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@mospheric Post | Jan 18 2011 PDF Print E-mail

Earth's CO2 Newsletter

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

January 18, 2011
Year 2 | Edition 2


In this edition of @mospheric Post . . .

The Latest Climate Numbers 
 Just released: 
    *  Global temperature for December 2010
    *  Global temperature for the Year 2010.

Carbon Media SPOTLIGHT
 Feature Video: 
    *  300 Years of Fossil Fuels in 300 Seconds by the Post Carbon Institute

Carbon Media 
  *  33 recent articles, papers and reports  From around the world.  About our world. 

The CO2Now Climate Sheet 'In Brief' 
  *  17 leading measurements, benchmarks and targets for Earth's global climate.  All in one place.  

     Click here to see the Full Edition of the CO2Now Climate Sheet. 

About @mospheric Post

The Latest Climate Numbers

Global temperature data in this publication was released January 18, 2011 by the
NOAA National Climatic Data Center.   Data for time periods within the past year are preliminary.

Global Temperature in December 2010


Global Temperature Synopsis   

Global Surface Temperature  |  December

December1880 - December 2010 




Warmest or

(Next Warmest)1880



(131 Years) 




+0.37 °C 

17th Warmest 

December 2006 

+0.72 °C  

Global Ocean 

+0.36 °C  

10th Warmest 

December 1997 

+0.58 °C 

Global Land 

+0.38 °C  

30th Warmest 

December 2006 

+1.33 °C  



NOAA NCDC  |  December 2010 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 

Carbon Media -- Spotlight

 New Video  |  300 Years of Fossil Fuels in 300 Seconds

Fossil fuels have powered human growth and ingenuity for centuries. Now that we're reaching the end of cheap and abundant oil and coal supplies, we're in for an exciting ride. While there's a real risk that we'll fall off a cliff, there's still time to control our transition to a post-carbon future.

 Post Carbon InstituteThis video @ YouTube


  Carbon Media

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

Climate Questions & Answers

London Guardian  |  The ultimate climate change FAQ

The Guardian is setting out to create world's best layman-friendly guide to all aspects of climate change.  They are asking readers for help. 

Climate Solutions

Science  |  Greenhouse + Power Plant Hybrid to make Jordan's desert bloom

A novel combination of technologies that has the potential to turn large areas of desert green, producing commercial quantities of food and energy crops, fresh water, and electricity, looks set to have its first large-scale demonstration in Jordan. This week the governments of Jordan and Norway signed an agreement to work with the Sahara Forest Project (SFP), an environmental technology group based in Norway, to build a 20-hectare demonstration center near Aqaba on the Red Sea, which would begin operation in 2015. “It's a holistic approach that could be of major interest to a large number of countries,” says Petter Ølberg, Norway's ambassador to Jordan.

Green Cars

Climate Progress  |  Our cup runneth over with plug-in hybrids 

2011 starts with many more announcements of plug-in cars, and an industry that’s beginning a major transition globally. 

Daily Green |  New research on electric cars suggests eager drivers

Will the fossil fuel era essentially be over by 2020, at which point electric cars will attain market supremacy? IBM's Institute for Business Value (IBV) is the latest prognosticator to weigh in on the issue. And although IBM's report sees some bumps in the road, it also sees smoother sailing than many other analyses.


NY Times  |  Solar panel maker moves work to China

Evergreen Solar emerged in the last three years as the third-largest maker of solar panels in the United States. But now the company is closing its main American factory, laying off the 800 workers by the end of March.


CTV  |  Carbon injected underground is leaking: Sask. farmers

A Saskatchewan farm couple says greenhouse gases that were supposed to be stored permanently underground are leaking out, killing animals and sending groundwater foaming to the surface like shaken-up soda pop.

Smart Meter Resistance

Greenwire |  California mulls 'opt out' or substitutes over fallout on smart meters

A burst of opposition to smart meters in a Northern California county appears to have turned heads in the state commission with jurisdiction over the emerging technology, with at least two prominent officials yesterday signaling they would consider letting consumers opt out.

CO2 Monitoring

KQED  |  Scripps Launching Carbon-Tracking Net

Major partnership is said to be the most ambitious of its kind  |  Up to now, tracking greenhouse gas emissions around the world has been a patchwork affair for scientists. But if it lives up to its hype, a new partnership with roots in California will mean a much more accurate picture of the heat-trapping gases that cause global warming.

