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Carbon Dioxide

Increase In Atmospheric Methane Set Another Record During 2021

For the second year in a row, NOAA scientists observed a record annual increase in atmospheric levels of methane, a powerful, heat-trapping greenhouse gas that’s the second biggest contributor to human-caused global warming after carbon dioxide. NOAA’s preliminary analysis showed the annual increase in atmospheric methane during 2021 was 17 parts per billion (ppb), the largest annual increase recorded since systematic measurements began in 1983. The increase during 2020 was 15.3 ppb. Atmospheric methane levels averaged 1,895.7 ppb during 2021, or around 162% greater than pre-industrial levels. From NOAA’s observations, scientists estimate global methane emissions in 2021 are 15% higher than the 1984-2006 period.

How Much Will Earth Really Warm By? Here’s The Latest Research

A major new study has been published - one that gives much more certainty on the extent of future warming we might expect. Along with many other international climate scientists, it was led by my colleague, climate scientist Steven Sherwood from the University of New South Wales in Australia. So, I asked him a few questions about it, to drill down what this means for us and the future. We know Earth's climate warms as greenhouse gas concentrations like carbon dioxide rise in the atmosphere. From the 1950s, NASA temperature data show Earth has warmed ~0.8 °C up until the latest decade.The scale of future warming remains uncertain for a variety of reasons, the biggest unknown being how much carbon pollution humanity will emit over the coming decades. That is based on political and economic systems - hardly something we can predict over the coming months - let alone the coming decades! So, scientists have developed complex earth-system models to predict the future using a variety of future carbon pollution scenarios - ranging from the 'burn all the coal reserves' option to the 'shut down all coal-fired power plants tomorrow' option. But another important element of uncertainty is how sensitive Earth's climate is to carbon dioxide.

The Lie Of JetBlue Going Carbon Neutral

The Washington Post recently published an article that “Jet Blue plans to go completely carbon neutral on all U.S. Flights.” While this sounds like a delightful and guilt-free way to keep on flying, this move by Jet Blue is nothing short of a ploy to manufacture a green veneer for their very UN-green activities.  For an excellent analysis of the language behind “green” schemes such as this that actually accelerate environmental destruction and human rights abuses, please listen to the Earth Minute above and then read this piece from the latest World Rainforest Movement Bulletin.

New Climate Data Points To Mass Extermination

In the brain, when neurons fire off electrical signals to their neighbors, this happens through an “all-or-none” response. The signal only happens once conditions in the cell breach a certain threshold. Now an MIT researcher has observed a similar phenomenon in a completely different system: Earth’s carbon cycle. Daniel Rothman, professor of geophysics and co-director of the Lorenz Center in MIT’s Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, has found that when the rate at which carbon dioxide enters the oceans pushes past a certain threshold...

The World’s First Zero Carbon Climate Conference Saved 71 819 Tonnes CO2

The #WeDontHaveTime Climate Conference was totally emission and admission free and broadcast to a public global live audience on Earth Day April 22 2018. The event also marked the launch of the new global climate movement: WeDontHaveTime.org. No keynote speaker, visitors (viewers) or other participant was allowed to travel by air to the conference. The carbon emitted was compensated for through a collaboration with the event partner Trine making it zero carbon. Twenty prominent speakers and 9 174 participants from more then 70 countries around the world joined this first ever virtual event of it’s kind. Keynote speakers included Jeffrey Sachs, Cathy Orlando, Stuart Scott, Pam Pearson, Dennis Meadows, Elizabeth Woodworth, Peter Carter, Anders Wijkman and many more.

No Drop In U.S. Carbon Footprint Expected Through 2050, Energy Department Says

The carbon footprint of the United States will barely go down at all for the foreseeable future and will be slightly higher in 2050 than it is now, according to a new projection by the Energy Department's data office. If that projection came true, it would spell the end of an era in which the U.S. led the world in reducing the tonnage of carbon dioxide it pumped each year into the atmosphere. The new plateau would reflect Donald Trump's determination to walk away from the Paris climate agreement, to abandon any thought of more ambitious climate change policies, and to overturn the main federal climate protections recently put in place, like President Barack Obama's rules to curtail emissions from electric power plants.

“Do We Really Need to Fly?”: Meet Climate Scientists Walking Their Talk

Last December, atmospheric scientist Peter Kalmus ruffled some feathers when he called out 25,000 of his colleagues for flying to the American Geophysical Union's Fall Meeting. Being acutely aware of the worsening impacts from anthropogenic climate disruption (ACD) -- since it was, after all, his job -- Kalmus had already made some dramatic changes in his own life to reflect some of the steps he knew the larger culture needed to take. In 2010 he quantified his own carbon emissions and realized they were dominated by flying: More than three-quarters of his emissions were from flying alone. So, over the next two years he made an effort to fly less, and began to think of his airplane trips within the context of a warming planet. "In 2012, I was sitting on a plane -- the last flight I've taken -- and I had this strong, visceral sense that I didn't belong there, that I didn't want to continue being part of the problem," Kalmus told Truthout...

