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CO2 Levels Reach 400ppm at Mauna Loa For First Time On Record

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the we're-number-one!-we're-number-one! dept.

Earth 497

Titus Andronicus writes "Today, NOAA reported, 'On May 9, the daily mean concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of Mauna Loa, Hawaii, surpassed 400 parts per million for the first time since measurements began in 1958.' For comparison, over the last 800,000 years, CO2 has ranged from roughly 180 ppm to 280 ppm. 'For the entire period of human civilization, roughly 8,000 years, the carbon dioxide level was relatively stable near that upper bound. But the burning of fossil fuels has caused a 41 percent increase in the heat-trapping gas since the Industrial Revolution, a mere geological instant, and scientists say the climate is beginning to react, though they expect far larger changes in the future.' The last time Earth had 400 ppm was probably more than 3 megayears ago."

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497 comments

LOL (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43689641)

Megayears? Someone trying to sound smarter than they are?

Re:LOL (5, Funny)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about a year ago | (#43689741)

wtf is a megayear? I only know gigadays.

Re:LOL (1)

bug1 (96678) | about a year ago | (#43690289)

gigadays, WTF !!!

ISO have just announced that you are wrong, its not gigadays, its gigidays.

Re:LOL (4, Informative)

pipatron (966506) | about a year ago | (#43689877)

Megayear is actually very common in science circles when talking about time spans where using millions of years makes sense. It's usually written "Ma" or "mya".

Megayears? (0)

Kaenneth (82978) | about a year ago | (#43689655)

I thought all (earth) years were pretty much the same size...

Well, except Leap years, so 12 years ago?

Re:Megayears? (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | about a year ago | (#43689673)

Are you familiar with the concept of a megabyte, and how many bytes that is?

Re:Megayears? (4, Funny)

Kaenneth (82978) | about a year ago | (#43689709)

Kinda, so is it 3,145,728 years, 3,000,000 years, or the bastard 3,072,000?

Which contributes more to global warming, Memory or Storage?

Re:Megayears? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43689789)

Kinda, so is it 3,145,728 years, 3,000,000 years, or the bastard 3,072,000?

Which contributes more to global warming, Memory or Storage?

No, IEC has resolved this confusion now.

The last time Earth had 400 ppm was probably more than 3 mebiyears ago.

Re:Megayears? (0)

optikos (1187213) | about a year ago | (#43689785)

Kaenneth evidently thinks that a megabyte is a big bite of a food-eating competition at the county fair—perhaps 12× the normal size of a bite of food.

Or perhaps Kaenneth evidently thinks that a megabyte is a 12-bit byte (megabyte), completing the set 9-bit byte in Multics & FPGAs (magnibyte), 8-bit byte (canonibyte), 6-bit byte (minibyte), 4-bit byte/nibble/nybble (microbyte), and 1-bit byte/bit (nanobyte).

Stop breathing (1)

mi (197448) | about a year ago | (#43689667)

Stop breathing. It is the only way to keep the CO2 from rising...

Re:Stop breathing (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43689803)

I think you'll find it to be much easier and just as effective to get people to stop breeding.

Re: Stop breathing (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43689853)

This is /., so mission accomplished.

Re:Stop breathing (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43689839)

Stop breathing. It is the only way to keep the CO2 from rising...

You first. And keep on holding it. When your vision starts to go and you feel like you are about to pass out, that means it's working. If you want to ensure you stop breathing, might I suggest you tie yourself to the bottom of the deep end of the nearest pool.

In the mean time, I'll concentrate on keeping the carbon that has been safely stored in the ground for millions of years, in the ground... instead of wasting my time with silly, not well thought out rebuttals that focus on carbon that is already active in the environment and merely cycled when we breath, grow plants and eat them.

queue the denialists! (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43689671)

i hope there's a special place in hell for people who spent the 70's til present denying climate change - you know who you are. Unfortunately it will be the same place in hell as everyone else when it gets too hot around here.

