HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » Latest Breaking News (Forum) » Climate Change: Carbon Di...
Introducing Discussionist: A new forum by the creators of DU

Thu May 31, 2012, 01:43 PM

Climate Change: Carbon Dioxide Levels In World's Air Reach 'Troubling Milestone'

Source: HuffingtonPost

WASHINGTON -- The world's air has reached what scientists call a troubling new milestone for carbon dioxide, the main global warming pollutant.

Monitoring stations across the Arctic this spring are measuring more than 400 parts per million of the heat-trapping gas in the atmosphere. The number isn't quite a surprise, because it's been rising at an accelerating pace. Years ago, it passed the 350 ppm mark that many scientists say is the highest safe level for carbon dioxide. It now stands globally at 395.

So far, only the Arctic has reached that 400 level, but the rest of the world will follow soon.

"The fact that it's 400 is significant," said Jim Butler, global monitoring director at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Earth System Research Lab in Boulder, Colo. "It's just a reminder to everybody that we haven't fixed this and we're still in trouble."

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/31/climate-change-carbon-dioxide-troubling-milestone_n_1558561.html

28 replies, 5649 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 28 replies Author Time Post
Reply Climate Change: Carbon Dioxide Levels In World's Air Reach 'Troubling Milestone' (Original post)
Purveyor May 2012 OP
BonnieJW May 2012 #1
FailureToCommunicate May 2012 #15
ErikJ May 2012 #2
alfredo May 2012 #5
glinda May 2012 #7
magical thyme May 2012 #14
alfredo May 2012 #16
solarman350 May 2012 #9
jtuck004 May 2012 #3
yellowcanine May 2012 #6
jtuck004 May 2012 #11
RushIsRot Jun 2012 #24
NickB79 Jun 2012 #20
jtuck004 Jun 2012 #22
raouldukelives May 2012 #4
Gregorian May 2012 #8
Uncle Joe May 2012 #10
truebrit71 May 2012 #12
RoccoR5955 May 2012 #13
Odin2005 May 2012 #17
harun May 2012 #19
NickB79 Jun 2012 #21
Marrah_G Jun 2012 #23
harun Jun 2012 #25
Marrah_G Jun 2012 #26
WriteWrong May 2012 #18
dipsydoodle Jun 2012 #27
Rhiannon12866 Jun 2012 #28

Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Thu May 31, 2012, 01:49 PM

1. They need to use different words!

Troubling, concerned, significant aren't going to cut it. People in this country are reactive not proactive. Words like catastrophic, on fire, epic, cataclysmic would be good for starters. Until Capitol Hill is burning, we won't see anyone lift a finger.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to BonnieJW (Reply #1)

Thu May 31, 2012, 05:51 PM

15. You are correct! It took scenes like this to get Congress to act on Dust Bowl relief




Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Thu May 31, 2012, 01:53 PM

2. Doomsday loop

The hotter it gets, the more air conditioning will be needed which uses a ton of electricity mostly produced from fossil fuels greatly increasing the CO2 concentration requiring MORE air conditioning increasing the concentration more ...and more and more.

In addition perhaps even much worse, they have recently discovered methane bubbles in shallow arctic waters. The warmth is thawing the ice allowing the ancient methane to be released in the arctic. THis will surely increase rapidly as it gets warmer.

Methane is 18 times stronger greenhouse gas than CO2.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ErikJ (Reply #2)

Thu May 31, 2012, 02:22 PM

5. A lot of methane is held in the permafrost. The permafrost is melting.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to alfredo (Reply #5)

Thu May 31, 2012, 02:28 PM

7. A class I took in 1980 taught by Scientists and Nasa

people told us that when/if the Permafrost melts it is a chain reaction like not being able to put out a massive fire. It feeds it's self. They said when that happens it is game over so where is the honesty and panic here in telling the world this and scrambling to either discover a way to deal with this or whatever? This totally sucks.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to glinda (Reply #7)

Thu May 31, 2012, 04:23 PM

14. because they know it's game over, so are scrambling

to save themselves and their families and servants. The rest of us they want to keep dumb and treading water. Or running on quicksand. Or whatever. Just out of their way.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to glinda (Reply #7)

Thu May 31, 2012, 08:04 PM

16. They say Venus is an example of runaway greenhouse gasses.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ErikJ (Reply #2)

Thu May 31, 2012, 02:43 PM

9. Methane is at least 21 times more effective at trapping heat in the atmosphere when compared to CO2

 

This post is just intended to add some support and depth to your claim:

Global Warming Potentials

The concept of a global warming potential (GWP) was developed to compare the ability of each greenhouse gas to trap heat in the atmosphere relative to another gas. The definition of a GWP for a particular greenhouse gas is the ratio of heat trapped by one unit mass of the greenhouse gas to that of one unit mass of CO2 over a specified time period.

