Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

400 PPM

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Carbon Dioxide in Atmosphere Hits 400 PPM for First Time in Human History. From the New York Times writeup:

“It feels like the inevitable march toward disaster,” said Maureen E. Raymo, a Columbia University earth scientist.

From studying air bubbles trapped in Antarctic ice, scientists know that going back 800,000 years, the carbon dioxide level oscillated in a tight band, from about 180 parts per million in the depths of ice ages, to about 280 during the warm periods between. The evidence shows that global temperatures and CO2 levels are tightly linked.

For the entire period of human civilization, roughly 8,000 years, the carbon dioxide level was relatively stable near that upper bound. But the burning of fossil fuels has caused a 41 percent increase in the heat-trapping gas since the Industrial Revolution, a mere geological instant, and scientists say the climate is beginning to react, though they expect far larger changes in the future.

Written by gerrycanavan

May 10, 2013 at 2:02 pm

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