It’s Official: Atmospheric CO2 Just Exceeded 415 ppm For The First Time in Human History

It’s Official: Atmospheric CO2 Just Exceeded 415 ppm For The First Time in Human History

SOURCE: Science Alert DATE: May 13, 2019 SNIP: Yet another alarming milestone of humanity’s damaging effect on the environment has now officially been reached – crossing a barrier into a hot, polluted future like the planet hasn’t witnessed in millions of years. This weekend, sensors in Hawaii recorded Earth’s atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) passing 415 parts per million (ppm) for the first time since before the ancient dawn of humanity. On Saturday, CO2 concentration recorded at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii by researchers from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography hit 415.26 ppm – the latest in a dire series of climatic thresholds being breached by a human society that refuses to relinquish the conveniences afforded by fossil fuels. Obviously, crossing 400 ppm was a huge symbolic moment, numerically at least, but the symbolism doesn’t end there. If carbon pollution keeps getting thicker in our atmosphere, more and more heat will become trapped on Earth, which will make the future of global warming look like something out of the planet’s distant, steamy past hundreds of millions of years ago. The last time Earth scaled such dangerous heights (and heats), there were trees in the South...
Our planet just set a scary new carbon dioxide record

Our planet just set a scary new carbon dioxide record

SOURCE: Grist DATE: March 6, 2019 SNIP: Our planet’s level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reached a new, jarring record last month. Scientists from Scripps Institution of Oceanography announced on Tuesday that February’s average carbon dioxide measurement was 411.66 parts per million as measured in Mauna Loa, Hawaii. Since humanity’s greenhouse gas emissions were at an all-time high last year, a new record was expected. What was shocking was that it occurred so early in the year: Earth’s carbon dioxide levels typically peak in May, when the vast northern forests of North America and Asia are just beginning to green up. Setting a new record in February is “rare,” according to Scripps. “In most years, the previous maximum is surpassed in March or April. The February record breaking is a measure of just how fast CO2 has been rising in the past months,” said Scripps CO2 Group Director Ralph Keeling. This year’s carbon dioxide level is expected to peak around 415 parts per million in...
Mauna Loa carbon dioxide forecast for 2019

Mauna Loa carbon dioxide forecast for 2019

SOURCE: UK Met Office DATE: January 26, 2019 SNIP: The mean atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration will continue to rise in 2019 due to emissions from fossil fuel burning, land use change and cement production, with this year’s annual rise potentially being larger than those of the previous two years due to a temporary weakening of the land carbon sink caused by climate...
A Climate Change Wake-Up Call From Germany

A Climate Change Wake-Up Call From Germany

SOURCE: Bloomberg DATE: August 14, 2018 SNIP: It’s sinking in that Germany’s 500 billion-euro ($580 billion) push to promote renewable energy isn’t enough to meet its ambitious climate goals. A look at key targets Germany wants to reach by 2020 by William Wilkes, Hayley Warren and Brian Parkin suggests shortfalls on all fronts, including reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions. That’s also a setback for Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose government developed a subsidy system for wind and solar farms that sparked a global boom in renewable technology. The upshot: to keep the lights on, Germany may have to extend the life of the most polluting fossil-fuel plants and scale back future climate pledges. Merkel’s political bet on renewables and her still-controversial decision to phase out German nuclear plants put her on the hook, particularly after President Donald Trump took the U.S. out of the Paris climate accord. Rising global temperatures, including this summer’s heat and drought in Germany, are adding to the pressure. If Europe’s biggest economy, and a pioneer in the field, can’t make it, it’s a warning sign for heavy-industry countries such as China — and the world. “Germany’s miss has bigger implications,” said Myles Allen, a climate change expert at Imperial College London. “The only thing that matters now is what we’re going to do on carbon capture. Without it, we won’t meet climate...
CO2 Levels Break Another Record, Exceeding 411 Parts Per Million

CO2 Levels Break Another Record, Exceeding 411 Parts Per Million

SOURCE: Yale Environment 360 DATE: June 7, 2018 SNIP: Levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere exceeded 411 parts per million (ppm) in May, the highest monthly average ever recorded at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii, home to the world’s longest continuous CO2 record. In addition, scientists found that the rate of CO2 increase is accelerating, from an average 1.6 ppm per year in the 1980s and 1.5 ppm per year in the 1990s to 2.2 ppm per year during the last decade. “Many of us had hoped to see the rise of CO2 slowing by now, but sadly that isn’t the case,” said Ralph Keeling, director of the University of California San Diego’s Scripps CO2 Program, which maintains the Mauna Loa record with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. From 2016 to 2017, the global CO2 average increased by 2.3 ppm — the sixth consecutive year-over-year increase greater than 2 ppm, according to Scripps researchers. “CO2 levels are continuing to grow at an all-time record rate because emissions from coal, oil, and natural gas are also at record high levels,” Pieter Tans, lead scientist of NOAA’s Global Greenhouse Gas Reference Network, said in a statement. “Today’s emissions will still be trapping heat in the atmosphere thousands of years from...