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@mospheric Post | Apr 15 2011 PDF Print E-mail

Earth's CO2 Newsletter

@mospheric Post is produced twice monthly by Pro Oxygen and distributed earthwide by 

April 15, 2011
Year 2 | Edition 8


In this edition of @mospheric Post . . .

Quotable Now

  *  David Orr:  "Be truthful and get to work."

The Latest Climate Numbers

Just released: 
    *  Global temperature data for March 2011:  13th warmest March in 132 years 

Visual Eyes

  *  Mauna Loa Science & Wonder  |  Photolog by Climate Photographer Gary Braasch

Carbon Media

  *  SPOTLIGHT 1:  New Scientific Paper on Sea Level Rise -- Survey Geophysics
  *  SPOTLIGHT 2:  Merger of Two Climate NGOs -- The New
  *  CARBON MEDIA:  89 recent articles, papers and reports from 7 continents

The CO2Now Climate Sheet 'In Brief'

  *  17 leading measurements, benchmarks and targets for Earth's global climate.  All in one place.    

About @mospheric Post

Quotable Now

"Be truthful and get to work"  

Get the full quote at Climate Progress:  David Orr on 'Confronting Climate Collapse'


We continue to talk about climate destabilization as if it were an ordinary issue requiring no great vision, no unshakable resolve, no fear of the abyss.

Instead, many continue to believe that our failure to respond adequately is the result of our failure to present a positive image. We have, they assert, marinated too long in “doom and gloom.” Their advice, instead, is to be cheery, upbeat, and talk of happy things like green jobs and more economic growth, but whisper not a word about the prospects ahead or the suffering and death already happening. Perhaps that is a good strategy and there is room for honest disagreement. But “happy talk” was not the approach taken by Lincoln confronting slavery, or by Franklin Roosevelt facing the grim realities after Pearl Harbor. Nor was it Winston Churchill’s message to the British people at the height of the London blitz. Instead, in these and similar cases transformative leaders told the truth honestly, with conviction and eloquence.

I believe that the same standard should apply to us. We must have the courage to speak the truth and the vision and fortitude to chart a plausible way forward. The truth of the matter is that even in the best scenarios imaginable, we would still have a long and difficult road ahead before climate stabilizes again, hopefully within a range still hospitable to us. It is also true that we have the capability to make the transition to economies powered by sunlight and efficiency. The point is not to be gloomy or cheery, but to be truthful and get to work.

~ David Orr, author of Confronting Climate Collapse 


The Latest Climate Numbers

Global temperature data in this publication was released April 15, 2011 by the
NOAA National Climatic Data Center.   Data for time periods within the past year are preliminary.

Global Temperature Chart: March 2011


Global Temperature Synopsis

Global Surface Temperature  |  March

March 1880 - March 2011




Warmest or

(Next Warmest)1880



(132 Years) 




+0.49 °C 

13th Warmest 

March 2010

+0.78 °C  

Global Ocean 

+0.36 °C  

12th Warmest 

March 2010

+0.55 °C 

Global Land 

+0.83 °C  

12th Warmest 

March 2002 

+1.83 °C  



NOAA NCDC  |  March 2011 Global Temperature Data & Climate Analysis 

NOAA NCDC  |  Data for global land and ocean surface temperature anomalies since 1880


More CO2Now Temperature Info 

CO2Now  |  Global Temperature Update 


Visual Eyes | @mospheric Post

Mauna Loa Science and Wonder

Photo Log by Climate Photographer Gary Braasch

Mauna Loa CO2 Vial and Starry Night

At the end of March 2011, globe-trotting climate photographer Gary Braasch paid a visit to the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii. It didn’t take long for Braasch to come away with a stunning set of images and informative commentary.  Check out his photo log at  Or, see it reposted at  It's like getting a personal tour of the world famous observatory. 

Braasch takes you to the CO2 tower where the CO2 sensors keep a constant read on atmospheric levels.  It shows the dramatic laser beam that measures aerosols and stratospheric dust 45 kilometres high in the sky.  It introduces you to Dr. John Barnes and one of the NOAA laboratories for atmospheric analysis.  

But Braasch does more than connect you with the science that happens 24-7 near the top of a 3.4-kilometre high mountaintop.  His work gives you the feeling that you are there to see it for yourself ... the Orion constallation hanging over the CO2 tower ... the cloud tops and the dramatic night-glow of the laser beams.  

Yes, Braasch photographs the important Earth monitoring work of NOAA and Scripps at the Mauna Loa Observatory.  And yet, with nature so visibly present in each image, it is easy to feel a sense of awe and wonder.    