Re:queue the denialists! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43689735)

I hope there is an even more special place in hell for people who admit that there is a problem with man-made climate change, but refuse to make any proactive changes to their lifestyles which would make any kind of difference.

Re:queue the denialists! (3, Insightful)

KeensMustard (655606) | about a year ago | (#43689991)

Interestingly it appears to easier to deny some impersonal reality than to admit a personal failing. I find, even in these latter days, that many smokers will default to arguments we would otherwise imagine were long proven false: there is no link between smoking and lung cancer, my uncle smoked all his life and died at 95 so I can too, some people enjoy taking risks etc, etc.

I suspect that these notions are just easier to have floating in your brain than being constantly confronted with an uncomfortable truth about yourself e.g. I'd give up if I could, but I can't.

Climate Change denial arises from the same mechanism. The questioning of objective facts about discernable changes in the concentrations of CO2 and measurable (and predicted) effects on the troposphere arises from the desire to avoid confronting the personal implications: I will need to do something about that and This problem arose, in part, because of me and because of an edifice I believed in. It's very confronting.

Re:queue the denialists! (3, Interesting)

migla (1099771) | about a year ago | (#43689997)

You are kind of right, but you might be duped.

You or me, hopping along minding our own business, looking for locally produced green alternatives is a drop in a bucket. Meanwhile they are destroying the planet for more profit.

The ones profiting from fucking up the planet are to blame. They have, however, managed to school us into accepting their reality - that we all are in control, individually.

They've taught us, through millions of 30 second tv-spots and with a little help from collaborators, that their world - the "free" market economy is somehow normal and natural, a basic truth and not an ideology of greed and lying and cold blooded disdain for human weakness while every other ideology, of compassion and sharing, for example, is old-fashioned and silly.

"The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he doesn't exist."

So yes, one should do something. And living lean and green is a good thing, but, off the top of my head; getting organized (contact your local anarchist chapter), throwing stones, pestering your local politicians, eating the rich, fucking shit up or getting into politics are probably more effective avenues.

Re:queue the denialists! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43690263)

I have it on good authority that the 9th ring of hell is reserved for everyone that has politicized anthropogenic global warming, including, but not limited to, Al Gore and the IPCC.

Re:queue the denialists! (0)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | about a year ago | (#43689975)

Do you breathe? Do you drive a car? Do you make s'mores? If so, get in line because you are no more part of the solution than a "denier".

Re:queue the denialists! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43690207)

Yes, No and No, actually. I'm quite proud of the fact that I could easily afford to buy a car, but find my lifestyle less stressful without one. I have few possessions and most of what I do have I got used. I will never have kids (vasectomized even), I'm vegan (which is actually very high-impact, regardless of what the mainstream believes), I generally avoid tons of traveling and excessive consumption. My hobbies involve music, the outdoors, social events, and generally low-key, low-impact activities. I eat mostly simple local food too with minimal packaging, and live in a 600 square-foot condo with a partner.

You can't eliminate all bad habits, but you sure as hell can drastically reduce the worst of them.

I know that people are caught up in materialism and ego, but I refuse to believe that they are any happier than I am, and as far as I'm concerned, contentment, good health, not being a jerk and contributing positively to society are about the only valid measures of success in life.

Comments like yours are just lazy and part of a widespread problem. It's just a cop-out attitude and will get us nowhere.

Re:queue the denialists! (0)

migla (1099771) | about a year ago | (#43690221)

I get what you mean, but the real culprits are of course the filthy rich people who spew out the most earth-destroying shit and level the greatest areals of rainforest etc, while spending billions to manipulate people into wanting the crap they produce.

So making and then eating smores on the car trip while also breathing might be part of the solution, if the destination is where you go and topple the ones at the top of the ziggurat.

Re:queue the denialists! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43690333)

yeah i take issue with that. I don't drive or car, i don't travel by plane, I grow my own veggies and I don't eat meat. so I'm contributing to climate change the same way a man is contributing to the problem of rape when he has sexy time with his wife.

