Friday, November 23, 2007

Atmospheric CO2 at record levels

From Nasdaq News.

"The global average concentrations in the atmosphere of carbon dioxide, or CO2, and nitrous oxide, or N2O, were higher than ever in measurements coordinated by the World Meteorological Organization".

Levels in 2006 reached "381.2 parts per million, according to the agency. Nitrous oxide totaled 320.1 parts per billion, which is a quarter per cent higher than in 2005."

"There is 36.1% more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere than there was in the late 18th century, primarily because of combustion of fossil fuels" and "it appears the upward trend will continue at least for the next few years."

They calculate that CO2 has now contributed some 91% of the warming effect on the biosphere over the last five years. That's the first time I've spotted an empirical measure of the contribution to warming that CO2 makes, and given the number of new fossil fuel power stations coming on stream each year, frankly, it rather scares the hell out of me.

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