Can Global warming Be Reversed Immediately?

by blackspanielgallery

Global warming reversal will take time, but we must do what we can to prevent it from going past the point of no return.

Can global warming be reversed? Yes, but that will take time. And before we can achieve reversal, or even abatement, global warming will increase.

Abating global warming is not as simple as eliminating the addition of greenhouse gases. The problem is much more complex than that. In this article we will examine what will cause global warming to increase, even if we reduce our carbon footprint. At the same time, we must do what we can to slow global warming until it reverses, and that is why we must act to reduce our carbon footprint.

Greenhouse Gases

Greenhouse gases are abundant in the atmosphere, a result of waiting so long to act.  Of course, we did not always realize there was a problem.  Just forty years back we worried about global cooling, and new ice sheets forming.  So, the change in mindset by scientists was not at first unified, and the severity of the problem was not known.


The situation is greenhouse gases do not simply go away, except water vapor which precipitates out.  The removal of greenhouse gases takes time, and the one we can easily discuss as within our control is carbon dioxide.  Carbon dioxide is removed by plants.  It is absorbed, the carbon used for plant growth, and the oxygen returned to the atmosphere.  Yes, plants will have more carbon dioxide to breath in, but there are inadequate plants to handle the removal of the excessive amounts of carbon dioxide in a short period of time.  So, the atmosphere will continue to absorb energy and reemit it back to the Earth for some time, even if we stop adding to the problem.


As an analogy, consider a greenhouse.  Light passes into the greenhouse, is converted to infrared rays, and emitted back.  A glass panel reflects infrared like a mirror.  Even if we open the windows for a day, the greenhouse will heat up the next day after the windows are again closed.


Oceans Are Heat Reservoirs

Heat in the ground and oceans is passed from one molecule to its neighbors, often reaching down below the surface.  In the case of water, waves move molecules up and down, and the molecules that have absorbed energy distribute over a depth as a result.  Also, the mobility of molecules help carry the energy below the surface.  So, if greenhouse gases are abated, we still have heat being slowly released from the oceans which act as a heat reservoir.

Ice Cap Melting Will Cause Further Warming

Snow has a high albedo, meaning it reflects much light back to space before it can be absorbed and converted to heat.  Even old, slushy snow reflects pretty well, albeit not as well as freshly fallen snow.  As the ice packs reduce, and land or sea become the surface components of the planet, the albedo will decrease.  Hence, we will absorb more of the incoming energy from the sun, which we be converted to heat.

Other Articles

An understanding of the consequences of global warming requires we ask why. And we must break things down to simple terms.
Global warming requires responses at multiple levels, and as individuals we might think ourselves insufficient in causing such responses. But we can make a difference.
Global warming is a problem, and it is up to us to do what we can, no matter how small, to help abate the problem.


It is difficult to fathom the severity of the situation considering how we can still go about our daily lives, but the situation is dire.  It cannot be stopped as we would turn off a light switch.  It is a complicated set of things that are interrelated. 


In past history we could have picked up tents and headed to cooler parts of the Earth.  Now, we would reach borders.  So, if Siberia and Canada fare well, we will not be able to use those places as destinations of refuge.  In this our cave dwelling ancestors had an advantage.


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Updated: 12/17/2019, blackspanielgallery
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blackspanielgallery on 12/19/2019

Yes, we must not simply place a sapling in the ground and wish it well. But for groups planting, say on Earth Day, who cannot tend their trees afterwards, it is better than doing nothing. Some will survive, as they have throughout Earth history. Cared for trees are more apt to flourish, so yes, it is much better to tend them well, and with knowledge of what helps them grow.
Your sharing your gardening knowledge has a great impact on helping with healthier trees that in turn help the planet. I realize trees are not the same as most crops, but the basics are often the same.

frankbeswick on 12/19/2019

Trees need to be tended to get the best results. Only today I was reading about the plans to save the Benmore Giants, huge Redwoods planted in Benmore Gardens in West Scotland, which are now suffering from waterlogging because of the global warming induced increase in rain in North West Britain in the past few years. Compressed air is being pumped into the soil to facilitate drainage and oxygenate the root zone,which is necessary as plants take in oxygen via the roots.

So if we want to use trees to soak up CO2, we need to plan for their care.

blackspanielgallery on 12/17/2019

That is a positive move.

frankbeswick on 12/17/2019

About 15 miles from where I live is 2000 foot Kinder Scout, whose flat moorland summit is a large expanse of boggy ground that captures CO2 and retains water, preventing it from flooding parts of Manchester. The bog is being managed to make it grow to facilitate greater capture. This is happening with other bogs in Britain.

blackspanielgallery on 12/17/2019

Plants are efficient, but not adequate. They have long helped maintain the proper balance of gases, but are being expected to do more than they can in response to what we are adding to the atmosphere.
Greenland should remain habitable. As for bogs, I am unfamiliar with the problem. we ave a very complicated situation here, and individual aspects are significant locally.

DerdriuMarriner on 12/17/2019

blackspanielgallery, Thank you for the practical information and the product lines.
Is it that the number, placement or type of plants does not suffice when you say "Yes, plants will have more carbon dioxide to breath in, but there are inadequate plants to handle the removal of the excessive amounts of carbon dioxide in a short period of time"?
Research in this century mentions poison ivy (!) as a plant that handles high carbon dioxide and that will flourish accordingly with globally warmed climate change.
What would be the best strategy in a place such as Greenland, whose ice is melting seven times faster than in the 1990s and whose peatlands sometimes represent fire hazards?

blackspanielgallery on 12/17/2019

Hi Frank,
I mentioned plants because in periods of the past when carbon dioxide levels were at high levels trees grew faster, and helped remove the carbon. But, it is not at the same pace as is needed. So, greater carbon for growth does help make trees larger, and they do remove carbon faster, but it is not enough to offset the problem. People can deduce the added value and come to the erroneous conclusion that trees alone will rapidly solve the problem. They help, but not enough.
Yes, other factors are important in tree growth, and water distribution will alter with climate change. And, as you point out there are limiting factors.

frankbeswick on 12/17/2019

Plants can cope with higher levels of CO2 than we have now, but the limiting factors are water availability and plant nutrients. Phosphates are less available than nitrogen, carbon and potassium. This means that we can run into a block in our use of plants to solve the problem.

Peat bogs can soak up masses of CO2, and we are encouraging them in Britain.

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