Why not? This proves Warmists are wrong. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43690145)

The people you call "denialists" are the only ones thinking rationally - they are simply demanding real science. That is to say, sharing of results and data and methodologies.

Indeed this latest measurement proves they were right to exhibit skepticism. A very high CO2 measurement is found after a decade of reduction in overall temperature. It proves beyond doubt that the thinking that people like you have had that CO2 in the atmosphere MUST cause warming is incorrect - it turns out that it's simply a gas, not a magic warming element that you assumed it to be.

Really it's just sad that you guys are so inept and drawing logical conclusions that you trumpet things like this which just show how wrong you are.

Re: Why not? This proves Warmists are wrong. (2)

JWW (79176) | about a year ago | (#43690279)

No, what it proves is that climate forcing due to CO2 is likely non-linear in impact. It also may indicate negative feedback loops responding to the changes. Also, since we're not measuring a closed system there are a huge number of possible things causing the current climate response.

This shit is really really really complicated. About the only thing I'm certain of is that all our models for climate so far are not good enough.

Re:queue the denialists! (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43690193)

No one denies climate change, but many deny that human contribute to it in a was that's significant enough to cause long-term harm to the planet. Humans won't be here when the Sun dies. And maybe not even 1 billion years from now. It's pretty unlikely that human contribution to changing climate cycles will be the extincting force.

You also sound like an idiot.

CO2 at an active volcano? Who wudda thot? (0)

mbeckman (645148) | about a year ago | (#43689705)

Mauna Loa is the largest volcano on Earth, among the most active of all volcanoes, having erupted 33 times since its first well-documented historical eruption in 1843. The enormous cone covers half of the Island of Hawai`i and by itself amounts to about 85 percent of all the other Hawaiian Islands combined.

So this seems like a silly place to consider as a steady-state CO standard.

Re:CO2 at an active volcano? Who wudda thot? (4, Informative)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about a year ago | (#43689759)

hawaii gets all the air blowing across the pacific, so it can be considered a better baseline than doing it in a city where local emissions may influence. I don't see how the size of the cone or islands makes any difference. it's just a weather station on top of the mountain. And no, all the other islands were formed by their own volcanoes so stfu or are you a plate tectonic denier as well?

Re:CO2 at an active volcano? Who wudda thot? (1)

pixelpusher220 (529617) | about a year ago | (#43689899)

a better baseline than doing it in a city where local emissions may influence

so instead do it next to a volcano?

Just kidding, the juxtaposition just sounds hilarious :)

Re:CO2 at an active volcano? Who wudda thot? (1, Informative)

Nos. (179609) | about a year ago | (#43689931)

hawaii gets all the air blowing across the pacific, so it can be considered a better baseline than doing it in a city where local emissions may influence. I don't see how the size of the cone or islands makes any difference. it's just a weather station on top of the mountain. And no, all the other islands were formed by their own volcanoes so stfu or are you a plate tectonic denier as well?

mbeckman never said that Mauna Loa formed any of the other islands. He/she said "amounts to about 85 percent of all the other Hawaiian Islands combined". There's a big difference.

Re:CO2 at an active volcano? Who wudda thot? (1)

RudyHartmann (1032120) | about a year ago | (#43689765)

That's the same thing that I thought. The CO2 at Mammoth Mountain here in California has been so high it's killing trees. It's all volcanic too.

Re:CO2 at an active volcano? Who wudda thot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43689781)

http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/obop/mlo/programs/esrl/volcanicco2/volcanicco2.html

Re:CO2 at an active volcano? Who wudda thot? (4, Informative)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about a year ago | (#43689787)

> So this seems like a silly place to consider as a steady-state CO standard.

If you lived on the volcano, you'd know better. Wind direction is very consistent and it is precisely because the volcano is so large that contamination is rare - it only comes out of the vents and those are few and far between.

