Saturday, May 18, 2013
Recently scientists for the first time recorded a CO2 level of 400 parts per million at Mauna Loa observatory in Hawaii. The last time the level was this high was millions of years before modern humans existed.
Antarctic ice core records show a clear correlation between CO2 levels and temperatures for the last 800,000 years. The ocean is absorbing about half of the CO2 we put into the atmosphere, creating an increasingly stronger solution of carbonic acid.
Compared with oceans in preindustrial times the acidity has increased by 30 percent, with serious consequences for many types of sea life. Glaciers are retreating, sea ice is disappearing and sea levels are rising. Rising temperatures will adversely affect crop production, river levels, drinking water, and health.
The much relied on or much derided “hockey stick” graph (showing CO2 levels and temperatures sharply rising side by side from the start of the industrial revolution) shows me that our release of gazillions of tons of CO2 into the atmosphere has increased global temperatures.
I’m not a scientist, but then neither are the strident climate-change deniers gracing these pages. One such person equates the number of books he owns with proof his stand is the correct one.
The Inquisition had hundreds of books with which to bludgeon Galileo on his heliocentric theory. Still, the Earth does in fact revolve around the sun.
Actually, I hope the climate change deniers are correct and the dystopian world many see as the planet’s future will not come to pass. However, a majority of climate scientists believe this is simply wishful thinking and we can’t go on with business as usual.
More like this story
- LETTERS TO THE EDITOR - OK, let's look at CO2 levels and climate change
- Letter - CO2 is more than benign gas to world’s oceans
- Greenhouse gases hit new milestone, fueling worries about climate change
- Learn to adapt as water levels continue to rise
- Oceans' rising acidity a threat to shellfish, humans