Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Carbon dioxide soars to record-breaking levels not seen in 800,000 years

Carbon dioxide soars to record-breaking levels not seen in 800,000 years, Fox News, 26 May 19, There is more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere than there has been for 800,000 years — since before our species evolved.

On Saturday (May 11), the levels of the greenhouse gas reached 415 parts per million (ppm), as measured by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii. Scientists at the observatory have been measuring atmospheric carbon dioxide levels since 1958. But because of other kinds of analysis, such as those done on ancient air bubbles trapped in ice cores, they have data on levels reaching back 800,000 years. [8 Ways Global Warming Is Already Changing the World]

During the ice ages, carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere were around 200 ppm. And during the interglacial periods — the planet is currently in an interglacial period — levels were around 280 ppm, according to NASA.

But every story has its villains: Humans are burning fossil fuels, causing the release of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, which are adding an extra blanket on an already feverish planet. So far, global temperatures have risen by about 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit (1 degree Celsius) since the 19th century or pre-industrial times, according to a special report released last year by the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change……

“We keep breaking records, but what makes the current levels of CO2 in the atmosphere most troubling is that we are now well into the ‘danger zone’ where large tipping points in the Earth’s climate could be crossed,” said Jonathan Overpeck, the dean of the School for Environment and Sustainability at the University of Michigan. “This is particularly true when you factor in the additional warming potential of the other greenhouse gases, including methane, that are now in the atmosphere.”

The last time atmospheric carbon dioxide levels were this high, way before Homo sapienswalked the planet, the Antarctic Ice Sheet was much smaller and sea levels were up to 65 feet (20 meters) higher than they are today, Overpeck told Live Science.

“Thus, we could soon be at the point where comparable reductions in ice sheet size, and corresponding increases in sea level, are both inevitable and irreversible over the next few centuries,” he said. Smaller ice sheets, in turn, might reduce the reflectivity of the planet and potentially accelerate the warming even more, he added…….. https://www.foxnews.com/science/carbon-dioxide-soars-to-record-breaking-levels-not-seen-in-800000-years

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May 27, 2019 - Posted by | General News

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