See the Braasch Mauna Loa photolog:

April 2011 Newsletter  |
Mauna Loa Science and Wonder  |  

Carbon Media -- Spotlight


Spotlight 1

New Scientific Paper on Sea Level Rise

Sea-Level Rise from the Late 19th to the Early 21st Century  |  Survey in Geophysics
Sea levels are rising now and are expected to continue rising for centuries, even if greenhouse gas emissions are curbed and their atmospheric concentrations stabilised.  This scientific paper (March 2011) includes graphs for global sea level rise since 1860 and since 1990. 

A Fresh Take on Sea-Level Rise  |  NY Times Blog  
The paper confirms that the ocean has been rising in fits and starts since the 19th century. And both the tide gauges and satellites show that the rate of sea-level rise appears to have accelerated in the early 1990s, so that the ocean is now rising at about a foot per century, perhaps slightly less. That is almost twice the rate of increase that prevailed through most of the 20th century. 

Spotlight 2

Merger of Two Climate NGOs + 1Sky = New

A new is launched by merger of 1Sky and  |
Excerpt from a media release:  Both and 1Sky have been working collaboratively on a number of campaigns since both were founded. We both have similar visions for the world that we want to see, and all of our current campaigns fit into this vision. We will continue to pursue a hard-hitting agenda against corporate polluters and the climate crisis in the United States and across the planet. In fact, both organizations are excited to gain the scope possible by merging: 1Sky will now be more connected to the international climate movement and will have a much stronger domestic campaign (in the USA). We are definitely a newly merged group.  When we were in discussions about the merge we realized that the concept of ‘350’ was an important flash-point for the movement and for both of our groups. It represents our positive vision for the future, our collective mission, and our long-term goals. Both campaigns bring a lot to the table, but we decided we didn’t want to drop that important marker from our name. 


Carbon Media

Recent articles, papers and reports.
From around the world.
About our world.


Bright, Cheap Future for Solar

SunShot's $1 per Watt Goal Feasible   |  Renewable Energy World
Rapid growth in solar photovoltaics has brought installation costs within sight of $1 per watt for large projects and closer to competing with fossil fuels.

Solar scheme so successful that plug will get pulled  |  Sydney Morning Herald
The Climate Change Minister, Greg Combet, is looking for new ways to slow the runaway demand for rooftop solar systems that has put pressure on electricity prices and made it harder to sell the government's proposed carbon price.

Energy System Transformation

Governments must pay for clean-energy innovation  |  Nature
As a scientist working on energy and climate change, I was inspired by President Barack Obama's call for US researchers to put a million electric cars on the road by 2015, and to generate 80% of our electricity from carbon-neutral sources by 2035. In this journal in 1998, colleagues and I concluded that engineering projects on the scale of the Apollo moonshots might be needed to transform the world's energy system (M. I. Hoffert et al. Nature 395, 881-884; 1998). We should now be debating not whether but how to do this.

United Nations Climate

Mind the Kyoto gap  |  Climate Spectator
A standoff developed between parties who demanded a political commitment to a second Kyoto Protocol period before further talks could take place and parties who wanted to negotiate details before making that commitment. Tempers frayed.

Three major issues dominate new UN climate conference  |  GlobalPost
Once again, the United Nations has assembled world governments to stop humanity from overheating the planet. And once again, despite increasingly foreboding rhetoric, consensus on climate change appears elusive.  

Bangkok talks make little progress on closing emissions gap  |
As climate negotiators talk this week in Bangkok, there are no signs the gap between the amount of emissions countries have pledged to cut and what is needed to avoid temperatures rising to dangerous levels has been bridged, climate experts said.

Rapid development is the way to face climate change  |  Bernama
KUALA LUMPUR  A country's rapid economic development accompanied by their adoption of higher environmental standards can be an effective way to face climatic change, says an energy expert and former top climate negotiator for India.

China’s green blueprint raises stakes at U.N. climate talks   |  Global Issues
China’s rise as a leader in the environmentally friendly, low-carbon economy is giving the Asian giant new diplomatic muscle for this year’s round of climate change negotiations leading up to the COP17 U.N. summit in Durban, South Africa in November.

India's maverick environment minister who likes to annoy  |  TerraDaily
Since taking over the role of environment minister in 2009, India's Jairam Ramesh has given a tough new image to the ministry, which had been seen as a rubber stamp for industrial projects – and has raised India's profile on the world stage in fighting climate change.

India won't succumb to pressure for cutting greenhouse gas  |  Times of India
India on Saturday said it would not succumb to international pressure on any legally-binding commitments to reduce carbon emission and re-position itself diplomatically as a constructive problem-solver.   Environment minister Jairam Ramesh said India should negotiate from its position of strength and take a leadership role on the issue instead of being "lectured" by the West as it is "moving along a low carbon growth path".

