Trends in Atmospheric CO2


I like to think that most of my readers are actively engaged in doing their part to limit the weight of their carbon footprint.  I’ve talked before about my daily green habits, and voiced my current struggles as a med student:  purchasing medical equipment made overseas, prepackaged foods and drinks, convenience, traveling more often, not making time for public transportation versus driving (I speak for myself, my husband has used public transportation, biking & walking every day for about the last 10+ years, so we only have one car).  
what a beautiful planet to preserve, lake tahoe, sept 2011

what a beautiful planet to preserve, lake tahoe, sept 2011

Also, I’m a lot easier on myself these days,  I wasn’t always.  I used to really limit myself as a consumer (future post topic?). We all go through phases, one of mine was anti-consumerism.  

There are many reasons to go green, lessening your impact on climate change is one.  If you have any questions about the contribution of humankind on global climate change, please watch the below animation and feel free to ask questions in the comment section below.  The animation directly below is the 2011 update to the original post:  

And some notes from le mari on the below NOAA link (he works as an atmospheric chemist at UW & is a Chemistry PhD).  Please check it out – it has some wonderful resources:

This animation shows how atmospheric CO2 concentration changed from 800,000 years BCE until January 2009.  The first segment shows how the global average CO2 concentration increased from 336 ppm in 1979 to 390 ppm in 2009 based on measurements from an expanding network of monitoring sites worldwide.  Data from Mauna Loa – the site with the longest continuous atmospheric CO2 record – are highlighted in this and the second segment.  The second segment traces the Mauna Loa record backward to its start in 1958, when the atmospheric CO2 concentration was below 320 ppm, based on the pioneering measurements of Charles David Keeling.  The third segment traces atmospheric CO2 concentration back further through the beginning of the industrial revolution (~1870) to 800,000 BCE based on a series of ice core records from Antarctica.  

Overall, the animation highlights the rapid rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration since the beginning of the industrial revolution to levels far higher than seen at any other time in the extended record.  The post-industrial trend is driven by fossil fuel combustion and is central to man-made global climate disruption.
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Thanks for stopping by – does this change the way you view climate change at all?