Friday, April 1, 2016

A is for . . .

Image courtesy: Daniel Wehner

My theme this month is weird science, and to get the ball rolling, I've got a question for you. Who likes to breathe? WE DO! Where does that lovely, breathable stuff come from? The atmosphere!

The atmosphere is a protective blanket of nitrogen, carbon dioxide (for plants), oxygen (for animals--that includes you), and cyanobacteria for photosynthesis held to earth by gravity. (Thanks, Wikipedia!)

Without an atmosphere, our planet would look like this:

Image courtesy: Nigel Howe

Yep, the atmosphere keeps us from being flattened by meteors. They burn up in the layer called the mesosphere. Awesome, right? 

Now, you've probably heard about greenhouse gasses. They're not all bad. In fact, they're pretty darn important, absorbing the sun's heat and reflecting some of those rays toward the earth. Without an atmosphere, we'd freeze in the night and fry during the day. Consider the moon again. Night time: -280°F or 173°C. Day time: 212°F or 100°C. We'd have to live underground with that kind of business. Deep underground.

So why do the words greenhouse gas or greenhouse effect have a negative connotation? Because of us naughty human beans. Between farming and burning fossil fuels, we've increased the greenhouse effect to the point that the temperature of the planet is going up.

And that's not all. We've also damaged the ozone layer, increased acid rain, and are experiencing more intense hurricanes, tornadoes, and floods, not to mention being forced to wear shorts during Christmas. Hairy, pale knees everywhere! It was terrifying.

This destructive path leads to some dark predictions for the future. One such vision is presented in the tale, EVER-TON, by Yolanda Renee. Here's a little snippet of her world:

In the 1970s, scientists had warned of the dangers of global warming, but nothing happened until the year 2000. President Al Gore couldn't get the legislation passed that would curb the dangers caused by fossil fuel, but he found the funding for the New World Aeronautical Organization - NWAO. They began the search for a New Earth. Terrifying storms, devastating droughts, and unimaginable diseases took the earth to the levels of an apocalypse that no one foresaw, not even President Gore. The building of survival units in the highest mountains became a top priority. Now, in 2050, the world's atmosphere had grown toxic. The city of Ever-Ton, meaning Everlasting Mountain, sat high in the Himalayas. We were the largest and last community of survivors trying to leave earth.

Image courtesy: Chris Hartford

Spooky, huh? EVER-TON will be published on May 3 in Parallels: Felix Was Here, along with nine other tales set in parallel universes.

Do you worry about climate change? What steps would you or do you take to help ease the burden of your carbon footprint?

Note: I will be away from my computer until Saturday afternoon/evening. That's when I'll post B and play catch-up on commenting. 


  1. No sunscreen in the world would help in those temperatures.

  2. Tamara, this is such an honor to be part of your A to Z subject. Thank you! I can't wait to see your other days offerings. I think it's a very scary time and folks aren't paying attention!

    Thank you for posting for the A to Z Challenge
    Ninga Minion @YolandaRenee from Defending The Pen Parallels Murderous Imaginings

  3. Well. Let me start by saying: I'm so happy our planet has an atmosphere! I wouldn't want it to look like that picture.

    Have fun on the A to Z! I’m Julie. #1628 on the A to Z Challenge. Thesaurus Tyrannosaurus. Next time, I’m going to choose a theme that’s easier to spell.

    April is going to be so much fun!

  4. That is such an informative theme and the way you put forth facts makes it fun to read... Waiting for more...

    @w0rds4u from As Time Flies

  5. Atmosphere is so important, be it for planets or parties :)
    Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

  6. Interesting post. Another example of how we are basically making the planet uninhabitable for our species!

  7. Educated a bit more today.. Nature teaches us always!

    @ Ashwini Mrinal Bhagat

  8. So much to learn in order to have educated opinions about. Thank you! Happy a-z!

  9. I enjoyed reading your post because you wrote it so that even I can understand it. I should have taken my Biology and Chemistry courses from you.
    Great start.
    Patricia @ EveythingMustChange

  10. I truly believe that when Mother Earth gets sick of us, she will shake us all off like fleas and self-heal.

    She doesn't need us. And she knows it.

    Great start!

    Heather M. Gardner / @hmgardner
    Co-Host, Blogging from A to Z April Challenge
    The Waiting is the Hardest Part

  11. I've been a scientist for many years and watched as it went from global warming to climate change, which tells me they don't really know what they're talking about.

  12. I do worry about climate change and the like, but sometimes I wonder if there's any way to stop it.

  13. The atmosphere is definitely important! People should be more worried about climate change.

  14. You present this information so well! Interesting and educational :)

  15. Fun and interesting and so important too. Great post! Good luck with the A to Z. I hope your children aren't abducted by aliens. As soon as you fall asleep, the darn aliens bring them back all hopped up on sugar and caffeine with a puppy and kitten in tow. Not a pretty sight.
    @ScarlettBraden from
    Frankly Scarlett

  16. Love the way you're writing about this stuff, makes it fun to read, even though it's a very serious subject, great start to the challenge!

    Mars xx
    @TrollbeadBlog from
    Curling Stones for Lego People

  17. Weird Science is a great theme! Adding you to my Blog Reader now!
    Thanks for stopping by and commenting!
    Anne M Bray, Tartans A-Z from
    Pattern Recognition


I will do everything in my power to visit commenter's blogs unless I've been abducted by aliens or my children get sick. (If my children get abducted by aliens, I will be very busy, of course, catching up on my sleep.)