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'Scary': CO2 Rates Climb Even as Emissions Stabilize


I agree scientific analysis of the earth and its systems can lead to possible solutions. For instance The Little Ice Age, a period when global temperatures were 1 degree C lower was probably caused by natural reforestation after the demise of 90% or more of the agriculturally active inhabitants of the Western hemisphere after Columbus.

During the Great Depression the CCC employed youth in projects including planting trees. In 9 years they planted 3 billion trees among many other things.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civilian_Conservation_Corps
There are numerous unemployed youth world wide that would love to get paid to protect the planet and themselves and their children.
On a personal basis we can all plant a tree a week. Additionally the largest easily increased carbon sink is the soil which can hold 2-3 times the CO2 as the atmosphere. In fact the largest contributor to CO2 to the atmosphere is the plow. Exposed soil loses its carbon. Before the plow the top soil the Great Plains was carbon rich and moisture laden and 6 ft deep. Now it is inches deep arid and carbon poor. Before the plow there were 100 million or so grazing animals and their predators including humans. Now it is plowed to feed 100 million or so animals. We can reverse that by using regenerative agriculture. On a personal basis the most effective thing an individual can do is eat regeneratively grown organic produce and grass fed meat, dairy and eggs. It is a no brainer. You will be healthier and so will the planet and the farmers that produce the food will be happier.


I heard such technologies to suck carbon from the atmosphere. Unfortunately at the current level of technology they can only be able to such the equivalent of 200 (no that isn’t a typo it is only 3 digits) cars worth of CO2, so yeah we’re fucked.


Has anyone else been unable to access the climate data reported on in the Times at NOAA’s website?


Perhaps the site is just busy but I hope it was not made inaccessible on purpose by Pruitt.


Olivine is one potential Carbon dioxide removal (CDR) method. The following company is one example with a lot of background material on their site. Excerpt from their website, “The widely occuring natural miniral olivine binds CO2. Speading up its weathering process is an innovative and effective way to reduce CO2 in our atmosphere and slow down the acidification of our oceans.”


I also recommend checking out Richard Branson’s Virgin Earth Challenge for more technologies to remove CO2.



I can’t figure out why “scary” is in air quotes – this horrific information is downright terrifying.


olivine mining will destroy rainforest ecosystems – it’s a terrible terrible idea


I did some rummaging around after finding that website your link to isn’t available and found this one that looks good:

This is what is claims:
“NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) is responsible for preserving, monitoring, assessing, and providing public access to the Nation’s treasure of climate and historical weather data and information.”

Maybe it will have the data refereneced. Let’s hope so.


Care to show us the “evidence from the past” and the climate models where the carbon sinks have stopped absorbing carbon? According to this article there aren’t any. But maybe you know more then the worlds climate scientists about this subject?


Pretty sure rump ordered it all to be taken down.
He was rather belligerent towards NOAA’s research/data.


First, it’s discouraging to read the comments; several goinbg along with McPherson’s hyperbolic scaremongering, as destructive as denialism in that it says there is no point in trying, it’s all over. And then,a disagreement about the science that gets unnecessarily personal
Yes,maybe absorption mechanisms are slowing down–but it seems to me there is another reason why CO2 levels keep rising despite “reduced emissions”–namely that CO2 levels are objectively measured on Moana Loa, whereas emissions are calculated based on countries’ reports. When OPEC made the rule that the amount of oil each member country could sell was based on a percentage of their national reserves, the estimated reserves of most countries doubled overnight. Likely motivations are primarily toward lowballing estimated emissions. Example: the US has supposedly reduced emissions by replacing coal-fired power plants with gas-fired ones. Burning gas emits half the CO2 that burning coal does…but if you take the entire cycle into account, the amount of much more potent methane released completely erases this advantage–according to studies done by independent researchers. Likely the government clings to the studies done by EDF, a "shady lady green group, in conjunction with the industry, which–surprise, surprise–yielded leakage rates much lower. That’s methane, not CO2 but I certainly hope they aren’t ignoring the other greenhouse gases, mostly much more potent than CO2–and likely there are places factors used to calculate CO2 emissions can similarly be chosen optimistically.


