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400 Ppm C02 Is Coming. Spread The Word With This Widget

Worldwide, emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) from human industrial activities are on the rise. Carbon dioxide, when present in the Earth’s atmosphere, decreases the rate at which energy from the sun escapes back into space after striking the planet. For this reason, carbon dioxide is referred to as a greenhouse gas. Increased concentrations of greenhouse gases, due to human activities, are the primary cause of the global warming taking place over the last several decades.

These facts have been established for many years. Still, many Americans are either not aware of these facts, or refuse to accept them as facts, or refuse to support policies to deal with these facts.

Because large numbers of Americans are not dealing with the facts of global warming, one of the most important aspects of activism against global warming is the effort to make the facts known, and to keep them in the conscious awareness of more Americans.

The web site CO2Now is providing a tool for activists to help them provide one memorable fact about global warming: Sometime, probably in about two years if current trends hold, the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide will rise to 400 parts per million.

There’s nothing particularly special about the statistic of 400 parts per million of carbon dioxide. It’s not as if terrible disasters will take place with CO2 at 400 ppm that could be avoided if CO2 was at 399 ppm. Climatological disasters are already taking place, and will continue to worsen, even if CO2 remains at 395 ppm. Even if we human atmospheric pollution is reduced to more reasonable levels, CO2 levels won’t go down to the relatively safe level of 350 ppm for a long, long time to come.

Still, the movement of atmospheric concentration of CO2 past 400 ppm, because it’s a round number, represents a memorable and avoidable threshold. It’s a level of carbon dioxide that we can avoid, if we drive our cars less, and consume resources less wastefully. Right now, the will to become more efficient, and less dependent on fossil fuels, is present only among a minority in the United States.

That’s why the widget you see below, supplied for free by CO2Now, is important. Simply by posting this widget on your web site or social media accounts, you will remind large numbers of visitors of the real of the global ecological crisis we face. Hopefully, you will also provoke the realization that the crisis need not get worse. We can slow it down, if we all work together.

The widget is available in several formats, all listed on the CO2Now web site. Please, take a few moments today to help keep the climate crisis in the conscious awareness of American voters.


Atmospheric CO2 data

6 comments to 400 Ppm C02 Is Coming. Spread The Word With This Widget

  • Bill

    It is unfortunate that, unlike the nitrogen oxide in smog, CO2 is colorless and odorless. If we could smell it or see it, reasonable people would be up in arms regarding its constantly increasing concentration in our atmosphere (just as they are with smog); instead, we’re left with just a numerical measure, expressed in parts per million (ppm), which is a unit that is difficult for most people to get their heads around because it sounds so teeny. So CO2 increased by 3.7 ppm over the past two years; is that a lot or a little?

    Here’s one way to get a sense of what 3.7 ppm means. The stinky stuff in human farts is hydrogen sulfide (H2S); according to this research</a the average fart has an H2S concentration of about 1.06 micromole per liter (gods, I love science!). Thus, one good robust fart (a volume of about 200 milliliters) in a moderate sized room (15′ x 20′ x 8′) releases about 0.00008 ppm — that’s 80 parts per trillion — into the room. To achieve an H2S concentration of 3.7 ppm in our medium-sized room you’d have to fart 49,000 times. The sensory effect would, of course, be overwhelmingly repulsive.

    If only we could smell the CO2 we’re releasing into the air…there’d be riots in the streets. 3.7 parts per million sounds like an insignificantly small quantity, but it’s not.

  • Tom

    Yeah, well the fact that we didn’t do anything about CO2 has now led to methane releases on a huge scale – and methane is about 25 times worse for the environment than CO2. It’s too late to do anything now but watch the damage as the climate gets worse.

    Here’s another little gem:
    Plastic in Birds’ Stomachs Reveals Ocean’s Garbage Problem
    http://news.yahoo.com/plastic-birds-stomachs-reveals-oceans-garbage-problem-184808660.html
    “Plastic found in the stomachs of dead seabirds suggests the Pacific Ocean off the northwest coast of North America is more polluted than was realized.”
    (there’s more)

    • No, Tom, it’s really not too late to do anything.

      You can stop using your car so much. You can reduce your consumption of electricity. You can eat less meat. You can plant a tree.

      These actions, and others like them, if they were taken by everybody, would make a huge difference in the amount of greenhouse gas emissions, and yes, that would impact the climate.

      Changes have begun, and are now unavoidable. However, the extent of climate change can still be changed. It is scientifically inaccurate to state otherwise.

      • Hooligan

        No offense, Green Man, but it would be fairer to plead with us to try to contribute positively and not to give up hope than to label hopelessness scientifically inaccurate. Think about that statement for a second. If it’s scientifically inaccurate, doesn’t that mean that someone has proven so?

        Truth is we are inside a vast experiment with no idea how it will end up, or what difference a handful of liberals’ actions are going to make while the rest of the boobs and morons of the developed world keep on loading up the SUV and cranking the A/C all summer long with reckless abandon.

      • Bill

        Green Man makes a key point. It is not “too late to do anything now.” It is not too late to minimize the degree of climate change we impose on the Earth. And for that matter, given how imperfect a science climate modeling still remains, it might not even be too late to avoid serious climate impact altogether. I am old enough to remember the scientific debate when we first discovered the polar ozone holes, and first realized we were nuking the ozone layer with chlorofluorocarbons. I was fortunate enough to be studying chemistry at the time under Frank Sherwood “Sherry” Rowland, who discovered that CFCs destroy atmospheric ozone (and won the Nobel Prize for this in 1995…rest in peace, Sherry). At the time there was a serious school of thought among some atmospheric scientists that we had already screwed the pooch…that is to say, that the amount of CFC we had already released into the atmosphere was going to be enough to more-or-less completely destroy the ozone layer and kill us all. That turned out not to be the case, and thanks to the subsequent ban on CFCs the ozone layer is slowly but surely healing nicely, thank you. It can’t be said too many times: where there’s life, there’s hope.

        • Hooligan

          Bill, do you know of any climate scientists today who claim it’s possible the greenhouse gases humans have already added might be having no impact? I sure don’t. I wish I could share your optimism.

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