April 2014 was the first month in which CO2 concentrations topped 400 ppmv at Mauna Loa. In April 2017 the record reached 410 ppmv, having risen more than 3 ppm in a year. By May 2019 the number exceeded 415.
Policies that set target dates for 'net-zero emissions' some way into the future are just a new form of denialism. Our task is not just to stop emisission but to reduce what we have already emitted, back to the pre-industrial level. See Blog
More graphs from the Mauna Loa observatory here.
The blue line, updated daily, shows the extent of sea ice. The extent of Arctic ice is, over several years, a good indicator of global warming. There is variability from year to year depending on the weather, storms breaking the ice up and spreading it about. After a strong melt year the ice regrows quickly as the water is not insulated by a layer of ice, so the following year is usually a weaker melt year. On the other hand, water has a much lower albedo than ice so absorbs more solar energy and reflects less. Open water therefore warms quickly in summer.
The Antarctic sea ice pretty much all melts and regrows each season. In recent years there has been an increase in its area. Several factors contribute. Increased melting on the land glaciers is making the sea surface less saline, allowing quicker freezing of the sea surface. Increased rain and snow fall resulting from the greater water content of a warming atmosphere also contributes to this reduction in salinity. Increased wind speed resulting from greater temperature gradient between the Antarctic interior and the surrounding ocean help spread the ice out, increasing it's overall area. Thus increased Antarctic sea ice is an expected freature of a warming planet
The last few years have seen summer melting that far exceeds recent forecasts and raises the
serious possibility that some global climate models are not giving the right results - with the errors all on the bad
Join the Transition Town Louth Facebook Group.
Click here for much larger picture (4Mb).
Photo credit: Chris Vernon
There are now over 300 Transition Initiatives, Louth being the
ninety-ninth. Transition Towns are completely autonomous organizations,
linked by the Transition Network, which provides and shares ideas, resources
and support. The common thread is a belief that energy security in the time
following the peak in oil production and the risk of global warming, present
threats so large that we will be forced to make a transition to a very
different world from that to which we are accustomed.
The Transition movement is driven by optimism and a determination to learn
to adjust to whatever the future brings. Preparing in good time to meet the
challenges is the wise approach.
Our government, driven by the need to address the climate change issue and
knowing that fossil fuels will be increasingly hard to come by, has a policy
of reducing CO2 emissions by 80% by 2050. Even that drastic change may be
understated as we compete for what little fossil fuel remains. This is not
a target that can be missed but a reality that we are forced to accept.
Indeed, the problems may press harder and faster than the government is
prepared, as yet, to admit. It behoves each of us, as individuals or
working through community groups and within local government, to accept that
reality promptly, and to work together to make the transition as painless as
we can, moving positively to a future where life may actually be better.
Transition Town Louth is a grassroots grouping of people who share a
determination to act. We are not concerned with debating whether global
warming caused by man's actions is a problem, nor whether energy security is
soon to be the most significant constraint on economic activity. We have
accepted the issues, moved beyond debating the realities, and are ready for
To contact Transition Town Louth,