Note on Reaching the Annual Low Point

We are now approaching the annual low point in the Mauna Loa CO2 curve, which typically happens around the last week of September but varies slightly from year to year.  Recent daily and weekly values have remained above 400 parts per million.  From this it’s already clear that the monthly value for September will be above 400 ppm, probably around 401 ppm.  September is typically but not always the lowest month of the year.

The low point reflects the transition between summer and fall, when the uptake of CO2 by vegetation weakens and is overtaken by the release of CO2 from soils.

Is it possible that October 2016 will yield a lower monthly value than September and dip below 400 ppm?   Almost impossible.  Over the past two decades, there were four years (2002, 2008,  2009, and 2012) in which the monthly value for October was LOWER than September.  But in those years, the decrease from September to October was at most 0.45 ppm – which would not seem to be enough to push October values below 400 ppm this year.  The monthly value for October will therefore almost certainly also stay above 400 ppm and probably will be higher than 401 ppm.  By November, we will be marching up the rising half of the cycle, pushing towards new highs and perhaps even breaking the 410 ppm barrier.

Concentrations will probably hover around 401 ppm over the next month as we sit near the annual low point.  Brief excursions towards lower values are still possible but it already seems safe to conclude that we won’t be seeing a monthly value below 400 ppm this year –  or ever again for the indefinite future.

  • Ralph Keeling

61 thoughts on “Note on Reaching the Annual Low Point”

  1. It is quite sobering to consider that 400 ppm hasn’t been seen in almost ONE MILLION YEARS, and yet, for most people on this planet, it’s “business as normal”. I’m a great optimist in my pessimism: I think we’re heading toward the CLIFF, and that the fall will most likely be fatal. But then, go say that to the Marines, and they’ll laugh at you… Sad world, we’re living in… I personally won’t see the worst of it (I’m 67), but, somehow, I care for the planet. How stupid of me…

    1. I am 68 and I believe it will get much worse and much faster than you think it will. I expect you will see the point where it will convince even the worst skeptic that something must be done. I believe all climate deniers should be forced to go to Miami and no boats or planes will be allowed for them to leave when the water rises.

      1. Sadly it will be business as usual for the Developed World for the next few years. More time to pump more Co2 into the atmosphere! Poorer nations and islands around the world will bear the brunt of Climate Change first, but eventually we will all have to deal with it. And its not looking pretty at all!

      2. It’s almost certainly a tipping point. Meaning that by the time the last skeptic agrees that something has to be done, it will be too late.

      3. ‘I believe…’ doesn’t give me much faith in your ability to understand science and the empirical evidence vs modeling. Even the LIA showed a period of water level rise, so where would like to draw your line in the sand?

    2. Life is most important in life. Nothing stupid about caring about life, the first self-evident truth.

      Yet, these rates wouldn’t be anywhere near as high, even with all the transportation and manufacturing smog.

      The real issue here is that people kill and enslave animals for the sole purpose of personal gratification (fun, sport, taste, unneeded nutrition, glamor, fashion, etc.

      Taking life for unneeded reasons is ignoring the most important truth in life and this is what results.

        1. Not the wrong subject, although it could be stated more clearly. I’m afraid it is true that livestock farming produces from 20% to 50% of all man-made greenhouse gas emissions. That has to be considered if we’re looking for mitigation projects.

    3. To quote George Carlin “the planet is fine … the people are f…ked”.

      We are not going to hurt the planet in any way. It will survive and recover in a few thousand or hundreds of thousands of years. Time we pathetic human beings can’t even imagine. It survived the cosmic collision that wiped out the dinosaurs … and life recover just fine … given 65 million years.

      Once we’re gone the earth will simply start over with little … if anything … us left behind. Perhaps it will be something less intelligent and will be able to live in harmony with what the earth provides.

      Who knows

  2. Thank you Ralph for the important work you are doing. It is difficult for all of us caring and reality-based individuals to deal with the knowledge and the emotions of this news. Bye bye 400ppm. We will look back at this day and wish we were back to 400, let alone 350. I’m 59 and expect my late years to be impacted a great deal by Climageddon, and the human reverberations implied by the drastic consequences of 500 and 600 and 800… it won’t take long for normal life to break apart, and I don’t see any way to stop it at this point. I know something incredible always comes along and saves the day, but that has got to involve shading the planet somehow. I think policy changes are not going to do enough to stop the acceleration, let alone pull us back into the sub 350 regime.

