Record global carbon dioxide concentrations surpass 400 parts per million in March 2015

May 9, 2015

Credit: NOAA

By Science Daily

For the first time since we began tracking carbon dioxide in the global atmosphere, the monthly global average concentration of this greenhouse gas surpassed 400 parts per million in March 2015, according to NOAA’s latest results.

“It was only a matter of time that we would average 400 parts per million globally,” said Pieter Tans, lead scientist of NOAA’s Global Greenhouse Gas Reference Network. “We first reported 400 ppm when all of our Arctic sites reached that value in the spring of 2012. In 2013 the record at NOAA’s Mauna Loa Observatory first crossed the 400 ppm threshold. Reaching 400 parts per million as a global average is a significant milestone.

“This marks the fact that humans burning fossil fuels have caused global carbon dioxide concentrations to rise more than 120 parts per million since pre-industrial times,” added Tans. “Half of that rise has occurred since 1980.”

The International Energy Agency reported on March 13 that the growth of global emissions from fossil fuel burning stalled in 2014, remaining at the same levels as 2013. Stabilizing the rate of emissions is not enough to avert climate change, however. NOAA data show that the average growth rate of carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere from 2012 to 2014 was 2.25 ppm per year, the highest ever recorded over three consecutive years.


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50 comments on “Record global carbon dioxide concentrations surpass 400 parts per million in March 2015

  • Behind the PM, Maurice Newman is the tit involved. He is an Essex lad and I deeply apologise to all Australians that we let him out of the country. He is devious and self serving.



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  • 6
    aroundtown says:

    global average concentration of this greenhouse gas surpassed 400 parts per million in March 2015, according to NOAA’s latest results.

    And nary a peep out of the governments around the world. Petroleum industry is a real piece of work and imagine next week will be business as usual. More oil, more profits, and the Earth be damned.



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  • Petroleum industry is a real piece of work and imagine next week will be business as usual.

    I want to sue the fossil fuel industry for damages on behalf of my grand children. I would like a rational jurisdiction, not America, where I could charge them with being a threat to the lives of future residents of planet earth, and have them pay damages, for continuing to produce fossil fuel, after they new of the dangers. The same as the precedents set for Tobacco and Asbestos. Those companies got sued for billions of dollars, because they continued with an activity, which they new, or should have now was a dangerous activity. If somewhere, anywhere in the world, this prosecution was successful, it would do more to get the attention of big fossil fuel that all the green groups and well meaning politicians combined.



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  • I want to sue the fossil fuel industry for damages on behalf of my grand children.

    That would be a wonderous class action…. a hundred million toddlers.
    If not that yet, a poster campaign of images of toddlers addressed to BP etc.

    “One day they’ll sue.”



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  • 10
    agnostic mystic says:

    With an economic system dependent upon the basest, most negative behavioural trait of the species, disaster is inevitable. Unfortunately, there will likely be no major changes in the near future and our planet’s destruction will continue at an exponential rate. Does anyone forsee the radical changes necessary to save our Earth?



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  • agnostic mystic
    May 10, 2015 at 8:58 am

    Does anyone forsee the radical changes necessary to save our Earth?

    The technologies are available and rapidly developing.

    The foot dragging obstructionism, is commercial, political, and in some forms of religious thinking.



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  • 12
    aroundtown says:

    @ Alan

    The foot dragging obstructionism, is commercial, political, and in some forms of religious thinking.

    You could not have stated the forms of obstruction any better. I will provide a link to exemplify your sentiments. This is what your going to get from across the pond and it’s not a pretty picture. I believe the third paragraph pretty much sums up what action you can expect from the American government presently. You can rest assure he was aware of breaking the 400 PPM threshold and means to do nothing about it.

    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2015/02/inhofes-insane-climate-denial-speech.html



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  • Apparently it may not even matter if CO2 is almost completely irrelevant to climate change: http://petitionproject.org/gw_article/GWReview_OISM150.pdf

    http://petitionproject.org/

    Over 30,000 American scientists reinforced this.

