New record CO2: 400 ppm

By Jack P. Kruf

The mainstream view is that carbon dioxide concentrations must stabilise at 450 parts per million or below to avoid dangerous climate change.

Preindustrial concentration was 280 ppm – the average of the present ice age we are (since 50 million year ago) – but increasing rapidly to 313 ppm (1959), 384 ppm (2009) to 400 ppm (16th of May 2013). A record since long. Very long.

In several years we did catapult ourselves out of the boundaries of CO2 concentration we were in between so long in our present ice age of 50 million years. Scientifically implicating that we will head for a planet without land-ice and continue sea-ice at our poles. There are many wild speculations about this, but also thorough mathematical predictions. The truth can be expected somewhere in between.

There are people who doubt everything and are described as the non-believers of the climate change. And there are people who are worried. Some researchers come up with predictions to a 6 meter sea level rise within 80 years (source: CATO Institute). Leading to the conclusion that many cities and villages will ‘drown’ within 2 generations from now. Not only at the coast line but also to be expected along all rivers. We will go back to the marshlands and swamps. There where we just came from. Or is it all fantasy and pessimistic thinking?

This CO2 Movie by the Earth System Research Laboratory (Serving Society through Science) gives us an impression of the acceleration. It is actual and factual.

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The relation with temperature is directly correlated. Proven all over again. And this correlated with this huge climate change. Mike Bloomberg, Mayor of New York: “And while the increase in extreme weather we have experienced in New York City and around the world may or may not be the result of it, the risk that it might be – given this week’s devastation – should compel all elected leaders to take immediate action.” (Source: A Vote for a President to Lead on Climate Change, 1 November 2012). A clear statement.

In the article Myopic Voters and Natural Disaster Policy the relation between voters, elected leaders, acting or not acting and the price to pay is elaborated. The authors Healy and Malhotra stated: “We estimate that $1 spent on preparedness is worth about $15 in terms of the future damage it mitigates.”

And the words of Al Gore in 2009 on the ability of democracy – i.e. this crucial interface of voting and being elected – are still fresh. The democratic interface need to be respected with care and its effectiveness considered as critical and therefor handled with curiosity and eagerness.

So acting on CO2 reduction could actually generate an enormous stimulant to our economy. The words of Mayor Michael Bloomberg are crucial on our awareness of necessity and actually doing so. The new record of 400 ppm seem to be code RED. Time for drastic innovation on energy-concepts. This will pay off to us all.