Wereflea is right on about getting informed and coming to a good understanding of the key interrelated factors - some simple, some complex - affecting the intensity and speed of heat trapping gases accumulating in the atmosphere, forcing CO2 concentration levels higher and higher. For ten years now, I’ve been studying original scientific papers and peer reviews of same on climate change trends pre-industrial and after that. It’s indisputable that excessive carbon dioxide in the atmosphere traps radiated heat from the sun and, along with methane emissions and deforestation, is warming the planet at an unprecedented Scale and Speed. Carbon dioxide concentrations have been as high as 411 ppm recently (310 in 1961), a 131 ppm rise above prior 800,000 year maximum concentration of 280 ppm. And 77% of this 131 ppm rise has occurred since 1961, an infinitesimally short planet time span of less than 60 years!

In the past millions of years and five extinctions, we do know that much higher buildups or vast declines of CO2 in the atmosphere were processes that took place gradually over thousands of years when there were no humans. Many living species went extinct but some had an enormous period to ‘adapt.’ Humans are now contributing to a potential, fast relatively ‘unadapatable’ eventual extinction with the role they have been playing in building up atmospheric CO2 concentrations at a rate and level not seen in a million years - CO2 concentrations that are also being amplified by a powerful mix of positive feedbacks. Even as human-induced CO2 emissions stabilize and are reduced, there remain the potential HUGE ongoing earth warming effects of feedbacks, including for example: albedo changes in the Arctic from rapid snow cover loss, sea ice loss; warming of Arctic shallow waters and consequent releases of methane stored in sea floor sediments; rising temperatures that form more water vapor in the atmosphere, further amplifying warming since water vapor is a potent greenhouse gas; extra water vapor resulting from albedo changes in the Arctic and seafloor methane releases - water vapor feedback that act to amplify albedo and cloud feedbacks (https://arctic-news.blogspot.nl/p/extinction.html). .

Since 1950, there’s been an immense increase in industrialization/consumption driven by an exponential 5 billion population growth to 7.5 billion today. The resultant dependence on burning massive quantities of fossil fuels has turned long-buried carbon into carbon dioxide - thus creating drastic changes in greenhouse gases and solar radiation that are forcing the Earth’s climate away from a natural balance of energy entering and leaving Earth. This in turn has led to rising concentrations of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere in a geologically record time and scale - amplified by positive feedbacks that are now becoming a major force behind the intensification in global warming. Arctic news published a 2016 report on the rise of average earth temperatures since 1900, explaining how much has been due to humans and how much more may well be caused by feedbacks over the next decade.

Arctic ocean ice cores and ice sheets have been subject to a continuing rapidly huge shift to meltdown within the minutely short time of thirteen years. And, until 2016, we have never experienced a doubling in the global average temperature. For 100 years the increase was just 0.8 degrees Celsius. That reached a doubling of over 1.5 C in last half of 2016. The Paris Agreement had pledged to limit the temperature rise in the global average temperature to well below 2 C above pre-industrial times. According to NASA data, given the 0.34 C rise before 1900, the 2 C Paris target has already been nearly reached. And on a worst - but not a comfortably unlikely - case basis could go up another to 7 C just from feedbacks by 2026! Even if this is half true, it still means the risks to all living species will become exponential and the effects devastating.

One informed American on the science of climate change summed up the serious situation so:

“What is really apparent to anyone with the ability to think is that the downside of ignoring this threat to our future (over next 50-75 years) is infinitely greater than the inconvenience and expense of removing its primary cause, combustion fueled energy sources. The worst thing that could happen is that we only get a pollution free atmosphere and water not being poisoned by tailing runoff and the toxic chemicals used in fracking - plus an enormous, sustainable net growth in jobs. What we are looking at is a sector of our society that has adopted a stance and through a mulish (stubborn) stance cherish their blissful ignorance and clutch it to their breasts as a child does a beloved stuffed animal. Not sad, just incredibly stupid.”


Thank you for your very informative comment. There’s always going to be more stupid people than smart which is why we’re in the mess with Hair Hitler Chump trump.


[quote=“CommonDreams, post:1, topic:42793”]‘Scary’: CO2 Rates Climb Even as Emissions Stabilize
Climate scientists are sounding the alarm about a new realization: while carbon dioxide emission rates by humans have stabilized, the level of the greenhouse gas in the earth’s atmosphere has continued to rise in 2017.”[/quote]
What evidence is there that emission rates have stabilized?  IIRC, China has been firing up a new coal-burning power plant at the rate of one every week or ten days – has that changed?  What else has leveled out, if any- thing?   (For details, see Frank Thomas’ post, above.)