Economist |  Greenhouse-gas monitoring: Not hot air  

In 50 years, measuring carbon-dioxide levels has gone from being a fun problem for a postdoc to a crucial issue for the planet. Scientists have been pointing out for years that it would take only a very small investment to produce the results currently needed. And on January 12th, such an investment was at last revealed.

Desmogblog  |  Carbon Tracker: NOAA Graphic Lays Out the Bad News

Joe Romm at ClimateProgress has turned up this amazing YouTube video, courtesy of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Carbon Tracker. 

Temperature Monitor

BOM.GOV.AU  |  GRAPH:  Annual & Decadal Sea Surface Temperature in Australia

See the decadal temperature  rise for 10 consecutive decades.  (Australian Bureau  of Meteorology)

Climate Urgency

One India  |  No time for delay on climate change, says Clinton

Insisting that time was running out on climate change, US Secretary Hillary Clinton today asked countries like India, China and the EU to show urgency in implementing agreements on transparency, funding and clean energy technology.

Climate Safety  |  Why environmentalists should stop taking Martin Luther King’s name in vain

“This is no time to take the tranquillizing drug of gradualism.” 

Good, Clean Fun

Climate Progress  |  Green ways to ski & snowboard

The winter sports industry is in an awkward position: Large ski and snowboard resorts use large amounts of energy and release high levels of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere in order to keep their resorts running smoothly, yet those same actions come back to haunt them. Winter resorts are now taking charge and turning green in order to ensure their survival.

Leave No Trace  |  Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics

The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics promotes sustainable recreation practices and teaches children and adults vital skills to minimize their impacts when they are outside. Leave No Trace is the most widely accepted outdoor ethics message used today on national public lands by all types of recreationists.

Good, Clean Ships

Douglas  |  North America's first fuel cell plug-in hybrid "green ship"

The former Canadian Coast Guard vessel, previously known as Tsekoa II, is being refurbished to service the Victoria Experimental Network Under the Sea (VENUS) underwater observatories in Georgia Strait between Vancouver Island and the mainland. The refit, expected to be completed in late 2011, will transform the vessel into North America's first fuel cell plug-in hybrid "green ship." The ship will rely on an all-electric propulsion system that will be powered by batteries, fuel cells, and low-emission diesel generators.

CO2 Emitting Fuels

Tyndall Centre  |  REPORT:  Environmental and climate change impacts of Shale Gas

Researchers at the Tyndall Centre at the University of Manchester have investigated the environmental and climate change impacts of Shale Gas.  Funded by the Cooperative, the report demonstrates how the extraction of shale gas risks contaminating ground and surface waters. The commissioned report calls for a moratorium on shale gas development until there is a much more thorough understanding of the extraction process.

SolveClimate  |  Tyndall report questions shale gas as bridge to low carbon future

Report authors warn shale gas will be burned in addition to coal, not as a substitute, and block renewable energy development   Without a global carbon price, the expanding shale gas boom would exacerbate climate change and take money away from renewable energy projects, a new report said, calling for a worldwide pause until countries take steps necessary to lower

The Ecologist  |   UK urged to ban controversial 'fracking' gas-extraction

Gas extraction plans underway in Lancashire would pose a serious risk of contaminating ground and surface waters

NY Times  |  Rosneft and BP in deal to explore Russian Arctic

The British oil giant BP agreed on Friday to a partnership with Rosneft, a Russian company, forming an alliance to explore the Russian Arctic.

Independent  |  BP targets one of the world's last unspoilt wildernesses after deal

Environmentalists are angry at the energy giant's plans to drill for oil in a remote region of the Arctic


Earth Policy Institute  |  Plan B Update: The Great Food Crisis of 2011

As the new year begins, the price of wheat is setting an all-time high in the United Kingdom. Food riots are spreading across Algeria. Russia is importing grain to sustain its cattle herds until spring grazing begins. India is wrestling with an 18-percent annual food inflation rate, sparking protests

CO2 Consequences

Global  |  Losing the Andes glaciers

Glacier melt hasn’t caused a national crisis in Peru, yet. But high in the Andes, rising temperatures and changes in water supply have decimated crops, killed fish stocks and forced entire villages to question how they will survive for another generation.