How do scientists know that Mauna Loa's volcanic emissions don't affect the carbon dioxide data collected there? [nasa.gov]

Re:CO2 at an active volcano? Who wudda thot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43689801)

I remember someone explained this in another comment thread - it's measured at night when atmospheric feedback loops cause the volanic CO2 to be trapped on the surface or something like that.

Re:CO2 at an active volcano? Who wudda thot? (4, Informative)

jcupitt65 (68879) | about a year ago | (#43689891)

Fortunately for science the Mauna Loa readings are in good agreement with those taken at hundreds of other sites around the globe.

Here's a great animation from NOAA showing global CO2 distribution and putting recent changes in the context of the last million years or so. It takes a few minutes to watch, but it's worth seeing to the end, in my opinion.

http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/history.html [noaa.gov]

Re:CO2 at an active volcano? Who wudda thot? (1)

Dunbal (464142) | about a year ago | (#43690085)

Isn't it interesting how average CO2 levels fluctuate throughout the year. As if colder temperatures actually decreased CO2 levels, while warmer temperatures increase it. In fact this correlates well with ice core data that shows CO2 levels lagging behind higher temperatures. You'd think they were somehow related, like perhaps all that water on our planet is perfectly capable of absorbing/releasing CO2 depending on TEMPERATURE. Wow this even explains why the oceans are getting more acidic. But no. Hey, are we going to claim that the year's seasons are also caused by the CO2 cycling mysteriously back and forth between "low" and "high"?

Re:CO2 at an active volcano? Who wudda thot? (0)

mbeckman (645148) | about a year ago | (#43690141)

"Fortunately for science the Mauna Loa readings are in good agreement with those taken at hundreds of other sites around the globe."

This is called Confirmation Bias [wikipedia.org] . And it's not Science. Science is when you recognize that data NOT in agreement with other data is significant, and not just a discardable outlier.

As Carbon Dioxide Levels Continue To Rise, Global Temperatures Are Not Following Suit [forbes.com]

Re:CO2 at an active volcano? Who wudda thot? (0)

Sardaukar86 (850333) | about a year ago | (#43690159)

Is it really very likely that this fact escaped the scientists who chose the site?

Obtaining clear readings free from local influence would seem to be a rather important part of their work. Why wouldn't they have considered all possible factors when they come up with their shortlist of suitable locations?

Re:CO2 at an active volcano? Who wudda thot? (2, Funny)

mbeckman (645148) | about a year ago | (#43690325)

Much bogus science has survived based on the naive expectations of experimental rigor that later turned out to be ill-advised. Cold Fusion comes to mind. The point is that scientists have to document, and publish, ALL of their methodology. And in this case, as far as I can tell, they haven't. Of course, I didn't pony up to the research journal paywall to read every published paper. But I have read a great deal about volcanic test stations for CO2, and their arguments seem unsupported to me.

I was once at a climate conference on sequestration, where a nuclear physicist on a panel begin talking about how difficult separating CO2 from the air actually is. "Magnetic separation requires a huge apparatus due to CO2's non-polarity. Centrifugal separation requires massive amounts of energy. This problem, I can tell you as a long-time experimental physicist, is tougher than it looks."

An audience member raised his hand: "I am only a physical chemist, and so can't really speak to your separation methods. But the way we do it is to cool the air to -78C and then collect the solid precipitate."

He got a standing ovation ;)

Dupe (5, Informative)

Hentes (2461350) | about a year ago | (#43689715)

Dupe [slashdot.org] .

Re:Dupe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43689821)

Yes, but the matter is sufficiently important that it's worth having the arguments again.

Re:Dupe NOT (0)

mbeckman (645148) | about a year ago | (#43689841)

This is a new report, and a somewhat arbitrary threshhold (400, after all, is just an integer with no chemical significance):

"NOAA has reported 400.03 for May 9, 2013, while Scripps has reported 399.73. The difference partly reflects different reporting periods. NOAA uses UTC, whereas Scripps uses local time in Hawaii to define the 24-hr reporting period. If Scripps were to use same reporting period as NOAA, we would report 400.08 for May 9."

