Blog: Path of my Life
by Karlin

On May 9, 2013, atmospheric CO2 levels reached 400 ppm,

On May 9, 2013, atmospheric CO2 levels reached 400 ppm,

Date:   5/14/2013 2:19:32 PM   ( 10 y ) ... viewed 6238 times


     "On May 9, 2013, atmospheric CO2 levels reached 400 ppm, according to NOAA and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the two organizations that have been recording atmospheric CO2 levels since 1958"

- end quote -

     That "400 ppm" is significant because it is the level beyond which most of the world's leaders have pledged to avoid - because they agreed, at the most recent Global Warming Conference in Doha, that the science was clearly saying there would be serious consequences if CO2 levels rise about 400 ppm - including "runaway global warming" where "cascade events" occur that will accelerate the warming even more.

    To be perfectly clear - "warming that causes more warming" is alarming because scientists are warning that runaway warming is now occurring. Get it? Got it. Good.

 PS -  there are examples of "Runaway global warming, Cascade events" at the end of this post.

----- Recent [800,000 year] historical CO2:

    Depending on the balancing factors where CO2 is produced and then absorbed, atmospheric CO2 levels either grow, decline, or balance.

   During the last 800,000 years, CO2 levels fluctuated between about 180 ppm during ice ages and 280 ppm during interglacial warm periods. During the cooler periods CO2 levels were 180 ppm,  and in the warm periods CO2 levels were at 280 ppm.

   Remarkably, there was a BALANCE of CO2 produced and absorbed in recent millennia, resulting in a steady level of around 280 ppm for several thousand years up until about 1850.

   In the longer view of history, that period from about 6000 years ago until 1850 would be considered a "warm period".

  Since 1850, that BALANCE was upset and the amount of increase in atmospheric CO2 levels matches exactly the amount of CO2 produced by the burning of fossil fuels by human beings.

   In other words, if we had not been burning coal and oil and natural gas there would still be a balance between the uptake and output of CO2 and the measured level of atmospheric CO2 would still read "280 ppm".

   But it now reads "400 ppm" instead.

   The change in CO2 levels from 280 ppm to 400 ppm matches the rise in the "average global temperatures". The association is clear.

   The "warmer period" was replaced by a "much warmer period" in a short space of time, from just 1850 until today, and the next 50 years will register a sudden increase in the average global temperature. Whereas temperatures have been higher than they are now, the shift from cooler-to-warmer has never occured in such a short time. There will not be enough time for "species adaptations" over several generations as has been the case when the Earth has warmed significantly before.

   So go ahead, call me an "Alarmist". Please do, I welcome it.

----Denialists, Alarmists

   "Alarmist" is a perfectly acceptable term for people such as myself who are running around like Chicken Little with his head cut off declaring "The sky IS falling" because "Clouds ARE getting closer to the ground". I am PROUD to be able to talk with my head cut off - YOU should try it.

   Ahhh, what else can we do at this point besides make jokes? To see that some people are still being utterly serious in denying global warming is occurring and is man-made

   They pretend to be utterly serious in saying that "CO2 does not cause warming". They will say that they are convinced that "there is no warming occurring" despite the measured global average temperatures showing warming....    but that "if there is warming it is due to natural  factors". They say that "the glaciers are not shrinking but growing" because 2 out of 10,000 glaciers ARE in fact growing due to increased snowfall due to a warmer atmosphere holding more moisture which results in heavier snow and rain falls, and those glaciers have increased outflows which makes it APPEAR as if they are growing.... all of those are signs of a warming planet but they are still denying that Global Warming is real.

   I know a denialist personally. He works in the oil industry, and I have seen how his peers will pass around books and materials for each other to read, and that there is so much material that then never get through it all and so they never read or even hear about the other side, the science side, the overwhelming majority side that shows clearly that Global Warming is occurring. Or that atmospheric CO2 levels have reached 400 ppm after being stable up until about 1850 when they began to increase, just slowly at first at a rate of 0.7 ppm per year, then faster and faster until today when CO2 levels are increasing at a rate of 2.1 ppm for the past 10 years. Globally, CO2 emissions continue to increase every year.


Examples of "cascade events" are where a warming planet:

 - releases METHANE deposits frozen in the Tundra of Canada and Russia and that methane is a more potent greenhouse gas than CO2 is, and where

 - melts ocean ice at the poles and so the sunlight is absorbed into those open waters instead of reflected from the ice, and where

 - CO2 absorbed into the Oceans creates "ocean acidification" {see below, i.e. "carbonic acid"} and that as oceans acidify they lose their ability to absorb more CO2 which means more of it stays in the atmosphere [currently, oceans absorb about HALF the human-produced CO2 so imagine how fast CO2 levels will rise when ocean absorption of CO2 slows down]

 - and about a dozen other "cascade events" are beginning to occur.

Note - when CO2 levels reach 400 ppm, cascade events will begin to show up. Temperatures will rise faster than before, causing even more extreme cascade events, which will cause a rise in temperatures that will produce more intense cascade events that will cause temperatures to rise even faster... which is what we call RUNAWAY GLOBAL WARMING.

   Welcome to your nightmare - with a WARM welcome to all the denialists who are joining us on the next 50 trips around the Sun.

------------Why Oceans acidify from CO2 absorption - Carbonic Acid:

   "As CO2 dissolves in the ocean it generates dramatic changes in sea water chemistry. CO2 reacts with water molecules (H2O) and forms the weak acid H2CO3 (carbonic acid). Most of this acid dissociates into hydrogen ions (H+) and bicarbonate ions (HCO3-). The increase in H+ ions reduces pH (measure of acidity) and the oceans acidify"


ANIMATION (carbon dioxide levels over 800,000 years):


Scripps Institution of Oceanography carbon dioxide data:

NOAA’s Maua Loa Observatory:

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