    I feel like since anthropogenic climate change is little different than religion in how uncertain it’s seen and, dare I say, unscientific it is, it puzzles me that I see a statement here: “Stabilizing the rate of emissions is not enough to avert climate change, however.”

    Not only like choosing a side, but the most likely wrong one to boot? RDFSR is supposed to be more than that. I registered here because of this post.



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  • There’s too much contention and disagreement about climate change. If AGW supporters want to convince politicians, more relevant, accurate, and less biased evidence would be of great help.



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  • We have engaged the enemy, the ship of fools, and he is us

    True enough Melvin, although not ALL of you.

    Geoff Nye and Elon Musk get it. The Chinese and Europeans will show you the way.



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  • There is no need to sue, all we need to do is stop driving cars, trucks and motor bikes, stop using airplanes and trains and ships and the oil industry will simply collapse. By using fuel driven vehicles, we are all willing accomplices.



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  • I wish it was this simple John. Sadly, the collateral damage from our evolution gives us a brain that can only cope with short term decisions and thinking. The next waterhole. When those trees come into fruit. It’s getting colder / hotter. The vast majority of homo sapiens on this planet are unable to comprehend the need to make decisions today, which will effect people in 100 years. The ball just goes straight through to the keeper. They don’t, and can’t get it. Tragedy of the Commons is another issue. “I won’t use much. I’ll just take this little bit of resource. It’s too small to matter.” The trouble is, there are 7 billion people thinking the same way. It takes an enormous act of informed intellectual will to overcome all of the above. Stats on Green voters is a good indication of how many people are capable. 7/9% in Australia.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tragedy_of_the_commons

    We won’t stop burning fossil fuel. It will take a slap in the face for all of humanity before we will do anything. The video of the Ozone hole solved that problem in five years. From video to treaty. Done and dusted. Unfortunately, the nature of the threat from global warming is such that if we wait for the slap in the face before acting, it’s likely it will be too late, given the 100 year time lag for the disposal of C02 through natural means. Will we hit a tipping point. Will we get a runaway methane melt out of the tundras. Will the West Antarctic Ice sheet break off an melt quickly (geologically quickly) and flood 60% of the world’s coastal cities?

    Others in here are more optimistic than me. There are solutions on the shelf, ready to save us, but we are just too stupid a species to act en masse, take person pain, and act in the greater good of people who aren’t even born yet. We may be the first species on earth to go through a self induced mass extinction event.



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  • John
    May 11, 2015 at 3:48 am

    There is no need to sue, all we need to do is stop driving cars, trucks and motor bikes, stop using airplanes and trains and ships and the oil industry will simply collapse. By using fuel driven vehicles, we are all willing accomplices.

    We don’t need to be! – If we change to carbon neutral fuels.



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  • Steven
    May 11, 2015 at 2:20 am

    Apparently it may not even matter if CO2 is almost completely irrelevant to climate change: http ://petitionproject.org/gw_article/GWReview_OISM150.pdf

    .. .. but only in the view of carbon industry stooge propagandists and science illiterates!
    97% of scientists who have published papers in expert scientific journals confirm the greenhouse effect and the figures on the changing climate.

    http : //petitionproject. org/

    Over 30,000 American scientists reinforced this.

    Actually a bunch of ignorant muppets signed that on-line petition, and some of them with science qualifications should have known better than to pontificate on specialist areas they had not studied, without looking at the scientific research that was available!

    https://www.skepticalscience.com/global-warming-scientific-consensus-intermediate.htm

    That humans are causing global warming is the position of the Academies of Science from 80 countries plus many scientific organizations that study climate science. More specifically, around 95% of active climate researchers actively publishing climate papers endorse the consensus position.



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  • Steven
    May 11, 2015 at 2:25 am

    There’s too much contention and disagreement about climate change.

    There is certainly far too much among scientifically illiterate journalists, but there is very little among expert climate scientists!

