Global warming is mainly the result of CO2 levels rising in the Earth’s atmosphere. Both atmospheric CO2 and climate change are accelerating. Climate scientists say we have years, not decades, to stabilize CO2 and other greenhouse gases.
To help the world succeed, CO2Now.org makes it easy to see the most current CO2 level and what it means. So, use this site and keep an eye on CO2. Invite others to do the same. Then we can do more to send CO2 in the right direction.
Watch CO2 now and know the score on global warming, practically in real time.
@mospheric Post | Mar 8 2011
@mospheric Post is produced twice monthly by Pro Oxygen and distributed earthwide by CO2Now.org
"Having lived through a large part of the 20th century, and thus having experienced the war, the aftermath of the Cold War and the painful process of post Cold War transformations, I think I have the right and the duty to share with you some of my thoughts, especially now when the world is at the threshold of an unprecedented “quantum leap” transformation.
Today, no human being, whatever their religion and wherever they live in the world, can ignore the three challenges that the new century has thrown at our feet: the necessity to maintain world peace, overcome disgraceful poverty and stop deadly environmental degradation.
You have got to succeed in doing what is necessary.
~ Mikhail Gorbachev (March 2011)
These three challenges facing humanity are interdependent. And the mission of Green Cross is to tackle these challenges in their interdependence. Let’s not be tempted by generally doing good – there are too many problems in the world. As Winston Churchill put it: “It is no use saying ‘We are doing our best’. You have got to succeed in doing what is necessary”. This “doing what is necessary” should become the motto of Green Cross."
Reinventing Fire™ | Rocky Mountain Institute The Rocky Mountain Institute has a vision to regain energy leadership and competitiveness, restore jobs and prosperity, and build a secure and climate-safe energy system. Reinventing Fire™ will focus on opportunities in the next five years that can profitably jump-start the journey toward a fossil-fuel-free economy.
Between a REC and hard place | Climate Spectator In Australia, if you want to develop a renewable energy project, there’s only really three people that you need to try and impress – the CEOs of the largest retailers; Origin Energy, AGL Energy and TruEnergy.
Can geoengineering put the freeze on global warming? | USA Today Scientists call it "geoengineering," but in plain speak, it means things like this: blasting tons of sulfate particles into the sky to reflect sunlight away from Earth; filling the ocean with iron filings to grow plankton that will suck up carbon; even dimming sunlight with space shades.
South Africa plans world's largest solar power station | Forum for the Future A new solar PV power station could meet one tenth of South Africa's electricity needs
South African Energy Minister Dipuo Peters has confirmed plans to build a 5GW solar power station – the world’s largest to date – in the Northern Cape. And it’s a good place for it. This region is one of the sunniest in the world.
The Coming Classroom Climate Conflict | DeSmogBlog Blog by Chris Mooney: I’ve just completed a trip out to the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado—a town that’s in many ways the chief hub for our country’s climate scientists, as well as for a variety of other researchers (especially on weather and renewable energy) and many science education specialists. My visit was focused on science communication, but another theme kept coming up: climate science education, and the conflicts arising therein.
Heavy rains linked to humans | NY Times Human role fuels fury of storms, floods: UVic study | Times Colonist In the first major paper of its kind, the researchers used elaborate computer programs that simulate the climate to analyze whether the rise in severe rainstorms, heavy snowfalls and similar events could be explained by natural variability in the atmosphere. They found that it could not, and that the increase made sense only when the computers factored in the effects of greenhouse gases released by human activities like the burning of fossil fuels. In a study published in the scientific journal Nature, researchers provide what they consider to be the first formal identification of a human contribution to the observed intensification of extreme precipitation.
CO2 exacerbates oxygen toxicity | PhysOrg.com Under conditions of oxidative stress, certain types of damage (cell death, some DNA lesions, mutation frequency, etc.) affecting the model organism Escherichia coli tend to increase depending on the level of atmospheric CO2. The CO2 levels studied range from 40 ppm(1) to the current projections for 2100 (1,000 ppm). The results indicate that the predicted increase in atmospheric CO2 should have a direct effect on living organisms.
Sam Dukan (Marseille, France) recommended this report for @mospheric Post.
Global warming momentum | Science Daily While governments debate about potential policies that might curb the emission of greenhouse gases, new University of Washington research shows that the world is already committed to a warmer climate because of emissions that have occurred up to now.
Regulation Lax as Gas Wells’ Tainted Water Hits Rivers | NY Times Coal mines annually produce millions of tons of toxic waste. But the hazards associated with natural-gas production and drilling are far less understood than those associated with other fossil fuels, and the regulations have not kept pace with the natural-gas industry’s expansion.
“We’re burning the furniture to heat the house,” said John H. Quigley, who left last month as secretary of Pennsylvania’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. “In shifting away from coal and toward natural gas, we’re trying for cleaner air, but we’re producing massive amounts of toxic wastewater with salts and naturally occurring radioactive materials, and it’s not clear we have a plan for properly handling this waste.”
