CO2 Concentration in Atmosphere Reaches New Highs in 2010


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Well, that didn't take long. After global emissions stalled following the worldwide recession around 2008--even falling in some otherwise heavily polluting nations like the US of A--it looks like everyone can rest assured: we're back on track with CO2 concentrations steadily a-risin' in the atmosphere. According to a report from Reuters,

Levels of the main greenhouse gas in the atmosphere have risen to new highs in 2010 despite an economic slowdown in many nations that braked industrial output, data showed on Monday. Carbon dioxide, measured at Norway's Zeppelin station on the Arctic Svalbard archipelago, rose to a median 393.71 parts per million of the atmosphere in the first two weeks of March from 393.17 in the same period of 2009, extending years of gains.
Which means that despite the recession throwing a wrench in the worldwide greenhouse gas-spewing machinery, carbon emissions burning industry is back online. It's still below the pre-recession levels of rise, which had been 2 parts per million a year, but it nonetheless signals that economies reliant on fossil fuel burning have resumed expansion.

Reuters reminds us that carbon concentrations have risen a whole third since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, and adds:

Concentrations can keep rising since each carbon molecule emitted typically lingers in the atmosphere for many years. The U.N. panel of climate scientists says the rise will cause more floods, mudslides, heatwaves, sandstorms and rising sea levels.

The data "seem to show that we continue to emit as if there was no tomorrow," Kim Holmen, director of research at the Norwegian Polar Institute, said of the carbon readings.

Indeed we do, Mr. Holmen, indeed we do.

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