As part of its scientific assessments of climate change, the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC) has published reference values for GWPs of several greenhouse gases. While the most current estimates for GWPs are listed in the IPCC's Third Assessment Report (TAR), EPA analyses use the 100-year GWPs listed in the IPCC's Second Assessment Report (SAR) to be consistent with the international standards under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) (IPCC, 1996). According to the SAR, methane is 21 times more effective at trapping heat in the atmosphere when compared to CO2 over a 100-year time period.

Reference Link:

http://www.epa.gov/outreach/scientific.html


Now, let's see what Wikipedia Claims About This:

Atmospheric methane

2011 methane concentration in the upper troposphere
Methane is created near the Earth's surface, primarily by microorganisms by the process of methanogenesis. It is carried into the stratosphere by rising air in the tropics. Uncontrolled build-up of methane in the atmosphere is naturally checked although human influence can upset this natural regulation by methane's reaction with hydroxyl radicals formed from singlet oxygen atoms and with water vapor. It has a net lifetime of about 10 years, and is primarily removed by conversion to carbon dioxide and water

Methane also affects the degradation of the ozone layer.
In addition, there is a large (but unknown) amount of methane in methane clathrates in the ocean floors as well as the Earth's crust. Most methane is the result of biological process called methanogenesis.
In 2010, methane levels in the Arctic were measured at 1850 nmol/mol, a level over twice as high as at any time in the previous 400,000 years. Historically, methane concentrations in the world's atmosphere have ranged between 300 and 400 nmol/mol during glacial periods commonly known as ice ages, and between 600 to 700 nmol/mol during the warm interglacial periods. It has a high global warming potential: 72 times that of carbon dioxide over 20 years, and 25 times over 100 years, and the levels are rising.

Methane in the Earth's atmosphere is an important greenhouse gas with a global warming potential of 25 compared to CO2 over a 100-year period (although accepted figures probably represents an underestimate). This means that a methane emission will have 25 times the effect on temperature of a carbon dioxide emission of the same mass over the following 100 years. Methane has a large effect for a brief period (a net lifetime of 8.4 years in the atmosphere), whereas carbon dioxide has a small effect for a long period (over 100 years). Because of this difference in effect and time period, the global warming potential of methane over a 20 year time period is 72. The Earth's atmospheric methane concentration has increased by about 150% since 1750, and it accounts for 20% of the total radiative forcing from all of the long-lived and globally mixed greenhouse gases (these gases don't include water vapour which is by far the largest component of the greenhouse effect). Usually, excess methane from landfills and other natural producers of methane is burned so CO2 is released into the atmosphere instead of methane, because methane is a more effective greenhouse gas. Recently, methane emitted from coal mines has been successfully utilized to generate electricity.

Reference Link:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methane

-----------
Set the World on fire already--in a "positive" feedback way!






Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Thu May 31, 2012, 02:02 PM

3. My tomatoes are smiling... n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to jtuck004 (Reply #3)

Thu May 31, 2012, 02:27 PM

6. Maybe not if they are choked out by weeds growing faster also.

Weeds respond to Carbon dioxide also.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to yellowcanine (Reply #6)

Thu May 31, 2012, 03:05 PM

11. Mulch. But they do have a bit of a leer. I swear I've seen that somewhere b4....

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to jtuck004 (Reply #11)

Fri Jun 1, 2012, 01:58 PM

24. Audrey! You're looking hungry!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to jtuck004 (Reply #3)

Fri Jun 1, 2012, 01:13 PM

20. Then you're exceedingly lucky

Because the extreme weather swings we've been seeing up here in MN this spring have meant 90F one day, then dropping to 60F the next, with torrential downpours of 4" in ONE DAY, followed by weeks of no rain and high winds to the point that dust clouds roll off of farm fields and obscure the roads.