Serena Connor (Arlington, USA) recommended this article for @mospheric Post.
Ecuador fines Chevron $9 Billion | The Economist CHEVRON is a “multinational monster”, says Ecuador’s populist president, Rafael Correa. Various celebrities agree (see picture). And at first glance, it does look like the story of a nasty big American corporation polluting a poor country and then refusing to pay for the damage. But the case is in fact rather more complicated than that.
Chinese Minister: CPI & carbon emissions to be capped | People’s Daily In order to meet the central government's goal of reducing energy usage intensity by 20 percent by the end of 2010 from the level five years ago, some Chinese local governments had gone wild to cut electricity supplies.
Alberta reins in green plans | Calgary Herald If there was any doubt the issue of climate change has been pushed to the political sidelines, Alberta's spending on greenhouse gas reduction initiatives in future years is following Ottawa's lead -a budget line item showing a precipitous plunge.
Europe to turn up heat on climate targets | Agence France-Presse The European Union, home to half a billion people and some 20 million companies, is committed to going "green" between now and 2050 as part of passionate moves to save the planet from global warming, including demanding that the key farming, transport and construction sectors step up the plate.
New study shows tougher climate goal for EU could boost GDP | Postdam Institute A study led by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and commissioned by the German Environment Ministry, says that if the EU increases its target from its existing 20% to 30% below 1990 levels by 2020, innovation and investment in a low-carbon economy would experience an increase after the recent financial crisis
Kyoto extension must include US & China, says UN climate head | Japan Times Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, said in an interview in Tokyo that while a new legally binding pact on combating global warming is out of reach this year, all countries should redouble their efforts to reach an agreement.
$20 billion black hole in Australian Opposition’s carbon plan | The Age Opposition Leader Tony Abbott's ''direct action'' climate change policy would cause Australia's greenhouse gas emissions to skyrocket and trigger a $20 billion budget black hole, according to an analysis commissioned by the government.
Amazon Forest as a Source of CO2 | Living On Earth In the Amazon forest researchers are trying to calculate the damage from 2 severe droughts. In recent years there's been a distinct lack of rain in the Amazon rainforest. "The drought of the century" is what they called the first in 2005, but the second, just 5 years later, was even worse.
Fossil Fuel Consequences
Fossil fuel economy: Testing the Waters | Time Across the planet, half a billion people rely, directly and indirectly, on corals for their living. Now rising ocean temperatures, changes to the ocean's chemistry and the global trade in natural resources — all symptoms of our fossil-fuel economy — are waging a multifront war on the marine environment.
Melting snow and ice warming planet faster than expected | Climate Signals Mark Flanner at the University of Michigan and his collaborators used satellite data to measure how much changes in snow and ice in the Northern Hemisphere have contributed to rising temperatures in the last 30 years.
Shifting Spring: Arctic plankton blooms up to 50 days earlier | Washington Post A new report finds that the Arctic's disappearing ice has apparently triggered another dramatic event - one that could disrupt the entire ecosystem of fish, shellfish, birds and marine mammals that thrive in the harsh northern climate.
Climate Computer Games | American Progress Computer games offer an opportunity to teach people of all ages about the dangers of climate change as well as the lifestyle choices to avoid it.
Second NASA ‘global warming’ satellite plunges to the sea | PhysOrg.com For the second time in two years, a rocket glitch sent a NASA global warming satellite to the bottom of the sea Friday – a $424 million debacle that couldn't have come at a worse time for the space agency and its efforts to understand climate change.
Extreme winter weather linked to climate change | Crossroads Today This winter's heavy snowfalls and other extreme storms could well be related to increased moisture in the air due to global climate change, a panel of scientists said. This extra moisture is likely to bring on extraordinary flooding with the onset of spring in the Northern Hemisphere, as deep snowpack melts and expected heavy rains add to seasonal run-off.
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
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
2.03 ppm per year parts per million
Atmospheric CO2 | Average Annual Rise | February 2002 - 2011
February 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.
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.”
100-Year Average Global Surface Temperature | January 1901 - 2000
Average Global Surface Temperature | January 2011
January 2011 is the 17th warmest January on record (since 1880). January 2007 is the warmest on record.
Preliminary data reported February 15, 2011 by NOAA-NCDC.
Atmospheric CO2 | Lowest level in 2.1 million years
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.”
Atmospheric CO2 | Pre-Industrial Revolution
Atmospheric CO2 was stable at about 280 ppm for almost 10,000 years until 1750.
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.
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.”
Atmospheric CO2 | February 2010 | Mauna Loa Observatory
Data reported March 8, 2011 by NOAA-ESRL
Atmospheric CO2 | February 2011 | Mauna Loa Observatory
Preliminary data reported March 8, 2011 by NOAA-ESRL
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 | March 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.)
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.
@mospheric Post is an independent, volunteer-driven publication that is produced in Canada by Pro Oxygen, the maker of CO2Now.org. 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.