Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Global Atmospheric carbon dioxide content soon to be permanently North of 400 ppm.

At least for the duration of the human species, I think.

From The Guardian UK:

World's carbon dioxide concentration teetering on the point of no return

Mikey Slezak, Guardian UK, 11 May 2016
Future in which global concentration of CO2 is permanently above 400 parts per million looms.

The world is hurtling towards an era when global concentrations of carbon dioxide never again dip below the 400 parts per million (ppm) milestone, as two important measuring stations sit on the point of no return.

The news comes as one important atmospheric measuring station at Cape Grim in Australia is poised on the verge of 400ppm for the first time. Sitting in a region with stable CO2 concentrations, once that happens, it will never get a reading below 400ppm.
Source: Australian Government / CSIRO
Meanwhile another station in the northern hemisphere may have gone above the 400ppm line for the last time, never to dip below it again.

“We’re going into very new territory,” James Butler, director of the global monitoring division at the US National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, told the Guardian.

When enough CO2 is pumped into the atmosphere from burning fossil fuels, the seasonal cycles that drive the concentrations up and down throughout the year will eventually stop dipping the concentration below the 400ppm mark.
Source: United States Government, NOAA.
The IPCC maintains that 400 ppm CO2 in our atmosphere will give us 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) of Global Warming. Well we're already close to 1.5 degrees C temperature rise and even breached it for one month, and that the CO2e of all the greenhouse gasses is somewhere north of 485 ppm which means the rise could be more like 3 degrees C, not to mention the fact that the IPCC has been notoriously conservative in its predictions for example the Arctic Ice extent minima in 2007, 2011 and 2012 were not expected until mid-century.

And we've already seen dangerous climate changes, like the die-off in the Great Barrier Reef, the near-extermination of starfish on the North American Pacific Coast (thank goodness there's being a recovery there), the submersion of five Pacific Islands, and the deadly typhoons and cyclones such as Yolanda in the Central and South Pacific since 2013.

What's the solution? Get off of fossil fuels before the current Peak Oil finally peaks and goes back down. And plant lots and lots and lots of trees.

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