400ppm is looking very likely this year: good reason to be concerned

There is increasing “chatter” that the atmospheric concentration of CO2 will pass 400 parts per million (ppm) this year. The Mauna Loa observatory has been tracking CO2 levels since the late 1950s. Note the trend:

co2_data_mloDoes it matter? In one sense 400ppm is an arbitrary number – however it is indicative of our civilisations failure to curtail green house gas emissions.

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47 thoughts on “400ppm is looking very likely this year: good reason to be concerned

  1. eric says:

    no wonder the population IS SOARING PEOPLE… that means MORE CARS in developing countries MORE COAL USE and ofcourse more AIR CONDITIONING shhhitt…..we are going to suffer soon…

  2. Sou says:

    Mauna Loa read 396.8 ppm for February. Last year it rose by 3.24 ppm from Feb to May, so it looks like it could hit 400 ppm this May (the seasonally adjusted trend will probably be just shy of 400 ppm).

  3. Astrostevo says:

    Guess many of you will already know of it but here’s :

    http://co2now.org/

    a good website called Co2 Now which lets you track the monthly carbon dioxide level and compare it and global temperature rises plus more. (They’ve also got a facebook page too.)

    Latest figure is 395.55 parts per million for January this year. I’d be surprised if we broke 400 ppm given the rises is usually (previously?) been only a couple of parts pm per year* but not all that surprised especially with some possible escalating feedbacks which is a real concern that could start taking things totally out of our hands. Its getting pretty grim for our collective futures now I fear.

    * Source : http://350.org/about/science

    “By now—and this is the second number—the planet has about 392 parts per million CO2 – and this number is rising by about 2 parts per million every year.”

    The “now” 392 level was quite a few years in the past and 350 ppm is NASA climatologist and leading expert Jim Hansen’s lower “safe” limit for CO2 level. Not good.

    • Eric Worrall says:

      Interesting you mention Hansen. Global temperatures are bumping along below Hansen’s scenario “C” – his extreme low end model of what would happen if all emissions of CO2 stop in the year 2000.

      http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/06/15/james-hansens-climate-forecast-of-1988-a-whopping-150-wrong/

      Has his prediction whopper taught him caution? Absolutely not – now days he does boiling oceans and the end of the biosphere.

      James Hansen – truly the alarmist’s alarmist.

      • Watts is for nutters. Hansen B is pretty good. And way, way better than any Watts predictions.

      • john byatt says:

        Actually with the long run from Hansen you can get some idea of CS , Hansen used a high 4.2DegC, had he used 3DegC he would have been smack on the money.

        This 4.2DegC though may yet be correct, it would not take much more positive feedback or drop in aerosols and bingo he could be very close, That we even want to continue and test if he is correct is paramount to lighting a match to see if your fuel drum is empty,

        you get a choice hansen or watts monckton with no evidence to back their positions

        CS still 2DegC to 4.5DegC best estimate 3DegC

  4. john byatt says:

    Watts is actually quite clever, he puts up his graph inferring a trend which it obviously is not, but that does not really matter to him, what matters is that useful irriots like eric will now tell their frinds and relatives that they have seen a NOAA graph which proves that Sea temps have stagnated,

    watts does not care that he makes an idiot of himself because the outcome of getting this nonsense into the public arena is achieved, think The Australian and the great 2013 Arctic recovery story,
    latest is o fcourse that Pachuri is now on their side, they just need to keep the confusion going, that is all they need to achieve

    • The National Post? Honestly. If you must read a crap newspaper use two ply.

    • Astrostevo says:

      Hmm .. If you can’t spell ‘Skeptical’ correctly I doubt you really are. Anyhow, that’s one survey from one dubious source. Other possibly better and more reliable surveys such as this one :

      http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/e2-wire/272969-poll-4-out-of-5-call-climate-change-a-serious-us-problem

      suggest otherwise. From there :

      “Four out of 5 people in the U.S. say global warming will be a big problem for the nation without action to reduce it, and a growing majority believe that temperatures are going up, a poll shows. The Associated Press-Gfk poll released Friday shows that 80 percent say the country faces a “serious” problem if nothing is done to reduce future warming.”