UN climate agenda agreed, roadmap set for 2011  |  Qatar Peninsula
Rich and poor nations overcame deep divisions on Friday to cut a deal that maps out U.N. climate negotiations for 2011, building on last December's agreement in Mexico and hardening the focus on tougher issues.

Rights of Nature

Bolivia enshrines equal status for Mother Earth  |  London Guardian
Bolivia is set to pass the world's first laws granting all nature equal rights to humans. The Law of Mother Earth, now agreed by politicians and grassroots social groups, redefines the country's rich mineral deposits as "blessings" and is expected to lead to radical new conservation and social measures to reduce pollution and control industry.

Carbon Tax (Australia)

Coal seam gas: a sleight of hand?  |  ABC
The resources industry has embarked on a new push for special exemptions from a carbon tax to ease the burden on coal mining and big gas exporters. This demand is imprudent and indeed unacceptable in view of the health and environmental impacts of these industries.

Why The Carbon Tax Won't Cost Australians $800  |  New Matilda
An Australian Treasury report released under FOI laws last week predicted the carbon tax would cost households $16.60 a week.  Really? Akshay Shanker and Anna Samson look at the economic modelling used to draw this conclusion.

Climate Apps

Global Climate Apps Contest  |  ITU
Geneva, 12 April, 2011 – ITU has launched a Green ICT Application Challenge to find the best and most innovative idea for a climate change focused app. The winning concept will be awarded USD10,000, thanks to challenge sponsors Research in Motion (RIM) and Telefónica.   >> Contest Rules

Climate Books

Climate Change: Science and Solutions for Australia  |  CSIRO
This publication provides the latest scientific knowledge on a series of climate change topics relevant to Australia and the world. It draws on peer-reviewed literature contributed to by thousands of researchers. Available as a free eBook.

Climate Change Denial: Heads in the Sand  |  CSIRO
This book shows how we can break through denial, accept reality, and thus solve the climate crisis. The authors examine the nature of climate change denial, its history, how we let denial prosper, and how we can roll back denial. It summarises the climate science and explains uncertainty and probability. It also explains the social science behind denial.

Climate Change Denial contains a detailed examination of the principal climate change denial arguments, from attacks on the integrity of scientists, to impossible expectations of proof and certainty to the cherry picking of data.

Climate change can be solved – but only when we cease to deny that it exists. It will engage scientists, university students, climate change activists as well as the general public seeking to roll back denial and act.

Challenging Climate Claims

What motivates a climate skeptic?   |  DeSmogBlog
Hoffman is an “organizational theorist” who studied the “culture and discourse” of climate skeptics.  This involved attending their conferences and events.  He describes some of the preliminary results in a recent paper in Strategic Organization. As a result, Hoffman argues that three themes are dominant in the movement:

1. Stealth Attack on Personal Freedom.

2. Free Marketeers.

3. Distrust of Peer Review.

It’s all about distrusting some kind of power associated with the government, while very much trusting other kinds of power that are unregulated.  In other words, it’s about how society—not the atmosphere—is organized.

More Green Energy

A tipping point for green energy   |  MarketPlace
Economic reasons - rather than social ones - are driving companies toward greener energy.

Can energy leaders learn from Manhattan & Apollo projects?  |  Live Science
One national effort by scientists and engineers unlocked the power of nuclear energy by splitting the atom. Another landed the first man on the moon. Now the White House hopes to channel the same can-do spirit of the Manhattan and Apollo projects into clean energy technologies.

New energy sector eyeing development   |  China Daily
Fu Pengcheng, a Chinese biofuel expert at the China University of Petroleum, is developing new biological fuels. And China's major airlines are now looking to his research to trim their flights' carbon emissions.

G.E. plans to build largest solar panel plant in U.S.  |  NY Times
In a move that could shake up the American solar industry, General Electric plans to announce on Thursday that it will build the nation’s largest photovoltaic panel factory, with the goal of becoming a major player in the market.

Resistance to Germany's renewable energy plans  |  Der Spiegel
The German government plans to replace nuclear reactors with thousands of wind turbines and thousands of kilometers of high-voltage "monster masts" in a move that will deface vast swathes of territory. Germans, though desperate to phase out atomic energy, are gearing up to protest against the green revolution.

Solar scheme so successful that the plug will be pulled  |  Sydney Morning Herald
The Climate Change Minister, Greg Combet, is looking for new ways to slow the runaway demand for rooftop solar systems that has put pressure on electricity prices, and made it harder to sell the government's proposed carbon price.