Hope you have strong tomato cages and a reliable source of water.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to NickB79 (Reply #20)

Fri Jun 1, 2012, 01:25 PM

22. Having spent the first 50 years in Oklahoma, that just sounds normal to me.



I'm not decrying the problems, and I think we are crazy for not addressing this, but the world is changing, and I think we are far beyond anything but learning to work with what we have created for ourselves.

Part of the problem is that we spent the last 50 years building a country on the back of pollution, now we want to get all moral and tell the rest of the world they need to do something different, have less stuff.

Yeah, that's gonna work.

And coming from a place where we created the Dustbowl, and where tornadoes come through and level - and I mean level - 1/2 mile wide swaths of homes and people, where it can be 103 degrees for 3-4 weeks, with spikes to 110, weather extremes are a fact of life.

Not looking forward to what is coming.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Thu May 31, 2012, 02:20 PM

4. I'm glad it's not a big deal.

If it were I'd expect to see my leaders and people around me taking a keen interest in the continued existence of things like people, furry things, trees that kinda stuff.
Luckily they all say invest in the corporations assuring our high milestones and keep consuming as much as possible. All the cool kids are! Drive like bats out of hell in behemoths. Just hurtle around almost nonsensically and spew as much pollution as you can out of the tailpipe of your lives before you depart this mortal coil. Fly everywhere you can. Now! Grab lunch in Miami and dinner in New York. Ah well. You gotta feel for some people. They may lament not leaving behind a great American novel or an NFL rushing title to be remembered by but whenever someone in the future flips the pages in a book showing overflowing gardens and clean, clear waters filled with life they will certainly remember their legacy.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Thu May 31, 2012, 02:32 PM

8. When people realize it is based on their personal consumption, only then will it change.

Even if we engineer bridges to the renewable future, we still have huge numbers of people turning on to the modern lifestyle. China and India are still only in their beginning stages.

It's not somebody else's problem. You are in control of it. It means "not doing something". It is a problem, and it's going to take effort to change it.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Thu May 31, 2012, 03:03 PM

10. Kicked and recommended.

Thanks for the thread, Purveyor.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Thu May 31, 2012, 03:10 PM

12. Good thing it's all a myth...

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Thu May 31, 2012, 03:23 PM

13. This is just an opportunity

for big businesses to sell us cool, clean air.
WTF- they sell everything else, can capitalism is failing, due to the finite resources on the planet. They have to find something else that they can sell.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Thu May 31, 2012, 08:25 PM

17. Any chance we had at avoiding catastrophic change has come and gone.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Odin2005 (Reply #17)

Thu May 31, 2012, 11:15 PM

19. I have to agree. People need to plan how to survive. There will be no change to policies on this.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to harun (Reply #19)

Fri Jun 1, 2012, 01:14 PM

21. Doomsday prepping doesn't look so ridiculous now. nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to NickB79 (Reply #21)

Fri Jun 1, 2012, 01:34 PM

23. You can gain alot of useful knowledge from the shows

Skills are the important thing. I can now knit, crochet, can, garden and make soap My next skill to learn is processing and turning raw wool into yarn.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Marrah_G (Reply #23)

Fri Jun 1, 2012, 02:37 PM

25. Even a few years ago it would seem awful silly to say those those things but I too

can now make oil lamps out of clay, garden, grind grain, turn old electric motors in to wind turbines, charge batteries off of solar panels, drill a well with PVC pipes, compost all waste, basic welding and black smithing, etc.

All this from a Software Engineer .

More and more people are seeing they need to CYOA (Cover your own ass). I am definitely not one of these live in the woods the end is nigh types. Just hedging my bets lol.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to harun (Reply #25)

Fri Jun 1, 2012, 03:10 PM

26. I figure if I ever need the skills I will have them

And frankly, the learning part is something I enjoy! I am a single mom so if the economy/environment crashes, I need to be able to take care of myself and my boys

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Thu May 31, 2012, 08:42 PM

18. This is why corporations have to be people, so they can continue when all the people die...

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Sat Jun 2, 2012, 05:05 PM

27. Kick

.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Sat Jun 2, 2012, 06:18 PM

28. K&R! This is extremely important news!

It ought to be in the headlines everywhere, but the "liberal media" is more interested in reporting Mittens' latest faux pas...

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread