Monday, February 25, 2013

The Thin Blue Line

Do you know the difference between our earth and say... the moon, or a dead planet?

The answer: A thin blue line.

That is the layer of gas around 10 - 12 miles up that holds our atmosphere in place. That's about the distance from Miami Beach west to MIA international.  Next time you drive that stretch of road it will hit you how thin this layer of life can be.

This picture shows the curvature of the earth with the sun at the horizon. With the atmosphere back lit by the sun, it clearly shows the Thin Blue Line.

This is how NASA describes it:

THE THIN BLUE LINE: Earth’s thin atmosphere is all that stands between life on Earth and the cold, dark void of space. Our planet's atmosphere has no clearly defined upper boundary but gradually thins out into space. The layers of the atmosphere have different characteristics, such as protective ozone in the stratosphere, and weather in the lowermost layer. 

Gravity keeps this layer in place. It is here that clouds form, our weather happens, and we live. Our atmosphere nurtures us and protects us from the sun's radiation.

So if you know that this is all that separates us from oblivion, wouldn't you take care of it?  Wouldn't you make sure it was healthy?

In the past our atmosphere has made the planet hotter and colder and even changed the mixture of gases.

This could all happen again.

We were and still are at its mercy.  So why would we want to gamble and add anything that could make it hiccup?

Mother nature will recoup from whatever "hiccup" happens. we may not.

So the question of climate change and global warming is always asked. Is it natural our man-made? 

My father raised me with this little saying, "There are so many things you can't control, only worry about the ones you can."

I base my opinion on this : If our climate is changing due to an earthly natural cycle then there is nothing we can do but try to adapt. If its a man made effect... then we can change. We can stop whatever is aggravating our atmosphere.

We have brilliant scientific minds that can lead the way, but we as a society need to make the change... no we need to demand it. If not for our sake, then for that of our children.

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