Earth CO2 Levels Break New Record High

Whether you believe there is such a thing as climate change or not there is no credible dispute over the fact that something drastic is happening to the atmosphere and it doesn’t take a knowledge of The Paris Agreement or the fact that every single country that agreed to reduce carbon emissions (CO2) has violated their agreed goals every year.

The major evidence for this is decades of measurements made at the top of Mauna Loa volcano on the big island of the Hawaii chain of volcanic islands.

CO2 Levels Increasing

First instituted by Charles David Keeling, Ralph Keeling’s father, in the 1950s the CO2 measurements were the very first regular monitoring of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and began the serious start of scientific investigation of how we are changing the climate.

The measurements are shown in The Keeling Chart and, not surprisingly, it shows that the levels are increasing year by year but even worse, the rate of increase is increasing.

That is what is referred to as an exponential increase and is REALLY bad news. These results show that not only is climate change likely to become worse but once CO2 enters the atmosphere it remains for years ever increasing the greenhouse effect.

Since weather patterns change over the year and carbon consumption changes in a regular pattern highest in the Winter/Spring time frame the Keeling Curve is not a straight line but a zig-zag which keeps having higher highs and higher lows.

The Keeling Curve Hits 420 PPM

Courtesy Scripps Institution of Oceanography

On February 3rd the Mauna Loa instruments detected the highest concentration in history at 426.5 parts per million (ppm). Several later readings were also over the previous 425 ppm levels.

Yearly Peak

But the peak almost every year is almost always in May and this year there was an atmospheric change which brought more northern upper atmosphere air to the sensors so the sudden jump out of season was easily explained.

Unfortunately, the readings continued their upward trajectory.

It is important when an anomalous piece of datum shows up in scientific measurements that they are explained so there is no question of other readings being inaccurate.

Most carbon dioxide pollution comes from burning fossil fuels, cement-making and clearing forests but almost one quarter of the CO2 ends up lingering in the atmosphere.

One quarter of the CO2 emitted each year is absorbed by oceans which is not good news because it changes the chemistry of the water by making it slightly more acetic.

Another one third is absorbed on the land mostly in green plants.

CO2 now makes up 53% higher than before industrialization.

CO2 measurements at Mauna Loa. Keeling Chart. video screenshot.
CO2 measurements at Mauna Loa. Keeling Chart. Scripps Oceanography video screenshot.

Major Experiment

This is a major experiment we are conducting on the only place we know of that supports human life and evidence from ice cores and other sources show this is the highest CO2 level in more than 3 million years.

Three million years ago Manhattan island and virtually every square foot of Florida were under water and the global temperature was at least 3 degrees C warmer.

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by John McCormick, Member, Overseas Press Club of America