  3. Are we, “older folks” (67, 68, 59 ), the only ones taking note of the Keeling curve ascension?!? Just a thought, an odd one at that! Maybe more needs to be done to publicize this website and similar ones (dancing girls and free champagne?) Sorry, the first part is sexist, I know, but in this world, sex sells!

    1. More people should know about the Keeling Curve, but you presume ignorance of increasing atmospheric CO2 concentration is thwarting mitigation. Compare the scale of annual CO2 emissions against the scale of all existing or proposed mitigation solutions. Then reconsider the potential impact of a salacious publicity campaign.

      1. Hi Larry,
        No offense meant, but I don’t have a clue what you’re talking about… Sometimes, people are so caught up in their own thinking patterns they don’t realize others do not share their basic assumptions or are even aware of them. Again, I do not mean to offend in any way, but I REALLY don’t understand the meaning of your words past the “,” in the first sentence.
        Ironic, isn’t it? We probably agree on most of this, but I sure as hell don’t understand WHY, because I don’t understand your thoughts as worded…

        1. All he’s saying is that many people know about the atmosphere heating up, even if they aren’t aware of the science of the thing. We have the solutions we need. But, because people are idiots and cannot decide on one of the many realistic solutions available, the atmosphere’s temperature will most likely continue to rise.

          1. Actually no, my understanding is that CO2 mitigation solutions do not yet exist on a scale sufficient to make a difference. But please share some of the many realistic solutions you speak of. I would be pleased to find my understanding to be wrong.

            To your second comment: I have no solutions to offer. Wish I did.

        2. I got the impression from your comment that you believe there are solutions to the increasing atmospheric CO2 concentration if only enough people called for action. No solutions now exist at sufficient scale to make a noticeable difference.

          I suggested you compare the magnitude of annual global CO2 emissions against the CO2 reductions from plausible mitigation projects. CO2 emissions totaled between 35 and 40 billion tons in 2015. All current and proposed CO2 mitigation projects combined, if completely successful, wouldn’t noticeably change the net emission rate or the increasing atmospheric CO2 concentration.

          So, knowledge of the issue isn’t the problem.
          Solutions of sufficient scale to make a difference may be discovered in the future, but there are as yet no meaningful answers.

          1. Larry S.
            Do you have any ideas? I do not profess to hold a vast knowledge of plausible climate change reversibility tactics. What constitutes your mitigation projects?

          2. Money talks. I agree that there are not many viable answers to the climate change catastrophe as of yet. Because of policy continually enacted, this will be the reality for literal years to come. Yes the global political climate is shaky at best. Yes there the military provides education opportunities that, sadly, are difficult to find in America’s modern society. So ask yourself: how can this global [social and thermal] climate change when military spending receives over twice the subsidies compared to any other social program? Not to mention the problem with large quantities of NASA’s funding being used for geothermal research. The first step to global survival is planning for healthy growth through education, positive scientific research, and rehabilitative healthcare, not a mechanism of destruction. If discretionary funding is truly discretionary, we will change funding allocations if the need arises for military defense.

          3. Jeffrey D. Sachs has lots of ideas that seem plausible, if only people WANT to change, and we are willing to spend 1% of world GDP on them. Try skimming the book “Common Wealth: Economics for a crowded planet”. It’s a few years old, but gives some reason for hope. Should be available in most public libraries.

          4. As per the annual fluctuation in CO2 levels, agriculture is the one possible tool to sequester carbon on a sufficient scale. Work by savory.global is notable in this regard. Intentional cultivation of C3 crops for carbon capture is low tech. Farmed at the rate of 84M hectares. would provide a carbon sink of billions of tons annually.

          5. if livestock as such were the problem….um, before livestock, would bison by the tens of millions, African herds of allsorts ditto, ruminant species of scale everywhere, have been inexorably moving the planet to a CO2 apocalypse…? or is it strictly speaking related human activities? o.k., another concept tester: according to some leading analysts, CO2 is NOT a driver of global warming, after solar activity you have ozone, aerosols, and I think carbon fines, and there is some danger if this is true that the whole credibility of the U.N., or other largescale international prescription, could be undermined…?

