The Tipping Point and Recent Global Warming

The monthly average measured atmospheric carbon dioxide at Mauna Loa for January 2014 is 397.8 parts per million compared with 395.54 parts per million in January 2013. According to the Earth Systems Research Laboratory at Mona Loa the monthly average measured atmospheric carbon dioxide globally averaged over marine surface sites in December 2013 was 397.21 parts per million.

If we step back and pretend that we are observers that are not from this world it we would wonder at what stage humanity will not be able to reverse the effects on the climate of greenhouse gas emissions by humanity.

There are three possible answers to this question. The first answer is that humanity has already passed the tipping point and that the effects of anthropological climate change are irreversible. The second answer is that the effects only become irreversible at a point when atmospheric carbon dioxide reaches a level in some years from now. The third answer is that humanity will never be able to emit enough carbon dioxide into the atmosphere to effect any climatic changes.

The process of a tipping point will be rather the same as the straw that broke the camel’s back. The theory is that at some stage the soil and the oceans, which absorb a great deal of carbon dioxide, will become so saturated with it that not only will they not be able to absorb CO2 but they will become net emitters of it. Thus, the theory goes, will atmospheric CO2 concentration rise very rapidly in a relatively short period of time, causing very rapid climate change.

As for those who claim that the earth has not warmed since 1998, I regret that their claims are wrong. The oceans, which due to their immense size are huge collectors of heat have been warming rapidly both at a depth of up to 700 metres and also at a depth between 700 metres and 2000 metres. The raid warming shows no sign of slowing down. The warming of the land surface temperature since 1998 has been at the rate of  approximately 0.11 to 0.12°C per decade, according to the most recent research ( )

5 Responses


    This is now a political issue Rob, and the highest bidders will win the argument, even though nobody really knows what is going on, this winter in Canada has seen the worst winter for 60 years, ask anyone who lives there and they will tell you the truth.

    The new warm is now also the new cold, you couldn’t make that one up could you.

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