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Sun May 1, 2016, 11:34 AM

For April 2016, the average weekly increase in CO2 levels compared with April 2015 is 4.16 ppm.

As I've remarked many times in this space, the year 2015 was the worst year ever recorded at Mauna Loa's carbon dioxide observatory for increases in carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, at 3.05 ppm.

Right now, if trends continue, 2016 will blow that level away.

Something very, very, very, very disturbing is happening if the Mauna Loa observatory's CO[sub]2[/sub] measurements are correct.

For clarity, I will repeat some text from one of my earlier posts, showing how I store and analyze this data available from the Mauna Loa observatory's website's data tab:

At the Mauna Loa carbon dioxide observatory website, they have a data page which compares the averages for each week of the year with the same week of the previous year.

The data goes back to 1974, and comprises 2,090 data points.

I import this data into a spreadsheet I maintain each week, and calculate the weekly increases over the previous year. I rank the data for the increases from worst to best, the worst data point being 4.67 ppm over the previous year, which was recorded during the week ending September 6, 1998, when much of the rain forest of Southeast Asia was burning when fires set to clear the forests for palm oil plantations got out of control during unusually dry weather. Six of the worst data points ever recorded occurred in 1998 during this event, another was recorded in the January following that event.

Of the twenty worst data points ever recorded out of 2090 two of them have occurred in the last four weeks. The week ending January 31, 2016 produced a result of a 4.35 ppm of increase. The week just passed, that ending, 2/14/2016, produced a result of 3.79 ppm increase, tying it for the aforementioned week in January 1999, that ending on January 24, 1999, and that of January 2, 2011.

Of the twenty highest points recorded, 9 have occurred in the last 5 years, 10 in the last 10 years.

It's looking very bad these last few weeks at the Mauna Loa carbon dioxide observatory.

The data now comprises an even 2100 data points. Of the ten worst ever recorded, five have occurred in 2016. Two have been in the last four weeks or released data (up to April 24, 2016). The average for the last two weeks is a whopping 4.16 ppm.

Of the 25 worst data points ever recorded, 7 have come in 2016, 11 have occurred in the last 5 years, and 13 in the last 10 years. Of the 12 points not in the last ten years, seven of them occurred in 1998 when fires designed to clear rain forest for palm oil plantations (so we could have "renewable" biodiesel) in Southeast Asia went out of control and burned vast stretches of those forests in Indonesia and Malyasia.

It would seem that whatever it is we think we're doing about climate change, it isn't working.

If any of this disturbs you, don't worry, be happy. Iberdola Renewable Energy is building 15 wind turbines on the ridgeline of Green Mountain National Forest. Even if the last trillion dollars sunk into wind energy in the last ten years has had zero effect on climate change, wishing always trumps reality.

Enjoy your Sunday afternoon.

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Reply For April 2016, the average weekly increase in CO2 levels compared with April 2015 is 4.16 ppm. (Original post)
NNadir May 2016 OP
LonePirate May 2016 #1
GliderGuider May 2016 #2
NNadir May 2016 #3

Response to NNadir (Original post)

Sun May 1, 2016, 12:17 PM

1. This is the most frightening news I will read all day.

I wonder if the planet is reaching its capacity to absorb all of the CO2 which we're producing.

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Response to NNadir (Original post)

Sun May 1, 2016, 12:50 PM

2. James Curran (ex-head of the Scottish EPA) thinks the world's carbon sinks have saturated.



I had an email exchange with him when I requested a copy of the paper in order to see his methodology. He said this is his "Oh shit" moment.

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Response to GliderGuider (Reply #2)

Sun May 1, 2016, 03:20 PM

3. Thank you for that post. It is certainly reasonable to expect. A widely cited paper from 2006...

...discussed saturation feedbacks. If you are interested, it is here: Climate–Carbon Cycle Feedback Analysis: Results from the C4MIP Model Intercomparison

It has been cited more than 1900 times.

A more recent publication touching on this situation is here: Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A 2013 371 20120006

From a purely chemical sense, one would expect saturation of the ocean - the main CO2 sink - would occur at lower pH, and the pH of the ocean, while it still remains basic, is in fact falling.

CO2 is less soluble in water at higher temperatures as well. This may also have bearing on the deteriorating situation.

I suspect that the rapid increase is partially tied to these kinds of effects, but I am also certain that we have made no headway whatsoever in addressing the increase in the use of dangerous fossil fuels.

Thanks again. Have a nice evening.

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