          6. my first comment is awaiting moderation….on reflection, I recall the fourth driver of global warming is not carbon fines as such but, generically, radiative cloud fractioning….and I’m getting this from an old iSlab app,
            “Global Warming” (ck out the doteu for history of their
            math analytics & total predictive outperformance as compared to the U.N….)

      2. My suggestion is that ‘responsible’ television weather personalities begin to show the Curve with every broadcast, that might force a rhetorical amping of this ridiculously ignored subject.

        1. Hi Bruce.
          What you said. Yes.
          How? Here are some of our thoughts/efforts.
          Trying to leverage the web. Bypass major eXXon ad $$ dependent (corrupted) media. Reasonable … we do hope to find such. Our local SF Bay “channels” may be open to ideas. We have not approached them yet. (Been looking for solid CO2 data … think this is the place!) And make it easy for them to add the daily CO2 ppm to report like they report temperature.
          While pursuing that avenue, we are busy with this work — Please, if you have any suggestion, input, critique … let us know. Thanks

    2. Umm, can I point out that the largest demographic that supports the right and their science denying politicians, “think tanks”, and talking heads are statistically the older generation.

      Thank you for caring, but you can not blame this on your children, who have had no time in their life to make any meaningful policy or societal shift.

  4. Really explain the paleogene Era at 200% more CO2 than current levels..

    More fear and doubt.

    The context of the entire argument is wrong. Should be how we all can be more ecologically sound and better utilize our resources.

    Cause if you all like you can stop the planets and the climate that is created, your gonna get burned by the Sun.. evenitally.

  5. As with so many others I am certainly hoping that more people can begin to see the significance of this and take climate change a lot more seriously than they currently seem to do so. JH is right in that we need to understand how to better utilise our resources.

    2016 appears to be a rather sobering year, one which I expect future generations will look at surprised that we were preoccupied with other things. I’m 17 so I dare say I’ll see 500 or 600 ppm in my lifetime, if not much more.

  6. At this point, we better hope we find two things. Cheap and abundant energy first. Second, quick and efficient methods of carbon capture technology and water creation, which will require endless cheap energy.

    Without these two things in the next few decades, my generation and below (I’m 31) are looking towards an ugly future. And we have our parents, who egged on these no nothings in the republican party and alt-right for decades, to thank.

    1. So you are saying Democrats don’t pollute??? if that were true there would be no bumper stickers bashing Republicans…..but guess what…..Democrats put them on cars!!!
      C’mon…let’s keep this a discussion of science…..trying to say that political affiliation dictates one’s level of environmental concern is moronic….

  7. Michael C – I agree with you that it’s “business as normal”. I don’t agree that we are heading towards a cliff. Listen to David Attenborough’s Chairman’s address to the Royal Society of Arts 2011 (it’s on TED).
    All – please don’t wait for a “cliff”. Earth’s previous ice ages and extinction events did not occur overnight. Timescales are very pertinent.
    We have increased atmospheric CO2 by 100 ppm in 60 years. The last time earth saw a 100 ppm increase it took 40,000 years.
    We are seeing a slow shift (relatively in human terms) in climatic behaviour. Storms intensity and frequency, drought duration, polar ice melting, sea level rises, record high temperatures, coral reef bleaching, unprecedented floods….
    These events are not a “cliff”.
    However, they will get worse. In terms of climate actions, the Paris 2012 climate conference produced many fine words. Can anyone name specific actions following the fine words?
    The result:
    Storms will get worse. Droughts will get worse. Floods will get worse. Sea level rises will get worse. Crop failure will get worse.
    The consequence:
    7 billion humans will not all avoid these consequences. Their Ecosystem will be increasingly attacked. The 9 billion humans expected in 2050 will be even more prone to Ecosystem attack.
    The solution:
    Wake up governments – the only bodies with the authority to save the human race.
    Look at the root cause – human over-population.
    Shun “Big Oil”. Keep hydrocarbons in the ground, not only reducing CO2, but also improving air quality.
    Promote “Zero carbon” technologies. (I’m pi**ed off because my local council refused my application to replace my home with a zero carbon dwelling)
    We have the technologies to introduce a solution TODAY. The longer we delay, the more damage we do to the human ecosystem.
    Peter

    1. Peter, care to back up your assertions about coral reef bleaching, storm freq and intensity, more droughts and floods and ‘crop failure will get worse’ scenario?