Surging renewable sector pulls even with nuclear power in U.S.   |  Daily Climate
Declining nuclear power and a strengthening renewable fuels sector have left the two energy sources neck-and-neck for their share of U.S. energy production, according to the most recent figures from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Renewables & nuclear each produce about 11% of US energy  |  Climate Progress
In 2010, all forms of renewable energy provided 8.2 quadrillion BTUs of primary energy production in the United States, a little less than 11% of our total production of 74.9 quads.  At the same time, nuclear power provided 8.4 quads, a little more than 11% of the total.

Greening Communities

Tidy St: Shining a light on community energy efficiency  |  London Guardian
The old adage that you can't manage what you don't measure is particularly pertinent when it comes to household energy use, which soared by 13.4% in 2010. Enter Tidy Street in Brighton. Residents who volunteered for a new energy-saving initiative have been given electricity meters so they can monitor their daily energy use, and identify which devices are using the most power, and when.

Olympian upgrade for “English” brand with low-carbon business park  |  NY Times
An area of rusting factories and poverty-blighted communities in England is trying to rebrand itself as a sustainable business hub where companies from around the world can plug into abundant renewable energy and gain easy access to markets in the United Kingdom and the European Union.

Oregon cowboy town promotes solar energy  |  Forbes
A cowboy grasping the reins of a bucking bronco has long been the image of Pendleton, and of the city's colorful past, when pioneers on the Oregon Trail settled the prairie. Today, solar panels might just outnumber cowboys.

CO2 Literacy

Teaching sustainability has benefits for big business   |  Miller-McCune
Bill Thomas used to be a climate change skeptic, not believing that humans could have influenced the dramatic atmospheric shift, but two weeks in the woods — and chats with scientists — changed his mind.

California group plugs climate science gap in USA schools  |  Solve Climate
"[It's the] Superbowl experience of climate," Matt Stewart, ACE's head of marketing, told SolveClimate News. "We try to present something that stands out and energizes [students] around science, and to find creative ways to solve [climate change]."

Climate Fun

Graphic:  Risks and impacts of increasing beer temperature  |  Real Climate
If we can pay as much attention to the Earth as we do to our beer, we probably wouldn’t need to worry about global warming.  The “warm beer chart” design is by S. Han, loosely based on IPCC (2007), courtesy of the “Artist as Citizen” initiative. (Full size pdf version)

Climate Haze

Marijuana causes global warming, uses 1% of US electricity  |  SF Business Times
People growing marijuana indoors use 1 percent of the U.S. electricity supply, and they create 17 million metric tons of carbon dioxide every year (not counting the smoke exhaled) according to a report by Evan Mills, an energy analyst at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Pot growers inhale 1% of US electricity, exhale GHGs of 3M cars  |  NY Times
Indoor marijuana cultivation consumes enough electricity to power 2 million average-sized U.S. homes, and the resulting contribution to greenhouse gas emissions equals about 3 million cars on the road, according to a new study.

Cold Feet in Canada

British Columbia, Ontario hinder California green plan  |  Toronto Globe & Mail
British Columbia and Ontario have thrown a wrench into a plan spearheaded by California to launch a cross-border greenhouse-gas emissions reduction scheme next January.


Ancient fossils hold clues for predicting future climate  FARS News, Iran
By studying fossilized mollusks from some 3.5 million years ago, geoscientists have been able to construct an ancient climate record that holds clues about the long-term effects of Earth's current levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, a key contributor to global climate change.


Debate stirred over 1st major US tar sands mine  |  AJC Atlanta
Beneath the lush, green hills of eastern Utah's Uinta Basin, where elk, bear and bison outnumber people, the soil is saturated with a sticky tar that may soon provide a new domestic source of petroleum for the United States.

Carbon Sequestration

Political, financial failings strand key US carbon sequestration plant  |  Solve Climate
The coal industry is banking on America's first commercial-scale carbon capture and storage (CCS) project, set to be built in West Virginia, to jump-start commercialization of the technology and make it more affordable.  But the failure of Congress last year to legislate a carbon cap on power plants has left a hole in financing for the nation's first CCS plant in West Virginia

Gas Fracking

Fracking" Shale Gas Emissions Far Worse Than Coal  |  DeSmogBlog
A groundbreaking report from Cornell University researchers confirms that shale gas recovered through high volume hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” will produce more greenhouse gases than the burning of coal in the next two decades - a critical window in which society must reduce emissions to combat climate change. The Cornell study makes clear that the widely-held perception that gas is the "cleaner" darling of the fossil fuel trio is a myth. With total methane emissions factored in, shale gas turns out to have the greatest climate impact of all the fossil fuels.

>> Read the Cornell Study:  Methane and GHG footprint of shale gas[PDF]

Serena Connor (Arlington, USA) recommended these reports for @mospheric Post.

Cornell study: fracked gas warms globe at least as much as coal  |  The Hill
Cornell University professors will soon publish research that concludes natural gas produced with a drilling method called “hydraulic fracturing” contributes to global warming as much as coal, or even more.

