Thursday, March 7, 2013

Spiking The Earth's Punchbowl

Meanwhile, all this talk of sequestration and political combat pales in comparison to some nasty news about climate change and carbon today:  it's getting worse, and it's getting worse faster.

The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere underwent one of its biggest single-year jumps ever in 2012, according to researchers at the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration. Between the end of 2011 and the beginning of 2013, carbon dioxide levels increased by 2.67 parts per million — a rise topped only by the spike in 1998.

By comparison, global carbon levels averaged a yearly rise of just under 2 parts per million from 2000 to 2010, and increased by less than 1 part per million in the 1960s. The 2012 rise makes it that much more unlikely that global warming can be limited to the 2 degree Celsius threshold most scientist agree is the bare minimum necessary to avoid truly catastrophic levels of climate change. The Associated Press has the report :

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 from civilization near a volcano in Mauna Loa, Hawaii.
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.

Needless to say, climate change, and the Republican efforts to block any efforts to do anything about it, will haunt America for generations.  I'm more sure of that than ever.  My own Congressman, MIT-educated inventor and businessman, Republican Rep. Thomas Massie?

I know he's not a moron when it comes to science.  The guy won the Lemelson prize, MIT's yearly award for inventors, and he founded his own tech company in 1995.

And yet he's cracking lame ass jokes about snow and global warming.  Just to be with the cool kids.  I'll tell you what, this guy is a piece of work, and it's only been a couple of months. If there's any Republican who should be championing science, it's the MIT inventor.

Alas, he's also a Republican businessman who thinks Rand Paul is just ultra cool.  Jesus wept.

1 comment:

delosgatos said...

Needless to say, climate change, and the Republican efforts to block any
efforts to do anything about it, will haunt America for generations.

Look on the bright side. If things continue as they've been going, humanity won't have many more generations to haunt.

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