Saturday, May 5, 2018

410 ppm and counting

It's getting hard to keep up.

It required 146 years for the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere to go from 275 ppm to 290 (1750-1896) when Arrhenius first postulated that CO2 would change the climate. Recently, the 400 ppm mark was breached in 2013 and has now passed 410 ppm only five years later. This is truly a scary development. Climate scientists talk about tipping points where melting permafrost and other disasters will trigger runaway climate change. The question now becomes, have we already passed one or more of those tipping points?

We probably won't find out any useful information on this topic from the main media outlets. They are much more interested in the decade-old claims of a fading porn star against a president who wasn't even a politician when it happened. Got to love those folks specializing in trivialities.



April monthly average exceeds 410 parts per million for the first time in recorded history

The average concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was 410.31 parts per million (ppm) for the month of April, according to the Keeling Curve measurement series made at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii.

This marks the first time in the history of the Mauna Loa record that a monthly average has exceeded 410 parts per million. This also represents a 30-percent increase in carbon dioxide concentration in the global atmosphere since the Keeling Curve began in 1958. In March, Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego observed the 60th anniversary of the data series, the first measurements of which were 315 ppm.

The Keeling Curve draws its name from its creator and the shape of its dataset, a seasonally seesawing trend of steadily rising CO2 readings that exceeded 400 ppm in air for the first time in human history in 2013. Prior to the onset of the Industrial Revolution, CO2 levels had fluctuated over the millennia but had never exceeded 300 ppm at any point in the last 800,000 years.

Carbon dioxide is called a greenhouse gas for its ability to trap solar radiation and keep it confined to the atmosphere. It is the most prevalent among all greenhouse gases produced by human activities, attributed to the burning of fossil fuels.

The Scripps CO2 Program is directed by geochemist Ralph Keeling,the son of the late Keeling Curve creator Charles David Keeling

�We keep burning fossil fuels. Carbon dioxide keeps building up in the air,� said Ralph Keeling. �It�s essentially as simple as that.� more

Pakistani city breaks April record with day of 50C heat

Citizens consider fleeing Nawabshah in fear of what summer might bring

Haroon Janjua in Islamabad, 2 May 2018

A Pakistani city has set a global record temperature for the month of April, with the mercury rising to more than 50C on Monday, prompting fears that people might leave to escape even higher temperatures when summer sets in.

The southern city of Nawabshah recorded a high of 50.2C on Monday.

�We are worried that the extreme heat started too early this summer, and are planning to migrate to other cities if the situation remains the same,� one city resident, Ismail Domki, said.

The director general of the Pakistan Meteorological Department, Ghulam Rasool, said: �We have issued forecasts about the extreme heat in Sindh province but were not expecting a world record in the month of April.�

Domki said the official response had been inadequate. �There is no response from the government, at least 24 cases of heatstroke were reported on April 30 and five of them were serious cases with people losing consciousness,� he said, adding that these were just known cases at the government-run hospital.

A report in the Dawn newspaper said the unbearable heat forced people to remain indoors throughout the day. Roads and markets looked deserted and business activities came to a halt. The worst sufferers of heatstroke were labourers and motorcyclists.

Recent summers across the Middle East and south Asia have produced sweltering heat above 50C, melting roads, overwhelming power infrastructure and raising serious questions about the liveability of settlements from Iraq to India.

Last year, Pakistan was ranked among the top 10 most vulnerable countries to climate change. A severe heatwave in the southern port city of Karachi in 2015 left more than 1,200 dead, with more than 40,000 people suffering from heatstroke. more

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