New study questions shale gas as a bridge fuel  |  Climate Progress
Leakage of methane from fracking boosts shale gas global warming impact; National Academy review is warranted.

More questions on whether gas is cleaner than coal   |  ProPublica
One of the main advantages of natural gas is that it is supposed to be far cleaner than oil or coal. But evidence continues to mount that natural gas is not as clean as we like to think.

Some natural gas threatens climate more than coal   |  Wall Street Journal
Extracting natural gas from shale formations using hydraulic fracturing generates more greenhouse-gas emissions than burning coal, according to a new study that drew immediate attacks from oil and gas interests.

Meet the families whose lives have been ruined by gas drilling  |  London Guardian
AlterNet: Families in Pennsylvania explain how the dash for gas in the US is affecting their way of life

A new Pickens plan: good for the U.S. or just for T. Boone?   |  Yale e360
Three years ago, with a flurry of national publicity, billionaire Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens outlined his vision of how to help wean the U.S. off imported oil. Now, however, Pickens and his plan are back, although the Texan’s new version is a good deal less green.

Natural gas is mostly methane  |  Climate Progress
I’ve been working in the energy arena for over two decades and sometimes forget to lead with the basics.  Shale gas is “natural gas produced from shale.”  Wikipedia notes “Methane is the major component of natural gas, about 87% by volume” though other sources typically give a range of around 70% to 90%.  Most of the rest of nat gas is ethane, propane and/0r butane.  The stuff that gets to your home “is almost pure methane.”

Gas Flaring

Gas flaring remains 2% of global CO2 energy emissions  |  Climate Progress

We’ve all seen it, at least in pictures: the tall smokestacks dotting producing oil fields, spewing fingers of flame into the air.  It’s known as associated gas flaring, and if it seems economically wasteful and environmentally nuts, well it is.

Social Climate Action

Facebook shares green data center technology  |  BBC
Facebook has announced that it will share the design secrets behind its new energy-efficient data center with rival companies. The social network's facility in Prineville, Oregon is said to use 38 percent less power than existing centers.

Sexy Climate Action

Marks and Spencer launches world's first carbon-neutral bra  |  Business Green
The retailer today launched the carbon-neutral bra as part of its Autograph Leaves lingerie collection, unveiling four styles of bra, three knickers and a set of suspenders, all of which have been independently footprinted by the Carbon Trust.

Down-to-Earth Climate Action

Aberaeron farmer hails solar power 'success'  |  BBC
A farm in Ceredigion has become one of Wales' first carbon neutral farms, generating its own electricity from solar power.

Spying on Climate Solvers

US Chamber of Commerce plans revealed for combating its critics  |  ThinkProgress
In February, ThinkProgress broke a story revealing that attorneys for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce had communicated with a set of military contractors — HBGary Federal, Palantir, and Berico Technologies — to develop tactics for sabotaging and spying on the Chamber’s progressive critics.   The proposals details efforts to steal private computer information, spy on the families of the Chamber’s critics, and plant false documents within organizations opposed to the Chamber’s agenda.     ThinkProgress has uncovered yet another presentation from one of the private security firms describing plans for the Chamber.   >>Related article at Climate Progress

Enviro Bill Killers

Koch’s web of influence  |  Center for Public Integrity
Koch Inc. spends tens of millions of dollars to lobby Congress and federal agencies on issues ranging from dioxin and security at chemical plants to oil and gas and the estate tax. Koch spent $20 million on lobbying in Washington in 2008. Then the Kochs spent another $20.5 million over the next two years seeking to mold, gut or kill more than 100 prospective bills or regulations.

Unethical Biofuels

Biofuels transport targets are unethical, inquiry finds  |  London Guardian
The legal requirement to put biofuels in petrol and diesel sold in the UK and Europe is unethical because their production violates human rights and damages the environment, a major new inquiry has concluded.

Climate CSR

Bloomberg's push for corporate sustainability  |  Fast Company
Ravenel, launched an initiative to green the company's operations in 2006. He found himself perusing corporate sustainability reports, released by many firms not just to brand themselves as "green" but also to cater to socially responsible investors. A lightbulb went off.

High Opportunity Future

Next big opportunity: Electric vehicle charging infrastructure  |  Fast Company
Looking for a way to angle into the burgeoning electric vehicle business? Forget cars - investing in the charging infrastructure is the way to go.

Climate Brainstorm

Audacious new theory challenges "Peak Oil": Hydrocarbons forever  |  Fortune
What if scientists could transform coal-fired power plants from giant carbon dioxide emitters into giant carbon sinks? Some say that they can, and will.

