CO2 is still building upThe vast majority of the extra carbon dioxide and heat being added into the Earth’s biosphere ends up in the oceans, where heat has been building up since the early 1970s.What the ocean doesn’t take up, is left to accumulate in the atmosphere.There are two long-term records of the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, measures as parts of CO2 per million parts of the atmosphere (ppm).Instruments at Mauna Loa in Hawaii have been showing the accumulation of CO2 since the 1950s.Last year though saw the biggest jump ever since records started. CO2 is now above 400ppm there.Australia holds the other long-term record of CO2 in the atmosphere – taken at the aptly-named Cape Grim, in Tasmania.Here, the very latest readings for February 2016 show CO2 at 398.71ppm. At some point in the coming months, the Cape Grim data will also tip above 400 ppm.If you want records, then these readings in Hawaii and Tasmania have been breaking them pretty much year on year for decades.
This animation is based on a supercomputer climate simulation that shows two different sources of atmospheric carbon dioxide — fires (biomass burning) and massive urban centers known as megacities. Scientists are using climate models like this one — called GEOS-5 (Goddard Earth Observing Model, Version 5, created at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center) — to better understand how carbon dioxide moves around Earth’s atmosphere and how carbon moves through Earth’s air, land and ocean over time. Rising carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere are driving Earth’s ongoing climate change. This animation shows a five-day period in June 2006. The model is based on real emissions inventory data and is then set to run so that scientists can observe how the greenhouse gas behaves in the atmosphere once it has been emitted.
Breaking away from the utopian assumption that the international community will agree on a single emissions allocation scheme, this study assesses approaches to setting country-level mitigation targets in line with the 2[thinsp][deg]C goal.
Carbon pledges from 147 nations to Paris climate summit ‘are not enough to stop temperature rise’, experts conclude
Carbon monoxide is perhaps best known for the lethal effects it can have in homes with faulty appliances and poor ventilation. In the United States, the colorless, odorless gas kills about 430 people each year.
However, the importance of carbon monoxide (CO) extends well beyond the indoor environment. Indoors or outdoors, the gas can disrupt the transport of oxygen by the blood, leading to heart and health problems. CO also contributes to the formation of tropospheric ozone, another air pollutant with unhealthy effects. And though carbon monoxide does not cause climate change directly, its presence affects the abundance of greenhouse gases such as methane and carbon dioxide.
As hinted by the French president, Canada plays a leading role in destroying the atmosphere. Mechanical engineer John Abraham of the University of Saint Thomas in Minnesota told Scientific American: “If we burn all the tar sand oil, the temperature rise, just from burning that tar sand, will be half of what weve already seen — an estimated additional nearly 0.4 degrees Celsius from Alberta alone.”