These things make an ideal intro to earth science. …
Atmospheric CO2 concentrations have been measured since 1957 at Mauna Loa. It has increased about 0.3% per year because of fossil fuel combustion. CO2, a nutrient, is the leading indicator of other global scale human impact.
In July 1983, NASA published the Land-Related Global Habitability Science report on how the entire earth could monitor global change. The Earth Observing System, EOS was conceived in 1990. In 1999 they launched their first satellite.
Population increases mean impact on the biosphere will increase. Per capita, resource consumption is increasing as developing states catching up with standards of developed countries, developing whatever the environmental cost.
A global economy is a global environment. The sustainability of human life on Earth cuts across all politics. We all want the best for our grandchildren.
Global biospheric health is measurable, discussions and policy development no longer handicapped by lack of data. EOS provides information on trends of change in our biosphere. How we interpret data and our action in the next millennium is critical:
If trends have modest change, then only small adjustments in social behaviour may be necessary.
If impacts appear harmful and accelerating unpredictably, can we ignore these early warnings?
Politics must be based on facts, not conjecture. Global habitability has immediate significance to us all.
[Increases of “about 0.3% per year” are increases of about 30% per century. That is not only unsustainable, it is ridiculous. Is that 50 ppm in 40 years?]