Climate Change and Crazy Weather

Crazy Weather and Climate: Do Dots Connect?  |  Miller McCune
Meteorologist Kevin Trenberth examines the world’s recently wacky weather and whether it’s a sign of climate change or just routine variability.

Climate Consequences

UN sees food as climate indicator  |  UPI
Food security is a key indicator of how vulnerable societies are to the effects of climate change, a scientist at the United Nations said from Rome.

Glaciers in Chile melt at fastest rate in 350 years  |  BBC
Melting mountain glaciers are making sea levels rise faster now than at any time in the last 350 years and have lost volume on average 10 times to 100 times faster in the last 30 years, according to new research.

Arctic freshwater to cause unpredictable climate changes  |  London Guardian
A vast expanse of freshwater in the midst of the Arctic Ocean is set to wreak unpredictable changes on the climate in Europe and North America, new scientific analysis has shown.

North Pole Melting

New warning on Arctic sea ice melt  |  BBC
Scientists who predicted a few years ago that Arctic summers could be ice-free by 2013 now say summer sea ice will probably be gone in this decade.


Bangladesh communities show climate adaptation  |  London Guardian
While the world warms and negotiators representing nearly 200 governments gather this week in flood-stricken Thailand to argue over what to do about it, some of the world's poorest communities are already developing practical ways to adapt to the impacts of global climate change.

Sea Level Adaptation

Report:  Managed Retreat of Coastal Communities  |  CSIRO
January 2011: The CSIRO paper explores community reactions to a hypothetical managed retreat scheme (COR-conditional occupancy rights) that requires residents to forfeit their land to make way for an ecological barrier when sea level rise (SLR) reaches a designated point.

Suisun rejects 'policy of retreat'   |  Vacaville Reporter, California
The Suisun City Council unanimously passed a resolution last week opposing a "policy of retreat" from existing urban areas in the face of projected climate change.

Suisun City community leaders are calling on the Bay Area to commit itself to protecting bayside communities against rising sea waters and reject a push by single-issue environmental advocates to have the region retreat and surrender in the face of climate change-induced sea-level rise.

Sea rising 'at upper end of forecast'  |  The Australian
Sea levels are rising close to the upper end of predictions made in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's landmark 2007 report. Climate scientist John Church, who is writing the chapter on sea level rises for the IPCC's 2013 update, said the world's oceans were on track to rise by between 60cm and 80cm by 2100.

New York set to be big loser as sea levels rise  |   BBC
New York is a major loser and Reykjavik a winner from new forecasts of sea level rise in different region

Ice melt a weighty problem: expert  |  Australian ABC News
Melting ice sheets could cause a redistribution of the world's gravitational field causing higher than expected rises in sea level for some parts of the world, according to a senior Australian scientist.

NZ research gives insight on sea level rises   |  FOK! News
New Zealand-led research on ice shelves in Antarctica will provide international scientists important information about future sea level rises, says National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research.

Hot Pink Climate

Hot pink climate no laughing matter  |  Climate Code Red
Do climate scientists have a sense of humour? In the case of James Hansen, head of the Goddard Institute for Space Science (GISS) at NASA, and perhaps the world’s best known climate researcher, the answer appears to be yes. Hansen’s team regularly publish global maps of temperature changes, and in the most recent the warming in the Arctic was sufficient to run off the existing colour-graded scale. Needing to add a tone, their choice of colour was hot pink.

Extreme warming forces pinking on temperature map  |  Climate Progress
“The year 2010 now has the most national extreme heat records for a single year–nineteen. These nations comprise 20% of the total land area of Earth. This is the largest area of Earth’s surface to experience all-time record high temperatures in any single year in the historical record.”  NASA may have added pink to their maps, but the climate situation has been code-red for a while.

Black Swan Musings

Is global warming a black swan?   |  Climate Progress
One of the defining characteristics of humans is our ability to ignore or downplay facts that would shatter or overturn our world view.  At the same time, we tend to favor or selectively recall information that confirms our preconceptions, which is called “confirmation bias.”

Is Japan’s Nuclear Crisis a black swan?  |  Visual  Essay by  Franke James
“If we excuse the crisis in Japan as a Black Swan, we miss the opportunity to prepare ourselves for a nuclear crisis here at home.   Just last week there was a leak of radioactive water at Pickering, which was covered by the CBC, but got little attention from the public.”  ~ Franke James (who lives in Canada -- near the Pickering Nuclear Power Station)

Nuclear Energy in Crisis

Analysis: German nuclear U-turn means jump in emissions  |  London Telegraph
Germany's nuclear policy U-turn leaves it little choice other than to rely more heavily on coal power, and that could boost its annual carbon emissions by as much as 10 percent.

