Monday, May 13, 2013

Atmospheric carbon dioxide continues to increase

Update, May 14: You can read Climate Central's take on why this is an important measure here.

Two weeks ago I wrote a post about the Keeling Curve, which measures the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and explains why that's important. If you're wondering why NOAA reported that the Earth had, on Friday, the threshold level of 400ppm of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, but the Scripps Institute of Oceanography  did not, there's a simple explanation - time zones. As a note on the Scripps site puts it:
May 10 Comment: NOAA has reported 400.03 for yesterday, but Scripps has reported 399.73. The difference is similar to other differences we have reported.   The difference partly reflects time zone differences.  NOAA uses UTC, whereas we use local time in Hawaii to define the start and stop of a given day.  Changing to UTC excludes the lower CO2 period from the baseline on the May 9, shifting it to May 10.
399.73 or 400.03 - both are bad. There's a good roundup of this and other climate news on the blog "Scrapbook of a Climate Hawk," here.


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