    If AGW supporters want to convince politicians, more relevant, accurate, and less biased evidence would be of great help.

    Nope! There is plenty of accurate and solidly evidenced information.
    The problem is politicians who are too crooked or stupid to look at or understand it. The “I’m too thick and ignorant to understand climate figures perception, so CHOOSE to deny it is happening” – is unfortunately a common position among politicians.
    ” I like my political campaign sponsorship from coal and oil companies, so to hell with the planet’s future”, is another problem for political denial of reality.

    Then of course there are the lies and false doubt-mongerings of the well paid carbon industry propagandists, who don’t have any credible scientific evidence, but have lots of bought copy space in tabloid rags that pretend to be news media!



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  • I want to sue the fossil fuel industry for damages on behalf of my grand children. I would like a rational jurisdiction, not America, where I could charge them with being a threat to the lives of future residents of planet earth, and have them pay damages, for continuing to produce fossil fuel, after they new of the dangers. The same as the precedents set for Tobacco and Asbestos

    We might move the jurisdiction to Australia, but run the risk of defendants complaining about a (hah, hah) kangaroo court. Many indignant folks on this thread have lost touch with history and current realities. The coal powered steamships, railroads, and factories of the 19th and 20th centuries; the rise of petrol powered internal combustion engines in the early 20th century have dominated energy consumption for over 200 years. Fossil fuels did not just fall off the turnip cart yesterday. Analogies with tobacco and asbestos do not compute. Coal, oil and natural gas have literally fueled modern life on this planet allowing homo Sapiens to over breed from under one billion going on eight billion today. If these carbon intensive fuels disappeared tomorrow or even over a period of 10 years, hundreds of millions would starve to death, and billions starting to crawl out of poverty, heading upward to middle class standards of living ,would fall back into abject deprivation too harsh to imagine.

    Every one would have to buy an electric car, have solar panels nailed down on every roof, or wait for wind turbine farms to sprout up like mushrooms on every square foot of windy terrain. Pure fantasy. More realistically, transportation -planes, trains, ships and automobiles, manufacturing and farming would grind to a halt for the soon-to-be-starving masses. The end of life as we know it.

    The intractable challenge persists in the prolonged time frame needed to build an alternative carbon-neutral fuel infrastructure powered principally by electricity generated from wind and solar installations combined with trillions of dollars for financing. Despite projects that show local progress, implementation on a global scale confirms the aphorism “too little too late,” or, more precisely in blunt terms, we have not yet begun to put a dent in the worsening problem.

    Our species has chosen a demographic destiny of over-consumption driven by 10 billion people poured out over the face of the earth. Until alternative energy becomes available to all of them, those who must rely on fossil fuels to sustain life will burn them copiously without batting an eye.



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  • Melvin
    May 12, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    Our species has chosen a demographic destiny of over-consumption driven by 10 billion people poured out over the face of the earth. Until alternative energy becomes available to all of them, those who must rely on fossil fuels to sustain life will burn them copiously without batting an eye.

    Nobody “MUST” rely on fossil fuel! They simply choose to do so out of selfishness, ignorance, wilful deception, and stupidity! The alternatives have been there for much of the consumption for much of the time, as some leading countries and industries, have shown!



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  • Steven
    May 11, 2015 at 2:20 am

    I feel like since anthropogenic climate change is little different than religion in how uncertain it’s seen

    It is certainly religious-type thinking which leads people to take the view that thousands of scientific measurements published and peer-checked in the top science journals are “uncertain” – just because people who are incapable of scientific study, choose to pretend that climate scientists are as useless at measuring as they are!

    and, dare I say, unscientific it is, it puzzles me that I see a statement here: “Stabilizing the rate of emissions is not enough to avert climate change, however.”

    You really should study the subject and learn about temperature time-lags and climate feed-back effects. Ignorance of the subject is no basis for challenging scientific evidence.

    Not only like choosing a side, but the most likely wrong one to boot?

    You chose to believe the dishonest pseudo-science denialists!