      Of course its not like the science depends on ephemeral opinion polls anyway and not like opinion polls now will matter as much as what the CO2 level is this year and in future years and decades to come.

    • Eric Worrall says:

      Actually it kindof does depend on opinion polls. If interest in climate seance withers much further, interest in the field will dry up, and climate scientists will get interesting jobs in other fields – flipping burgers and suchlike.

  5. Berbalang says:

    I would predict the April peak this year to be more like 399.2.

    Eric Worrall kind of reminds me of someone I know who was rather doubtful when I told him we had a tornado pass through town last year. This was despite the fact that a tree had fallen on his home and there were paths of destruction going off for many miles in two directions from there. To him it was all just a coincidence.

    • Eric Worrall says:

      If you could lend me your crystal ball which makes all this seem so past tense to you, so I could check its accuracy by say using it to pick next week’s lottery numbers, perhaps I’d find your position more convincing.

      • Berbalang says:

        No crystal ball needed, it’s like predicting the sun will rise tomorrow. The CO2 in the atmosphere peaks in April and is a bit over 3 ppm higher than it was in January. Of course this number is going up each year by over 2 ppm.

  6. Sou says:

    There was a competition going back in 2010 for people to guess when we’d reach 400 ppm. I voted April next year – and I think I guessed the earliest of everyone. Still think my guess isn’t going to be too far out unfortunately.

    http://web.archive.org/web/20110603130418/http://atmoz.org/blog/2010/03/29/400ppm/

    • Nick says:

      We’re at 395.5 now,maybe winter peak of 397/8 in April,drawdown over NH summer to 395/6 and rise again over fall/winter to 400 in April…yes Sou that looks realistic from visual extrapolation of current behavior

  7. Stuart Mathieson says:

    Eric! Are you hoping Gina will notice and offer you a real job?

  8. john byatt says:

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-02-26/se-qld-facing-more-floods-after-heavy-rain/4539700

    The rain is still coming in from the ocean, 18M only is now looking optimistic.for Gympie

    .

    • Nick says:

      Well,I’m happily surprised that a News Ltd organ has found a competent and pithy expert,and quoted him verbatim,rather than give the potty peer yet more inches.

      Monckton was again pretending to have published papers in learned journals the other day. He is reckless and shameless.

    • Nick says:

      I guess we should not be surprised that Monckton has been badly stung by remarks in that piece,made by Dr. Tony Press of UT.

      The crazy coot is accusing Press of fraud and scientific misconduct,and of being unfit to be employed by UT in any capacity.This froth is enabled by arch-idiot Jo Nova of course…any publicity is good publicity for both of them.

      It never occurs to Monckton that his disproportionate,prolix and self-indugently rambling responses to his critics actually further consolidates his reputation as being extremely eccentric,to put it delicately.

  9. john byatt says:

    400PPM is the medium level reached when past temperature was 2 to 3C above present,

    Your veggies were crap eric, we saw the photo

    if MET is correct next year will be a new record in the World met data .

    • Eric Worrall says:

      Thats a bit rude John – I never said I was an expert veggie grower. The zucchini didn’t do so well, but got some yummy eggplants, beans, and tomatoes for my effort.

    • Eric Worrall says:

      Actually John, you’re an ex QLD farmer aren’t you? Perhaps you could help – some of my tomato plants developed a nasty root like growth from the stems, any idea what it is, and how to treat it next time?

      • john byatt says:

        nematodes, dig them all out and do not use same soil again.

        if growing off the ground using new soil should cure it till next time

      • john byatt says:

        Unless you are just confusing the nodules that occur naturally, do the plants look sick?

