Modern CO2 Levels Are Far Higher Than Any in the Geological Record | Henry Auer

May 24th, 2013 | By | Category: General

The atmospheric CO2 concentration has just exceeded 400 ppm, and is continuing to grow. More importantly, contemporary CO2 levels since the industrial revolution have always exceeded the highest levels found in the geological record for 800,000 years. Furthermore, the rate of growth of atmospheric CO2 levels is itself accelerating. The excess CO2 originates from burning fossil fuels. Changes in CO2 levels in the geological record, while considerable, occur on a scale roughly 60 times slower than the contemporary changes.

Introduction. Contemporary climate scientists have been monitoring the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2), a major greenhouse gas, for many decades. Prior to that, paleoclimate scientists, those who seek to reconstruct ancient climates using the geological record, have examined CO2 contained in ice cores drilled in major glaciers and ice fields, among other modalities for estimating ancient CO2 amounts. The present measured level of atmospheric CO2 exceeded 400 parts per million (ppm; volumes of CO2 contained in 1 million volumes of air) for the first time last week. The popular news media picked up on this landmark event as an indicator of a worsening trend in global warming; in fact this situation has been a dire one for some time without the human esthetic preference for a round “hundreds” number.

This post presents the contemporary record of atmospheric CO2 and places it in the context of an extended paleoclimate record. The present atmospheric CO2 content and trends are indeed unprecedented for the past 800,000 years.

For more on this story, visit: Global Warming Blog by Henry Auer: Modern CO2 Levels Are Far Higher Than Any in the Geological Record.

Be Sociable, Share!
Tags: ,

2 Comments to “Modern CO2 Levels Are Far Higher Than Any in the Geological Record | Henry Auer”

  1. One reason to read more is so that you can get the link to the author’s website and his email if you want to contest anything. I didn’t write the headline. I blogged the story from the website of Henry Auer, who is a local climate change blogger.

  2. Misleading Headline says:

    Headline says “Modern CO2 Levels Are Far Higher Than Any in the Geological Record” then the switch is made to 800,000 years. Flat out dishonesty! Why should I read more??

Leave a Comment