Thursday, February 18, 2010

A Few Things I Figured Out Today

There is a poster on my wall with information about nuclear fusion and plasmas.

Plasmas are the fourth state of matter. I don't know much else about them, because I usually don't read that poster, but this morning while I was fixing my hair I started reading it and I noticed something.

There is a chart on the poster that has examples of plasmas. Most of them are unfamiliar and scientific-sounding, but one of the first ones on the list is Fire. Beside it is a list of the first three states of matter - gas, liquid and solid.

All of a sudden something clicked in my mind.

The Greeks believed everything was made up of four elements - fire, water, air and earth. They weren't quite right with the element idea, but if you look closely at their list you will notice something. Fire is a plasma. Water is a liquid. Air is a gas. Earth is a solid.

The Greeks were right. Everything is made up of those four kinds of matter - though maybe not fire, water, air and earth in particular. A substance must be either a plasma, liquid, gas or solid to exist physically.
The other thing I figured out was Global Warming. The people who are worried about it just need to take a deep breath and review the Ecology chapter of their biology books.

Global warming comes from the greenhouse effect. The greenhouse effect is where gases - mostly carbon dioxide - are trapped by the atmosphere to heat the earth so that we do not become a freezing planet where life cannot be supported. In global warming, carbon dioxide just keeps stacking up against the atmosphere and it can't escape. It heats the earth more than necessary. Ice caps melt and the sea rises.

Carbon dioxide can be taken out of the air in two ways. Plants can breathe it in and turn it into oxygen. Or... it can dissolve in the ocean.

Ergo: if there is more carbon dioxide, the earth heats up. But if the earth heats up, the oceans rise. And if the oceans rise, carbon dioxide is dissolved in it.

I just solved a mystery! Global warming is not a problem. It's part of the earth's natural cycle.