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Sharp rise in CO2 levels recorded

By David Shukman
BBC science correspondent

US climate scientists have recorded a significant rise in the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, pushing it to a new record level.

BBC News has learned the latest data shows CO2 levels now stand at 381 parts per million (ppm) - 100ppm above the pre-industrial average.

The research indicates that 2005 saw one of the largest increases on record - a rise of 2.6ppm.

The figures are seen as a benchmark for climate scientists around the globe.

The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa) has been analysing samples of air taken from all over the world, including America's Rocky Mountains.

The chief carbon dioxide analyst for Noaa says the latest data confirms a worrying trend that recent years have, on average, recorded double the rate of increase from just 30 years ago.

"We don't see any sign of a decrease; in fact, we're seeing the opposite, the rate of increase is accelerating," Dr Pieter Tans told the BBC.

The precise level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is of global concern because climate scientists fear certain thresholds may be "tipping points" that trigger sudden changes.

The UK government's chief scientific adviser, Professor Sir David King, said the new data highlighted the importance of taking urgent action to limit carbon emissions.

"Today we're over 380 ppm," he said. "That's higher than we've been for over a million years, possibly 30 million years. Mankind is changing the climate."
 
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i think you've got your tin hat on too tight. if you continue being paranoid you will go senile in exactly 6 years, 9 months, 12 days, 18 hours, and 41 minutes. but of course the end of the world is far sooner than that so continue on with your bad self.
 

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Maybe he's right. I flew today [Saskatoon :( ] and I sure wasn't inhaling oxygen on the flight. :devillook
 

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I've read some study that said if the oceans heat up by a couple degrees, which is expected to pappen in near future, huge deposits of methane gas trapped on ocean floors are going to expand and release into atmosphere, accelerating the green house effect friggin almost 'day after tommorow' style.

I hope there is no validity to it, though the rational side of me sais these guys are propably right...I'm buying a house on a high ground...just to be on a safe side.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Jester666 said:
I've read some study that said if the oceans heat up by a couple degrees, which is expected to pappen in near future, huge deposits of methane gas trapped on ocean floors are going to expand and release into atmosphere, accelerating the green house effect friggin almost 'day after tommorow' style.

I hope there is no validity to it, though the rational side of me sais these guys are propably right...I'm buying a house on a high ground...just to be on a safe side.
this is what is already happening in the artic regions of canada, alaska and russia. the permafrost is rapidly melting and releasing co2 and ch4 (methane).

on the bright side we will need less natural gas to heat our homes...:banghead
 

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radmtnbkr "Today we're over 380 ppm said:
Yes, and mankind was totally around at that time recording things! We have only been truly recording shit *reliably* for about the last 150 years! We really don't know shit about cycles in the environment. You know, I like your posts because it makes people think and that is a good thing. People might stop and say "I think I will walk/take the bike, instead of that big ole SUV today. Again a good thing, but holy shit, this FUD sometimes has to stop and people have to realize that while this *may* be true, we have only been recording for a VERY little time. To come up with conclusions like that just really makes me have to shout out just this once!
 
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its cuz of paintballers and guys with replica BB pistols with those CO2 catridges
 

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SnoDragon said:
Yes, and mankind was totally around at that time recording things! We have only been truly recording shit *reliably* for about the last 150 years! We really don't know shit about cycles in the environment. You know, I like your posts because it makes people think and that is a good thing. People might stop and say "I think I will walk/take the bike, instead of that big ole SUV today. Again a good thing, but holy shit, this FUD sometimes has to stop and people have to realize that while this *may* be true, we have only been recording for a VERY little time. To come up with conclusions like that just really makes me have to shout out just this once!
No, the C02 levels have never been this high, even the ice core atmosphere samples (which are prone to some systematical error) have nothing on record that goes back millions of years which would indicate that this is a cyclical phenomena (unlike earth temps which go up and down all the time). Not to say that this CANT happen, but that going that far back in time without evidence as such will surely decrease the odds.

Either way, mankind will adapt, or die.
 

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SnoDragon said:
Yes, and mankind was totally around at that time recording things! We have only been truly recording shit *reliably* for about the last 150 years! We really don't know shit about cycles in the environment. You know, I like your posts because it makes people think and that is a good thing. People might stop and say "I think I will walk/take the bike, instead of that big ole SUV today. Again a good thing, but holy shit, this FUD sometimes has to stop and people have to realize that while this *may* be true, we have only been recording for a VERY little time. To come up with conclusions like that just really makes me have to shout out just this once!
No, there were no humans to keep record around that time.... BUT scientist take samples of air trapped deep in ice at the south/north pole to analyze and approximate levels of chemicals in the air hundreds of thousand, if not millions years ago.
 