So, since this is a new report, we get to rerun all our original criticisms explaining why the report is bogus, and NOT SCIENCE.

Re:Dupe NOT (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43690311)

It is literally the exact same story, just from different sources. Look at the dates. It was 5 days ago. It's not like it was a year or even a month ago.

NOT Dupe (3, Informative)

alexhs (877055) | about a year ago | (#43690317)

Actually this is a follow-up :

2013-05-05 : "individual observations [...] have exceeded 400 parts per million" "The daily average observation has crept above 399 ppm" "the daily observation will break the 400 ppm milestone within a few days"
2013-05-09 : "the daily mean concentration of carbon dioxide [...] surpassed 400 parts per million"

Of course, Soulskill should have referenced timothy, they were obviously aiming for the dupe, but new data arrived in the meantime.

Serioiusly (-1)

tablebeast (827972) | about a year ago | (#43689739)

Yeah, just put that CO2 sensor right here above the exhaust from a combustion engine. Now we'll get the readings we want... err, we were paid to get.... err, SCIENCE!

Re:Serioiusly (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43689835)

We're trying to figure out global levels so we'll account for the local levels. CO2 concentration minus local addition from the volcano and you get the general amount. Wow, that's difficult. Wait, I'm sorry, err SCIENCE!

Who woulda thunk it? These idiots actually adjust for local variation. Science is only hard if you don't understand it. Maybe you should try your bullshit back at Fox News or Heritage Foundation or whatever other bunker of denialism you normally post at.

Re:Serioiusly (0)

kenh (9056) | about a year ago | (#43690029)

And the reason they measure on top of a spewing volcano? Because it was so accessible? Because of the killer waves on the island?

OK, so they put a CO2 sensor at the top of the hill, then they put the other CO2 sensor where, exactly? Inside the volcano? At the base of the volcano? Ten feet away from the other sensor?

We understood the math, we don't understand how they are getting the "local levels" elsewhere - in some disciplines that would be called a "fudge factor" [wikipedia.org] :

A fudge factor is an ad hoc quantity introduced into a calculation, formula or model in order to make it fit observations or expectations. Examples include Einstein's Cosmological Constant, dark energy, dark matter and inflation.

Re:Serioiusly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43690105)

You are the fudge factor.

Re:Serioiusly (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43690113)

There's no way to tell why they did it. I mean, they say it's because the CO2 from the volcano usually doesn't mess with the readings and they get clean readings from the Pacific. And, stupid them, they think that 3/10 of a single PPM is a good steady reading! Idiots!

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/blogs/climateqa/mauna-loa-co2-record/

You need to get on the horn right now with Batman and let these guys know what to do. Right now they're just using well-established scientific principles and solid data. You should tell them you don't get how they do it which invalidates all their data. I'm surprised they published this without your OK.

Mauna Loa info... (1)

millisa (151093) | about a year ago | (#43689773)

The summary seemed to lead in a specific direction - the 'for comparison' referring to 800k years isn't based on info from other types of measurements, pre-1958 at that site.

Interesting bits from the Mauna Loa wiki [wikipedia.org]
- It's a volcano
- It's been erupting for at least 700k years
- It may have emerged above sea level 400k years ago
- Oldest dated rocks are less than 200k years old
- It's drifting away from the hotspot and will go extinct in the next 500k=1m years
- It erupted last from Mar-Apr of 1984
- Atmosphere observations come from two observatories near the summit
- From its location well above local human-generated influences, the MLO monitors the global atmosphere, including the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. Measurements are adjusted to account for local outgassing of CO2 from the volcano

I looked it up because my kneejerk was "But it's on top of a volcano..." and I can't help but be skeptic when there's big leaps in causation in summaries...

