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Hillary Clinton And GOP Presidential Candidates Ignore 400 Parts Per Million

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports that, for the first time in human history, the global average level of carbon dioxide in our planet’s history has reached 400 parts per million. In the 1960s, the global average CO2 concentration was around 320 parts per million.

What’s more, NOAA data show that the rate of increase of carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere is now at the fastest pace ever recorded, rising an average of 2.25 parts per million every year in the most recent three year period.

carbon dioxide 400 ppm

In response, Ben Carson has been silent. “Carbon dating, all these things, really doesn’t mean anything to a God who has the ability to create anything at any point in time,” Carson says when asked about scientific issues. Ted Cruz also has said nothing about the increase. He has claimed instead that “for the last 17 years there’s been zero warming, none whatsoever”, though actually the data shows that global warming has continued.

Carly Fiorina said nothing. Mike Huckabee said nothing. Rand Paul said nothing. Marco Rubio said nothing. Jeb Bush said nothing.

To be bipartisan in my criticism, I have to point out that Hillary Clinton has not publicly spoken about the issue of climate change even once since she declared her candidacy last month. Given that Clinton was the leader of the U.S. diplomatic delegation to the recent climate talks in Copenhagen – at which the United States refused to support robust climate agreements, and her support for the expansion of drilling for fossil fuels, her continuing climate silence is especially concerning.

Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders has come out speaking strongly on the issue of climate change from the start, noting in his announcement speech that “Right now, in terms of issues, we have a Republican Party that with few exceptions does not even recognize the reality of climate change, let alone that it is caused by human activity, let alone that the scientific community tells us that this is the major global environmental crisis that we face, and I want to see this nation lead the world in transforming our energy system away from fossil fuels, to energy efficiency and sustainable energy.”

Sanders has continued to give attention to climate change as he campaigns, telling Washington Post reporter Greg Sargent just a few days ago that, “Not only is climate change real and caused by human activity, but it is already causing devastating problems in America and around the world. In terms of the kind of planet we are going to leave our kids and grandchildren, the scientists tell us that if we do not get our act together, this planet may be five to 10 degrees Fahrenheit warmer by the end of this century. Just think of all the cataclysmic impacts that will mean,” with concrete policy proposals that include “a tax on carbon; a massive investment in solar, wind, geothermal; it would be making sure that every home and building in this country is properly winterized; it would be putting substantial money into rail, both passenger and cargo, so we can move towards breaking our dependency on automobiles. And it would be leading other countries around the world.”

29 thoughts on “Hillary Clinton And GOP Presidential Candidates Ignore 400 Parts Per Million”

  1. Charles Manning says:

    Good work laying this out. Regarding Ted Cruz, he’s very sneaky — more so than any of his Republican competitors. Of course there’s been a “pause,” although I’m not sure the latest data will show it continuing, or that the “pause” has lasted 17 years. When the data show irrefutably that the “pause” is over, Cruz will find some way to claim he knew the “pause” was a temporary stair-step in the continuing increase in global temperature. That kind of gloss will give him some credibility on both sides of the issue. It will be interesting to see how this plays out as the new data comes in. And in that regard, I’m wondering if the recent volcanic activity will result in climatic effects like those from Mount Pinatubo, which apparently caused global cooling for several years. http://geography.about.com/od/globalproblemsandissues/a/pinatubo.htm

  2. Ella says:

    The NOAA site says it is the highest since they started keeping records. Sanders is way ahead of the political hacks that are running so far. His record in Congress speaks loudly as do his words. And something that is really different about Bernie is that his actions and his words match up!
    Amazing! His policies are in tune with the majority of Americans and with the issues of the day. That is far more than can be said of the other candidates in the field so far, either Republican or Democrat.

    1. Charles Manning says:

      Ella, I think that reflects who’s providing the funding for the other candidates. And remember — wealthy donors who want to keep viewpoints like that of Sanders from getting noticed by the public will fund both Republicans and Democrats.

  3. Mark says:

    The “pause” in global warming is present only if you look at some of the data. If you look at global ocean temperature there has been no pause whatsoever. The increase has been consistent (or even accelerating) through the entire period.

