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The planet to heat faster, with record carbon in the atmosphere

globe-warmingCarbon pollution hits highest point in 3 million years http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-05-11/carbon-pollution-reaches-highest-point-in-3-million-years/4680276  By environment reporter Sarah Clarke Global greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have reached an ominous milestone that is unprecedented in human history.

graph-carbon-in-atmosphere

The world’s longest measure of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has reached 400 parts per million (PPM) for the first time in three million years. The daily CO2 level is measured at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii, which tracks greenhouse gases in the Northern Hemisphere.

The level has been measured at Mauna Loa since 1958, with data before that taken from ice core samples. The last time it reached this level, temperatures rose by between three and four degrees and sea levels were between five and 40 metres higher than today.

The rise in greenhouse gases corresponds with the extra carbon dioxide known to have been emitted by humans through fossil fuels and clearing forests.

Climate Institute chief executive John Connor says greenhouse gas concentrations have increased by about 40 per cent since the industrial revolution. ”So there’s a clear trend and a dangerous trend in carbon pollution,” he said.

Mr Connor says the worrying trend puts the planet on a path towards dangerous climate change. ”This matters because the extra heat is loading the dice for even more dangerous weather extremes and climate risk,” he said. ”We’ve already seen a lot of those with a warming of around one degree warming of average levels. ”We’re heading towards two to three and four and if you think the weather extremes have been dangerous and unsafe, then you ain’t seen nothing yet.”

May 11, 2013 - Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change

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