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made Man said:
No, there were no humans to keep record around that time.... BUT scientist take samples of air trapped deep in ice at the south/north pole to analyze and approximate levels of chemicals in the air hundreds of thousand, if not millions years ago.
yeah but they dont even know how old the earth is. they say millions of years to support the theory of evolution, yet carbon (or other radio decay method) dating (done in blind and double blind studies) have been shown that someone is hiding something.
if they wanted to do something about greenhouse gas emmisions they would put cows under a dome. they are by far the leading producers of all that is enviromentally evil.
 

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my geo prof was talking about how co2 molecules and other pollutants provide more nucleii for water droplets, which means the average water droplet size is smaller and therefore has a higher albedo (reflects more energy to space). He was also talking about studies right now finding that carbon mitigation (factories having to plant enough trees to abosorb as much carbon as they release) actually might raise global temps because the albedo of the trees is much lower than the ground they are planted in as well as mitigating the effect of the carbon in increasing the albedo of clouds.
 

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matty67 said:
yeah but they dont even know how old the earth is. they say millions of years to support the theory of evolution, yet carbon (or other radio decay method) dating (done in blind and double blind studies) have been shown that someone is hiding something.
if they wanted to do something about greenhouse gas emmisions they would put cows under a dome. they are by far the leading producers of all that is enviromentally evil.
... did you even READ what you just wrote???

We know the earth's age. It's 4.5 Billion Years old. The oldest rocks in the world are 3.8 Billion years old, it's called the Acasta Gneiss, it's from the Canadian Shield, there's a piece of it sitting in the Museum of the Earth at UBC, you can go touch it if you want.

Carbon dating has nothing to do with double blind studies, we're not doing Stats here, chief. There's no bias or placebo effect :rolleyes
A "double-blind carbon date" would mean that the scientist didn't know what he was measuring, nor the "subject" (in this case the rock). Um...... riiight
Carbon dating is only reliable to a certain point because it requires the presence of some type of organic matter.
Other radioactive decay dating methods, like Rb-Sr (Rubidium-Strontium) and Potassium Argon, are good for much older dates. Yes there is a degree of error +/- a few million years, but that's fairly tiny in the grand scheme of things.
And what has shown that who is hiding something?? Did you just make that up?

Ok, just had to get that off my chest.
The rest of you may continue to talk sense :)
 

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mikeiscool said:
my geo prof was talking about how co2 molecules and other pollutants provide more nucleii for water droplets, which means the average water droplet size is smaller and therefore has a higher albedo (reflects more energy to space). He was also talking about studies right now finding that carbon mitigation (factories having to plant enough trees to abosorb as much carbon as they release) actually might raise global temps because the albedo of the trees is much lower than the ground they are planted in as well as mitigating the effect of the carbon in increasing the albedo of clouds.
True, those molecules are good cloud condensation nuclei. Yes, potentially more droplets can form, but the average size of water droplets can't really get smaller. It's not really a matter of the same amount of water spread between more droplets. Droplets are a certain size due to their vapor pressure (I won't get into it), and a smaller water droplet is harder to keep together. Long story short, you won't form more smaller droplets. What we do get is haze and smog/fog.

Albedo is a measure of the ability of a surface to reflect sunlight. The albedo difference between trees and ground depends on the type of ground (plowed, grassy), but you're right, generally forest has lower albedo than bare earth. However, to cause a noticeable effect, you'd need a LOT of forest. The ocean is basically the controlling factor in all that. It's a huge heat sink/ circulation system.

Ultimately, it's our constant pumping of pollutants in to the atmosphere that's gonna screw us. Primarily, the burning of coal in the generation of electricity. A HUGE portion of the USA's power comes from coal. We in BC have something to be proud of, as NONE of our power comes from coal. Ontario is a bit worse as it has quite a few coal burning power plants, but lots of their power is nuclear (though thats a whole other can of worms). Countries undergoing huge industrial booms, like China, are burning a CRAP load of coal, as coal is integral in the production of steel. All this is releasing a LOT of CO2 into the atmosphere, as well as SO2 which later combines with sulphur to give us wonderfull tasty acid rain. Woohoo.

I really hope we can break the Hydrocarbon choke hold and get some new energy sources going. But hell, I don't think it's gonna be easy...
 

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Imagine what chemists must be doing right now... probably running around and screaming their heads off seeing all of us pretty much WASTING all those hydrocarbons which can be used to create ANYTHING.
 
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no way.......

