years, will not cause the climate to become similar to when all that carbon was in the atmosphere in the first place.
What’s dinosaur flatulence (or mammalian flatulence) have to do with it all? Not much. But speculation that dinosaur flatulence may have modified the climate way back when has provided a lot of hot air for climate change denialists to create a straw man to poke fun at in an attempt to discredit climate science. More here:
A note regarding use of the term “global warming:” it would be best to use “climate change” instead. Some areas will become cooler, some warmer, some will have more extreme weather events, some less. Yes, the earth is warming, but such a descriptor can lead to confusion. The earth’s “climate” is warming overall, but local “weather” events may vary.
A good climate change Q & A link: