Carbon Dioxide Level Passes Long Feared Milestone


#1

Carbon Dioxide Level Passes Long Feared Milestone

"The level of the most important heat-trapping gas in the atmosphere, carbon dioxide, has passed a long-feared milestone, scientists reported on Friday, reaching a concentration not seen on the earth for millions of years.

Scientific monitors reported that the gas had reached an average daily level that surpassed 400 parts per million — just an odometer moment in one sense, but also a sobering reminder that decades of efforts to bring human-produced emissions under control are faltering.

The best available evidence suggests the amount of the gas in the air has not been this high for at least three million years, before humans evolved, and scientists believe the rise portends large changes in the climate and the level of the sea.

The new measurement came from analyzers high atop Mauna Loa, the volcano on the big island of Hawaii that has long been ground zero for monitoring the worldwide carbon dioxide trend.

Devices there sample clean, crisp air that has blown thousands of miles across the Pacific Ocean, producing a record of rising carbon dioxide levels that has been closely tracked for half a century.
Carbon dioxide above 400 parts per million was first seen in the Arctic last year, and had also spiked above that level in hourly readings at Mauna Loa. But the average reading for an entire day surpassed that level at Mauna Loa for the first time in the 24 hours that ended at 8 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on Thursday, according to data from both NOAA and Scripps.
Carbon dioxide rises and falls on a seasonal cycle and the level will dip below 400 this summer, as leaf growth in the Northern Hemisphere pulls about 10 billion tons of carbon out of the air. But experts say that will be a brief reprieve — the moment is approaching when no measurement of the ambient air anywhere on earth, in any season, will produce a reading below 400.

For the entire period of human civilization, roughly 8,000 years, the carbon dioxide level was relatively stable near that upper bound. But the burning of fossil fuels has caused a 41 percent increase in the heat-trapping gas since the Industrial Revolution, a mere geological instant, and scientists say the climate is beginning to react, though they expect far larger changes in the future.
Governments have been trying since 1992 to rein in emissions, but far from slowing, emissions are rising at an accelerating pace, thanks partly to rapid economic growth in developing countries. Scientists fear the level of the gas could triple or even quadruple before being brought under control.

Countries have adopted an official target to limit the damage from global warming, which by most estimates requires that emissions stop by the time the level reaches about 450. “Unless things slow down, we’ll probably get there in well under 25 years,” Ralph Keeling said.
Yet many countries, including China and the United States, have refused to adopt binding national targets. Scientists say that unless far greater efforts are made soon, the goal of limiting the warming will become impossible without severe economic disruption.
“If you start turning the Titanic long before you hit the iceberg, you can go clear without even spilling a drink of a passenger on deck,” said Richard B. Alley, a climate scientist at the Pennsylvania State University. “If you wait until you’re really close, spilling a lot of drinks is the best you can hope for.”

Climate-change contrarians, who have little scientific credibility but are politically influential in Washington, point out that carbon dioxide represents only a tiny fraction of the air — as of Thursday’s reading, exactly .04 percent. “The CO2 levels in the atmosphere are rather undramatic,” a Republican congressman from California, Dana Rohrabacher, said in a Congressional hearing several years ago.
But climate scientists reject that argument, saying it is like claiming that a tiny bit of arsenic or cobra venom cannot have much effect. Research shows that even at such low levels, carbon dioxide is potent at trapping heat near the surface of the earth.
“If you’re looking to stave off climate perturbations that I don’t believe our culture is ready to adapt to, then significant reductions in CO2 emissions have to occur right away,” said Mark Pagani, a Yale geochemist who studies climates of the past. “I feel like the time to do something was yesterday.”


#2

I am doing my part, triple what there is today is a reasonable goal if everyone would just let there car idle all night a couple days per week and ramp up personal appliance usage.

What a ridiculous religion.


#3

The honest truth about climate change is that there’s nothing that Americans can do to arrest it. China and India are the world’s engines of emissions. And any resources we expend on the subject of climate change should solely be to ameliorate its effects. Choking economic growth in the name of feeding a conceit that we can “prevent global warming” is folly. We need to be prosperous in order to address the problems of climate change.


#4

Umm… What now?

This is neither honest nor truth.

List of countries by carbon dioxide emissions - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The United States alone produces just over 18% of the world’s CO2 emissions, 5% behind China but more than 3 times that of India. This makes us the 2nd largest contributor in the world. In what sense are we exempt from responsibility?

“In all my experience as an oil company manager, not a single oil company took into the picture the problem of CO2,” said Leonardo Maugeri, an energy expert at Harvard who until 2010 was head of strategy and development for Italy’s state-owned oil company, Eni. “They are all totally devoted to replacing the reserves they consume every year.”

This article, incidentally, puts fracking in good light economically. However:

Environmental impact of hydraulic fracturing - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"It has been reported that Industry and governmental pressure have made it difficult to conduct and report the results of comprehensive studies of hydraulic fracturing. EPA investigations into the oil and gas industry’s environmental impact have been narrowed in scope and/or had negative findings removed due to industry and government pressure A 2012 Cornell University report noted that it was difficult to assess health impact because of legislation, proprietary secrecy, and non-disclosure agreements that allow hydraulic fracturing companies to keep the proprietary chemicals used in the fluid secret. "

Why not conserve? Even if global warming was all a hoax, why * not * conserve anyway? I can’t think of a more conservative argument than literal conservation of resources.


