Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Dangerous Trajectory of CO2 Growth Since the 1880's

Levels carbon dioxide (CO2) have grown steadily since the dawn of the industrial revolution and the trend is accelerating. While CO2 levels have grown steadily since the dawn of the industrial revolution, 2012 saw the second largest increase since record keeping began in 1959. In 2012, CO2 levels jumped by 2.67 parts per million (PPM) to just under 395 parts per million.

With an increase of 2.93 PPM of CO2, only 1998 had a bigger annual increase in carbon dioxide. From 2000 to 2010, the world averaged a yearly rise of just under 2 parts per million. While in the 1960's levels rose by less than 1 PPM. The most recent observations put CO2 levels at 400 PPM.

Since the mid-1800s temperatures haven already risen about 1.5 degrees and the current trajectory puts us on track for catastrophic temperature increases of almost 5 degrees in the next several decades.

This puts us on a trajectory to far exceed the maximum threshold for heat trapping greenhouse gases (GHGs) and making it very likely that we will see temperature increases beyond the widely acknowledged safe upper limit of 2 degrees.

To make matters worse, our oceans and plant life, which normally absorbs considerable amounts of CO2, are showing signs that they are slowing their the rates of absorption.

© 2013, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.

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The Safe Upper Limit of Atmospheric Carbon is 350 PPM
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Melting Arctic Ice is Releasing Massive Amounts of Methane
Debunking CO2 Myths and The Science of Climate Change
Primer on CO2 and Other GHGs
The Green Economy is the Right Solution for our Troubled Times
Action on Climate Change
The Effects of Global Warming

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