      I have a sneaky scientific suspicion that you are talking bollocks.

  8. 9/28/2016 Tragic 400 ppm day for Mother Earth.
    Seeking input, ideas, requests.
    Please tell us what we can do to improve this CO2 down now effort.
    It’s STEM+Art, STEAM.
    Hoping that 3D interactive analemma github FOSS will help people see/understand climate change. Show CO2, the invisible gas.
    3D scientific visualization of CO2 … we need CO2 data, and ideas about how to display it in 3D.
    Thanks, Theo Armour and Art Scott
    https://ladybug-analysis-tools.github.io/ladybug-web/analemma-3d/analemma-3d-r18.html

    We’d like to read CO2 Data Daily Average from http://scrippso2.ucsd.edu/cosub2sub-data
    and incorporate it into three.js github FOSS 3D interactive analemma
    https://ladybug-analysis-tools.github.io/ladybug-web/analemma-3d/analemma-3d-r18.html
    and share it daily with all social media sites
    Think of it as a daily climate CO2 report feed … kinda like weather report temperature.

  9. I’m 60 years old. This all happened because none of us were watching. The most effective carbon capture happens in the soil and in trees. Good luck finding activists inspired to Save enough Trees to start reducing the level of CO2 in the atmosphere. Not trendy enough! Good luck finding anyone willing to spend the money on yet to be made practical carbon capture infrastructue. We might survive all this if we learn to talk with each other again, face to face! A community is very powerful!

    1. We’re our own enemy. We’re the worst enemy. We kill our kind, rape each other, take others home and countries, without respect to any other species any kind, any size, consume madly, with 0 thinking.

      I’m sorry all old folks here but I gotta say humankind, we ignorant bastards, our existence must come to end. If this happen cause of carbon, so be it. World, the eco system needs peace and it’s biological order. We’re the viruses, evolved wrong and this corruption needs to stop.

      I’m dreaming a world without us, 400million years passed from our extinction, everything we built vanish. Well, that’s a quite beautiful dream. And I’m so sick of struggling, thinking all of this.

      1. Your point is well made. If you want cheering up mayby look at the series on TV “Life after People”.

  10. Objective Thinker here.

    I am so pleased I found this blog post. I’m seeing dozens of editorialized articles saying things like “ZOMFG WE ARE ALL TEH DIEXOR5!!1!1!!1!!111!!!!1!1!1!!one”

    I’ll be clear. Yes, this is bad. However is there entirely ZERO prospect of reversing this? Let’s pretend I could push a button and tomorrow we’re all on solar/wind/tidal/geo, and we simultaneously run algae farms on a large scale to convert CO2 into O2. Let’s pretend this best case scenario could occur. Would it be entirely impossible to revert this problem?

  11. You might want to support the four declarations of the ONE EARTH FOOTPRINT MANIFESTO:

    « I agree to live within a One-Earth Footprint even if it means changing my lifestyle radically, if everybody else also has to. »

    « I agree that everyone on earth has a birth right to an equal share of the world’s resources and the total available environmental space. »

    « I agree that we must share the earth with all other species and respect their right to thrive on earth. »

    « In the name of life and guided by the precautionary principle, I demand that all national and international leaders, present and future, would implement an equitable transition to a One-Earth Ecological Footprint for all by 2025 as THE top priority for mankind while assuring that the fundamental needs of all humans are met. »

    Here : https://oneearthfootprint.org/manifest-en/

  12. Maybe this is why Elon Musk is making plans to populate Mars. He is thinking way, way ahead but by the way things are looking – that might be reality some day. I think we should focus our efforts on saving the planet we already have. We have the technology to live and operate so much more efficiently and cleanly.

    The fact that climate change is a global issue that requires everyone’s involvement makes it especially difficult to address but I know we can do it – we have to. I’m optimistic by nature and like to focus on the progress being made (Climate Week, the Paris Agreement, RE100). I just hope that more countries and global corporations start making some serious commitments and start taking action. The time is now – it always has been!

