What did we do? For the first time in human existence we broke the 400ppm of Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere. This happened on Thursday, May 9th, as measured at NOAA’s Mauna Loa Observatory. It’s sort of interesting that the Scripps Institution of Oceanography didn’t make the announcement because they use a different 24 hour reporting period. Scripps made this comment,
“May 10 Comment:
NOAA has reported 400.03 for May 9, 2013, while Scripps has reported 399.73. The difference partly reflects different reporting periods. NOAA uses UTC, whereas Scripps uses local time in Hawaii to define the 24-hr reporting period. If Scripps were to use same reporting period as NOAA, we would report 400.08 for May 9.”
You can read an article in the New York Times here
. One of the interesting things about these Carbon Dioxide measurements is that soon it will start down a bit because, “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.”
Time to start planting trees instead of cutting them down.
Here’s the Keeling Curve again, to show what’s happening.
Here’s the link
to the Scripps Institution of Oceanography website to explain what it all mean. Check out the section titled, “What Does 400 ppm Look Like?”
You will find this paragraph, “Recent estimates suggest CO2 levels reached as much as 415 parts per million (ppm) during the Pliocene. With that came global average temperatures that eventually reached 3 or 4 degrees C (5.4-7.2 degrees F) higher than today’s and as much as 10 degrees C (18 degrees F) warmer at the poles. Sea level ranged between five and 40 meters (16 to 131 feet) higher than today.”
You would think that statements like that would catch the public’s attention.
Pictured above is the Keeling Curve. It shows the monthly average of Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere as measured at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii. As you can see we are closing in on 400 ppm. Scripps Institute of Oceanography operates a website that tracks what the current reading is. Currently the number is 399.72 ppm. You can find the site here.
350.org is a climate change organization that feels that the ppm number is so important that they took the safe level of Carbon Dioxide as their name. They say that, “350 is the number that leading scientists say is the safe upper limit for carbon dioxide—measured in “Parts Per Million” in our atmosphere. 350 PPM—it’s the number humanity needs to get back to as soon as possible to avoid runaway climate change.”
So you can see that we are not doing a real good job getting down to 350.
This is the first time I’ve captured pictures off the web. Let’s do another one.