    RDFSR is supposed to be more than that. I registered here because of this post.

    RFFRS has debated the overwhelming scientific evidence many times!

    Denailists have turned up parroting nonsense they have copied from propagandists and scientific illiterates, on various occasions, but they only demonstrate that they have no idea, what to measure, or how to measure, causes, temperatures, or anthropogenic climate changes.



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  • 30
    aroundtown says:

    In a very short time I think the prospect of finding a climate change denier will be difficult. As the weather get worse and serious damage becomes impossible to ignore they will not want to be associated with the group that caused the pain. It is already ramping up this year and it is going to be a very severe lesson indeed if the forecast is correct. Looks like very intense storms on the horizon to me.

    http://news.yahoo.com/el-nino-weather-system-begins-tropical-pacific-australia-053103198.html



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  • Alan4: To clarify my conclusion I invite you to participate in a thought experiment. Imagine “what if” the United Kingdom were to ban the use of oil tomorrow on and around its territory. No one could operate a motor vehicle that uses petrol (gasoline) or diesel. Hybrids would also be subject to the ban because of reliance on a petroleum based synergy motors. No trucks could transport food, consumer goods, medicines or any other commodities on the nation’s roadways. No planes using jet fuel could land at airports. No cargo ships using bunker fuel (a form of crude oil) could dock at ports. How long before the British people would suffer massive unemployment, starvation and the disintegration of civil society?

    Now take the same thought experiment to a major city in India. Let’s say Mumbai with a population of about 19 million. No motor vehicles, no trucking, no food deliveries or emergency response vehicles powered by internal combustion engines. No electric-diesel trains. No planes or ships. No helicopters. and no burning of filthy cooking oil by Indian families. Ad infinitum. You get the idea. Total collapse, total dysfuntion widespread death and destruction.

    It does little good to cite the share of energy Germany harvests from wind turbines. As a matter of fact if the thought experiment travels to Germany the same catastrophe unfolds.

    This is the point I’m making. We can insist, until we are blue in the face, that current advances in green science and technology can change out fossil fuel dependance as easily as changing a light bulb. The reality on the ground, even among the greenest nations in the European Union, is far from any viable implementation of a carbon-neutral energy infrastructure. How long this will take is anybody’s guess. Rapid progress in 5 to 10 years? Slower progress in 20 to 40 years? And what about projecting timetables for developing countries? How long before we can significantly decouple carbon emissions from economic and population growth there?



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  • To clarify my conclusion I invite you to participate in a thought experiment.

    Do the same thought experiment but insert “In 10 years time.” For the whole world. The result would be all of the economies of the world going to a “War Budget” level of production and getting the job done. We would sit back and wonder what all the fuss was about. “Fossil fuel. What fossil fuel.” The technology is on the shelf ready to roll out. In that 10 years, imagine the scientific and industrial advances made.

    We won’t do it, because the rich and powerful will loose money.



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  • Time and again a number of oil companies started to invest their considerable wealth in alternative energy. BP went so far as to brand itself an energy company rather than an oil company. As soon as the image was deemed improved enough funding wasreduced or cut altogether. Many starts were strangled by the boards and shareholders of such companies outraged that they should be investing any further forward than a few years. That luxury yacht won’t be as much fun with a paunch and the deck decorations trying not to gag. BP for all their fanfares about green have never invested more than 4% of total investments in these areas.

    Consumer shaming over this is something that needs to be kicked up a notch. We are too easily bought off. Oil companies are the ideal delivery system for alternative energy. They have most of the skills required and as we enact marke adjusting legislation and taxation they will be less inclined to subvert it as they largely do now.

    Third world countries will be green well before many developed nations, having little investment in infrastructure. Each successive country’s industrial revolution consumes less and less total energy per capita.



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  • Melvin
    May 12, 2015 at 10:19 pm

    Alan4: To clarify my conclusion I invite you to participate in a thought experiment. Imagine “what if” the United Kingdom were to ban the use of oil tomorrow on and around its territory.

