Quantcast

Tuesday, July 29, 2014         

 Print   Email   Comment | View 3 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

Mauna Loa readings show increased greenhouse gas

By Seth Borenstein

AP Science Writer

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 05:07 p.m. HST, Mar 05, 2013


WASHINGTON >> The amount of heat-trapping carbon dioxide in the air jumped dramatically in 2012, making it very unlikely that global warming can be limited to another 2 degrees as many global leaders have hoped, new measurements from Mauna Loa in Hawaii show.

Scientists say the rise in CO2 reflects the world's economy revving up and burning more fossil fuels, especially in China.

Carbon dioxide levels jumped by 2.67 parts per million since 2011 to total just under 395 parts per million, says Pieter Tans, who leads the greenhouse gas measurement team for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

That's the second highest rise in carbon emissions since record-keeping began in 1959. The measurements are taken from air samples captured away on top of  Mauna Loa on Hawaii island.

More coal-burning power plants, especially in the developing world, are the main reason emissions keep going up — even as they have declined in the U.S. and other places, in part through conservation and cleaner energy.

At the same time, plants and the world's oceans which normally absorb some carbon dioxide, last year took in less than they do on average, says John Reilly, co-director of Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change. Plant and ocean absorption of carbon varies naturally year to year.

But, Tans tells The Associated Press the major factor is ever-rising fossil fuel burning: "It's just a testament to human influence being dominant."

Only 1998 had a bigger annual increase in carbon dioxide, the primary greenhouse gas from human activity. That year, 2.93 parts per million of CO2 was added. From 2000 to 2010, the world averaged a yearly rise of just under 2 parts per million. Levels rose by less than 1 part per million in the 1960s.

In 2009, the world's nations agreed on a voluntary goal of limiting global warming to 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit over pre-industrial temperature levels. Since the mid-1800s temperatures haven already risen about 1.5 degrees. Current pollution trends translate to another 2.5 to 4.5 degrees of warming within the next several decades, Reilly says.

"The prospects of keeping climate change below that (2-degree goal) are fading away," Tans says.

Scientists track carbon pollution both by monitoring what comes out of factories and what winds up in the atmosphere. Both are rising at rates faster than worst-case scenarios that climate scientists used in their most recent international projections, according to Pennsylvania State University climate scientist Michael Mann.

That means harmful effects of climate change will happen sooner, Mann says.







 Print   Email   Comment | View 3 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

COMMENTS
(3)
You must be subscribed to participate in discussions
By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. Because only subscribers are allowed to comment, we have your personal information and are able to contact you. If your comments are inappropriate, you may receive a warning, and if you persist with such comments you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email commentfeedback@staradvertiser.com.
Leave a comment

Please login to leave a comment.
tiki886 wrote:
This is good news. Plants love Co2. Our crops will be more productive.
on March 5,2013 | 05:27PM
nearby wrote:
Yeah, it's already helping invasive vines and weeds run rampant on the mainland, killing old growth forests that cool the land, and requiring more herbicide on crops. Bon appetite!
on March 5,2013 | 06:47PM
tiki886 wrote:
Ha, ha, ha....Not again! Gore Effect in action: Congress scheduled to hold global warming hearing during DC snowstorm today but shutdown because of the weather!

Global Ocean Temperature Standstill Confirmed http://www.thegwpf.org/global-ocean-temperature-standstill-confirmed/

Temperatures have not increased for 16 years!

Manmade global warming is a hoax!


on March 6,2013 | 02:48AM
IN OTHER NEWS
Breaking News
Blogs
Political Radar
`Values,’ too

Political Radar
$29,595

Wassup Wit Dat!
Bettah Not Lose It

Political Radar
`My side’

Political Radar
‘He reminds me of me’

Bionic Reporter
Needing a new knee

Warrior Beat
Monday musings