The world is slowly disolving itself so have as much fun and ride a new bike as much as you can... Enjoy life stop wasting time and live it like it was the last..
Levels of all kinds of toxins are on the rise they get into our food water and everything else... We own --- bodies ---


Thus forget about co2 levels and be worried about tomorrows fresh :coffee


My only thought on this is freaking vancouver and surrounding area traffic??? hehehhe

I really hope the world busts its nuts out and we all fry to death. We been screwing with it for so long its time for it to kick back don't you think! Im not tree hugger in fact i will cut it down but i think we live in a really screwed reality./.
 

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k_vist said:
True, those molecules are good cloud condensation nuclei. Yes, potentially more droplets can form, but the average size of water droplets can't really get smaller. It's not really a matter of the same amount of water spread between more droplets. Droplets are a certain size due to their vapor pressure (I won't get into it), and a smaller water droplet is harder to keep together. Long story short, you won't form more smaller droplets. What we do get is haze and smog/fog.
My prof actually specializes in measuring the albedos of clouds through satellitle imagery and he says that clouds in the northern hemisphere are significantly brighter than those in the southern hemisphere only because of larger amounts of pollution here.

k_vist said:
Albedo is a measure of the ability of a surface to reflect sunlight. The albedo difference between trees and ground depends on the type of ground (plowed, grassy), but you're right, generally forest has lower albedo than bare earth.
I used the term albedo because it's a more generally understood but I really meant emissivity/absorptivity for which trees are highly reflective from Near IR up because they can't use that for photosynthesis and don't want the extra heat energy.

The study I mentioned is still on-going. I wasn't trying to say those results have been found to be true, just that they may be and that carbon mitigation policies might actually be causing results counter to what their designers intended.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Climate Expert Says NASA Tried to Silence Him

By ANDREW C. REVKIN
Published: January 29, 2006

The top climate scientist at NASA says the Bush administration has tried to stop him from speaking out since he gave a lecture last month calling for prompt reductions in emissions of greenhouse gases linked to global warming.

The scientist, James E. Hansen, longtime director of the agency's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, said in an interview that officials at NASA headquarters had ordered the public affairs staff to review his coming lectures, papers, postings on the Goddard Web site and requests for interviews from journalists.

Dr. Hansen said he would ignore the restrictions. "They feel their job is to be this censor of information going out to the public," he said.

Dean Acosta, deputy assistant administrator for public affairs at the space agency, said there was no effort to silence Dr. Hansen. "That's not the way we operate here at NASA," Mr. Acosta said. "We promote openness and we speak with the facts."

He said the restrictions on Dr. Hansen applied to all National Aeronautics and Space Administration personnel. He added that government scientists were free to discuss scientific findings, but that policy statements should be left to policy makers and appointed spokesmen.

Mr. Acosta said other reasons for requiring press officers to review interview requests were to have an orderly flow of information out of a sprawling agency and to avoid surprises. "This is not about any individual or any issue like global warming," he said. "It's about coordination."

Dr. Hansen strongly disagreed with this characterization, saying such procedures had already prevented the public from fully grasping recent findings about climate change that point to risks ahead.

"Communicating with the public seems to be essential," he said, "because public concern is probably the only thing capable of overcoming the special interests that have obfuscated the topic."

Dr. Hansen, 63, a physicist who joined the space agency in 1967, directs efforts to simulate the global climate on computers at the Goddard Institute in Morningside Heights in Manhattan.

Since 1988, he has been issuing public warnings about the long-term threat from heat-trapping emissions, dominated by carbon dioxide, that are an unavoidable byproduct of burning coal, oil and other fossil fuels. He has had run-ins with politicians or their appointees in various administrations, including budget watchers in the first Bush administration and Vice President Al Gore.

In 2001, Dr. Hansen was invited twice to brief Vice President Dick Cheney and other cabinet members on climate change. White House officials were interested in his findings showing that cleaning up soot, which also warms the atmosphere, was an effective and far easier first step than curbing carbon dioxide.

He fell out of favor with the White House in 2004 after giving a speech at the University of Iowa before the presidential election, in which he complained that government climate scientists were being muzzled and said he planned to vote for Senator John Kerry.

But Dr. Hansen said that nothing in 30 years equaled the push made since early December to keep him from publicly discussing what he says are clear-cut dangers from further delay in curbing carbon dioxide.

In several interviews with The New York Times in recent days, Dr. Hansen said it would be irresponsible not to speak out, particularly because NASA's mission statement includes the phrase "to understand and protect our home planet."

He said he was particularly incensed that the directives had come through telephone conversations and not through formal channels, leaving no significant trails of documents.

Dr. Hansen's supervisor, Franco Einaudi, said there had been no official "order or pressure to say shut Jim up." But Dr. Einaudi added, "That doesn't mean I like this kind of pressure being applied."

