When it comes to humankind’s influence on global climate, we should pay more attention to what’s really up.
Among other things, what’s up is carbon dioxide. Present levels are 40% higher than they were before the industrial revolution. More worrisome still, levels continue to rise. Rapidly.
Here are atmospheric CO2 levels for the last thousand years, as measured at the Mauna Loa atmospheric observatory, and estimated from ice cores taken at Law Dome:
One thing that’s clear is that CO2 has been rising due to human activity for the last 150 years, contrary to false claims that it’s only been on the rise for about half that time.
Our planet has already felt about half the global warming due to the CO2 we’ve already added to the atmosphere; the rest is “in the pipeline,” and the impact of that extra warming on the availability of food and water is likely to be unpleasant. We’ll be very lucky indeed if we don’t pay a heavy price for the changes we’ve already wrought.
But the most unpleasant aspect of all this is that CO2 levels aren’t just elevated, they’re continuing to rise, at about 2 ppmv per year. And it’s a sure thing that they’ll continue to rise for some time to come. We’ll hit 400 ppmv — already dangerous levels — in about 4 years, and 450 ppmv — an extremely dangerous level according to some of the world’s best-informed experts — in about 3 decades. Maybe sooner. The impact on the availability of food and water is likely to be very unpleasant.
Food and water. Life and death.
It’s time to get real. What are we gonna do about it? What are you gonna do about it? Let’s hear — what are you doing, what do you plan to do, what suggestions can you offer?