[quote=“CommonDreams, post:1, topic:42793”]“According to a report in The New York Times on Monday, experts are concerned that human efforts to stop pumping carbon dioxide into the air can only go so far in the fight against climate change.   Since scientists began studying climate change, they’ve determined that most carbon dioxide that’s produced when humans burn coal, oil and natural gas is absorbed by the earth’s oceans and land. The rest has caused concern because it’s released into the air, warming the planet.”[/quote]That statement seems to me to have the sequence backward. ALL of the CO2 produced when we burn fossil fuels is released into the atmosphere, after which MOST of what’s circulating in the air is absorbed into the oceans and by plants living on land.  (Before the Industrial Revolution, the oceans & forests easily absorbed ALL of the extra CO2 produced by humans.) [quote=“CommonDreams, post:1, topic:42793”]“Environmentalist Bill McKibben is one climate-change expert who’s distressed by the news. On Monday, he tweeted, ‘On the list of scary things, this is near the top: Forests and oceans seem to be starting to ab- sorb a lot less CO2’.   As the Times reports, scientists also suspect that an El Niño climate pattern from 2015 to 2016 may have contributed to the record-breaking rise in carbon dioxide emissions in those years.
. . . But this doesn’t explain why carbon rates have risen in 2017. The extreme weather in the previous two years may have caused such an extreme rise that the natural ‘sponges’ that are usually able to absorb carbon dioxide are having trouble keeping up.
”[/quote] IIRC, warmer water absorbs less gas – including carbon dioxide – than cooler water, so a slightly warmer oc- ean worldwide could explain part of the difference.  On land there’s been a lot of deforestation, plus drought has reduced the acreage – and vitality – of vegetation that absorbs CO2.  A warmer climate in the American west has resulted in thousands of acres of pine forest killed by beetles, and dead trees not only don’t absorb CO2, they are more likely to catch fire and thereby release tons more of it into the air.

All of the above phenomena contribute to a feedback loop – warmer oceans mean more CO2 in the air which means more global warming which means more drought which means more CO2 in the air which means more global warming which means warmer oceans which means . . .

Bill McKibben, along with many others, is worried that we’ve already passed the point of no return.


That’s MOTHER Nature to you, Bub.   We follow Her rules.   Or we die.


Correct 2nd link:


The NOAA website with the CO2 graphs is now available.


Do you have a source to back up this claim? According to source shown below, "Olivine is one of the most common minerals in the earth, and is a major rock forming mineral. Despite this, good specimens and large crystals are uncommon and sought after. Only few localities yield large examples of this mineral, although small and microscopic grains are found worldwide.

The most classic source of gem Peridot is St. John’s Island (Zagbargad) in the Red Sea, Egypt, which once produced outstanding large crystals. This deposit has produced Peridot since ancient times and has long since been exhausted. The largest Peridot crystals now come from Pakistan at Sapat Gali, Mansehra, in the Kohistan District. Large gemmy Peridot crystals also come from Mogok, Burma (Myanmar).

Other significant worldwide deposits of Olivine include the Eifel Mountains of Germany; Monte Somma, Vesuvius, Italy; Mt. Briançon, Langeac, Auvergne, France; the Åheim Quarry, Møre og Romsdal, Norway; Taganana, Tenerife, Canary Islands; and Katukubura, near Kolonne, Sri Lanka.

In the U.S., the most significant and well-known deposit, which has produced excellent gem Peridot, is the San Carlos Indian Reservation, in Gila Co., Arizona. Two other important Peridot localities are Buell Park, Apache Co., Arizona; is the Kilbourne Hole, Doña Ana Co., New Mexico. The Day Book Quarry, in Burnsville, Yancey Co., North Carolina, has produced some good Olivine specimens. In Canada, large Olivine crystals come from the Parker mine, Notre-Dame-du-Laus, Québec."

The source below shows a map of the distribution of this mineral and states “Olivine-rich rock types like dunites that occur in large massifs in a great number of countries are the most suitable.”

It appears that the mining of olivine would not have to take place in the rainforest.