  13. https://www.skepticalscience.com/co2-higher-in-past.htm
    CO2 was higher in the past
    “The killer proof that CO2 does not drive climate is to be found during the Ordovician- Silurian and the Jurassic-Cretaceous periods when CO2 levels were greater than 4000 ppmv (parts per million by volume) and about 2000 ppmv respectively. If the IPCC theory is correct there should have been runaway greenhouse induced global warming during these periods but instead there was glaciation.”
    (The Lavoisier Group)

    Geologists refer to ancient ice-cap formations and ice-ages as “glaciations.” One such glaciation that occurred during the Late Ordovician era, some 444 million years ago has captured the attention of climate scientists and skeptics alike. To get some perspective on timing, that’s just over 200 million years before dinosaurs began to roam the Earth.

    Unlike other glaciations in the last 500 million years, this one was exceptionally brief (lasting perhaps only a million years or so) but the main reason for generating so much interest recently is because it took place when CO2 levels were apparently sky-high. As Ian Plimer notes in his book, “Heaven and Earth”, pp165:

    “The proof that CO2 does not drive climate is shown by previous glaciations…If the popular catastrophist view is accepted, then there should have been a runaway greenhouse when CO2 was more than 4000 ppmv. Instead there was glaciation. Clearly a high atmospheric CO2 does not drive global warming and there is no correlation between global temperature and atmospheric CO2.”

    1. I am curious as to why you chose to misrepresent the Skeptical Science rebuttal to Plimer.

      You are citing the climate MYTH originating with well-known denialist fraudster, Ian Plimer.

      Here is what the rest of the article states regarding the myth you cite:

      “To answer this, we have to fill in some parts of the puzzle that are missing. Let’s start with the CO2.

      Plimer’s stated value of 4000 ppmv or greater is taken from Robert Berner’s GEOCARB, a well-known geochemical model of ancient CO2. As the Ordovician was so long ago, there are huge uncertainties for that time period (according to the model, CO2 was between an incredible 2400 and 9000 ppmv.) Crucially, GEOCARB has a 10 million year timestep, leading Berner to explicitly advise against using his model to estimate Late Ordovician CO2 levels due its inability to account for short-term CO2 fluctuations. He noted that “exact values of CO2… should not be taken literally.”

      What about evidence for any of these short-term CO2 fluctuations? Recent research has uncovered evidence for lower ocean temperatures during the Ordovician than previously thought, creating ideal conditions for a huge spurt in marine biodiversity and correspondingly large drawdown of CO2 from the atmosphere through carbon burial in the ocean. A period of mountain-building was also underway (the so-called Taconic orogeny) increasing the amount of rock weathering taking place and subsequently lowering CO2 levels even further. The evidence is definitely there for a short-term disruption of the carbon cycle.

      Another important factor is the sun. During the Ordovician, it would have been several percent dimmer according to established nuclear models of main sequence stars. Surprisingly, this raises the CO2 threshold for glaciation to a staggering 3000 ppmv or so. This also explains (along with the logarithmic forcing effect of CO2) why a runaway greenhouse didn’t occur: with a dimmer sun, high CO2 is necessary to stop the Earth freezing over.

      In summary, we know CO2 was probably very high coming into the Late Ordovician period, however the subsequent dip in CO2 was brief enough not to register in the GEOCARB model, yet low enough (with the help of a dimmer sun) to trigger permanent ice-formation. Effectively it was a brief excursion to coldness during an otherwise warm era, due to a coincidence of conditions.

      The following (somewhat simplified) diagram may make this easier to understand:

      Ordovician Glaciation

      When looking at events such as these from the deep geological past, it is vital to keep in mind that there are many uncertainties, and generally speaking, the further back we look, the more there are. As our paleo techniques improve and other discoveries emerge this story will no doubt be refined. Also, although CO2 is a key factor in controlling the climate, it would be a mistake to think it’s the only factor; ignore the other elements and you’ll most likely get the story wrong.”

      SOURCE: https://www.skepticalscience.com/co2-higher-in-past.htm

      1. Gee Jon, you lost your argument straight away using the term ‘denialist’,

        Perhaps one would be wise to look at the LIA period and sunspot activity at the time, very little activity was noted and the connection to today is, that solar activity is low again. One would conclude that we are, in fact, heading for another cold spell, the question is, how long till this happens? Therefore, one should conclude that climatic fluctuations are impacted by solar forcing’s, yes?

