One of the Biggest Events in Human History has Gone Unnoticed.

In the last couple of weeks, the Earth's C02 levels have reached 400 ppm (parts per million). The popular press has barely noticed this. The last time the Earth's CO2 level was 400 ppm, 3 million years ago, the Arctic was ice-free and sea levels was  about 25 meters (82 feet) higher than it is today.

Before the industrial revolution, the CO2 levels were 280 ppm. Scientists predict that "safe" CO2 levels are in the range of 350 ppm - this would prevent the dreaded two degree temperature change. Severe droughts, floods, storms and sea level rise will still occur, but not enough to cause catastrophic global climate disruption. If we cannot reverse this climb in CO2 level -- and lower other greenhouse gases, especially methane -- then our Earth will be very different from the Earth we know, one that is far less hospitable. The scariest part is that we are now on track to change the temperature by 2 degrees in the next 15 years, not in some distant future.

So, we have reached this terrible milestone, yet the vast majority of humans are untroubled by it. Why? Many skeptics still argue that our current CO2 levels are a result of natural processes. It’s true that natural fluxes in the carbon cycle are much larger than anthropogenic (human caused) emissions. But for roughly the last 10,000 years, until the industrial revolution, every gigatonne of carbon going into the atmosphere was balanced by one coming out.

What humans have done is alter one side of this cycle. We put approximately 6 gigatonnes of carbon into the air but, unlike nature, we are not taking any out.

Thankfully, nature is compensating in part for our emissions because only about half the CO2 we emit stays in the air. Nevertheless, since we began burning fossil fuels in earnest over 150 years ago, the atmospheric concentration of CO2 that was relatively stable for the previous several thousand years has now risen by over 35%.

So whatever the total amounts going in and out “naturally,” humans have clearly upset the balance and significantly altered an important part of the climate system. The time for action is now, why are our government and business leaders doing almost nothing? No to Tar Sands, No to Fracking, No to Coal.

www.350.org for more.                                                        Vurv Design Home www.vurv.ca

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