    Literal “tomorrow” is to soon for adaptations to take place, but they are moving ahead at a pace on multiple fronts!

    This is the point I’m making. We can insist, until we are blue in the face, that current advances in green science and technology can change out fossil fuel dependence as easily as changing a light bulb.

    Changing light bulbs to LED has reduced electricity demand by about 80%. Vehicle fuel is a bit harder and will take a little longer.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-business-32071276
    Figures released by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) showed 49.6% of gross electricity consumption came from renewable sources last year.

    The figure was up from a total of 44.4% in 2013.

    The Scottish government said Scotland had almost met its 50% renewable electricity target, a year ahead of schedule.

    The total included an increase in hydro, bioenergy and wind generation, with hydro generation at a record high level – up 26% from 2013 to 5,503 GWh.



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  • Melvin
    May 12, 2015 at 10:19 pm

    We can insist, until we are blue in the face, that current advances in green science and technology can change out fossil fuel dependance as easily as changing a light bulb.

    No need to insist – some contries and companies are already doing so!

    Biofuel, the Brazilian wayhttp://www.shell.com/global/future-energy/smarter-mobility/smarter-products/biofuel-brazilian-way.html
    From cultivation to use, ethanol made from sugar cane produces around 70% less CO2 than petrol. As it grows, sugar cane absorbs more CO2 than other biofuel crops. The savings also come from factors such as transport and processing.

    Raízen, Shell’s joint venture with Cosan, produces more than 2 billion litres of ethanol a year and with this expected to double. It is one of the world’s largest biofuel producers.

    Together with others, Raízen has established an EU-approved certificate for sustainable sugar-cane production. The BonSucro certificate covers areas such as human rights and the impact of activities on biodiversity.

    Raízen has 10 of its mills certified, with clear targets to complete the certification of all 24 mills by 2017.



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  • 36
    aroundtown says:

    Antarctic ice shelf melting from above and below

    Lets see if the deniers can sweep this one under the rug. The Larson C ice shelf floating out to sea will be hugely monumental should it break off. Scientists are usually conservative with probability aspects of their research, but in retrospect often times show greater amplitude. You usually hear something like we didn’t expect this magnitude of change but behind the scenes they are generally confident in their data or projections that are often times repressed and diluted before it reaches the masses. The shelf is deemed to be warming from above and below, now that says something doesn’t it. It is highly probable that “record global carbon dioxide concentrations” are at play wouldn’t you think?

    http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2015/05/13/4235152.htm



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  • This is from the business adviser to the Australian Prime Minister, Tony ABBOTT.

    Climate change is a hoax led by the United Nations so that it can end democracy and impose authoritarian rule, according to Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s chief business adviser.

    Maurice Newman, the chairman of the Prime Minister’s business advisory council, has written in The Australian that scientific modelling showing the link between humans and climate change is wrong and the real agenda is a world takeover for the UN.

    This is not about facts or logic. It’s about a new world order under the control of the UN

    The Australian Prime Minister goes to this man for advice. If this is not scarey enough, enough voters in Australia are either so dumb (Most Likely) or agree with these views, for if they didn’t Tony Abbott would not be in power. Sheeple. Rich today. Extinct tomorrow.



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  • And more for the deniers to deny.

    Sea level is rising faster that the IPCC models. The models have been around long enough to now compare to actual data in the field.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-05-12/sea-level-rise-accelerates-faster-in-past-20-years/6461752

    A new study has found sea level rise accelerated faster in the past two decades than it did for the majority of the 20th century.

    The report, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, corrected an anomaly that had puzzled the scientific community for years.

    Satellite data dating back to 1993 appeared to show sea level rise accelerating in the 1990s and then slowing over the following decade.



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  • I’m not convinced by the “rich and powerful will lose money” argument. Who, specifically would lose money? The energy companies are just that – energy companies. And we wouldn’t be spending any less on energy in the absence of fossil fuels.



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  • 40
    aroundtown says:

    Abbott seems to lean the same way politicians do here in the States, economic policy trumps environmental policy every time.

