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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.

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@mospheric Post | May 30, 2011 PDF Print E-mail

Earth's CO2 Newsletter

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

May 30, 2011
Year 2 | Edition 10



Quick Highlights


The Latest Climate Numbers

  *  Global temperature:  7th warmest April in 132 years

Recent Graphics, Reports & Articles

  *  97 of 100 Climate Scientists Think Humans Caused Climate Change 

  *  Blue Carbon: Using Nature to help stabilize global climate 

  *  I'm a Climate Scientist  |  A must-see video by Australian climate scientists

  *  Climate Triage and the "New Normal"  

Quotable Now


Some US media coverage likely has a role

in polarizing climate change beliefs


Most people rely on secondary sources for information, especially
the mass media; and some of these sources are affected by concerted campaigns
against policies to limit CO2 emissions, which promote beliefs about climate
change that are not well-supported by scientific evidence. U.S. media coverage
sometimes presents aspects of climate change that are uncontroversial among the
research community as being matters of serious scientific debate. Such factors
likely play a role in the increasing polarization of public beliefs about
climate change, along lines of political ideology, that has been observed in
the United States.

~ The National Academies

 [America's Climate Choices: A Report by The National Academies   |  Brief Report]

[Commentary at Climate Progress]



The Latest Climate Numbers

Global temperature data in this publication was released May 16, 2011 by the
NOAA National Climatic Data Center.   Data for time periods within the past year are preliminary.


Global Temperature Synopsis

Global Surface Temperature  |  April

April 1880 - April 2011 




Warmest or

(Next Warmest)1880



(132 Years) 




+0.59 °C 

7th Warmest 

April 2010

+0.78 °C  

Global Ocean 

+0.39 °C  

11th Warmest 

April 2010

+0.57 °C 

Global Land 

+1.12 °C  

6th Warmest 

April 2007

+1.44 °C  



NOAA NCDC  |  April 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



Infographic: 97 out of 100 climate experts think humans are causing global warming

This graphic was created by John Cook of Skeptical Science.

Read more about it at the Skeptical Science website.   



Blue Carbon

Using Nature to help stabilize global climate

Research from the Sierra Club of British Columbia 

“Eelgrass beds and salt marshes effectively bury carbon for thousands of years,”
says Sierra Club BC’s science advisor, Colin Campbell, PhD. “This is probably
the most efficient carbon removal mechanism on Earth – and we should make good
use of it while we still have a chance to avoid the worst climate scenarios.”


Learn more about Blue Carbon from the Sierra Club of British Columbia . . .

REPORT:  Blue Carbon - British Columbia

WEB PAGE: Blue Carbon: Solutions that Work 


This "Blue Carbon" exceeds the carbon fixed and stored by plants on land ("Green Carbon") each year.  While perhaps lacking the conservation glamour of rainforests, it is a compelling fact that "the lon-term sequestration of carbon by 1 km2 of mangrove area is equivalent to that occurring in 50 km of tripical rainforest.

. . . .

Unlike grandiose geo-engineering solutions, natural carbon sinks encourage a far more benign form of intervention, namely preservation, restoration, enhancement and expansion of existing Blue Carbon systems. 

Excerpts from Blue Carbon - British Columbia
by Colin Campbell, Science Advisor, Sierra Club BC


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


Climate Scientists are in the House

In this edgy video, Australian climate scientists trash talk climate denialists.

this unmitigated-feedback version may offend some viewers.


Read what others are writing about this video:

No More Mr.Nice Guys (video lyrics are posted here)  | Skeptical Science

Aussie Climate Scientists Go Gangsta  |  Care2


Climate Communications

America’s Climate Choice Studies   |  The National Academies 

WASHINGTON — Warning that the risk of dangerous climate change impacts is growing with every ton of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere, a National Research Council committee today reiterated the pressing need for substantial action to limit the magnitude of climate change and to prepare to adapt to its impacts. The nation's options for responding to the risks posed by climate change are analyzed in a new report and the final volume in America's Climate Choices, a series of studies requested by Congress. The committee that authored the report included not only renowned scientists and engineers but also economists, business leaders, an ex-governor, a former congressman, and other policy experts.

"The goal of the America's Climate Choices studies is to ensure that climate decisions are informed by the best possible scientific knowledge, analysis, and advice, both now and in the future," said committee chair Albert Carnesale, chancellor emeritus and professor, University of California, Los Angeles.

The new report reaffirms that the preponderance of scientific evidence points to human activities -- especially the release of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere -- as the most likely cause for most of the global warming that has occurred over the last several decades. This trend cannot be explained by natural factors such as internal climate variability or changes in incoming energy from the sun. The report adds that the impacts of climate change on human and natural systems can generally be expected to intensify with warming.


Global Event

A day to move beyond fossil fuels  |
Moving Planet is a worldwide rally to demand solutions to the climate crisis—a single day to move away from fossil fuels. Come on bike, on skates, on a board, or just on foot. For too long, our leaders have denied and delayed, compromised and caved. That era must come to an end: it's time to get moving on the climate crisis.

Come with your neighbors and your friends, your family and your co-workers. Come be part of something huge.

WHEN:     September 24, 2011

WHERE:   All over the world.

WHO:       Everyone!