Globe & Mail  |  New study suggests blockbuster climate changes

A study predicts there will be havoc akin to a big-budget Hollywood disaster movie in the next 1,000 years even if people stop emitting all carbon dioxide into the atmosphere now. 

Yale e360 |  Massive outbreak of jellyfish could spell trouble for fisheries

The world’s oceans have been experiencing enormous blooms of jellyfish, apparently caused by overfishing, declining water quality, and rising sea temperatures. Now, scientists are trying to determine if these outbreaks could represent a “new normal” in which jellyfish increasingly supplant fish.

Terra Daily  |  Scientists find 'drastic' weather-related Atlantic shifts

Scientists have found evidence of a "drastic" shift since the 1970s in north Atlantic Ocean currents that usually influence weather in the northern hemisphere, Swiss researchers said on Tuesday.

Annual Reviews  |  Atmospheric Lifetime of Fossil Fuel Carbon Dioxide

The models agree that 20–35% of the CO2 remains in the atmosphere after equilibration with the ocean (2–20 centuries). 

Reuters  |  El Nino seen triggering next world warming record

Last year tied with 2005 as the warmest on record, according to U.S. agencies, but is likely to be overtaken soon by the next year with a strong El Nino weather event.

2010 in Review

The Age  |   2010 the planet's wettest year and equal hottest

Last year was the world's wettest on record, and tied 2005 as the hottest year since record-keeping began in 1880

Climate Projections  REPORT

Tyndall Research Centre  |  Four Degrees and Beyond Special Issue

The Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research is a major contributor to a specially themed '4 degrees and beyond' edition of the Royal Society’s prestigious journal Philosophical Transactions

Climate Models

Yale e360  |  Can We Trust Climate Models?

Increasingly, the Answer is ‘Yes’ Forecasting what the Earth’s climate might look like a century from now has long presented a huge challenge to climate scientists. But better understanding of the climate system, improved observations of the current climate, and rapidly improving computing power are slowly leading to more reliable methods.

New Scientist  |  Casting a critical eye on climate models

Today's climate models are more sophisticated than ever – but they're still limited by our knowledge of the Earth. So how well do they really work?

Merchants of Doubt

ABC Australia  |  RADIO:  Naomi Oreskes - Merchants of Doubt

Despite data being collected for over half a century, despite a President being warned about the looming threat of a changing climate in the mid 1960s, and despite plants and animals now changing their behaviour to fast altering conditions, a few scientists continue to raise doubts regarding climate science and its findings.  Naomi Oreskes sees a pattern. The pattern repeats itself in a string of issues including controversy over tobacco smoke, the dangers of acid rain, and DDT.

The CO2Now Climate Sheet 'In Brief'

The Full Edition is available at:
Current Edition:   The CO2Now Climate Sheet   
Current & Past Editions:  About the CO2Now Climate Sheet

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


 2.04 ppm per year
parts per million

Atmospheric CO2  |  Average Annual Rise  |  December 2001 - 2010

December 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.   For comparison with annual average data, the 2001-2010 rate of increase is 2.01 ppm per year. 

 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.”

 12.2 °C

100-Year Average Global Surface Temperature  |  December: 1901 - 2000

 12.6 °C

Average Global Surface Temperature  |  December 2010

December 2010 is tied with 1982 and 1994 as the 17th warmest December on record (since 1880).  December 2006 is the warmest on record.  

Preliminary data reported January 18, 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

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.”

 387.26 ppm

Atmospheric CO2  |  December 2009  |  Mauna Loa Observatory

Data reported January 7, 2011 by NOAA-ESRL.

389.69 ppm

Atmospheric CO2  |  December 2010  |  Mauna Loa Observatory

Preliminary data reported January 7, 2011 by NOAA-ESRL.

800 ppm

Atmospheric CO2  |  Projection for Year 2100

This scientific projection, reaffirmed December 14, 2010, 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 | January 1, 2011

Almost 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

@mospheric Post is an independent, volunteer-driven publication that is produced in Canada by Pro Oxygen, the maker of Pro Oxygen distributes @mospheric Post as a free information service for the advancement of climate literacy . . . starting with awareness of atmospheric CO2 and what it means.

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.

If you would like to give feedback or a suggestion – or to make a correction – you are welcome to email us at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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