        So, in light of increased temperatures over time, It does make sense given that we are coming out of an ice age, that the planet should warm and we are very lucky, as a human race, to have a found a ‘sweet spot’ in a very small but significant period of time where we thrive and survive.

        So Jon, CO2 plays a small but insignificant part in global warming and the modelling tells us that CO2 is NOT the driver you believe it to be, rather the modelling runs hot which indicates that other forces are at play and right now, it would appear that our solar cycle is the closest explanation we have to understanding climate change in its current form.

  14. “The United States consumed about 3.8million gigawatt-hours of electricity in 2010. Coal accounted for 44 percent of that, nuclear for 20 percent. …Under an optimistic scenario for renewable energy production from wind, solar, biomass, geothermal, and so on, let’s say that, to reduce carbon emissions enough to stave off catastrophic climate change, by 2050 we must increase the portion of our electricity generated by nuclear power to 50 percent. Liquid fluoride thorium reactors are carbon free; their contribution to nuclear proliferation risks is near zero; they not only essentially eliminate the cost of long-term storage of radioactive waste but also provide social benefits by processing existing waste from conventional plants, making it easier to store; and they will jump-start a new era of energy technology innovation that will benefit the companies and the nations that build them…”
    https://www.amazon.com/SuperFuel-Thorium-Energy-Source-Future/dp/113727834X

  15. Biomass? Hah!

    The problem is even worse than realized because one of the largest “solutions” being implemented and publicly subsidized is tree fueled biomass which is even worse than coal for carbon impacts. More than 50% of Europe’s new “renewable” energy comes from tree-fueled biomass, fueled by slaughtering southern US forests. (I am NOT supporting coal, just using it to show how bad tree-fueled biomass is)

    Humans have an incredible ability to believe what they want to believe, instead of what actually is.

    Burning trees is NOT “carbon neutral” and in fact has a carbon footprint 50% higher per unit of energy produced than a coal plant.

    It is hard to get believers to give up the truth fairy, denial is stubborn, but the evidence is overwhelming:

    90 Scientists Letter to Congress “Count Biomass Carbon”:
    http://www.maforests.org/90scientistsletter.pdf

    Science Journal “Serious Biomass Accounting Error”
    http://www.maforests.org/SCIENCE.pdf

    Dr. Moomaw IPCC, Biomass NOT Carbon Neutral:
    https://eubioenergy.com/2015/11/20/bioenergy-is-not-carbon-neutral-says-ipcc-author-william-moomaw/

    Logging, Bio-energy and Carbon Emissions:
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130611122103

    78 Scientists to EPA, Biomass Bad for Forests & Carbon:
    http://www.maforests.org/76%20Scientist%20-%20Biomass%202015.pdf

    Dr Schlesinger, EPA should follow the science:
    http://thehill.com/opinion/op-ed/209863-on-biomass-epa-should-follow-the-science

    Biomass Never Carbon Neutral From Trees:
    http://www.maforests.org/Biomass%20Assumptions.pdf

    Biomass Biogenic Carbon, Same impacts:
    http://www.maforests.org/BiogenicGeologic%20August%202011.pdf

    European Environment Agency, Biomass Accounting Error:
    http://www.maforests.org/Biomass%20energy%20-%20not%20sustainable%20or%20carbon%20neutral.pdf

    Schulze Et Al: “Biomass not carbon neutral”
    http://www.maforests.org/Biomass%20energy%20-%20not%20sustainable%20or%20carbon%20neutral.pdf

    Dr Eric Johnson, “Biomass Carbon Neutrality” Mythbuster:
    http://www.maforests.org/Carbon.pdf

    PFPI, Biomass Basics:
    http://www.pfpi.net/biomass-basics-2

  16. https://twitter.com/LotsofCO2isbad
    Read the CONCLUSION paragraph to

    http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/1104789/

    and then realize…1000 PPM is the level all outdoor air will be in just 80 years given expected population/economic growth.
    (See… http://www.vox.com/2015/5/15/8612113/truth-climate-change )