    1. Charles Manning says:

      I don’t disagree. What do you think of the “stair-step” graphic at http://www.skepticalscience.com/4-Hiroshima-bombs-worth-of-heat-per-second.html? Do the figures take into account ocean temperatures?

      1. Gary* says:

        This is pure propaganda to try to scare people. This amounts to about 0.6 watts/sq. meter. That is 1/100 of a 60 watt light bulb. The sun imparts about 1000 watts/sq. meter per second.

        1. J Clifford says:

          Gary, which part of the IPCC scientists’ latest report on impacts, adaptation and vulnerability ( http://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/wg2/ ) do you disagree with?

          Do you disagree when the IPCC scientists write in their latest synthesis report ( http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/syr/AR5_SYR_FINAL_SPM.pdf ) that, on the basis of scientific data analysis, corroborated from multiple sources and repeated critical scrutiny, “Human influence on the climate system is clear, and recent anthropogenic emissions of green- house gases are the highest in history. Recent climate changes have had widespread impacts on human and natural systems. Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and since the 1950s, many of the observed changes are unprecedented over decades to millennia. The atmosphere and ocean have warmed, the amounts of snow and ice have diminished, and sea level has risen.”?

          How about when they write, “Each of the last three decades has been successively warmer at the Earth’s surface than any preceding decade since 1850. The period from 1983 to 2012 was likely the warmest 30-year period of the last 1400 years in the Northern Hemisphere, where such assessment is possible (medium confidence). The globally averaged combined land and ocean surface temperature data as calculated by a linear trend show a warming of 0.85 [0.65 to 1.06] °C 2 over the period 1880 to 2012, when multiple independently produced datasets exist. In addition to robust multi-decadal warming, the globally averaged surface temperature exhibits substantial decadal and interannual variability. Due to this natural variability, trends based on short records are very sensitive to the beginning and end dates and do not in general reflect long-term climate trends.”?

          Do you think that it’s just “pure propaganda” when the scientists of the IPCC observe that “The annual mean Arctic sea-ice extent decreased over the period 1979 to 2012, with a rate that was very likely in the range 3.5 to 4.1% per decade. Arctic sea-ice extent has decreased in every season and in every successive decade since 1979, with the most rapid decrease in decadal mean extent in summer (high confidence).”? Are they just trying to scare people when these scientists write, “The rate of sea level rise since the mid-19th century has been larger than the mean rate during the previous two millennia (high confidence).”?

          Do you have evidence that the vast majority of climatologists who agree with the findings of the IPCC are in some kind of conspiracy to scare people with propaganda, while the tiny, petroleum-industry-funded minority of climatologists who disagree with some of the findings of the IPCC are right?

          Do you deny that many of the same industrial sources of greenhouse gases are also sources of air pollution that is highly toxic to human beings, and is linked with the premature death of large numbers of people every year, Gary?

          1. Gary* says:

            My comment was about the link and claim provided by Charles. If you wish to discuss or if your disagree with anything I say, please state what you disagree with.

      2. Gary* says:

        The pause is clearly evident in 3 of the 4 indices (RSS and UAH which are satellite based, and HADCRUT which is land based). GISS has show a slight warming of the period, but has been diverging from the other measurements. I think the satellite measurements are more representative as they cover virtually the entire atmoshsphere. The land based calculations need to extrapolate out as much as 1500 km, and are subject to many local influences. Most the the arctic is extrapolated.

        But judging from the number of papers with theories about why there has been a pause, I think it is pretty well accepted that temps just haven’t changed much in the last 15-18 years.

        1. J Clifford says:

          Interesting that you only talk about atmospheric warming, Gary. Does the oceanic warming not count? Are the Earth’s oceans not part of the climate?

          1. Gary* says:

            Not sure why you find it interesting. Discussions regarding the “pause” are in relationship to the atmosphere. That is why I provided reference to all of the data sources. And I’ll assume your questions are meant to be sarcasm.

