Record CO2 levels

A variety of stories have come in recently (or at least fairly recently - I'm a bit behind the times, and it was a heavy weekend, wot with E getting chickenpox and the central heating failing) about CO2 levels, e.g. Sharp rise in CO2 levels recorded from the BBC. This turns out to source at a NOAA release, which has a nice pic but I can't find the data for 2005, only up to 2004. Also note that is "global" avg; just Mauna Loa is here.

Anyway, the point I was going to make was that this could have been better titled; CO2 levels are now at a record (though not at Mauna Loa, because of the annual cycle...) but are pretty much on the long-term trend line; by eye, about 2-and-a-bit ppmv over the last 4 years.

BTW, did you know that 23rd March is World Met Day?

More like this

As a journalist, for a time I got very excited about stories involving the newest "world's fastest computer". Being a bit slow on the uptake, it took me a few cycles to realize that next year there will be a new fastest computer. And then a new one the year after than. My attention waned.

Wait, I just heard that astronomers have discovered the most distant quasar ever found! Gotta go....

It seems to me that we've just hit the point where the annual cycle for this year rose above last year's peak, which has been happening every year since the Keeling Curve was discovered. We were below last year's peak for a while, now we're above it again--it doesn't look like any new sharper increase.

But "Keeling Curve behaves the same way it always has" isn't a very inspiring headline.

But John Fleck's response implies this result is inevitable. It's inevitable only if we continue to increase our output of greenhouse gases. Wouldn't it be exciting if one day we saw an article showing that this year's peak was lower than last year's?

[Thats a fair point - save the headlines until it does something different :-) -W]

This is a link to data

The point to note is that when the Manua Loa reading were first made, CO2 increased by about 0.7 ppm per annum over the first six years. Over the last six years it has increased by approximately 2.1 ppm, a 200% increase. If that trend continues it will be increasing at a rate of 6.3ppm in fifty years time. nearly 10 times the rate when the first measurements were made.

The point to realise is that this acceleration in the carbon dioxide levels is probably not due so much to us pumping more CO2 into the atmosphere. It is because the oceans and biosphere can no longer absorb our emissions, due to the increase in temperature. As CO2 levels and temperatures continue to rise the problem can only get worse.

Cheers, Alastair.

[Whoooaaa. Extrapolating the trend increase in that way isn't justified. AFAIK, the airborne fracion remains about 50% and there isn't much sign of that changing, though it may well in the future -W]

By Alastair B. McDonald (not verified) on 20 Mar 2006 #permalink

Do Dragon's produce CO2 when they spit fire from their nostrils? Just as well there aren't too many about, else we would need to train more smokey Dragon Slayer's.

The fastest computer, the furthest quasar >>> shouldn't we be talkin about the least polluting forms of transport, other than feet or cycles. You not gonna stop peoples love affair with gaz guzzlers, so Good Dragons (Green Ones) and Dragon Slayers should be into efficiency for gaz guzzlers.

Nothing wrong with 4X4 or the latest Range Rover, if we can just find a way of making them less pollutant. After all polluter pays principle means in this country it already costs an arm & a leg to drive gaz guzzlers. Yet a gallon of petrol is how much in the US or in Saudi?

Why should we pay to clean up their pollution. Let it be on their heads - Polluter principle should mean Acid Rain falls on polluters heads. Easy peasy for Climate Modellers

(Pun intended - if you are reading this Platypus)

Anyone out there seen any Ferraris or Jags running on gas as opposed to gasoline. Why not? After all you can still pose or look just as good, and travel in comfort, and you get to keep your driving licence by not breaking the speed limit. Gas Taxis were all the rage forty (40) years ago, you know during (or because of) the last oil price hike. Is it really true that LPG vehicles only emit water vapour or is that just Myth?

If it is true, then China should go for LPG vehicles, and when the water vapour rains down, you get plenty of drinking water too. I guess that is what would be called killing two birds with one stone. No wonder Son of Bush had to invent 9/11 (see the movie) and invade Afghanistan looking for a mysterious Saudi. All those gas reserves he was sitting on have to be controlled by pro-US peoples, so that sheckel changers can get their tithes in dollars US$.

By 2020/2030 or is it 2050 car ownership in China alone could near total car ownership in The US + The EU. Iraq will be dry of Oil (courtesy of Texaco) Saudi + kuwait pretty much as dry as the desert can get. So not a good idea to be building petrol driven cars. They will become collectors pieces par excellance - only the elite in Feudal states will be able to pay $50 dollars US a gallon.

So I guess those lower down the chain will have to 'bow' to the inevitable sustainable society once that particular limited resource has been exhausted (pun intended) and use public transport or alternative forms of transport, as in not petrol driven. Maybe Camels + horses will make a come back, after all they will be 'relatively' cheaper to feed.