    Actually, what is even more worrisome than that is by 2100, the quality of INDOOR air practically anywhere you go will be much worse and it’s effect possibly even more disastrous. The long term direct effects on the human body of higher levels of CO2 – – such as 1000 parts per million (PPM) – – in the atmosphere pretty much have NOT been studied by any government or university (by long term I mean a year or more). A few scientists in Australia have started some studies on smaller mammals but that’s about it. Nobody really knows what will happen when you have people breathing more CO2 on an even smaller level, such as 600 PPM, for a year or more. High CO2 concentrations affect bees (that’s right, bees) negatively… everyone keeps talking about the greenhouse effect, but what if that’s “peanuts” compared to other problems we have with crops, animals and our very own bodies on the horizon? No government wants to look into/acknowledge this set of potential problems, because a lot more knowledge on the subject might unavoidably point out we have to drastically, dramatically cut emissions, on a sudden basis (as opposed to gradually) at some point in time – – and that will completely mess with economic growth. There are no “experts” on this type of long-term exposure out there and there are no governments/institutions eager to make any, or conduct any studies.

    1. From my studies as a builing engineer it is known that in closed rooms (with bad ventilation) at 1000ppm the people can not perform any substatial work.

  17. The temperature of my house just reached its “tipping point” for winter and will probably not see 72 degrees again until spring.

    You really should tell the people you’re not talking about “acid” as normal people would think, but “acid” in the sense that rainwater is acidic. And it never will happen. Of course I suspect Scripps already knows this. What a farce.

  18. Why are the CO2 readings taken in a highly gaseous volcanic region of planet earth? Having perused many article comments it is apparent that people are not openly discussing the many atmospheric and or marine variations that are initiated by earth quakes. Let alone the change of earth mass distribution and axial waver resulting in varied solar aspect, and this notwithstanding impact of solar flares on earth climate.
    Having said that, we all need to reduce our gaseous outputs and plant more trees.

    1. Garry – not sure the relevance of these readings coming from Mauna Loa. I understand their reasoning for selecting that location, though, and it appears to be sound.

      Tell me this: take a look at the extraordinary regularity and consistent stepped-climb each year throughout the Keeling Curve history, and proffer a viable theory as to what is happening with ‘earthquakes’, ‘earth mass distribution’, ‘atmospheric & marine variations’, ‘solar flares’, etc. that fits the observed data. Can you agree that the human consumption of vast quantities of fossil fuels, indisputably creating CO2 as a byproduct, fits the observed data extraordinarily well?

  19. Science has given us the evidence and now the intellectual awareness that all species and organisms have developed in a natural evolutionary ecosystem that provides them the opportunities of sustenance and the means of their demise in the cycle of life. The future of medicine and curative therapies of the worlds great diseases lies in unlocking the secrets of biological and chemical compounds that exist in natural form but have not been yet identified. Cancer, ALS, Alzheimers will have a natual enemy, we just need to discover them.
    But Human beings disrupt this natural order. They are the most complex and complicated species, not because of their higher ability to reason but, despite that virtue, their willingnes to abandon rationalism in favor of behavior that will threaten their very existence to satisfy the now. Man is his own natural enemy; Anethema to nature. This puts us not at the top, but at the bottom of the hierarchal Kingdom of species.

  20. Don’t spend billions building a habitable ecosystem on Mars, spend it saving the Earth…the ideal biosphere that has sustained the abundance of life we all still share now.

  21. Now that we’ve reached the point of no return and the fate of the earth is sealed, I guess that means all the hysterical warnings and ridiculous changes that would have us living in caves can now stop. Right? Right?

  22. We should change our planet destroying behavior now or I wish that we could hasten our demise so that a new evolutionary period can commence that has the chance to live in harmony with the earth and the other species that have been the losers from co-habitating with the lofty human being.

    1. Allow me to offer an exercise to aid understanding of the scale of this issue. List in a spreadsheet all the human behavior changes you suggest. Then, estimate the most optimistic but plausible mitigation for each. Sum the individual mitigation estimates and subtract your total from the current global GHG emissions. Would your behavior changes make a noticeable difference?

      Advocating behavior changes without some knowledge of their potential impact isn’t so different from chanting to increase rainfall.

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