Re:Mauna Loa info... (1)

mbeckman (645148) | about a year ago | (#43689865)

"Measurements are adjusted to account for local outgassing of CO2 from the volcano"

Really? How?

Fucking shit people! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43689923)

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/blogs/climateqa/mauna-loa-co2-record/

Can you read that or should I put in leet speak and tweet it?

Re:Mauna Loa info... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43690077)

my kneejerk was "But it's on top of a volcano..." and I can't help but be skeptic when there's big leaps in causation in summaries...

My first reaction was "And we know that the concentration hasn't been this high for the last 800,000 years because of course we've had the Earth instrumented for all that time, to take readings."

800,000 years? (-1)

cogeek (2425448) | about a year ago | (#43689799)

They've monitored for the last 25 years, but they know the levels for the last 800,000 years? Now that's some scientific "facts" right there!

Re:800,000 years? (1)

cogeek (2425448) | about a year ago | (#43689843)

55 years of monitoring, rather... math is hard....

Re:800,000 years? (1)

pixelpusher220 (529617) | about a year ago | (#43689973)

Indeed. So is reading. Ever heard of ice cores? They have the ACTUAL ATMOSPHERIC GAS from all those years trapped in them to be measured. No guessing, no assumptions, the ACTUAL GAS.

Re:800,000 years? (1)

peragrin (659227) | about a year ago | (#43690115)

Ah but it is the gas the got trapped during the freezing process. CO2 is heavier than air, and in an area where it is cold enough to take gas CO2 and freeze it what percentage of that CO2 was from the overall air, and how big of an air sample did that Co2 fall from?

How do you determine the methodology to figure it out? It won't be exact proportions because the air itself will be freezing and falling the CO2 to the ground.

It isn't that I don't think humans are screwing up their planet, I simply question the scientists who can't model the weather over a 72 hour period reliably thinking they can account for all the variations over a planet.

Re:800,000 years? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43690241)

The gas wasn't trapped as a gas. It was trapped as snow. Just like geological formations snowfall is trapped in layers.

http://www.gisp2.sr.unh.edu/MoreInfo/Ice_Cores_Past.html

Your question is better than most and you put some logical thought into it, but really, scientists don't hide how they do things. You could have googled how they do the CO2 samples.

Re:800,000 years? (2)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43689885)

The 800,000 year level comes from testing of air pockets locked in glacial ice. Seriously, is it that hard to try and understand something before speaking stupid things? Jesus, you climate change deniers cannot even grasp the simplest concept of science.

You: 800,000 years that's so long ago where'd you get that "fact" right there?

Scientist: Pockets of air in glacial ice. You know, core samples and crap?

You: Har har har, ice, right. Come get your 800,000 year old sample from my freezer. High FIVE!

Damn, science isn't a fucking secret you just have to ask how they know stuff instead of saying "I don't get it therefore it isn't."

Re:800,000 years? (0)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year ago | (#43690175)

The 800,000 year level comes from testing of air pockets locked in glacial ice.

That came from a volcano?

You do realize that CO2 levels can vary wildly from place to place, right? Even after "accounting" for it being on a volcano.

What are the measurements where the ice is now?

Re:800,000 years? (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | about a year ago | (#43690285)

I think that the problem is that TFS starts off by saying that we've been monitoring C02 for 55 years, then says that it's the highest it's been in 800,000 years and at first glance, it looks like a contradiction. Of course, all it takes is a moment's thought to clear things up, but remember, this is Slashdot, where people post first, and think later, if at all.

Re:800,000 years? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43689929)

Yes they do know the historical levels. Tree rings, ice cores, sediment cores, etc. A huge amount of history has been preserved; the trick is figuring out where and how to look for it.

Testing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43689981)

Measuring ice core samples at different depths that correlate to known time frames are just one way the experts on the subject differentiate their facts from your "facts".

Re:800,000 years? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43690271)

It's an indirect measurement. That's "good enough" for these foaming at the mouth neanderthals.

