TDB today: Keeling curves and carbon millstones

By Gareth Renowden 01/05/2013


Any day now the Mauna Loa carbon dioxide measurement station is going to bump through 400 part per million, and stay there for a week or two. In my Daily Blog column this week I ruminate on what that means by taking a look at the last time CO2 stayed over 400 ppm for an extended period.

Pliocene climate is not something that crops up in many history lessons, but what it tells us needs to be much more widely appreciated. It shows where we are heading — where our apparently insatiable appetite for coal and oil is taking us: a drowned world. That simple fact needs to be shoved under the nose of anyone who argues that climate change isn’t happening, won’t be too bad, or will be something we can adapt to. It needs to be engraved on the hearts of the people negotiating international action on emissions, and the politicians legislating to do little or nothing.

My first post at The Daily Blog is also relevant. Comments over there, please.