            When you refer to “oceanic warming,” I think you really are referring to oceanic surface warming. The ocean is very deep. It’s average temp is only few degrees about 0C. The heat content is enormous, and overall, is not really affected by atmospheric warming. In fact, the heat capacity of a few meters of ocean is equal to the entire atmosphere. And it can take 1000 years for water to circulate down to the bottom and back up again. Think about what would happen if the oceans turned over.

            Of course there has been some surface warming, but lately it has been relatively flat too (during the “pause.” But I’ll let you review the data. Here is HadSST:

            http://www.climate4you.com/images/HadSST3%20GlobalMonthlyTempSince1979%20With37monthRunningAverage.gif

            The NCDC:
            http://www.climate4you.com/images/NCDC%20SST%20GlobalMonthlyTempSince1979%20With37monthRunningAverage.gif

          2. Mark says:

            Gary*,
            These are Sea Surface Temperature measurements. Satellites can measure only the surface “skin” of the ocean (a few millimeters at best). The sea surface is in dynamic contact with the atmosphere and exchanges heat readily with it, so of course, temperature variations in one will be reflected in the other.

            The rest of us are talking about the total heat content of the ocean, especially the surface layer down to the thermocline (the top couple hundred meters). This is where we are seeing a constant and dramatic increase in the total heat content.

          3. Mark says:

            Scientists haven’t quite figured out yet why we are continuing to record increases in oceanic heat content, but not the same increase in atmospheric heat content. You are right when you say, “The heat content [of the oceans] is enormous, and overall, is not really affected by atmospheric warming.” But, you’ve got it backward. In fact, the atmosphere is affected by oceanic warming. At some point the increased heat content of the oceans will have a dramatic effect on atmospheric temperatures.

          4. Gary* says:

            I agree with you. However, the theory about CO2 induced global warming is that CO2 blocks long wave radiation in the atmosphere from escaping. Therefore, the atmosphere needs to warm first. Considering the ocean mass, it is very likely the oceans have a much more significant effect on changes in climate. It’s one of many poorly understood aspects of climate.

          5. Mark says:

            Atmospheric heat is transferred readily into the oceans via rainfall. As the atmosphere warms up, vapor content increases and so does precipitation. Therefore, the transfer of heat to the oceans can increase without a large increase in atmospheric temperature. There are other mechanisms for the transfer of large amount of heat from the atmosphere to the oceans. Increasing winds can deepen the surface mixed layer thereby increasing the depth to which surface heat is transferred. Increased oceanic turbulence can also increase heat transfer.

            Meanwhile, while everyone is continuing to debate whether the climate is changing, NOAA and NASA report that March was the warmest March on record and the first quarter of 2015 was the warmest first quarter on record, beating the record set in 2014.
            http://www.cnn.com/2015/05/09/world/global-warming-record-quarter/index.html

            Actually, no one is debating it. There are just a lot of loud-mouthed individuals who continue to deny the obvious.

          6. Gary* says:

            Who debates whether climate changes? I certainly don’t. I don’t deny there has been warming. I am just not certain if it means certain doom. And since natural variation has exceeded what we have witnessed in modern times, and because we have very limited historical data, and because there are many mechanisms for which we have a poor understanding, I remain unconvinced. I think there are much more urgent problems than this.

            I am getting tired of the proclamations by the above government agencies. The reason is that GISS in particular has over a period of years gone through a series of modifications where the past keeps getting adjusted downward and the recent years upward. In fact, adjustments account for large portion of the upward trend they present to a tune of about 1.8C. Plus, currently about 35-40% of the temps are Infilled or estimated.

            It would raise my confidence if they published the details of the calculations so people could reproduce and understand what they are doing. There is no peer or public review. They refuse to release data and calculations. Plus, there is no way to validating their calculations. I have seen many of the measurement sites they use and its a horrible situation. Many are located next to parking lots, air conditioners, highways and runways. Despite all of this, they confidently state they know the average world temperature to one-hundredth of a degree by measuring temps 6 feet off the ground over 5-10 % of the earths surface. Can you say overconfidence?

            Satellites on the other hand, measure the vast surface of the atmosphere and is validated through actual temps measured at elevation. Even so there are limitations. Why does NASA ignore their own satellites?

