It was impossible to include all the information on the two pages both sides of notes from the research for last week’s column about the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Most of it came from the CBC Quirks and Quarks broadcast ‘Earth Day 2020 the 50th Anniversary of the Weirdest Earth Day Ever.’
Here are some other interesting things I found.
A group of scientists got together for the International Geophysical Year in 1957. They wanted to work together in spite of the Cold War. As a result, the CO2 (carbon dioxide) observatory was built in Hawaii in 1960 which has shown the rapid increase in CO2 in the atmosphere.
Pictures of the earth from space that show details like air pollution and melting polar ice and computer modeling of the impacts of new information and activity have had a major impact on research.
Science is also becoming more specialized finding out little details about molecules and chemicals that affect the planet in important ways. Scientists from different areas are working together for a better understanding of the big picture which is becoming very complex.
The current corona virus pandemic has shown what happens when human activity slows down significantly. The reductions in air and water pollution can be seen from space. Other changes have been observed in many places. As Phillipe Tortell, the oceanographer guest on Quirks and Quarks said, ‘the Earth is breathing easier’.
We have made significant changes to meet the challenge of the global pandemic although these changes are for a short time. May be some of the changes will become the new normal and we will be easier on the Earth.