Just 100 Companies Responsible For 71% Of Global Emissions, Study Says

By Tess Riley for The Guardian - Just 100 companies have been the source of more than 70% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions since 1988, according to a new report. The Carbon Majors Report (pdf) “pinpoints how a relatively small set of fossil fuel producers may hold the key to systemic change on carbon emissions,” says Pedro Faria, technical director at environmental non-profit CDP, which published the report in collaboration with the Climate Accountability Institute. Traditionally, large scale greenhouse gas emissions data is collected at a national level but this report focuses on fossil fuel producers. Compiled from a database of publicly available emissions figures, it is intended as the first in a series of publications to highlight the role companies and their investors could play in tackling climate change. The report found that more than half of global industrial emissions since 1988 – the year the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was established – can be traced to just 25 corporate and state-owned entities. The scale of historical emissions associated with these fossil fuel producers is large enough to have contributed significantly to climate change, according to the report. ExxonMobil, Shell, BP and Chevron are identified as among the highest emitting investor-owned companies since 1988.

Historic Shrinking Of Antarctic Ice Sheet Linked To CO2 Spike

By Stacy Morford for LDEO - Twenty-three million years ago, the Antarctic Ice Sheet began to shrink, going from an expanse larger than today’s to one about half its modern size. Computer models suggested a spike in carbon dioxide levels as the cause, but the evidence was elusive – until now. Ancient fossilized leaves retrieved from a lake bed in New Zealand now show for the first time that carbon dioxide levels increased dramatically over a relatively short period of time as the ice sheet began to deteriorate.

Removing CO2 From Air Only Hope For Fixing Climate Change

By Zahra Hirji for Inside Climate News - The only way to keep young people from inheriting a world reeling from catastrophic climate change is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions dramatically and immediately, according to a new paper. Not only that, but it's also necessary to aggressively remove greenhouse gas that's already accumulated. "If rapid emission reductions are initiated soon, it is still possible that at least a large fraction of required CO2 extraction can be achieved via relatively natural agricultural and forestry practices with other benefits," the authors wrote.

Hundreds Of Groups Demand: Obama Leave Carbon In The Ground

By Michael Saul for Center for Biological Diversity - WASHINGTON— More than 250 climate, community and tribal organizations filed a landmark legal petition today calling on the Obama administration to halt all new fossil fuel leasing on federal lands — a step that would align U.S. energy policies with its climate goals and keep up to 450 billion tons of greenhouse gas pollution from entering the atmosphere. The petition, filed under the federal Administrative Procedures Act, calls on Interior Secretary Sally Jewell to place an immediate moratorium on new leases for federally managed, publicly owned oil, gas, tar sands and oil shale.

Carbon Dioxide Levels Are Set To Pass 400ppm—Permanently

By Nadia Prupis for Common Dreams - Record carbon dioxide levels are set to surpass the symbolic threshold of 400 parts per million (PPM) this year and will likely never fall below that line again in our lifetimes, according to a new study published Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change. Scientists at the UK Met Office used emissions data, sea surface temperature figures, and a climate model from the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii to track the trajectory of CO2 levels and found that carbon dioxide "will for the first time remain above 400 ppm all year and hence for our lifetimes."

Higher Social Costs Bolster Case For Emissions Curbs

Concerted action on climate change is looking like a bargain after research findings that the notional cost to society of global warming damage caused by carbon dioxide emissions has been seriously underestimated. The US Environmental Protection Agency calculates the “social cost of carbon” at $37 per tonne—a figure used to guide current energy regulations and possible future mitigation policies. But two US researchers now put the cost for CO2 emitted in 2015 about six times higher—at $220 a tonne. They report in Nature Climate Change that damage from climate change could directly affect economic growth rates, and will go on doing so, because each “temperature shock” could have a persistent effect that would permanently lower gross domestic product—the wealth indicator used by all economists—from what it would be if the world wasn’t warming.

EPA’s Carbon Rule Falls Short

“On the heels of two telling reports from the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC) and the National Climate Assessment detailing the substantial negative impacts from climate change around the world, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) decision to incorporate emissions trading and offsetting in their new carbon dioxide rule undermines its ability to deliver the real reductions in carbon emissions so urgently needed. “We applaud the President for using the tools he has available, with a Congress that refuses to act and for setting hard targets for emissions reductions. However, the targets don’t make the U.S. a leader in seeking emissions reduction. Because this rule applies to only one segment of our economy, existing coal-fired power plants, the reduction targets fall far short of the IPCC’s goals for developed countries of economy-wide reductions of 15 to 40 percent below 1990 emission by 2020. With these targets, U.S. economy-wide emissions would still be above 1990 levels in 2030.

Northern Hemisphere Cracks 400 ppm CO₂

Carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere crossed a significant threshold in April, just weeks after the White House released a major report on the impacts of climate change and just days before the Obama Administration is set to propose new restrictions on emissions from coal-fired power plants. The concentration of CO₂, widely seen as the most important greenhouse gas, averaged more than 400 parts per million (ppm) for the entire month of April across the Northern Hemisphere, the first time scientists have seen levels that high and that widespread for an entire month. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) announced the new milestone on Monday. CO₂ levels above 400 ppm were recorded for the first time in 2012 in the Arctic. On a few days in the spring of 2013 they exceeded that threshold at Mauna Loa, Hawaii, where measurements have been made since 1958.
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