'I'm always looking for the Hows and the Whys and the Whats,' said Muskrat, 'That is why I speak as I do. You've heard of Muskrat's Much-in-Little, of course?'
'No,' said the child. 'What is it?'
- The Mouse and his Child. Russell Hoban.

Go here to find out more.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Co2 is winning, humans are losing.

This time last year the CO2 in our atmosphere reached 400 ppm.

This is the same as it was about 5 - 3 million years ago in the pliocene age.  You know, the one when we had vast tundra-like areas, and animals were much bigger, the climate warmer, and there was much less summer ice at the poles.

Artist's impression.

Since we have Cee O two-ed ourselves here* in only about 200 years, the world weather systems and climate now has to catch up with this new atmosphere.
You will probably be around to watch it begin.

Dr Maureen Raymo explains the implications:





The carbon dioxide levels in our Earth's atmosphere have increased more than 20% in my lifetime.

Might it be a REALLY good time to go on a LOW CARB(on) diet!?
I'm getting my bike out of the shed.  It will be good for my fitness too!


More here


*and we continue to pump 2% more CO2  every year.

13 comments:

  1. My next door neighbour's unbelievably smoky heating system, is responsible for most of France's Carbon monoxide and Carbon dioxide emissions.

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    1. Is this the same 'orange wall' neighbour Cro? If so, you are unlucky in your neighbours!

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  2. The powers that be and industry will be the last ones to get this simple idea. They think money will allow them to survive climate change.

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    1. Bingo Red. Money is the basis of our economic system. For some time now I have been thinking that there must be some saner alternative. Sadly, the carbon credit system also uses the same system. Another is the desparate attempt by some conservationists to calculate a monetary 'Cost' of habitat and species loss. Doesn't work. We will be the 'poorer'.

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  3. Fascinating stuff. But I have a question: How do we know that this level is the same as it was about 5 - 3 million years ago in the pliocene age? As my mother used to say, "Vas you dere, Charlie?"

    I don't mean to be snarky, but really, how do they know?

    In fact, in the link, one scientist said "the most in the last 1 million years", one said "perhaps higher than any time in the last 25 million years," and one said "same as during the pliocene age". So it seems to me that the science isn't really settled, is it?

    Still, it is scary to contemplate..

    Good to see you blogging again.

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    Replies
    1. You are absolutely right Robert. Science sometimes disagrees over the numbers. Thank goodness! Then we can go back and re-look at the data, and check the validity and reliability.

      The important thing is to compare possible futures given each scenario. All the probable ones go something like: 'given the present rate of ..... then the average CO2 in the atmosphere in ..... years will be ...... '

      And as for your Mother's question. We know how much CO2 there was because we can measure bubbles of actual atmosphere trapped in ancient ice. And we know how old each sample of ice is. Almost as good as being there!

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  4. We're doing our bit with 21 new solar panels on our roof. It seems to me to be a no brainer that EVERYONE who has a roof ,including all business and industry, could install solar panels to generate most of the electricity needed without power stations and harmful emissions. Surely if every roof in the world was covered with solar panels there would be enough power ???????????

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    1. That's marvelous Helsie. And yep, seems a no-brainer, especially in sunny parts of the world. You've reminded me of the water-bilboard. Will post next time.

      PS did you hear about the guy that also thinks it's a no-brainer that we paint our roofs white? He believes that as the ice-caps melt, the increased rate (due to the darker soil/ forest reflecting less sunlight) of warming can be buffered somewhat... in time for the people of the earth to stop pumping so much CO2 into the atmosphere. Added bonus: they'd need painting less often as white paint deteriorates much more slowly!

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    2. When we lived in South Florida, most of the roofs were white tile (except the ones that were Spanish barrel tiles -- those were red). The problem in that sub-tropical area was that fungus and mold would gradually turn the roofs black, requiring homeowners to hire companies that would come periodically and bleach your roof tiles back to a sparkling, reflective white. It's always something, I suppose, and yes money did change hands.

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  5. In the artist's impression, it seems that animals were thriving in the pliocene age. So many animals in one place! It must have been crowded for the poor buggers. Fortunately, I will be dead when the full stupidity of mankind's environmental profligacy hits the fan of doom.

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    1. Yes, artist's impression only. I knew smarty YP would make a comment.
      Unfortunately your last (rather dramatised) statement may be incorrect. Depending upon how long such a vigorous and healthy specimen of manhood such as yourself will live to.

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  6. What a great time in history to be a plant.

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