    He more than likely gets a lot of ideas from America’s climate efforts. They are almost non-existant and generally include nothing more than band-aids for the most part. The Republicans are working diligently to dismantle the EPA, that’s the acronym for environmental protection agency, that place really gets them into a lather and they would kill it tomorrow if they could.

    Here’s a top-ten for Tony. Those of the U.S. are to numerous to catalog, we basically swim in an oil-first policy, followed by the fracking frenzy, and the ever constant use of coal. Koyoto protocol received a no thanks from America and I wouldn’t hold my breath for them to sign on to anything in the near future.

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/southern-crossroads/2014/sep/05/abbott-first-year-environment-climate-ten-worst-decisions



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  • Alan4: Statistics on greenhouse gas emissions are distorted by shifting bases and politicized cooking
    of the books. The UK has done well in bringing down emissions against 1990 levels but the measure of this progress is highly contested. From Wikepedia: According to official statistics, there has been a reduction in domestic greenhouse gas emissions in the United Kingdom. These emissions are caused primarily by primary energy consumption. If indirect emissions are accounted for, however, research suggests that UK emissions may have increased since 1990, due largely to manufacture of short-term consumer items overseas.

    Now add this disturbing ingredient to the mix: (Wikipedia): [“Official figures] exclude carbon emissions from international aviation and international shipping, which together rose by 74.2% from 22.65 to 39.45 million tonnes of carbon dioxide between 1990 and 2004.

    As for ethanol: From Car and Driver: Switching from gasoline to ethanol would have an “ambiguous effect” on greenhouse gases, according to the Berkeley study, with reported values ranging from a 32-percent decrease to a 20-percent increase. It concluded that a 13-percent reduction was likely per BTU.
    The U.S. Department of Energy was less optimistic, concluding that E85 produces only a four-percent reduction in carbon dioxide. In the near term, ethanol has no chance of mitigating global warming.

    Why are emissions figures excluding relevant inputs that would adjust them upward? We’re living in a world where nations, especially the Eu with the UK in the vanguard, are corrupting measurement methodology to appear that they’re winning the battle. The report of 400 ppm suggests just the opposite. CO2 emissions are grinding the industrialized human ant heap with its 8 billion insects into the ground.



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  • We’re living in a world where nations, especially the Eu with the UK in the vanguard, are corrupting measurement methodology to appear that they’re winning the battle.

    That’s a good point. Perhaps more potently, each successive political party has a strong vested interest in showing improvements during their own tenure, without actually having to do anything expensive or unpopular.



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  • Michael G
    May 13, 2015 at 8:07 pm

    I’m not convinced by the “rich and powerful will lose money” argument. Who, specifically would lose money?

    The information on “stranded assets” of coal oil and gas producers, is becoming available.

    Stranded assets and the fossil fuel
    divestment campaign: what does
    divestment mean for the valuation
    of fossil fuel assets?

    http://www.smithschool.ox.ac.uk/research-programmes/stranded-assets/SAP-divestment-report-final.pdf
    About the Stranded Asset Programme

    There are a wide range of current and emerging risks that could result in ‘stranded assets’, where environmentally
    unsustainable assets suffer from unanticipated or premature write-offs, downward revaluations or are converted
    to liabilities. These risks are poorly understood and are regularly mispriced, which has resulted in a significant
    over-exposure to environmentally unsustainable assets throughout our financial and economic systems.




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  • Michael G
    May 13, 2015 at 8:07 pm

    Who, specifically would lose money?

    Those who have spent money on exploring and developing coal and oil reserves which are unburnable and will become unsaleable, will lose their money.
    Some of them have taken out loans to fund further exploration, using these “reserve assets” as security!

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/sep/22/rockefeller-heirs-divest-fossil-fuels-climate-change
    The heirs to the fabled Rockefeller oil fortune withdrew their funds from fossil fuel investments on Monday, lending a symbolic boost to a $50bn divestment campaign ahead of a United Nations summit on climate change.

