Posts Tagged: ‘greenhouse gases’

I like how neat things are when people think them all the way through. There’s a thing called basal metabolic rate, which is the rate at which we burn calories when we’re just lying around all day. A 35-year-old, 200-pound man who jogs for a half hour can look forward to burning through a cool 381 calories. But wait, to think the whole thing through, that same man has a basal metabolic rate of 1985.3. If that guy’s BMR holds steady all day, then each hour he burns about 83 calories an hour just being alive. So then he actually netted 298 calories burned from that jog.

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This post is something of an update to a post I wrote last October, an uncharacteristically optimistic post concerning the Gulf oil spill. Here’s a link to the post, but the upshot of it is that a study was published that the methane released by the broken Deepwater Horizon well was being eaten and thereby degraded by methane-ingesting bacteria in the Gulf. These bacteria, the report suggested, eat methane between 10 to 100 times faster than we used to think they could. Another study that came out last January effectively gave the all-clear, the methane-eating bacteria had consumed pretty much all of the methane from the Gulf spill, rendering all sourpuss Gulf residents’ complaints moot.

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NASA takes a crack at one of the most important questions of the 21st century: How do we know that humans are causing global warming? Here is the answer: If Earth has warmed and cooled throughout history, what makes scientists think that humans are causing global warming now? The answer includes these points: 1) The […]

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Quick, what’s the biggest problem facing Earth’s atmosphere today? Too late. The correct answer is increasing carbon dioxide levels. CO2 isn’t the harshest greenhouse gas, but it’s the one that is emitted the most and it’s capable of causing quite a bit of damage.

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This just in: Greenhouse gases endanger human health and welfare. That probably sounds like old news to most folks. After all, we’ve known about global warming and its dangerous effects for years now (everything from pollution-related asthma to temperature-related outbreaks of disease).

But the obvious just became official with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed “endangerment finding,” a document sent to the White House Friday. According to Reuters, labeling greenhouse gases a threat to human well-being could be the first step to regulating U.S. emissions. The potential to do so, however, has been there for a while. Back in 2007, the Supreme Court ruled that the EPA could regulate greenhouse gases — if it determined the pollutants threatened human health. While the agency’s scientists concluded that the gases did pose a risk, it kept mum with official findings until now.

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