#5

Anybody see Algore lurking around?


#6

The fact that for years the earth has been cooling never enters the mind of those scientists with their computer models and out stretched hands screaming we are doomed because the earth is heating up.

Now to fire up the grill and lite up some old tires.


#7

Exactly, these wolf criers have no shame and no conscience.

Whatever “research” will help their politicians further their agenda is a grant/cash cow to these buffoons. We have been hearing how we are “destroying the earth” for decades and regardless of how many times it is proved that exactly the opposite of what these moochers predict is what actually happens they still attempt to speak with an air of authority.

If a person did nothing else but exactly the opposite of what these hacks recommend they would be proved true environmentalists in a few short years.

The sooner we cut ALL government funding to “scientific studies” the sooner we will regain integrity in the science community, until then they should be viewed as no more credible than a tabloid like the New York Times.


#8

I just burnt the old telephone book. Does that count?


#9

Every little bit helps, if we all work together and contribute we can get that carbon dioxide level up to a healthy level for ourselves and posterity :flag:

We need a slogan like “A Thousand Points Of Smoke” as an economic mantra!


#10

[quote=“natstew, post:5, topic:39418”]
Anybody see Algore lurking around?
[/quote]I am sure old Al is doing his best to create CO²


#11

No disagreement there. I recycle, have installed a furnace that has cut my heating bills in half, moved to a more walkable community and drive my car 75% less than I used to. Most conservatives conserve, because it is common sense to do so.

But it makes no sense to justify enforced conservation solely on the basis of arresting climate change, especially when that enforced conservation stifles economic growth and prosperity. If there’s another ground, such as conserving open space or reducing air or water pollution, than I’m right there with you. Those are tangible goals. Arresting global warming is a fool’s errand. We are conceited to believe we have such power. All we can do is expend resources to assist people damaged by its effects.


#12

I keep remembering when it was exposed the the EPA’s monitoring devices for global warming were installed right next to heat exaust fans, on concrete slabs that absorb heat, directly in the sun…etc…
The global warming people have zero credibility with me.


#13

I like to bind them together with twine, and soak them in water. They make great target backers that way, and you can recover the bullet to see what it does. Not that it’s going to do the same thing in living flesh, but it’s still neat to look at. You need a good foot deep of phone books, sometimes more depending on what you’re shooting.


#14

LOL.
In my case, a foot deep would take around 12 phone books.

Sounds fun, though.


#15

You guys should burn yourselves, you could release some carbon that way too.


#16

[quote=“BullsOnParade, post:15, topic:39418”]
You guys should burn yourselves, you could release some carbon that way too.
[/quote]I quit breathing. Does that count?


#17

You first.:tongue:


#18

And what makes alternative studies funded by oil companies un-biassed? Their profits are entirely derived from people consuming as much oil as possible, it is in their best interest to downplay pollution, you think they’re scientifically objective?

Where are your conclusions coming from, by the way? You alone are not a credible source, and obviously no scientist.

Granted the government is not the most objective source, but many of their research grants go to universities and other research institutions, which have a hell of a lot more scientific integrity than oil companies. Ideally scientists would decide where funding goes for the sake of science itself, however consumerism dictates that this is not the case.

Your suggestion to end funding to science would basically cease the advancement of human society.

Good for you :slight_smile: I’m aware that many people of every demographic are environmentally conscious (whether it’s for political or economic or scientific reasons), and my point is not that people should be forced by the government to conserve. Certainly regulations should be in place to ensure businesses conserve (it is of course more profitable to vent emissions into the atmosphere and dump waste in the rivers and oceans, and business is about profit), but on a national level recycling and conservation efforts should be available everywhere.

There is indeed controversy over the truth of global warming, and completely contradictory discrepancies between studies. Although there is a consensus that global warming is happening on some level (and even that global temperatures are, in fact, rising, there are also many studies claiming exactly the opposite:

Global Cooling is Here | Global Research

Though I am more inclined to believe NASA than most of the freelance studies (like I said, many of which are funded by big oil, although not all, such as the above), in truth it doesn’t affect the issue at all whether global warming is true or not. Regardless of the Earth’s temperature, there is a 100% consensus that we are polluting this planet rapidly, and consuming irreplaceable resources such as forests and fossil fuels at a truly alarming rate. We are changing the environment of this planet, and not for the better. Sustaining outlandish consumerism is no justification for the irreparable damage being done to this planet.

Remember the Beijing olympics? Turns out that their efforts to reduce pollution, by cutting traffic in half, actually made a substantial difference. It is, in fact, up to us to reduce pollution (the US being one of the extravagantly wasteful countries across the board). If not for global warming, for future generations. If not for your children’s children’s children (who will surely carry a burden), then for the Earth’s sake alone. I see no other reasons to disregard the environment altogether than profits and laziness.

All the more reason to have science in the name of science, independent from government or business. However might I point out that the study I am citing has been taking measurements since the 1950’s from the top of Mauna Lua Observatory in Hawaii, 11,135 feet above sea level. Measurements are of concentrations of carbon dioxide in air that has blown across the entire pacific ocean (this has nothing to do with heat, the chemical composition of the air would remain the same even if taken in the hot sun).


#19

Wow…and you’re still alive? That is impressive.


#20

[quote=“Robert_Clay, post:19, topic:39418”]
Wow…and you’re still alive? That is impressive.
[/quote]Just doing my part to save the earth, but nowadays I crave brains something fierce.