            Expressing such extreme confidence knowing the numerous errors and adjustments required definitely makes me skeptical. And the more I dig in, more skeptical I become. As I said, there are urgent known problems today like clean drinking water that I would like to see the 19 billion $ or so to go to.

          7. Mark says:

            I’m just going to comment on one of your statements at this time:
            “natural variation has exceeded what we have witnessed in modern times”
            While the magnitude of the changes we have witnessed in modern times have been exceeded by natural variations, the short time scale in which these changes have occurred has never happened in the history of the Earth, with the exception of a few global catastrophic events such as asteroid impacts. The changes in the Earth’s climate and the impact upon living organisms currently being experienced are on par with only a few events in the history of the planet. Many scientists are convinced that we are currently going through the sixth great extinction event in the history of the planet.

            Warming does not mean certain doom. The planet and even our species will survive. However, how many of us survive is the question. If we do not stop our current practices and continue to exhaust the planet’s resources we will experience dramatic changes in climate. Drastic climatic changes and sea level rise will doom millions, if not billions of humans to death. Wars will erupt over scarce resources. Famine due to droughts and floods will become common. Millions of people will have to migrate in order to survive and their migrations will be met with resistance.

            You talk about more urgent problems that we need to address. I can think of nothing more urgent than climate change. Any other problems will be dwarfed in magnitude if we do nothing to abate climate change.

          8. J Clifford says:

            Given that the military budget dwarfs (thanks to the Republicans’ stonewalling) what’s being spent on dealing with the climate, I don’t think it’s really climate spending we need to blame for lack of money for clean water programs.

          9. Gary* says:

            I’ll let you have the last word. Thanks for the conversation.

        2. Mark says:

          The heat capacity of water is much greater than the heat capacity of air. Any SCUBA diver can tell you that the mass of the upper 10m of the ocean column is equal to the entire atmosphere above you at sea level. So, when reports state that the upper 200m of the oceans have warmed, that takes 20x as much energy as warming the entire atmosphere the same amount. There has been no “pause” in ocean warming. That is a documented fact that cannot be discounted by anyone’s opinion.

          You can’t simply take one measurement (surface atmospheric temperature) that seems to have paused in order to argue that climate change has stopped. You have to look at ALL the indices: upper atmosphere temperature, sea ice cover, sea ice volume, glaciers, ice sheets, oceanic heat content, species’s range shifts, migration timing and patterns, rainfall changes, storm intensity … the list goes on.

          By the way, I have a Master’s Degree in Oceanography. I think I understand this better than most people.

      3. Mark says:

        The “Stairstep” representation does not take into account ocean temperature. It’s only atmospheric.

    2. J Clifford says:

      Mark, what you say is in accord with the scientific analysis of the IPCC, which concludes in its latest round of reports that, “Ocean warming dominates the increase in energy stored in the climate system, accounting for more than 90% of the energy accumulated between 1971 and 2010 (high confidence), with only about 1% stored in the atmosphere. On a global scale, the ocean warming is largest near the surface, and the upper 75 m warmed by 0.11 [0.09 to 0.13] °C per decade over the period 1971 to 2010. It is virtually certain that the upper ocean (0−700 m) warmed from 1971 to 2010.”

  4. Ronald B. Campbell says:

    Dear Mrs. Clinton,
    Many of us are concerned that an American citizen can leave this country, in order to train to become a terrorist, and be allowed back into country, so as to rein terror upon us.
    I understand that citizenship cannot be revoked for any person born in the United States.
    After sending over 150 emails to newspapers, legislators, and interested parties, I heard back from 1-newspaper, 2-friends (former Army Ranger, and a Sudanese refugee who is now a successful American citizen), nothing from any of the major television and radio stations, and 1 form letter from senator Lindsay Graham regarding how congress is working on terrorism.

    My original letter suggested we find a champion who would write legislation to accomplish the following:
    Revocation Of Citizenship Initiative

    When you see in the news that ten men leave the country, and are known to be trained to be terrorists in their own country, we perhaps need to rethink our citizenship laws. When 5 of them return, intent on doing harm, common sense dictates that we need to be more proactive. Our laws are crippling us.
    You are planning to run for the most powerful office in the world, and we would like to know how you plan to deal with this.

