The climatic roulette
The international ecology conference, held during these days in Paris, was devoted to the global warming theme and called of the new international structure creation - the UN but responsible for the ecological problems.
This fact, in fact, could tell us many things. The world famous scientists warn that happening climate 'revolution' could bring us to the whole civilization catastrophe.
Unprecedentedly warm winter which happened to be this year in Kazakhstan and in huge territory of Europe and Russia too became the next factor in overall alarming picture of global climate change which is celebrated last ten years by the humanity.
Inclement polar seas this year were not frozen by the beginning of December, and confused polar bears could not migrate to their usual ice lands where they always hunted for seals. This made them wander among very seldom human abodes on Wrangel Island and dig in slops or catch the careless dogs.
The bird cherry started blossoming in Moscow suburbs in December. Inhabitants of the Croatian coast at the same time faced +25 degrees temperature and all together went bathing on a beach. The huge iceberg sized of 280 to 100 kilometers was broken away from an ice field of Antarctica - this had not happened even once during all two hundred year's history of supervision over ice continent.
Kazakhstan is not an exemption in the general list. In the south of the country, at once behind short frosts and snows, fields in January have become covered by joyfully green grass and flowers. Extraordinary warm weather for this time happened to be practically in all regions of the country, and the temperature gap between "usual" and present for this season is not about pity 1-3 degrees but at once 10-15!
Dozens, hundreds of such paradoxical cases of nature "whims" do not leave doubts: we experience an epoch of significant climatic changes - and who knows, to what result for a civilization will lead all this process, which overall picture we can not yet realize.
As always in difficult moments of a life people rush for answers asking scientists and experts. But that is the trouble that scientists today are in confusion too and are capable more likely to tell fortunes than exact forecasts. Such uncertainty promotes an occurrence of apocalyptical moods such as brightly shown in American film "The day after tomorrow" telling about global ecological accident when New York turned to be an ice lake with the head of a statue of Freedom and full of hungry wolves flights ransacking among the empty streets of American cities.
The art of the Hollywood special effects masters, as always, amazes our imagination. However people are excited more about authoritative answers on the main, real questions: what happens to a climate, where we go, what consequences will have the global warming of terrestrial atmosphere for our civilization, what role is played in it by people and whether we can do something to stop catastrophic scripts from becoming a terrible reality?
The one of the main reasons of the terrestrial atmosphere accruing overheat is considered to be an economic activity of the person. Factories and power stations working on mineral fuel began to throw out in air dioxide of carbon and other "hotbed" gases starting from the beginning of the last century, and by present time it's quantity increased in thousand times.
This is true. Scientists have counted that the usual car for a year of work throws out in an environment three tons of carbonic gas. But a big power station working on coal with its capacity of one thousand megawatt allocates more than six million tons of carbonic gas per year!
According to the existing theory, these huge volumes of carbon dioxide can not be absorbed by plants, which serve as "lungs" of all atmosphere and create an original protective "screen" for an output of heat in the top layers of an atmosphere, because of the lack of time. And therefore the "hotbed" effect happens to be which consequences we experience now.
But, as it was proven by other researches, eight thousand of years ago when nobody knew about industrialization and thermal stations, the period of climate sharp warming was also observed! In early 90s scientists had taken cores (samples of an ice cover of Greenland) for analysis. There were the longest ice cores up to three kilometers thick.
The ice analysis allowed making an objective view about alternation of the climatic periods during last 110 thousand years. And what truth was discovered? During that period there were many long cold and short warm periods. During a cold snap the air temperature in Greenland fell down on 6-10 degrees.
On the other hand, when peak of a glacial epoch went away (these periods lasted millennia and even dozens of millennia), the temperature sharply grew - on 10-15 degrees. This meant that huge snow-covered spaces of Northern Europe and Siberia as if on magic turned to be subtropics.
Air bubbles in ice adjournment testify that during the same time in other parts of the planet humidity has sharply raised. And five thousand years ago because of unknown reasons the concentration in atmosphere of other "hotbed" gas - methane - has started to grow.
Scientists think if this does not happen, today the temperature in Europe and the Northern America could be on 3-4 degrees lower.
Nobody can precisely say why this happened, however this may be the long-term after-effect of those old cataclysms. The more deeply scientists try to get into the reasons of climatic changes and their possible consequences, the greater confusion they receive.
In comparison with sharp climate changes, the display of global warming seems to be weak and slow, however, according to the last researches data analysis, global warming indeed pushes a climate to change that sharply.
American scientists from geophysics branch of the University of Pennsylvania have modeled processes of atmosphere warming which already happens in an environment and its probable after-effects in the nearest and long-term future. The situation reminds "domino principle" where one falling bead carries the other.
For instance, we can imagine the following chain: the strengthening of Arctic ices thawing that already happened today carries the desalination of the far North Eurasia superficial waters and can stop in general warm flows in Northern Atlantic which bring warmth from tropics. After-effect for a climate could be the following: European and East-American temperatures decrease on 20-30 degrees and the climate starts to remind Siberia more and more.
In a huge part of Eurasia agriculture conditions start sharply worsen, the main navigating ways freeze. Whether it is necessary to speak that it becomes the greatest catastrophe for a modern civilization. But Sahara, deserts of Australia, South America will definitely become a blossoming gardens.
Even such seems not to be visible factor as reduction of sediments for decades can affect the destiny of the whole continents. Year to year there will be fewer rains, but people do not worry too much because the reduction goes on slightly, imperceptibly. But one "fine" day the drought happens to be in a region after becoming the usual phenomenon. The Earth before fed nations becomes fruitless and leads towards a crash of social structures, states, devastation of the whole regions. This could be even historically certificated: the ancient states of Dvurechje located three thousand years ago between the Tiger and Euphrates died because of climate change.
Why global warming threatens Kazakhstan? There are different assumptions and calculations. Thawing of polar ices and increase in atmosphere humidity can bring on huge deserted steppes and saline soils of Kazakhstan plentiful rains and then in hundred years they will blossom as subtropics. But there are also other forecasts: the country may face terrible hurricanes and droughts, sand may begin to absorb the fertile grounds, and southern regions in general may become lifeless desert .
The result of changes will depend on thousand factors and their combination which unfortunately can not be predicted by any computer. Kazakhstan as well as all mankind as a whole today "plays" in "a climatic roulette" with a prize of comfortable existence.
The scripts of the further warming after-effects developed by Americans unequivocally testify that sooner or later but the mankind will definitely face the global natural catastrophes which it will not be able to prevent with an existing level of techniques and social organization.
The only thing scientists can not tell for sure - when the X-hour comes: one consider that mankind has a century or even millennium; other specifies an amplifying rate of climatic changes and their unpredictability arguing with thousand factors involved in a "devil's game" and mighty natural forces to which human beings have nothing to oppose.
There is no lack of various scripts of rescue the mankind. Some scientists suggest to forbid completely the dioxide carbon emissions outflows in an atmosphere from the industry and transport, to convert power plants to a "without waste" cycle. It is possible to achieve with all technical opportunities that are available. However it is very expensive. Catching and recycling of the dioxide carbon will raise costs of coal per one ton up to 60 dollars and cost of the electric power, accordingly, in three times.
There are also projects, for instance, to inject the carbonic gas in deep layers of the Earth. But this would demand the efforts coordination of all countries in the world and cardinal reorganization of world economic system. We shall be realists: today it is unrealizable.
Illustration is provided by http://ecoclub.nsu.ru