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Atmospheric CO2 levels have reportedly surpassed 415 parts per million

By Polycount · 71 replies
May 13, 2019
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  1. Though states like California are taking firm steps toward making the world a more sustainable place and reducing the alleged risk of human-caused climate change, it seems they cannot carry the burden alone. Despite their best efforts, the levels of carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere are increasing.

    Whether that's primarily the result of human activity is a topic of much debate, and it's not one we're looking to jump into here. Instead, we'll look at what we know, courtesy of a report from TechCrunch and information provided by the Mauna Loa Observatory.

    The latter's latest reading (obtained via sensors in the Observatory on May 11) reveals that the level of CO2 in our atmosphere has surpassed 415 parts per million (ppm). According to meteorologist Eric Holthaus on Twitter, this is the "first time in human history" that Earth's atmosphere has had more than 415 ppm.

    "This is the first time in human history our planet's atmosphere has had more than 415ppm CO2. Not just in recorded history, not just since the invention of agriculture 10,000 years ago," Holthaus said. "Since before modern humans existed millions of years ago. We don't know a planet like this."

    Those who believe in the dangers climate change may pose claim that humanity's CO2 emissions could eventually lead to the widespread extinction of "over a million" plant and animal species, increased flooding, sea level rises, additional forest fires, and even -- at high enough atmospheric CO2 levels -- impaired human cognitive function.

    Only time will tell whether or not those fears will be realized, but we'll keep you updated as more information comes to light in the coming months and years.

    Permalink to story.


    IAMTHESTIG TS Evangelist Posts: 1,720   +808

    "...impaired human cognitive function". Well I think that pretty much nails it in right there doesn't it? Isn't that an exact description of our current world?

    All kidding aside how the hell does anyone claim "highest level ever" or "lowest level ever" crap and get away with it? Getting accurate readings and recording them accurately are only things we have recently become good at. We don't really KNOW this information except for in the past 50-100 years or so. All this tech to take readings isn't always accurate, and certainly wasn't more than 100 years ago. So to make these sort of claims sounds like scare-tactic BS to me.

    Don't get me wrong here, I think we should do absolutely everything in our power to reduce and eliminate pollution but to make grandiose claims in an effort seems a shady, unethical tactic. In the end these efforts are often nullified anyway by human greed and corruption. And due to our greed and corruption no one can believe a damn thing anyone says without doing the testing themselves.

    Now Tesla, com'on and hurry up! Save the world!
    ghostf1re, tkabou, viperfl and 6 others like this.
  3. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 4,478   +3,036

    Lots of interesting comments on that tweet. The one I can relate to the closest is -
    Last edited: May 15, 2019
  4. Danny101

    Danny101 TS Guru Posts: 771   +293

    But genetically modified food? Oh, that's fine! Co2 isn't a poison, but all the chemicals and drugs we create still get a free pass!
  5. Xclusiveitalian

    Xclusiveitalian TS Evangelist Posts: 787   +173

    You can't say it's the highest ever on this planet, that is a huge fallacy. We literally had dozens of ice ages, period of extreme heat, period where volcanoes were firing non stop. The planet without human activity has changed drastically throughout history. We had an small ice age during the early medieval era, which humans played no part in. The planet is ever changing and we are just along for the ride.
  6. dangh

    dangh TS Enthusiast Posts: 38   +56

    Of course we measured last 10 thousands of years. It is nothing complicated, all this data is preserved in glaciers and scientists were able to analyse it many times.
    Additionally, human history is around 100k years, and this was meant by saying now is highest level. Co2 doesn't create ice age, it makes temperature higher.
  7. Lew Zealand

    Lew Zealand TS Guru Posts: 673   +573

    So many people's reaction to this appears to be:

    "My ignorance and lack of imagination tell me that we can't know CO2 levels past 100 years ago, so people are making this up."

