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CO2 in atmosphere has been up 24% in 50 years from 310 to 384 (1958 – 2009); upper limit is 350 ppm, realtime evident indicator


By WcP.System.Thinker - Posted on 08 December 2009

Global warming is mainly the result of CO2 levels rising in the Earth’s atmosphere. Both atmospheric CO2 and climate change are accelerating. Climate scientists say we have years, not decades, to stabilize CO2 and other greenhouse gases.

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To see whether enough is being done at the moment to solve these global problems, there is no single indicator as complete and current as the monthly updates for atmospheric CO2 from the Mauna Loa Observatory. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the chief greenhouse gas that results from human activities & CO2 levels rising in the Earth’s atmosphere causes global warming and climate change. Both atmospheric CO2 and climate change are accelerating. Climate scientists say we have YEARs, not decades, to stabilize CO2 and other greenhouse gases. To help the world succeed, CO2Now.org makes it easy to see the most current CO2 level and what it means. So, use Earth's CO2 Home Page & keep an eye on CO2.

To signal that time is running out for a warming planet, French activists clutched alarm clocks and mobile phones at a protest at the Bourse, the former stock exchange in central Paris.

Earth's CO2 Home Page: What the world needs to watch

Global warming is mainly the result of CO2 levels rising in the Earth’s atmosphere. Both atmospheric CO2 and climate change are accelerating. Climate scientists say we have years, not decades, to stabilize CO2 and other greenhouse gases. To help the world succeed, CO2Now.org makes it easy to see the most current CO2 level and what it means. So, use Earth's CO2 Home Page and keep an eye on CO2.

CO2 Data Set: Original data file created by NOAA on Wed. Nov. 11, 2009 (14:47:49)
Measuring Location: Mauna Loa Observatory, Hawaii
Data Source: Earth Systems Research Laboratory (ESRL) / National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

At the Sydney Opera House in Australia, activists form a human ‘350,’ which some scientists call the upper limit for heat-trapping carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, in parts per million. Over 4,300 similar demonstrations were organized around the world on Saturday in a campaign to rein in the greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming.

Why is CO2 significant?
Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the chief greenhouse gas that results from human activities and causes global warming and climate change. To see whether enough is being done at the moment to solve these global problems, there is no single indicator as complete and current as the monthly updates for atmospheric CO2 from the Mauna Loa Observatory.

What is the current trend?
The concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere are increasing at an accelerating rate from decade to decade. accelerating from decade to decade. The latest atmospheric CO2 data is consistent with a continuation of this long-standing trend.

What level is safe?
The upper safety limit for atmospheric CO2 is 350 parts per million (ppm). Atmospheric CO2 levels have stayed higher than 350 ppm since early 1988.

A woman in Hong Kong's central district. In a campaign organized by the environmental movement 350.org, activists are pressing the world's leaders to reach a climate change accord at talks in Copenhagen in December.

Campaign Against Emissions Picks 350 to Build a “Global Community” for Climate Action

An international climate accord: a synchronized burst of more than 4,300 demonstrations, from the Himalayas to the Great Barrier Reef, all centered on the number 350.

For some prominent climate scientists, that is the upper limit for heat-trapping carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, measured in parts per million. If the gas concentration exceeds that for long, they warn, the world can expect decades of disrupted climate patterns, rising sea levels, drought and famine. The current concentration is 387 parts per million.

Boats in Srinagar, Kashmir. Organizers said their goal was to illustrate the urgent need to cut emissions by pointing out that the world passed the 350 mark two decades ago. The current concentration of carbon dioxide is 387 parts per million.

Organizers said their goal, in the prelude to global climate talks in Copenhagen in December, was to illustrate the urgent need to cut emissions by pointing out that the world passed the 350 mark two decades ago. In a prominent recent study, scientists concluded that carbon dioxide levels were almost certainly headed beyond any levels experienced on the planet in the last 15 million years.

Bill McKibben, the author who founded 350.org, the group coordinating the protests, defended its approach, saying that settling on a concrete goal articulated as a number was the only way to build a “global community” for climate action. “We need to be thinking about reducing, not going up more slowly,” he said. “Three-fifty is the number that says wartime footing, let’s see how fast we can possibly move, and let’s hope against hope that it’s fast enough.”

trends in atmospheric carbon dioxide – accelerating; the graph shows recent monthly mean carbon dioxide measured at Mauna Loa Observatory, Hawaii

Mr. McKibben spent Saturday morning in an office in downtown Manhattan with 20 volunteers coordinating an accelerating flow of videos and photographs from other time zones that captured demonstrations planned in 170 countries. Events focusing on the number were held on every continent and from pole to pole, with climbers unfurling a banner on a mountain peak in Antarctica and artists forming a 350 out of hunks of ice on a gravel beach in Greenland, in the Arctic. The Cairo Cyclist Club posed with a banner and activists in front of one of Egypt’s great pyramids, while more than 350 roller skaters swept through Tel Aviv. Some participants had gotten a head start. On Friday, thousands of students assembled in a plaza in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, waving “350” placards. Grinning American soldiers in eastern Afghanistan e-mailed photographs of a 350 fashioned from sandbags.

The effort has been endorsed by dozens of prominent figures, including James E. Hansen, a NASA scientist who has been most closely associated with defining the climate threshold as 350 parts per million. He has campaigned for halting emissions from coal burning altogether by 2030. The demonstrations were also endorsed by Rajendra K. Pachauri, the chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and Desmond M. Tutu, the former leader of the Anglican Church in South Africa.

Kathleen Jordan, of New York, left, and others participate in an International Day of Climate Action rally on Saturday in New York's Times Square.

Mr. McKibben of 350.org said it was up to national leaders to assume a moral obligation to match their actions to the science.

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Photos courtesy of Francois Mori / Associated Press, Mauna Loa Observatory / Earth System Research Laboratory / NOAA, CO2Now.org, Tim Cole / European Pressphoto Agency, Laurent Fievet / Agence France-Presse - Getty Images, Danish Ismail / Reuters, and Tina Fineberg / Associated Press

Original Source: CO2Now.org and New York Times

Image Gallery: Thousands Gather for Climate Protest

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