Greenhouse gases at record high

I think not
‘We’re going to have this problem for a long time,’ researcher says

GENEVA - Greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere reached record highs in 2004 and are still climbing, the World Meteorological Organization said Tuesday.

“Global observations coordinated by WMO show that levels of carbon dioxide, the most abundant greenhouse gas in the atmosphere, continue to increase steadily and show no signs of leveling off,” said Michel Jarraud, secretary-general of the U.N. climate and weather agency.

The agency made no reference to global warming, which many scientists have blamed on the heat-trapping greenhouse gases created in the burning of fossil fuels. According to NASA, 2005 had the highest annual average surface temperature worldwide since instrument recordings began in the late 1800s.

But Leonard Barrie, chief of atmospheric research at WMO, said the greenhouse gases clearly posed a problem.

“Given that the lifetime of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is 50 to 200 years depending on how you calculate it ... it doesn’t take a nuclear scientist to state that we’re going to have this problem for a long time,” he told reporters at U.N. offices in Geneva.

“If we stop now CO2 emissions to the atmosphere, it would take 50 to 100 years before we were starting to see approaches to preindustrial levels.”

WMO said it based it based its findings for its first “Greenhouse Gas Bulletin” on readings from 44 countries that were collected in Japan.

“Globally averaged concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide in the planet’s atmosphere reached their highest ever recorded levels in 2004,” WMO said.

The findings are similar to those in a global greenhouse gas index released last year by the United States’ National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The WMO said carbon dioxide was nearly half a percent higher in 2004 than the year before. Nitrous oxide has been rising steadily since 1988. Methane has risen the most dramatically over the past two centuries, but its growth has been slowing, WMO said.
This is the biggest issue of all time.

We have the opportunity to reduce the effects from their worst potential, but only if the will exists to change from our rabid burning of fossil fuels. Fossil FOOLS like Bush and his supporters will stall all progress in reducing emissions.

WHy would anyone get in the way of changing away from fossil fuels at this point? - either for simple greed and power, or possibly because they want an apocalypse to occur where they will survive, maybe in underground bunkers. For 200 years. It sound s like the end of our civilisation. They are making this choice for us...

Cant we do anything to stop it?
Yes, don't buy new cars, not until they produce zero-emissions vehicles. They only understand money...

Its your fault they are in the position to make this apocalypse choice for us - you give it to them with every purchse, cars or otherwise. Their empire depends on profits, and our choices give them those profits. Stop mainstreaming it !!!

Because it will be BAD - here is one staement looking at the reality if no changes are made in our emissions:

There will be repeated episodes of this sort as the CO2 builds up during this century, he predicts, and in the long run civilisation will collapse in most places. Much of the densely populated tropics would become desert and scrub, massive population movements would overwhelm borders, billions would die of hunger, and war would take care of most of the rest.

Now Lovelock is saying that it`s already too late to avert that outcome: "We will do our best to survive, but sadly I cannot see the United States or the emerging economies of China and India cutting back in time, and they are the main source of emissions. The worst will happen...."
Published on Saturday, February 19, 2005 by the lndependent/UK
The Final Proof: Global Warming is a Man-Made Disaster
by Steve Connor

Scientists have found the first unequivocal link between man-made greenhouse gases and a dramatic heating of the Earth's oceans. The researchers - many funded by the US government - have seen what they describe as a "stunning" correlation between a rise in ocean temperature over the past 40 years and pollution of the atmosphere.

The study destroys a central argument of global warming skeptics within the Bush administration - that climate change could be a natural phenomenon. It should convince George Bush to drop his objections to the Kyoto treaty on climate change, the scientists say.

Tim Barnett, a marine physicist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego and a leading member of the team, said: "We've got a serious problem. The debate is no longer: 'Is there a global warming signal?' The debate now is what are we going to do about it?"

The findings are crucial because much of the evidence of a warmer world has until now been from air temperatures, but it is the oceans that are the driving force behind the Earth's climate. Dr Barnett said: "Over the past 40 years there has been considerable warming of the planetary system and approximately 90 per cent of that warming has gone directly into the oceans."

He told the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington: "We defined a 'fingerprint' of ocean warming. Each of the oceans warmed differently at different depths and constitutes a fingerprint which you can look for. We had several computer simulations, for instance one for natural variability: could the climate system just do this on its own? The answer was no.

"We looked at the possibility that solar changes or volcanic effects could have caused the warming - not a chance. What just absolutely nailed it was greenhouse warming."

America produces a quarter of the world's greenhouse gases, yet under President Bush it is one of the few developed nations not to have signed the Kyoto treaty to limit emissions. The President's advisers have argued that the science of global warming is full of uncertainties and change might be a natural phenomenon.

Dr Barnett said that position was untenable because it was now clear from the latest study, which is yet to be published, that man-made greenhouse gases had caused vast amounts of heat to be soaked up by the oceans. "It's a good time for nations that are not part of Kyoto to re-evaluate their positions and see if it would be to their advantage to join," he said.

The study involved scientists from the US Department of Energy, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, as well as the Met Office's Hadley Center.

They analyzed more than 7 million recordings of ocean temperature from around the world, along with about 2 million readings of sea salinity, and compared the rise in temperatures at different depths to predictions made by two computer simulations of global warming.

"Two models, one from here and one from England, got the observed warming almost exactly. In fact we were stunned by the degree of similarity," Dr Barnett said. "The models are right. So when a politician stands up and says 'the uncertainty in all these simulations start to question whether we can believe in these models', that argument is no longer tenable." Typical ocean temperatures have increased since 1960 by between 0.5C and 1C, depending largely on depth. DR Barnett said: "The real key is the amount of energy that has gone into the oceans. If we could mine the energy that has gone in over the past 40 years we could run the state of California for 200,000 years... It's come from greenhouse warming."

Because the global climate is largely driven by the heat locked up in the oceans, a rise in sea temperatures could have devastating effects for many parts of the world.

Ruth Curry, from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, said that warming could alter important warm-water currents such as the Gulf Stream, as melting glaciers poured massive volumes of fresh water into the North Atlantic. "These changes are happening and they are expected to amplify. It's a certainty that these changes will put serious strains on the ecosystems of the planet," DR Curry said.