Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Hello! It's Non-linear

The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has some cheery news as reported by the Guardian. BTW search CNN for "CO2" and this story won't come up or this ain't a story Americans need to read. I haven't done an extensive search but nothing obvious popped up in American media.

The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has reached a record high, according to the latest figures, renewing fears that climate change could begin to slide out of control.

Scientists at the Mauna Loa observatory in Hawaii say that CO2 levels in the atmosphere now stand at 387 parts per million (ppm), up almost 40% since the industrial revolution and the highest for at least the last 650,000 years.

The figures, published by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on its website, also confirm that carbon dioxide, the chief greenhouse gas, is accumulating in the atmosphere faster than expected. The annual mean growth rate for 2007 was 2.14ppm - the fourth year in the last six to see an annual rise greater than 2ppm. From 1970 to 2000, the concentration rose by about 1.5ppm each year, but since 2000 the annual rise has leapt to an average 2.1ppm.

This is not a good thing. The measurements at Mauna Loa have been going on for sometime and are considered the best historical measure of the delta in CO2 for the planet as a whole. Regardless of the wingnuts insisting that the temperature of the earth goes up and down naturally and this is just another swing of the pendulum this is a serious symptom of a growing and increasing rapid decrease in the ability of our mother planet to deal with our waste products. Remember folks, assuming the end of life on the planet, as we know it, is a linear function is incredibly naive. We are rapidly reaching a tipping point where nothing we do will save us.

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