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28 May 2014


 May 28, 2014

Last month the levels of concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere went through the roof…. Literally! The levels were the highest recorded, topping 400 parts per million (ppm) throughout the northern hemisphere for the first time.

Although I have always had a small piece of me doubt as to whether we have been solely responsible for the ‘global warming’ as everyone claims, these figures do kind of say ”Yes world, you are being abused by your inhabitants”! I mean, there are more people than there has ever been on the planet (7.2 billion and growing), and less of nature as we become ever more destructive, cutting down the rainforests and building on green belt. The knock on effect? More and more people. More homes. More destruction of land (2,100,663 hectacres of forest loss this year alone) and natural materials to make those homes. The demand for more food becomes greater, putting more pressure on supplies, which are now being grown so fast to meet demand, they are not as nutritionally loaded as they were 50 years ago.

All the hemisphere monitoring stations (northern) forming the WMO Global Atmosphere Watch network found record atmospheric CO2 concentrations during the seasonal maximum. This occurs early in the northern hemisphere spring before vegetation growth starts absorbing the CO2. And as the spring maximum values in the northern hemisphere have already crossed the 400 ppm level, the global annual average CO2 concentration is said to be ready to cross this threshold in 2015 or 2016.

The World Meteorological Organization, (WMO), say this threshold is indicative and of scientific significance and therefore reinforces documentation that using fossil fuels and other human activities are responsible for the continuing increase in heat-trapping greenhouse gases causing global warming.

WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud says “Time is running out. If we are to preserve our planet for future generations, we need urgent action to curb new emissions of these heat trapping gases. This should serve as yet another wakeup call about the constantly rising levels of greenhouse gases which are driving climate change. ”

Whilst the Co2 in the atmosphere stays there for hundreds of years, in the oceans it is there for even longer. It was responsible for 85% of the increase in radiative forcing – the warming effect on our climate – over the decade 2002-2012.

Maybe all this new info is starting to change my mind about how responsible we actually are for our situation. It seems to be continually worsening, and that we can play a part in slowing it down. I doubt in our ever increasing quest for all things new and energy thirsty, that we will ever be able to reverse the problems we have caused. I do still wonder though just how much of it all is natural, and would be happening regardless of our contributions.


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