The fresh efforts to quiet him, Dr. Hansen said, began in a series of calls after a lecture he gave on Dec. 6 at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco. In the talk, he said that significant emission cuts could be achieved with existing technologies, particularly in the case of motor vehicles, and that without leadership by the United States, climate change would eventually leave the earth "a different planet."

The administration's policy is to use voluntary measures to slow, but not reverse, the growth of emissions.

After that speech and the release of data by Dr. Hansen on Dec. 15 showing that 2005 was probably the warmest year in at least a century, officials at the headquarters of the space agency repeatedly phoned public affairs officers, who relayed the warning to Dr. Hansen that there would be "dire consequences" if such statements continued, those officers and Dr. Hansen said in interviews.

Among the restrictions, according to Dr. Hansen and an internal draft memorandum he provided to The Times, was that his supervisors could stand in for him in any news media interviews.

Mr. Acosta said the calls and meetings with Goddard press officers were not to introduce restrictions, but to review existing rules. He said Dr. Hansen had continued to speak frequently with the news media.

But Dr. Hansen and some of his colleagues said interviews were canceled as a result.

In one call, George Deutsch, a recently appointed public affairs officer at NASA headquarters, rejected a request from a producer at National Public Radio to interview Dr. Hansen, said Leslie McCarthy, a public affairs officer responsible for the Goddard Institute.

Citing handwritten notes taken during the conversation, Ms. McCarthy said Mr. Deutsch called N.P.R. "the most liberal" media outlet in the country. She said that in that call and others, Mr. Deutsch said his job was "to make the president look good" and that as a White House appointee that might be Mr. Deutsch's priority.

But she added: "I'm a career civil servant and Jim Hansen is a scientist. That's not our job. That's not our mission. The inference was that Hansen was disloyal."

Normally, Ms. McCarthy would not be free to describe such conversations to the news media, but she agreed to an interview after Mr. Acosta, at NASA headquarters, told The Times that she would not face any retribution for doing so.

Mr. Acosta, Mr. Deutsch's supervisor, said that when Mr. Deutsch was asked about the conversations, he flatly denied saying anything of the sort. Mr. Deutsch referred all interview requests to Mr. Acosta.

Ms. McCarthy, when told of the response, said: "Why am I going to go out of my way to make this up and back up Jim Hansen? I don't have a dog in this race. And what does Hansen have to gain?"

Mr. Acosta said that for the moment he had no way of judging who was telling the truth. Several colleagues of both Ms. McCarthy and Dr. Hansen said Ms. McCarthy's statements were consistent with what she told them when the conversations occurred.

"He's not trying to create a war over this," said Larry D. Travis, an astronomer who is Dr. Hansen's deputy at Goddard, "but really feels very strongly that this is an obligation we have as federal scientists, to inform the public."

Dr. Travis said he walked into Ms. McCarthy's office in mid-December at the end of one of the calls from Mr. Deutsch demanding that Dr. Hansen be better controlled.

In an interview on Friday, Ralph J. Cicerone, an atmospheric chemist and the president of the National Academy of Sciences, the nation's leading independent scientific body, praised Dr. Hansen's scientific contributions and said he had always seemed to describe his public statements clearly as his personal views.

"He really is one of the most productive and creative scientists in the world," Dr. Cicerone said. "I've heard Hansen speak many times and I've read many of his papers, starting in the late 70's. Every single time, in writing or when I've heard him speak, he's always clear that he's speaking for himself, not for NASA or the administration, whichever administration it's been."

The fight between Dr. Hansen and administration officials echoes other recent disputes. At climate laboratories of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, for example, many scientists who routinely took calls from reporters five years ago can now do so only if the interview is approved by administration officials in Washington, and then only if a public affairs officer is present or on the phone.

Where scientists' points of view on climate policy align with those of the administration, however, there are few signs of restrictions on extracurricular lectures or writing.

One example is Indur M. Goklany, assistant director of science and technology policy in the policy office of the Interior Department. For years, Dr. Goklany, an electrical engineer by training, has written in papers and books that it may be better not to force cuts in greenhouse gases because the added prosperity from unfettered economic activity would allow countries to exploit benefits of warming and adapt to problems.

In an e-mail exchange on Friday, Dr. Goklany said that in the Clinton administration he was shifted to nonclimate-related work, but added that he had never had to stop his outside writing, as long as he identified the views as his own.

"One reason why I still continue to do the extracurricular stuff," he wrote, "is because one doesn't have to get clearance for what I plan on saying or writing."
 

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THE SKY IS FALLING!!!!
 
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