CO2 Levels - Very Scary Stuff


From the Washington Post today:

It was 84 degrees near the Arctic Ocean this weekend as carbon dioxide hit its highest level in human history

By Jason SamenowMay 14 at 9:53 AM

Over the weekend, the climate system sounded simultaneous alarms. Near the entrance to the Arctic Ocean in northwest Russia, the temperature surged to 84 degrees Fahrenheit (29 Celsius). Meanwhile, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere eclipsed 415 parts per million for the first time in human history.

By themselves, these are just data points. But taken together with so many indicators of an altered atmosphere and rising temperatures, they blend into the unmistakable portrait of human-induced climate change.

Saturday’s steamy 84-degree reading was posted in Arkhangelsk, Russia, where the average high temperature is around 54 this time of year. The city of 350,000 people sits next to the White Sea, which feeds into the Arctic Ocean’s Barents Sea.

In Koynas, a rural area to the east of Arkhangelsk, it was even hotter on Sunday, soaring to 87 degrees (31 Celsius). Many locations in Russia, from the Kazakhstan border to the White Sea, set record-high temperatures over the weekend, some 30 to 40 degrees (around 20 Celsius) above average. The warmth also bled west into Finland, which hit 77 degrees (25 Celsius) Saturday, the country’s warmest temperature of the season so far.

The abnormally warm conditions in this region stemmed from a bulging zone of high pressure centered over western Russia. This particular heat wave, while a manifestation of the arrangement of weather systems and fluctuations in the jet stream, fits into what has been an unusually warm year across the Arctic and most of the mid-latitudes.

In Greenland, for example, the ice sheet’s melt season began about a month early. In Alaska, several rivers saw winter ice break up on their earliest dates on record.

Across the Arctic overall, the extent of sea ice has hovered near a record low for weeks.

Data from the Japan Meteorological Agency show April was the second warmest on record for the entire planet.

These changes all have occurred against the backdrop of unremitting increases in carbon dioxide, which has now crossed another symbolic threshold.

Saturday’s carbon dioxide measurement of 415 parts per million at Hawaii’s Mauna Loa Observatory is the highest in at least 800,000 years and probably over 3 million years. Carbon dioxide levels have risen by nearly 50 percent since the Industrial Revolution.

The clip at which carbon dioxide has built up in the atmosphere has risen in recent years. Ralph Keeling, director of the program that monitors the gas at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, tweeted that its accumulation in the last year is “on the high end.”

Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that, along with the rise of several other such heat-trapping gases, is the primary cause of climate warming in recent decades, scientists have concluded.

Eighteen of the 19 warmest years on record for the planet have occurred since 2000, and we keep observing these highly unusual and often record-breaking high temperatures.

They won’t stop soon, but cuts to greenhouse emissions would eventually slow them down.

Comments (7)
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Rita / Bring Back Sophie 4 Real

Terrifying. Climate change leads to strife and war as people wrestle for resources. People can move the needle a bit on their own, but this is an area where governments really matter and they are all MIA, not just the US. SO far recession has been the most effective means of reducing CO2 output. Sad, as the Orange One says.

2 Likes Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Prim Rose

Pay close attention to what candidates are promising regarding global warming.

How high a priority is it, what plans/changes they believe should happen.

Health care, climate change are issues the pubs don't care about. Too complicated. You'd think they would have learned something from 2018.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

This is scary stuff. It's not like no one could have predicted it. Exxon did.

1 Like Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
vgkg Z-7 Va(Z-7)

#12?... I've lost count, maybe, but does it really matter anymore?

415 ppm...seems like only yesterday when we passed 400ppm.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The world we are handing to the future generations - we won't be here to hear their questions of why?

Who is looking out for their voices?

2 Likes Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

Our children and grandchildren are inheriting an earth that is even now past the tipping point, and which will in a few decades be a nightmare to inhabit in many parts of the world for people and animals. It will be a horrifically dangerous place, and the life we enjoy now will be forever gone. It amazes me that so few people are aware of this now when all the information is out there. Of course our present government would like to keep us in ignorance, so that a few can live a life of incredible luxury, but that will not help even them in the times to come.

2 Likes Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

This video is one hour long if you have the time.

After listening to this ep with Dr David Suzuki, you’ll never be the same again. The environmentalist, activist, professor of genetics and science broadcaster hits us with some home truths about what our future will look like if we continue to live the way we have been. What will life be like for our children and grandchildren? Can the damage we’ve done to the planet be reversed? Is extinction of the human race imminent?

We talk about population control, the importance of renewable energy and discuss what we can do right now in our own lives that can actually make a difference. This is for anyone who cares about the future of mankind.


Related Stories

Midcentury Style My Houzz: Added Space and Style for a 1960s Split Level
With a new second story and downstairs suite, custom touches and midcentury pieces, this Portland family home suits 3 generations
Full Story
Life How Much Stuff Is Enough?
Play the numbers game to streamline your belongings, for a neater home and a less-stressed you
Full Story
Life 12 Very Useful Things I've Learned From Designers
These simple ideas can make life at home more efficient and enjoyable
Full Story
Home Tech Save Your Decor — Hide Your Media Stuff
When you tuck boxes, wires and speakers into walls and ceilings, all you'll notice is your favorite shows or music
Full Story
Most Popular Togetherness Take 2: Is a Cohousing Community for You?
Missing that sense of connection? Consider the new breed of neighborhood with a communal bent
Full Story
Organizing Living With Less: Do You Have Too Much Stuff?
To help her clients pare back, a professional organizer asks them 3 questions about the things they own
Full Story
Housekeeping 21 Tips for Organizing Your Stuff
Restore order at home with these ideas for tidying up cupboards, shelves, doors and more
Full Story
Most Popular Why Google Just Paid $3.2 Billion for a Company That Makes Thermostats
Smart home technology just got a new champion — and everyone is speculating about the reasons
Full Story
My Houzz My Houzz: 2 Tools + 1 Resourceful Guy = Lots of Great ‘New’ Furniture
With scrap wood and a hands-on attitude, a San Francisco renter on a tight budget furnishes his bedroom and more
Full Story