Re: Report by NOAA News on annual on rates of increase in carbon-dioxide ( 2001-
> What is really going on here?
This is what I think is going on here...
Our loading of the atmosphere with accumulating and long lasting CO2
is causing out_of_control rapid global warming.
The rate of change in climate is likely to be catastophic for many
species of plants and animals which evolved during 50 million years of
global cooling from the Eocene to Pleistocene.
The Apr 1, 2005 article by James Reynolds titled "Greenhouse gases
reach a new high," ... (below) ... helps explain what is really going
Greenhouse gases reach a new high, say researchers
LEVELS of carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas chiefly responsible for
global warming, have risen to a new high, according to measurements
taken at the world's leading climate science laboratory.
Concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere have increased to 378 parts
per million (ppm), according to results gathered at Hawaii's Mauna Loa
Although the rise from an average of 375.64 ppm in 2003 is smaller
than in the previous two years, experts say it again fits the pattern
of increases in emissions driving the warming of the Earth's
atmosphere and oceans.
The research was carried out by the US government's climate monitoring
diagnostics laboratory, part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
The new figures are likely to be a powerful tool in the battle to
convince the United States, the world's biggest polluter, that it
urgently needs to join efforts to slow down emissions of carbon
dioxide, which are created through the burning of fossil fuels such as
Dr Pieter Tans, the laboratory's director, said: "The most striking
thing about the data is that we've seen an increase in carbon dioxide
levels every single year since 1958."
Greenhouse gases that cause climate change have a delayed effect, like
a "disease" with a long incubation period.
This inertia means that the consequences of the emissions that have
already been released into the environment will not be felt for some
years. Even if emissions of CO2 were stopped immediately tomorrow,
certain changes to the global climate over the next 50 years would
still take place.
According to Dr Tans, one significant finding is that the annual rate
at which CO2 is rising is increasing, and the growth rate over the
past decade has been about twice as fast as that found in the 1960s.
He believes that variations in this growth rate year by year can be
explained by natural factors, such as changes in the rate at which
plants and the oceans absorb CO2. However, Dr Tans and fellow
researchers have concluded that the steady rise overall can be
attributed to manmade, or anthropogenic, emissions of carbon.
Measurements began in 1957, at the observatory on top of the Mauna Loa
volcano, which at an altitude of 11,500ft ranks amongst the most
remote scientific outposts in the world.
Since then the station has grown to become the premier long-term
atmospheric monitoring facility on Earth, largely because its altitude
means the air it samples is stable, and free from the traffic
pollution present round the Hawaiian coast.
Pacific air is also well-mixed, meaning there is no immediate source
of pollution such as heavy industry, and there is no natural "carbon
sink" nearby, such as a forest which would absorb CO2.
Tony Blair, the Prime Minister, has already revealed that he intends
to use his presidency of the G8 group meeting at Gleneagles to bring
Mr Bush back into negotiations on ways of preventing global warming.