Radioactive dating in antarctica
However, the amount of energy received from the Sun is dependent upon the earth's orbit (specifically, its eccentricity, precession, and tilt), which changes slightly at regular intervals.In addition to solar luminosity, the earth produces a small amount of energy from radioactive decay, which keeps the earth's core molten.Many scientists have sounded the alarm that we must reduce our use of fossil fuels.Others, including a number of prominent conservatives, have said that we have little to worry about.Solar energy is partly absorbed and partly reflected by the earth.In addition, some of the energy absorbed by the earth is radiated back into space. energy radiated determines whether the earth becomes warmer or cooler over time.Minor components, water vapor and carbon dioxide, are greenhouse gases that reduce the amount of the earth's energy that radiates back into space.A much more potent greenhouse gas, methane, is produced by certain bacteria (mostly in the guts of cows, and under certain conditions of decomposition), although it tends to be naturally removed from the atmosphere through chemical reactions (with a half-life of ~7 years).
Looking at the big picture, radioactive dating of meteorites shows that the earth and solar system formed ~4.6 billion years ago.
The extensive use of petroleum and natural gas after World War II has rapidly increased the amount of these carbon emissions within the last 50 years.
These data strongly suggest that the rapid increase of CO than is showing up in the atmosphere (Figure 3).
This page examines the basic questions and the answers we are getting from scientific studies, including historical and reconstructed values for greenhouse gases, temperature, and other variables that impact earth's climate.
In addition, we will examine some of the theory behind the science that causes most scientists to be concerned.