    Citizenship may be a birth right, but with that, accountability must be included, where it can be revoked if you’re planning to destroy our way of life.
    Not one politician will want to deal with this for obvious reasons, but there will be no need for them if our way of life no longer exists. I am a realist, and this needs to be turned into an action statement.
    Please do not wait until something really terrible happens.
    People constantly say “They want what we have”.
    WRONG! They do not want you to have what you have.
    There is a huge difference.
    Look around you, and tell me that I am wrong.
    Any response is better than none.

    Regards,
    Ron Campbell
    743 Johnson Ave.
    Myrtle Beach, South Carolina 29577

    Ps.. A friend just sent this comment:Most Americans would rather bury their head in the sand . Most Americans are sheep . The greatest generation must be ashamed at what has happened to our country!

    We welcome you..But Beware.. When threatened, we are the most dangerous nation in the world to mess with..We will share what we have, but will not let you take away our freedom, harm our children or take away women’s rights..

    1. J Clifford says:

      Dearest Ronald, Hillary Clinton does not write for Irregular Times. Look around, and tell me that I am wrong.

  5. Ella says:

    Ronald, could it be since no one else has listened to you that maybe some one here has an ear? That someone may know of a way to give your thoughts a hearing? I do not question your premise that others want to separate those who have from what they have. And many would just destroy what we have to begin again. But there are also those who want everything, even though they don’t know what to do with it. Communicating with Hillary Clinton would be like trying to get information from her servers – not likely. You have been heard. Have you tried sending this to your local editor as an editorial. Maybe send it to several papers around the country.

  6. Ella says:

    Seriously, being as simple as possible. Ever gone swimming in a pond on a cold day at the end of summer? The water is much warmer. Wind friction warms the surface and over the water the air is warmer. How much greater is that over the ocean? Even ice temperature becomes warmer. Ever heard of ‘hot ice’, ‘dry ice’? It is so cold it will stick to your much hotter skin. There is not as much of that in the Arctic climes now. The Arctic Sea ice still closes over the winter, but it is much thinner on the much wider edges. Plant life and animal life all over the planet is re-acting to climate change. CO2 levels reduced for a few years, or stagnated, but now China has pumped out copious amounts for the past 20 years or so. etc. Little Ice Age happened when the human population decrease due to epidemics, but it had gotten much warmer prior to that. Let us not hope for epidemics.

    1. Mark says:

      Ella,
      “Dry ice” is frozen carbon dioxide, not frozen water. The freezing point of CO2 is -108.4 degrees F or -78 degrees C.

      There has been no stagnation in the increasing atmospheric CO2 levels. Concentrations have been relentlessly increasing. There are seasonal oscillations, but the year to year increase persists, and is even accelerating.

      1. Ella says:

        Oh. Well I just learned that CO2 is in greater abundance in the ice fields as well as the open ocean. I can remember it from my childhood living in the north country. Now are the equatorial waters continuing to increase in heat and how is the North Atlantic beltway doing? Waters still getting warmer? I just wonder if things are accelerating at a greater pace than when last I checked. I am really getting lazy. It seems that we should be changing our lifestyles (which is happening) for what is already happening and knowing what is coming, simply be prepared for it instead of debating the obvious. In your learned opinion, is there really anything we could do that would put the brakes on global warming fast enough to reverse it without even worse consequences? And it may be that we can slow it to a very livable climate. Not like Saturn.

  7. Ella says:

    Mark, it has been a long time since I studied this subject and so many new findings exist now. I wonder, do you know if this El Nino season is early? And is the current sea surface temperature higher than last time?(NOAA has temperature buoys along the equator) Are subsurface levels warmer than the at the last El Nino? At one time that was a concern. It was thought it might have been due to sea floor volcanic activity. We are having a preseason hurricane event and California continues to be arid. The Santa Ana winds didn’t fail, just the rain. It was my hypothesis that as the glaciers melt and the earth rebounds from weight change, that earthquakes will come in different places. (1995-97, never published) Climate change is affecting life on this planet at this time, obviously. But how much faster is it happening than predicted by scientists 10 years ago?

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