German nuclear companies stop eco-fund contributions  |  Der Spiegel
Chancellor Angela Merkel's about-face on atomic energy policy is getting expensive. Four companies which operate nuclear reactors in Germany have ceased paying into a fund meant to promote renewable energies – even as the eco-revolution is to be accelerated.

Escalation in nuclear reactor investment costs  |  Climate Progress
Drawing on largely unknown public records, the paper reveals for the first time both absolute as well as yearly and specific reactor costs and their evolution over time. Its most significant finding is that even this most successful nuclear scale-up was characterized by a substantial escalation of real-term construction costs.

Fukushima and the Future of Nuclear Power  |  Green Cross
Excerpt:  “GCI believes that in order to exit the vicious circle of "poverty versus safe environment" the world must accelerate the transition to energy efficiency and renewables to bring about enormous economic, social and environmental benefits.”

Caldicott: How nuclear apologists mislead the world over radiation  |  London Guardian
George Monbiot and others at best misinform and at worst distort evidence of the dangers of atomic energy

Nuclear alert level rises   |  NY Times
The government announced that it had raised its rating of the severity of the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station to 7, the worst on an international scale, from 5. Officials said that the reactor had released one-tenth as much radioactive material as the Chernobyl accident in 1986, but still qualified as a 7 according to a complex formula devised by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Fukushima Level 7 Rating  |  Energy Collective
The manual for the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES) is clear this rating scheme is not an exact science:  "It is not appropriate to use INES to compare safety performance between… countries".   At "Level 2 and above", INES warns, "the statistically small number of such events" makes it difficult to compare meaningfully.   A rating system of events you can't use to compare events with seems useless, or at least it might seem so to the uninitiated.  Everyone wants to use this INES scheme to compare Fukushima and Chernobyl.  To do that we need to look at the details of the calculation.   

Avoiding Nuclear Safety  |  Energy Collective
The real question about nuclear safety is not "can nuclear accidents be avoided," but "do we want to do whatever is required to avoid nuclear accidents." As it turns out avoiding and mitigating nuclear accidents is not terribly expensive, nor does it make nuclear power impractical, but does require the nuclear industry to change the way it does business. The current nuclear safety philosophy centers on what is called "Defense in Depth." "Defense in Depth:"

Japan's nuclear crisis casts doubt over carbon goals  |  Taipei Times
Japan's protracted nuclear safety crisis has begun to cast doubts over its pledge of ambitious carbon emission cuts by the end of the decade, which would rely heavily on plans to boost nuclear power generation.

Is there a climate doctor in the house?

Doctors urged to take climate leadership role   |  London Guardian
Doctors must take a leading role in highlighting the dangers of climate change, which will lead to conflict, disease and ill-health, and which threatens global security, according to a stark warning from an unusual alliance of physicians and military leaders.

AMA: Climate change is affecting the health of patients   |  Climate Progress
Scientific evidence shows that the world’s climate is changing and that the results have public health consequences. The American Medical Association is working to ensure that physicians and others in health care understand the rise in climate-related illnesses and injuries so they can prepare and respond to them. The Association also is promoting environmentally responsible practices that would reduce waste and energy consumption.

Carbon emissions linked to Europe's hay fever rise  |  BBC 
Carbon dioxide emissions may be raising pollen counts in European cities, according to a continent-wide study. Researchers from 13 EU nations analysed pollen levels for more than 20 species of tree and plant and found that many, including several that cause allergies such as hay fever, correlated with rising CO2 levels.

Urban Climate

World's cities unprepared for climate change   |  Live Science
Cities – home to half the world's population – face potentially dire consequences from climate change. However, they often fall short when it comes to addressing the issue, according to an analysis of urban policies.

Ocean Carbon Sinks

Vanishing mangroves are carbon sequestration powerhouses  |  Mongabay
Mangroves may be the world's most carbon rich forests, according to a new study in Nature Geoscience. Measuring the carbon stored in 25 mangrove forests in the Indo-Pacific region, researchers found that mangroves forests stored up to four times as much carbon as other tropical forests, including rainforests.

Two of the Earth’s Ocean Carbon Sinks Shrinking   |  Solve Climate
It is well known that deforestation is shrinking the carbon storage capacity of tropical forests, one of the world's great land-based carbon sinks.  Now a pair of studies confirms that two key marine CO2 stores — mangroves and kelp forests — are also in peril from human activity.


Penguins suffer as Antarctic krill declines  |  NY Times
A number of penguin species found in western Antarctica are declining as a result of a fall in the availability of krill, a study has suggested.  Researchers, examining 30 years of data, said chinstrap and Adelie penguin numbers had been falling since 1986.   The findings appear in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Climate Life Boat

Ireland climate victims' 'lifeboat'  |  Dublin Herald
Ireland will act like a lifeboat for people fleeing drought, rising seas and destructive weather in decades to come, a leading climate change expert has warned.  


