Monday, 11 January 2010

Radiation and Reason - part 1

Wade Allison is one of the Church Wardens of St Mary's Ludgershall in the Bernwode Benefice. He has written a book called Radiation and Reason, debunking some of the myths about nuclear power. I am thoroughly enjoying reading it, it is easy to read and very informative. Only up to chapter three, mind, but here's something that I hadn't understood that I would like to share. Wade is talking about the effects of methane and carbon dioxide on global warming, but explains that the warming itself produces further global warming for three reasons (p17):
1. The water vapour in the atmosphere causes global warming and this naturally increases as the earth gets warmer,
2. As the temperature rises the polar ice caps melt and hence the earth as a whole is darker and absorbs rather than reflects more of the sun's rays,
3. Increasing the temperature means that the plant material that was previously frozen in the polar ice caps starts to decompose, emitting greenhouse gases.

Wade's book has been reviewed in the Guardian, but Wade tells me that some of the facts are wrong, so read it with that health warning.

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