Saturday, January 20, 2007
Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Levels Continue to Spike
It is bad enough that climate change is occurring more rapidly than scientists predicted, but things may be even worse because now we are finding out that carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere are increasing faster than they predicted. For 30 years, starting with 1970, the average increase in carbon dioxide was about 1.5 parts per million. Based on estimates of carbon dioxide emissions there did not seem to be any reason for this trend to change. Yet, beginning in 2001 carbon dioxide levels have spiked to average about 2.2 parts per million and that trend has continued through 2006 according to a report in the Guardian. What this seems to mean is that when climate scientists such as James Hansen say we have less than 10 years to begin to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions to avoid extremely serious consequences of global warming this warning may not even be urgent enough. Further concerns are raised because the cause of the spike has not yet been identified. Whether it is due to warming itself, emissions that actually exceed estimates, or some other reason remains obscure. As time goes on it appears that the truth about global warming is growing more and more inconvenient.