Excuse me (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43689807)

"But the burning of fossil fuels has caused a 41 percent increase"

There's no proof of that. Only speculation, and only when ignoring natural CO2 sources like volcanoes.

Re:Excuse me (1)

kenaaker (774785) | about a year ago | (#43689897)

There is evidence that it is fossil fuel related. The concentrations of different isotopes of carbon are shifting. Fossil fuels don't have much Carbon 14 in them, since they haven't been exposed to the atmosphere for a long time.

Re:Excuse me (1, Informative)

kenh (9056) | about a year ago | (#43689959)

Or cows... Or deforestation... or maybe it's just a peak in a cycle that has a period somewhat longer than our history of direct measurements shows us...

I find it interesting that we only have direct measurements for about 60 years, but these folks are supremely confident that they know the CO2 level over the past 800,000+ years...

Re:Excuse me (3, Informative)

kenaaker (774785) | about a year ago | (#43690039)

They have the actual atmosphere from 800,000 years ago in ice cores. It's been pointed out several times already. Read a little bit will ya!?

It must interfere with your invincible ignorance field. But do try to keep up Ok?

Re:Excuse me (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43690163)

Stupid idiot. Ice is made of frozen water not air! Duh! How do you even freeze air? Yeah, right, we've got massive glaciers of frozen air. How do the penguins walk on all that frozen air?

I just figured I'd answer for him.

Re:Excuse me (1)

Sardaukar86 (850333) | about a year ago | (#43690211)

I find it interesting that we only have direct measurements for about 60 years, but these folks are supremely confident that they know the CO2 level over the past 800,000+ years...

Mmm, yeah, can't think why. The evidence, perhaps?

Scientists are seldom 'supremely confident' but when they are, that alone should tell you something.

And.. (1)

STRICQ (634164) | about a year ago | (#43689847)

All the worlds plants took a collective sigh of relief. CO2 has been so low for so long, it was like hypoxia for plants.

More proof of global warming. (0)

will_die (586523) | about a year ago | (#43689903)

Talk about timely info. On NPR today they were talking with environmental activists and groups and like they said volcano eruptions are being caused by global warming. So if the hawaiians did not drive cars they would not of had to worry about this problem.

Or it our fondness for beef... (3, Informative)

kenh (9056) | about a year ago | (#43689933)

No less an authority than the United Nations pins a full 9% of all human-related CO2 production on cows, but it's worse than that:

When emissions from land use and land use change are included, the livestock sector accounts for 9 per cent of CO2 deriving from human-related activities, but produces a much larger share of even more harmful greenhouse gases. It generates 65 per cent of human-related nitrous oxide, which has 296 times the Global Warming Potential (GWP) of CO2. Most of this comes from manure.

And it accounts for respectively 37 per cent of all human-induced methane (23 times as warming as CO2), which is largely produced by the digestive system of ruminants, and 64 per cent of ammonia, which contributes significantly to acid rain.

Source: Rearing cattle produces more greenhouse gases than driving cars, UN report warns [un.org]

Re:Or it our fondness for beef... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43690045)

"I am cow. Hear me moo"

www.youtube.com/watch?v=JohcbfO0OjA

Re:Or it our fondness for beef... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43690153)

Thanks, now I know what's for dinner... a tasty grilled beef steak!

Re:Or it our fondness for beef... (1)

bug1 (96678) | about a year ago | (#43690217)

Or it our fondness for beef...

Yes please, we blame it on the cows and not the people.

Now we just have to kill all the cows and livestock, then i can use all my fossil fuels until I have none left.

Because what we really need in this debate is more excusses.

Easily refuted... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43690003)

Yeah, well, you fail to consider, uh, derp.

WTF? Since 1958... BUT (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43690139)

So you say it is the highest since recording started in 1958 yet you claim to know that it is the highest in history.
Do you remember the differences between a 'theory' and a 'law'? Or between a 'theory' and 'reality'?

Smoke more of that dope since you have it.

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