Amazing Things I Didn't Know (and will forget tomorrow)

The sun burns 25% more brightly than when the solar system was young. This should have caused Earth to warm up a whole bunch, which would be rather catastrophic for life as we know it. Amazingly, it's hardly affected us. The reason is.... life! Life has saved us from overheating. Squillions of tiny marine creatures in the oceans are capturing the carbon in the atmosphere. This carbon dioxide enters the water when rain falls, and the tiny organisms gather it up and turn it into their shells. By locking it away in their shell homes and not releasing it back into our air, they save us from a build up of even more greenhouse gas than we have! Obviously it's happening on a massive scale.

Eventually, when they pop their clogs and sink to the ocean floor, the shells all accumulate and compress into limestone. Those beautiful White Cliffs of Dover are all just tiny little marine creatures storing carbon. A 6-inch cube of Dover chalk holds 1000 litres of compressed carbon dioxide. If only I could be as useful to the planet - alive or dead....and I am a lot bigger than 6 inches!

Thanks to Bill Bryson for these incredible facts.



The Out Campaign: Scarlet Letter of Atheism