    The former vice-president, Al Gore, will present the divestment commitments to world leaders, making the case that investments in oil and coal have an uncertain future.

    With Monday’s announcement, more than 800 global investors – including foundations such as the Rockefeller Brothers, religious groups, healthcare organisations, cities and universities – have pledged to withdraw a total of $50bn from fossil fuel investments over the next five years.

    The ethical investors, and their smart money are abandoning coal and dirty oil!



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  • Melvin
    May 14, 2015 at 2:03 am

    Alan4: Statistics on greenhouse gas emissions are distorted by shifting bases and politicized cooking.

    The politicians are corrupt and make distorted claims in the popular media as usual.
    That is why more reputable sources of information should be used.



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  • Third world countries will be green well before many developed nations, having little investment in infrastructure. Each successive country’s industrial revolution consumes less and less total energy per capita.

    Phil, how can you claim this? China went from a poor agrarian nation to the world’s richest industrialized economy in 40 years by building one coal-fired power plant every two weeks. With 1.2 billion people, a population greater than the EU and the United States combined, China has become the largest anthropogenic source for greenhouse gas emissions in the world even as they install huge supplementary solar and wind power infrastructure. China is the dog, the very Big Dog, with the snarling face and the wagging tail. However that may be, it’s unlikely the tail will wag the dog in the foreseeable future.



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  • Michael G
    May 14, 2015 at 2:35 am

    Perhaps more potently, each successive political party has a strong vested interest in showing improvements during their own tenure, without actually having to do anything expensive or unpopular.

    Many politicians will take undeserved credit, where they can.

    However, there is nothing inherently expensive or unpopular in replacing obsolete polluting energy technologies, with low carbon alternatives. – Especially if the polluters (rather than the public,) have to pay for the long term damage they cause, and if the huge publicly funded subsidies to dirty carbon industries are withdrawn.



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  • Melvin
    May 14, 2015 at 2:03 am

    As for ethanol: From Car and Driver: Switching from gasoline to ethanol would have an “ambiguous effect” on greenhouse gases, according to the Berkeley study, with reported values ranging from a 32-percent decrease to a 20-percent increase. It concluded that a 13-percent reduction was likely per BTU.
    The U.S. Department of Energy was less optimistic, concluding that E85 produces only a four-percent reduction in carbon dioxide. In the near term, ethanol has no chance of mitigating global warming.

    It sounds like “Car and Driver” is an oil company stooge publication!

    If the CO2 from ethanol fuel was trapped from the air by the plants used to make the ethanol, and returned to the air on combustion, it is being recycled and not adding CO2 to the atmosphere, as fossil fuels do!
    If green energy is used for the ethanol production, it should have a very low carbon footprint.

    ethanol has no chance of mitigating global warming.

    Ethanol fuel is not expected to “mitigate global warming”. It is expected to re-cycle CO2 and prevent adding to the existing problem.



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  • Meanwhile:-

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-32837201

    Satellites have seen a sudden dramatic change in the behaviour of glaciers on the Antarctica Peninsula, according to a Bristol University-led study.

    .The ice streams were broadly stable up until 2009, since when they have been losing on the order of 56 billion tonnes of ice a year to the ocean.

    Warm waters from the deep sea may be driving the changes, the UK-based team says.

    The details of the satellite research are published in Science Magazine.

    They include more than 10 years of space observations of a broad swathe of coastline roughly 750km in length, on the south-western sector of the peninsula.

    Here there is a multitude of glaciers slipping down mountainous terrain and terminating in the Bellingshausen Sea.

    “Around 2009/2010, the surface in this part of the southern Antarctic Peninsula started to lower at a really quite dramatic rate, of 4m per year in some places. That’s a pretty big signal,” said Bristol’s Prof Jonathan Bamber.

    “The total loss of ice per year is about 60 cubic km. Just to put that into some kind of context: 4 cubic km is roughly equivalent to the domestic water supply of the UK every year.”



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