The CO2Now Climate Sheet 'In Brief'

An updated, full edition is available at: The CO2Now Climate Sheet.     

The following data and targets are current as of  April 15, 2011:

0 tonnes

CO2 Emissions Target

Global CO2 emissions for long-term stabilization of atmospheric CO2

“Stabilizing atmospheric CO2 and climate requires that
net CO2 emissions approach zero”                    


 0 w/m 2
watts per square meter

CO2 Emissions Target

Global energy balance  & the end of global warming

“Stabilizing climate requires, to first order, that we restore Earth’s energy balance.
If the planet once again radiates as much energy to space as it absorbs from the sun,
there no longer will be a drive causing the planet to get warmer.” 


 0.25 - 0.75 w/m 2

Global energy imbalance from rising atmospheric CO2  |  1750 - 2000


2.00 ppm per year
parts per million

Atmospheric CO2  |  Average Annual Rise  |  March 2002 - 2011

March Data Only   The rate of increase for the latest decade is higher than any decade since the start of the atmospheric CO2 instrument record in March 1958.   

 8.07 pH

Ocean Acidification:  Average pH of Surface Oceans  |  2005

Average pH of surface oceans has declined about 0.1 units since before the industrial revolution.  This is an increase of about 30% in the concentration of hydrogen ions which is a considerable acidification of the oceans. 

“…world leaders should take account of the impact of CO2 on ocean chemistry,
as well as on climate change…we recommend that all possible approaches
be considered to prevent CO2 reaching the atmosphere.”

 12.7 °C

100-Year Average Global Surface Temperature  |  March 1901 - 2000

 13.2 °C

Average Global Surface Temperature  |  March 2011

March 2011 is the 13th warmest March on record (since 1880).  March 2010 is the warmest on record.  

Preliminary data posted April 15, 2011 by NOAA-NCDC.  

 172 ppm

Atmospheric CO2  |  Lowest level in 2.1 million years

 194 countries

Target of Most National Governments

Signatories to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

The United Nation's ultimate climate objective “is to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that will prevent dangerous human interference with the climate system.” 

 280 ppm

Atmospheric CO2  |  Pre-Industrial Revolution

Atmospheric CO2 was stable at about 280 ppm for almost 10,000 years until 1750.

 300 ppm

Atmospheric CO2  |  Highest level in at least 2.1 million years (pre-industrial)

Circa 1912, atmospheric CO2 levels breached the 300 ppm threshold for the first time in at least 2.1 million years.

 350 ppm

Atmospheric CO2 Target for Humanity

Atmospheric CO2  |  Upper Safety Limit

“If humanity wishes to preserve a planet similar to that on which civilization developed and to which life on Earth is adapted, paleoclimate evidence and ongoing climate change suggest that CO2 will need to be reduced from its current 385 ppm to at most 350 ppm, but likely less than that… If the present overshoot of this target CO2 is not brief, there is a possibility of seeding irreversible catastrophic effects.”

 391.01 ppm

Atmospheric CO2  |  March 2010  |  Mauna Loa Observatory

Data posted by NOAA-ESRL as of April 6, 2011.

392.40 ppm

Atmospheric CO2  |  March 2011  |  Mauna Loa Observatory

Preliminary data reported April 6, 2011 by NOAA-ESRL

805 ppm

Atmospheric CO2  |  Projection for Year 2100

This scientific projection, based on an analysis on March 4, 2011, accounts for the voluntary emissions reductions pledges of parties to the UNFCCC since the Copenhagen climate talks.  The projected CO2 level represents a global temperature increase of about 4 °C.  


World Population | April 1, 2011

More than 6.9 billion people are living on planet Earth. If humanity is to achieve a stabilization of atmospheric CO2 at safe levels, this is roughly the number of people who will need to be aligned with net CO2 emissions that approach zero. (See “0 tonnes” in The Climate Sheet.)

30.8 billion
metric tonnes

Humanity's Global CO2 Emissions  |  2009

2009 global CO2 emissions were the second highest in human history.   Global fossil fuel emissions – more than 88% of all carbon emissions – are projected to increase by more than 3% in 2010.   In the past decade, 47% of CO2 emissions accumulated in the atmosphere, 27% were absorbed by land and 26% were absorbed by the ocean.  The 2009 data was published November 21, 2010

See the Full Edition of The CO2Now Climate Sheet


About @mospheric Post

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Twice a month, @mospheric Post delivers the global numbers earthwide – straight from the atmosphere and virtually in real time. It also gives you access to the latest targets, reports and stories about our world, from around the world. Consider it your online source for getting the straight goods and the big picture on humanity's main environmental challenges.

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