Presentation on theme: "This is our world. It has a radius of 3965 miles, or about 200 million ^2 miles. About 140 million^2 miles is covered in water, which is about 3.26e+023."— Presentation transcript:
This is our world. It has a radius of 3965 miles, or about 200 million ^2 miles. About 140 million^2 miles is covered in water, which is about 3.26e+023 gallons. About 60 million^2 miles of the surface is land. Around our world is a cloak of air weighing 5.9 trillion tons, Or about 14 lbs/1.0 in^2. At present, it is home to an estimated 14 million species of plants & animals, including our own species, of which there are about 6.5 billion. This is space ship earth.
Our space ship has orbited its parent star 4.5 to 5 billion times. For the last 650 million years it has carried life. Like any space ship, ours has a life expectancy. It will not continue indefinitely, but will eventually wear out. Our scientists and chief engineers calculate that, if all goes well, our space ship will continue to for another 4.5 to 5.0 billion orbits. If all systems run according to specs, life will conditions for life as we know them will continue to last for another 650 million years. It would appear we have a long time before we will need a replacement.
Like all things, whether living, having moving parts, or just sitting, our space ship needs to have attention given to maintenance. Parts can wear out or break down. Systems can need adjustments, recalibration, or reconfiguration. Sometimes, things just need to rest. It has long been a practice of Farmers to rest there crop land every few years. Today Governments often pay farmers and growers to rest their land in order to provide for its health and longevity. It has always been necessary. Chlorophyll from Indian Sub-continent emerges at the mouth of the Arabian Gulf.
As a species, humans have been very successful. After a hundred thousand years of we have “…filled the Earth and replenished it.” In the mid 19 th Century we reached a population of 1 billion, by mid 20 th Century, we reached 3 billion. By 2015 there will be over 7 billion of us. With this many humans on our space ship we are placing a heavy demand on the life support systems. Night lights as seen from a satellite over Europe.
On one hand we are moving into the lands that were previously unpopulated. One aspect of this is deforestation. Deforestation in Bolivia
Satellite photo of air pollution as seen from over Eastern China On the other hand, we are putting increasing the amounts of waste and by-products we deposit into our life support systems. Like testing a new aircraft, we are pushing into new areas of the earth’s performance envelope, testing the efficiency of systems, broaching the limits of our space ship Earth; what it can and cannot do. In order to determine if our maintenance of space ship Earth’s life support systems is keeping pace with the stress we place on it, we must ask some hard questions. Korea
Below is a list of Questions about Earth’s life support system, as formulated by scientists & engineers at NASA… 1.How is the Earth system changing? 2.What are the primary causes of change in the Earth system? 3.How does the Earth system respond to natural and human- induced changes? 4.What are the consequences of change in the Earth system for human civilization? 5.How will the Earth system change in the future? Satellite photos of Aerosols and effluents as seen from over Bangladesh.
In order to answer these questions, scientists and engineers have assembled an impressive array of technology, both on and above the Earth.
This technology is giving us incredible information about our planet and how the life support systems of space ship Earth. With this information, we are discovering and addressing a wide range of issues concerning the atmosphere, the geo-sphere, the hydrosphere and the biosphere. Combining this information with studies about how our planet has been maintained in the past, is giving us answers to the questions we have posed. It is also giving us information on how we can improve our maintenance of space ship Earth and insure that its life support systems continue to sustain long into the future… Long enough to enable us to provide for a future after our Earth is no longer a livable place in the cosmos. Photo overlay of volcanic activity on the island of Sumatra in Indonesia.
From the time man first emerged as as species 150,000 years ago until today, there have been about 50 billion people who have lived their lives. Between now and the Year 2100, there will be another 50 billion people, each of whom will tax earth’s life support systems with resource demands many times greater than previous generations. Earth night lights over Europe and Asia
“I do not wish to seem overdramatic, but I can only conclude from the information that is available…that the members of the United Nations have perhaps ten years left in which to subordinate their ancient quarrels and launch a global partnership to curb the arms race, to improve the human environment, to defuse the population explosion and to supply the required momentum to development efforts. If such a global partnership is not forged within the next decade then I very much fear that the problems I have mentioned will have reached such staggering proportions that they will be beyond our capacity to control.” Third Secretary General of the United Nations, U Thant, 1969 These words were written over three decades ago. Much has happened in the time since these words were spoken. It is worth considering, as you read the material that follows, have we built an adequate momentum in addressing the matters here presented? Is there more that can be done? Is there a part you can play in helping to secure the future of space ship Earth? All photos in this presentation were acquired from the NASA website Visible Earth: HomeVisible Earth: Home