    Maybe actually read something about how this data is obtained? (hint: ice cores)

    How about coming up with a constructive reaction? What is your solution to this? I hope it's not just sit and wait because that's just the lazy-*** way, and if you were confronted with another impending and frankly more tangible threat, you'd damn well do something about it.
  8. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus Stone age computing - click on the rock below.. Posts: 4,067   +1,190

    xxLCxx, seeprime and psycros like this.
  9. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 3,999   +3,483

    Aside from the Vostok Ice core (and many other samples we've taken), it's actually not that hard to find accurate CO2 levels of the earth's past. Unless you are going to dispute the accuracy of how the scientists measure ice core samples...

    I recommend people commenting that we couldn't possibly know about past CO2 level to read up here: http://www.antarcticglaciers.org/glaciers-and-climate/ice-cores/ice-core-basics/
  10. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 2,715   +2,514

    "This is the first time in human history our planet's atmosphere has had more than 415ppm CO2.

    Not just in recorded history, not just since the invention of agriculture 10,000 years ago. Since before modern humans existed millions of years ago."

    Yep, that's quite true. But several thousand years before that we had significantly higher Co2 levels for a couple centuries. Go back even further and you find FAR higher levels having come and gone long before civilization existed. This is why the pubic is starting to regard all agenda-driven science with suspicion - we know the manipulation for what it is now.
    tkabou and JaredTheDragon like this.
  11. seeprime

    seeprime TS Guru Posts: 382   +410

    People, where they're able to, are already switching from coal to wind and solar power. Cars get ever increasing fuel efficiency. We're making headway in the West. China and the third world are polluting more than ever, since they can.
  12. flipp3r

    flipp3r TS Member Posts: 17

    To be honest I haven't done much research but believe planes are probably the biggest issue.
    Globally roughly 1 million flights this year. Jumbo's cruising at high altitude, all that pollution up there.
    When September 11 hit & all flights were grounded, didn't the holes in the ozone layer repair?
    What's happening now???
    Danny101 likes this.
  13. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 3,999   +3,483

    You are talking about CO2 change over millions of years and during those periods completely different life forms inhabited the earth. Compare that to now where we are talking about a drastic CO2 increase over the course of less then 100 years. Unless you think all lifeforms on earth are going to evolve in the next 20 years I don't see how this comment is applicable. Given that there is zero percent change that will happen, simply put the most sensitive organisms will die off first causing a ripple effect on anything that relied on them. Coral is one of those organisms that is already seeing a major impact and if coral goes, thousands of species of fish and plants will be at risk. That's just the impact from a single organism.
    Last edited: May 14, 2019
  14. Axle Grease

    Axle Grease TS Addict Posts: 140   +57

    Riveting. Utterly riveting. CO2 levels have surpassed 415 ppm. Wow. Think about it guys. 415 ppm is 1 ppm higher than 414 ppm. Holy Hell... Soon it'll reach 417 ppm and the author will be obliged to throw in a pic of a nuke going off.
    JaredTheDragon and Impudicus like this.
  15. sachouba

    sachouba TS Rookie

    Wow, the amount of ignorance and lack of scientific culture around here is pretty concerning. Maybe the USA should start changing how science is taught at school, before hoping to save our planet.

    Now, about this article:
    "Though states like California are taking firm steps toward making the world a more sustainable place and reducing the alleged risk of human-caused climate change, it seems they cannot carry the burden alone"

    Oh yes, California is such a role model, all of the world should start imitating them. For your information, the CO2 emission per capita in California is more than 9 metric ton/year. That's almost twice as much as the world average (and China!), and this is more than 90% of the countries of Europe (including Germany, France, UK). Way to go, California, you're saving our planet!
    Ultraman1966, TempleOrion and regiq like this.
  16. Nobina

    Nobina TS Evangelist Posts: 1,941   +1,490

    So, what's your suggestion?
  17. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 3,999   +3,483

    I'll submit some here in a form that most Americans are able to consume:

    Charles Olson and TempleOrion like this.
  18. Nobina

    Nobina TS Evangelist Posts: 1,941   +1,490

    Showing me this **** made me not care about the planet anymore.
    Impudicus likes this.
  19. xDmSx

    xDmSx TS Rookie

    Right now huge areas of siberian forest a burning in Russia and none even trying to stop it.
    But you should just take a walk instead of driving a car. Civilized countries can reduce emissions, but efforts a useless while others don't.
    TempleOrion likes this.
  20. gamerk2

    gamerk2 TS Maniac Posts: 254   +159

    The mini ice age was caused by an asteroid impact, and it basically ****ed up the planets climate for a couple of years. Ultimately, that was transitory.

