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Posts Tagged ‘atmosphere’ On 24 October, people in 181 countries are coming together

In Energy, Environment, Science, Sustainable on October 23, 2009 at 6:27 pm

On 24 October, people in 181 countries are coming together for the most widespread day of environmental action in the planet’s history. At over 4500 events around the world, people are gathering to call for strong action and bold leadership on the climate crisis.

In 2008, the average concentration for atmospheric CO2 (Mauna Loa Observatory) was 385.57 parts per million (ppm).   Based on CO2 measurements made so far, we know that the 2009 average for atmospheric CO2 is more than 387 ppm.  (The seasonally-adjusted level atmospheric CO2 was 387.65 ppm in August 2009, and 388.00 ppm in September 2009.)

Since 1958, when precise CO2 measurements were first made of atmospheric air samples, the annual mean concentration of CO2 has only increased from one year to the next.   There have been no decreases in annual CO2 levels since direct instrument measurements began at the Mauna Loa Observatory.  The following CO2 data provides a snapshot of the longest-running, high-precision instrument record for atmospheric CO2:

Year        CO2 (ppm)               Notes

2009       387+                      Current CO2 levels

2008       385.57                   The latest year for which a full year of data is available

2007       383.71

2006       381.85

1997       363.47                   Kyoto Protocol

1992       356.27                   Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro

1987       348.98                   The last year in which the annual CO2 data was less than 350 ppm

1959       315.98                   The first year for which a full year of precise instrument data is available is produced by Pro Oxygen and part-time volunteers.

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