“CO2 at Level Not Seen in Millions of Years” starts the NY Times article on May 11. It appears that the half hearted efforts to curtail emissions has not been very successful to date.
As noted in the article, carbon dioxide readings have topped 400 ppm in at least two locations on a seasonal basis and there are expectations that in the near future the levels will not drop during the summer (a summer drop coincides with leaf growth on trees in case some were wondering).
Why is this number so significant? Because it is about double the preindustrial level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and most reputable scientists recognize the simple correlation associated with this timing. People are the cause of this change.
Of course there are those who somehow equate climate science with a belief system and state that they simply do not believe in climate change. I note that to those who do not believe, this is about science not religion. The evidence supports a finding and if you ignore overwhelming evidence, you take unnecessary risks.
Then there are those like Dana Rohrabacher a Representative from California who is quoted in the article as saying “the CO2 levels in the atmosphere are rather undramatic.” To this type of comment I can only repeat what I tell my classes at the beginning of a course; I can help to cure ignorance, but I cannot fix stupidity.
The evidence for climate change is beyond overwhelming. Time is not on our side and this new data should raise some alarms to those who believe that things will be all right but do not see the facts before their noses.
It will take time to strike a balance in carbon dioxide levels and return them to a more historically normal average. As countries like the U.S. and China fiddle, the system that we know is burning.