    And while the planets temperature does naturally change over time, we're talking 1-2 degrees C over the course of a couple hundred thousand years. Right now, with human impacts, we're talking two to three times that over about a century or so. That's a completely different timescale.

    The sad part is how predictable the endgame is going to be. We saw the EU basically go on a nationalistic bent over a few thousand refugees from the middle east. The US isn't much better. Now imagine literally 2 two 3 billion people being displaced. It's going to get real bad real fast.
  21. fadingfool

    fadingfool TS Booster Posts: 100   +95

    415 ppm. Submarines try to keep the CO2 of their air below 8000 ppm. Think we're ok for awhile (even if we burnt all the current reserves of fossil fuels tomorrow the atmospheric concentration of CO2 wouldn't get much above 700 ppm - and that's with the current carbon sinks).
    The projected real bad things (tm) don't really happen until the year cica 2500 (if you accept the IPCC AR5 report).
    ECS is approximately 2.5-4.5 degrees per doubling of CO2 (again IPCC) with current measured values around half that.
    Burty117 and Robertrogue like this.
  22. Robertrogue

    Robertrogue TS Booster Posts: 74   +29

    I like to think the earth is something to protect. However, scaring people with these over the top scare tactics is not the most helpful. To get the people like me to be more concerned is to show the truth. I have heard about the "ozone" hole, which the science said will cause the co2 to escape the atmosphere and cause an ice age like no other, to now its too much co2 which will create a "green house" effect and cause uncontrolled heat and humidity (similar to Florida). Maybe the hole in the ozone from chlorine can help alleviate our co2 issue? Bring back the old hairspray and aerosols!! Stop crying wolf and maybe we will be more obliged to help and maybe even care a bit more.
    JaredTheDragon likes this.
  23. lipe123

    lipe123 TS Evangelist Posts: 799   +334

    Complete nonsense, where did you even read or hear that?! probably Facebook.

    Co2 is a heavy gas and goes nowhere NEAR the ozone layer. The ozone layer is there to reduce the amount of radiation we get from the sun. It basically blocks some UV rays and that's all it does. it's not some magic bubble wrap blanket. its just a thin layer of oxygen-3 gas high up in the atmosphere.
    Clynt, TempleOrion and regiq like this.
  24. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,993   +2,291

    Unfortunately, I do not think that humor coming from comedians trying to make a buck does any good - as the response to this from someone else in the thread shows.

    IMO, all "humor" like this does is trivialize the issue and gives the audience an outlet for their frustrations. If the audience really cares, that frustration energy should be funneled into writing their representatives and/or taking other actions that may improve the situation.

    Right now, that frustration is being vented into laughs at a comedian and, subsequently, into the potatoes on the couch, and there it dies, IMO.

    I do, however, admire your attempts to enlighten since it is, to me, very obvious that a number of responses to this thread are based on the purely opinionated position of the commentator probably as a result of a proclivity to tune into and listen to the opinionated positions of others who have perhaps one or two brain cells and, thus, a limited capacity to understand anything that does not put money into their wallets.

    Those same responses to this thread make me wonder whether there is, inherent in those commentators, any capacity at all to understand the issues as they, like all other forms of extant life on the planet, simply do not possess the ability to evolve sufficiently in a time frame as short as 20-years.
    TempleOrion and Evernessince like this.
  25. Robertrogue

    Robertrogue TS Booster Posts: 74   +29

    So you are saying they were lying to us back then, yet are telling us the truth now? My point is the evidence is very sketchy and seems over the years people have changed the definition so many times it sounds like the boy who cried wolf. How about the good from co2 in the atmosphere. The rain forests can grow much faster and wider than ever with higher levels of co2 and ozone.


    "Warmth, and more moisture and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere provide ideal growing conditions for the green world. Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is replenished mainly from warming oceans but also from termites, volcanoes and exhaling animals, assisted by about a 3% contribution from burning carbon fuels."
    IAMTHESTIG likes this.

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