Around 4.6 billion years ago a star was formed out of dust and huge clouds of gas from an unknown nebulae. The nuclear fusion in the star ignites starting the consumption of hydrogen and helium. Gravity begins which gathers and holds molecular gas and dust that begin to condense into discs. These protoplanetary discs are planetary embryos that form into planets and eventually into a solar system.
The solar system in our little adventure has 9 planets with 5 of them being solid while 4 where comprised of methane gas. The star which was at the center of the solar system was 437,000 miles in diameter which is about half the size of our sun. Around 3 and a half billion years ago the second planet of the solar system was in what is known as the ‘habitable zone’ where the temperatures permit life to exist.
There was an abundance of liquid water on the planet surface and oxygen in the atmosphere. Ice packs where on both poles of the planet and snow formed on mountain tops. The temperatures were moderate while the gravity was a little lighter than what is on Earth.
After a few 100 million years life appeared. At first only microbes then eventually invertible animals showed up. After another million years or so the planet had giant reptiles roaming about followed by humanoid figures. As time progressed the reptiles died off and the humanoids ruled the planet. As time went on they developed societies, technology and eventually industry.
As the industry grew, so did the pollutants from that industry. Greenhouse gases began to rise into the atmosphere raising the temperature of the surface of the planet. The ice packs began to melt as water evaporated into the atmosphere. Planetary warming was in effect.
Rivers dried up, lakes and reservoirs became nothing more than puddles with many disappearing. The lack of water in reservoirs halted hydroelectric power generation throwing millions into darkness. Crops died from a lack of water as did livestock and other animals. To combat the loss of the hydroelectric generation more fossil fuel power plants were built because they were cheap and easy to build. As this was happening the greenhouse gasses only increased. The humanoids on the planet reacted to try and stop what was happening by enacting legislation and making grandiose promises and speeches. But they were too late as resources vanished. The temperature of the planet kept on increasing higher and higher as the carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, oxides of nitrogen and other gases formed a thick blanket around the planet preventing any heat from escaping into space.
Wars broke out as each nation tried to take what little was left from others to help their own citizens. These wars escalated into nuclear holocausts. The once lush blue skies became more and more clouded with a thick yellow cloud that covered the entire planet blocking any chance of seeing the stars or seeing the surface of the planet from space. Sulfuric acid formed in the yellow clouds and came down as an acid rain and after 3 and a half billion years it obliterated any evidence that life ever existed on the planet.
In the meantime the star grew in diameter as it used up the hydrogen and helium from the nuclear fusion that produces light and heat to the planets. The star is on its 10 billion year journey to when it will become a red giant engulfing all the planets before it goes into a nova. As it grew to 865,370 miles in diameter the second planet was by far no longer in the habitable zone for life to exist. The temperature of the second planet kept on climbing to 900 plus degrees. The atmospheric pressure rose to 1,350PSI and the surface of the planet became one massive pressure cooker. No one was able to survive under those temperatures and pressures.
Now the third planet was in the ‘habitable zone’ where life could exist. As with its predecessor life started on the third planet eventually with humanoids becoming the dominant life form that grew into a society with technology, industry and with it pollution. With the pollution came greenhouse gases that raise the planetary temperature. As with its planetary predecessor the ice caps started to melt, the summers were getting hotter the winters were getting warmer and shorter. There was a major decrease in snow fall which meant no water to replenish the supplies in the rivers. Rain was not was not as common or strong as normal. Rivers, reservoirs and lakes were drying up all over the planet. With the drying up of the reservoirs only endangered the hydroelectric generation threatening millions of the inhabitants with no electricity. With the lack of water crops are failing and well as livestock becoming more malnourished reducing food for the inhabitants of the planet. Resources were disappearing. Tension among the inhabitants grew with several having their fingers on nuclear buttons that threatened to wipe out all life on the planet.
It would appear that the third planet in our little story is following the path that the second planet took.
Could this be science fiction? Could this be the story of the planet Venus and now the Earth following suit?
We are witnessing global temperatures that are higher than normal. The icecaps in the North Pole and South Pole are indeed disappearing. With the melting of the ice caps the sea levels are rising and the oceans are getting warmer. According to an article by the National Geographic the average sea level as risen over 8 inches since 1880 with 3 of those inches in the past 25 years. New research shows that the sea levels rise is accelerating and will rise another foot by 2050.
According to Monroe County Florida in the city of Key West the sea level was measured to have risen 3.9 inches from 2000 to 2017. Is has been projected that from 2018 the sea level will rise 6 to 13 inches by the year 2040, 21 to 54 inches by 2070 and 40 to 136 inches by 2120. By then the Florida Keys will no longer exist. Current coast lines across the globe will be under water as new coasts are formed by the rising waters.
Snow fall in the mountains which help replenish the water in the rivers is lower than normal. Rain fall has been lower than normal. A global drought has been in effect for the past few decades and is only getting worse by the day.
Rivers like the Nile, Euphrates and the Colorado are drying up rapidly. The water level Lake Meade which is fed by the Colorado River is lower than it ever has been since the Hoover Dam was built. This is threatening power generation and water distribution to several states in the west as the lake approaches dead pool. In some areas the water level has been seen to drop in as little as a week. Lake Meade is not alone as several other many other reservoirs are drying up. This lack of water is affecting crop growth as well as live stock. Water restrictions are being put into place in the west and now in the east of the United States.
In an article published by US News & World Report in August of this year, the United States Bureau of Reclamation in June told Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming that they need to reduce their water consumption by 15% by next year. The west is not the only place in the US facing water restrictions. Suffolk County New York has declared a stage one water emergency which means to stop all non-essential water usage. Rockland county NY has also declared that water restrictions are to be put into place. Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and others are putting into place drought watches, warnings and in some cases restrictions.
Several countries have their fingers on the nuclear buttons which can wipe out millions of people in a flash. Tensions between countries like the United States, China, Russia, North Korea are growing daily. Sooner or later someone may slip and push that button. Will the lack of water be a reason? Like we don’t have enough to worry about.
A large part of the blame for all of this has been on industries and transportation that use fossil fuels. Even the process of creating products is adding to global warming. As an example electric arc furnaces which are used in the production of steel generate thousands of degrees in heat which goes into the atmosphere. In addition the pollutants that are expelled from these is mind boggling. Never mind that, how is the electricity for these machines is generated? Fossil fuel power plants? Nuclear plants? Hydroelectric plants which are already in danger of shutting down? And that is just for steel plants. What about the other aspects of manufacturing like forging other metals or oil refineries as examples?
It is well known that one of the greenhouse gases we need to contend with is carbon dioxide (CO2). Based on research from the Mauna Loa Observatory in 1960 the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere was approximately 318PPM. In 2020 the concentration was 420PPM which is a dramatic increase. The atmosphere of Venus is primarily 95.5% CO2.
This makes you think as to what direction are we headed for. If things don’t change will we eventually live like those from the TV show Firefly where populations are thrusted back to the old west? Or maybe like on the fictional planet Arrakis from the hit movie Dune where water is more precious and rarer than gold. Or will the Earth become another planet Venus?