Pattaya Daily News

02 June 2011 :: 09:06:11 am 54361

Scientists Alarmed by Increase in Carbon Dioxide Levels

Scientists have expressed concern as new research was released showing carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere reaching a new peak. The furthered worries come in spite of the economical recession in Western countries and assurances from politicians that they intend to cut emissions.
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CO2 levels reached its highest figures ever last week according to the US Government’s Earth Systems Research Laboratory at Mauna Loa in Hawaii, who have been continuously monitoring measurements of CO2 for almost 50 years. The new record was set at 394.97ppm, an increase of 1.6ppm on last year’s figures.

The Mauna Loa monitoring station is situated in the middle of the Pacific, and at 12,000ft, is well away from major sources of pollution, therefore considered to be the most reliable place to monitor concentrations of gases in the atmosphere.

According to the IEA, approximately three-quarters of the energy emissions increase in 2010 came from developing countries. China and India were mentioned specifically, although BP is said to be responsible for more annual carbon emissions that 120 developing countries put together.

Climate scientists are becoming more and more alarmed by the upward spiral of CO2 concentration in the atmosphere and say the levels must be kept at 400ppm if we hope to avoid severe and dangerous climate change.

“This underlines the urgency of the problem,” said Dr Alice Bows, a lecturer in energy and climate change at Manchester University’s Sustainable Consumption Institute. “The CO2 figure continues to grow rapidly [and] can only accelerate while industrialising countries [such as China and India] do not decarbonise their economies because they have an increasingly large share of total emissions.”

If the increase of CO2 levels continue at the current rate of 1.5-2ppm annually, there will be little chance of stabilising greenhouse gas concentrations at 450ppm. This would only result in a 50% likelihood of limiting global warming to 2C. Climate scientist have said that to achieve a relatively high certainty of not exceeding 2C, it would be necessary to maintain stabilisation at well below 400ppm.

Scientists consider two degrees to be the threshold for potentially “dangerous” climate change which, once exceeded they say, will throw millions of people around the world into the possibilities of drought, flooding and hunger.

“It’s not too late to stop dangerous climate change if the world acts now – and fast,” said Mike Childs, head of climate at Friends of the Earth. “We need to save energy, reduce demand, and develop safe and renewable alternatives to polluting fossil fuels.”

Written by : Kyle Pala

Photo : Internet   Category : World News

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