Global Targets

Why 450 ppm is not a safe target  | Skeptical Science
A target of 450 parts per million (ppm) CO2 in the atmosphere is widely regarded as synonymous with keeping mean global temperature by 2100 to no more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels.  This is very misleading and dangerous.  For reasons set out below, achievement of that target, probably by 2030, is likely to result in mean global temperatures dangerously in excess of the predicted 2°C.



People and the Planet  |  Sir David Attenborough

Broadcaster and naturalist Sir David Attenborough presents the 2011 RSA President’s Lecture. The dangers facing the earth’s ecosystems are well known and the subject of great concern at all levels. Climate change is high on the list. But argues Sir David Attenborough, there is an underlying and associated cause – population growth.

U.N. Forecasts 10.1 Billion People by Century’s End  |  NY Times
The new report comes just ahead of a demographic milestone, with the world population expected to pass 7 billion in late October, only a dozen years after it surpassed 6 billion. Demographers called the new projections a reminder that a problem that helped define global politics in the 20th century, the population explosion, is far from solved in the 21st.  “Every billion more people makes life more difficult for everybody — it’s as simple as that,” said John Bongaarts, a demographer at the Population Council, a research group in New York. “Is it the end of the world? No. Can we feed 10 billion people? Probably. But we obviously would be better off with a smaller population.”Read
UN Forecasts 10.1 Billion People by Century’s End


Pretend Science

Idso tricks subvert science at pretend “CO2 Science” sites  |  Skeptical Science
On interpretations of the Medieval Warming Period:  Both and its sister site, the Science Skeptical Blog, use various methods or tricks to make the case for a global warm period during the medieval times. As can be seen with a critical look at the original papers and graphs, their conclusions don't hold water.  Get more background info at


Renewable Energy

Report on Renewable Energy Sources & Climate Change Mitigation  |  IPCC
The Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation (SRREN), agreed and released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on May 9th in Abu Dhabi, assesses existing literature on the future potential of renewable energy for the mitigation of climate change. It covers the six most important renewable energy technologies, as well as their integration into present and future energy systems. It also takes into consideration the environmental and social consequences associated with these technologies, the cost and strategies to overcome technical as well as non-technical obstacles to their application and diffusion. [Press Release] [Summary for Policy Makers (SPM)] [SRREN Generic Presentation (PDF)] [Media story in the London Guardian]

Renewables are about to be king  |  Edinburgh Scotsman
Renewables will overtake oil, gas and coal as the world's main energy source by 2025, according to a new survey of operators. More than 90 per cent of respondents believed that by 2025, renewables will be the most substantial energy source." 


Survival Studies

Biosphere 2 testing how humans can survive global warming.  |  The Australian
Two decades later, the only creatures inhabiting Biosphere 2 are cockroaches, nematodes, snails, crazy ants and assorted fish. Scientists are still using the facility, only now the focus is figuring out how we'll survive on our own warming planet. 

Of Mideast revolts and global warming  |  Climate Central
Was climate change one of the causes of the wave of popular protests and uprisings that has swept the Arab countries of North Africa and the Middle East since January? At first blush, the question looks absurd. But in fact the recent events offer a textbook example climate change as a 'threat multiplier.'


United Nations Climate

Gordon Brown calls for reform of UN and World Bank  |  London Guardian
Gordon Brown has called for the wholesale reform of the world's most powerful bodies, including the World Bank and United Nations, claiming they are unable to cope with the challenges of the 21st century. Existing bodies, he said, had specifically failed to meet the new challenge of climate change.


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


Gulf Stream could be threatened by Arctic flush | New Scientist
apid warming in the Arctic is creating a new and fast-growing pool of fresh water in the Arctic Ocean.

Thank you to Jack McGee (Vancouver, Canada) for recommending this
article which was previously featured by James Dines in the The Dines Letter.

The oceans tell an alarming story about climate | Livermore Independent
Oceanographer Robert Dunbar believes the oceans are a clear indicator of the state of the climate. The story they are telling is an ominous one.


Peak Coffee

Has the world reached "peak coffee" levels? | MarketPlace
Thanks to unusual temperatures and rainfall, coffee production is falling in some parts of the world, just as emerging markets like India and China are embracing the drink. 


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  May 9, 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.” 


0.59 W/m2
(± 0.15)

Global energy imbalance from rising atmospheric GHGs | 2005 - 2010

Source: Hansen et al. | Earth's Energy Balance and Implications | 2011
Also: J. Hansen | Storms of My Grandchildren p. 102 | 2009

1.99 ppm per year
parts per million

Atmospheric CO2  |  Average Annual Rise  |  April 2002 - 2011

April 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.”

 13.7 °C

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

 14.3 °C

Average Global Surface Temperature  |  April 2011

April 2011 is the 7th warmest April on record (since 1880).  The warmest April on record was in 2010.  

Preliminary data posted May 16, 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.”

 392.46 ppm

Atmospheric CO2  |  April 2010  |  Mauna Loa Observatory

Data posted by NOAA-ESRL as of May 9, 2011.

393.18 ppm

Atmospheric CO2  |  April 2011  |  Mauna Loa Observatory

Preliminary data reported May 9, 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 | May 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


Climate Triage and the "New Normal"  |  Huffington Post
In coming years, we are going to be faced with increasingly difficult decisions in what must now be called climate triage -- choices about who and what is going to be protected and saved, versus abandoned and lost. 


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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