The atmosphere hit 400 ppm of CO2 earlier this year. Yes, that’s terrible In 2008, climate scientist James Hansen published a paper stating that 350 parts-per-million (ppm) is the safe upper limit of CO2 in the atmosphere before the planet really goes haywire. Earlier this year, according to a new report from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the global monthly average hit 400 ppm. Uff da. Certain monitoring stations — including the classic Mauna Loa Observatory — have measured a 400 ppm monthly average before, but the WMO says that this is the first time global measurements have collectively crossed the threshold. Greenland might be contributing more to sea level rise than we thought The Greenland ice sheet is starting to look a lot like the ice luge that ruined your New Year’s Eve. Except, instead of drunk faces at the end of it, there’s an ocean. And instead of cheap vodka flowing down its surface, there’s meltwater. It shouldn’t surprise you that Greenland is slowly melting away and will ultimately contribute to what could be catastrophic sea level rise (and if it does surprise you, then welcome to 2016 — you’re going to want to sit down for this).
Australian Academy of Science - Science Policy The science of climate change: questions and answers An updated edition of The science of climate change: questions and answers will be released in mid-2014. This publication aims to address confusion created by contradictory information in the public domain. It sets out to explain the current situation in climate science, including where there is consensus in the scientific community and where uncertainties exist. A frightening record: Carbon dioxide levels show biggest-annual jump Recently, we’ve had more reason than usual to be optimistic on climate change — the world reached its first truly global climate agreement in December, there are a lot of signs that China is getting serious about its emissions, and coal is facing economic collapse in the U.S. But there’s just as much news to sour this outlook, particularly when you look at what’s happening to carbon dioxide. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has reported the biggest 12-month jump in carbon dioxide concentrations since record-keeping began, based on preliminary data from its Earth Science Research Lab in Mauna Loa. From February 2015 to 2016, the global concentration of carbon in the atmosphere rose a record 3.76 parts per million (ppm), to over 404 ppm. The last record-holder was 1997-1998, when carbon dioxide rose 3.70 ppm. Meanwhile, 2015 was the hottest year on record.
What you should know about California’s massive methane leak This story was originally published by Mother Jones and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration. For more than two months, California has experienced a slow-moving environmental disaster: Methane leaking from a faulty natural gas well near the Los Angeles neighborhood Porter Ranch has displaced thousands of families and is releasing the greenhouse gas equivalent of driving 7 million cars each day. Here’s what’s going on: When did all this start? 21 countries shrank their carbon pollution while growing their economies There’s some handwringing even among skeptics who accept climate change is real and human-made that rising greenhouse gas emissions is the inevitable product of a growing economy. And for years, that was pretty much the case: The only time a country saw emissions dip was in an economic recession. But that doesn’t look to be the case any longer, particularly for industrialized nations.
China is about to launch the world’s biggest cap-and-trade program This story was originally published by Mother Jones and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration. On Friday, Chinese President Xi Jinping will announce that China will start the world’s largest carbon-trading system by 2017, according to a statement released Thursday night by the White House. The announcement allows China to implement something that evaded President Barack Obama during his first term in the White House: an economy-wide reform putting a price on carbon dioxide emissions and encouraging big polluters to develop alternative ways to generate energy.
Climate Change Is Putting Your Favorite Foods at Risk The climate is changing — the global temperature is rising, weather patterns are changing, sea levels are rising. Its effects are serious and widespread, but have you ever considered its effects on your favorite foods? Here are 6 foods that will likely be affected if climate change progresses. Avocados. Scientists expect to see a 40 percent decrease in avocado production over the next 30 years unless farmers uproot and seek more suitable climates. Why?
Is it time to give up on the 350 ppm goal? We’re now consistently above 400. Just three years ago this month, the carbon dioxide monitoring station atop Hawaii’s Mauna Loa reached a significant milestone: the first measurement of CO2 concentrations that exceeded the benchmark of 400 parts per million (ppm). Now, they may never again dip below it. As CO2 levels once again approach their annual apex, they have reached astonishing heights. Concentrations in recent weeks have edged close to 410 ppm, thanks in part to a push from an exceptionally strong El Niño.