      • john byatt says:

        put up a photo,lots of rain produce those nodules as well

      • They’re called adventitious roots. Extremely common. They form when there is a build up of auxin in the stem due to restricted vascular activity in the cambium. The most common cause is overwatering. You could have fusarium wilt or verticillium wilt but if the tops of the plants look fairly healthy that is unlikely. Less water and/or better drainage should fix it.

      • john byatt says:

        If they are root nodules rain and humid, then you would need to build up soil around them before the rain ends. if not they will wilt and die when the rain ends.

        stake them as well

      • Berbalang says:

        Cuttings from a tomato plant will root, so you can turn one tomato plant into a yard full of tomato plants. You can also germinate the seeds from a store bought tomato.

  10. Eric Worrall says:

    Cool, I can spend a little less of fertiliser for my garden – my veggies will grow more vigorously and yield more produce thanks to slightly higher CO2 levels.

    As for global temperature, not a lot has happened for 16 years, and if the MET is right, not a lot will happen for at least the next 4 years as well (and probably the next 4 years after that, etc.).

    So overall, a beneficial change.

    • Eric its called Global Warming not Eric Worrall’s Garden Warming – clues in the title.

    • john byatt says:

      Yes put less fertiliser on them eric, nothing like learning from experience

    • Nick says:

      Yes, your veggies may show a little more vigor than they did in the 1950s,Err-ic, but can you isolate the CO2 signal from the ones of seed character, growing period weather,nutrients and water?

      You are misunderstanding the MET release. It is a decadal forecast,not a four year one. The MET made no mention of annual or four-year expectations,and,though this will obviously surprise you,you cannot use their material any old way you like. Their ‘wiggly line’ is an ensemble result; do not be mislead by the apparent realism of wiggles,they are representative not literal. The projection they make is for the DECADE relative to the last DECADE. Clear?

      Just like those who deride probabilistic forecasts for a set period by judging them before the time period has elapsed,what you are doing is probably out of ignorance.

    • Eric Worrall says:

      Good point Nick, isolating the CO2 signal on my veggies is about as difficult as isolating the CO2 signal on global temperature.

      • Nick says:

        Yes,it is hard to extract the CO2 signal from a simple graphic…but not difficult when you understand the physics and ocean/atmosphere dynamics. Scientists are not working backwards from charts,rest assured.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        No, they use excessively complex models in which they have an exaggerated level of faith – considering how frequently the models have to be revised, and how regularly their predictions are wrong.

      • Nick says:

        Again out of ignorance, and as a rejectionist, you are expecting models to meet an irrational standard of accuracy that is completely unnecessary to determine their success. 0.16/decade obs? Wrong,its has to be 0.2C/decade to meet the Worrallian Standard for model/data comparison!!! Gee,even in 1896 Arrhenius’ simple model got the sign of the change right! He just got the time frame wrong because he couldn’t anticipate the exponential rise in populations and FF use.

    • Go and talk to your vegies Eric. Read to them every single comment you’ve made here at WtD. You’ll have the biggest and best vegies in the world.

    • Steve says:

      The percentage of Carbon dioxide in the air may not be the factor limiting the growth of your vegetables.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liebig%27s_law_of_the_minimum
      The law of the minimum states that states that growth is controlled not by the total amount of resources available, but by the scarcest resource (limiting factor).

    • Astrostevo says:

      Manure is great for growing veggies too but you wouldn’t want the whole world covered by too much and ever growing levels of it!

      As for the “not a lot happening in the last sixteen years” claim, did you realise that NASA has observed the hottest years ever in 2010 and 2005 and the hottest la Nina year ever was 2011 and the lowest ever Arctic sea ice was last year? Hmm..

      • Astrostevo says:

        PS. Eric Worrall ,you might want to take a look at this clip :

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g093lhtpEFo

        “The CO2 is Plant Food Crock” by Peter Sinclair aka Greenman3610. Heatwaves, floods, more extreme & unpredictable weather events such as storms and so on are not so good for plants – and increased CO2 helps weeds and pests as well as the plants we want.

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