Carbon Dioxide in the Atmosphere Now Exceeds 400ppm

In May 2014 the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide measured at Mauna Loa was  401.85 ppm compared with 399.76 ppm a year earlier. In May 1960 the concentration was about 310 ppm and there has been a steady rise in concentration since then.  The mean annual growth rate is about 2.5 ppm and we can look forward to continued and growth levels of carbon dioxide which are higher than has ever been experienced by human beings in the form of homo sapiens.

There is nothing magic about the concentration exceeding 400 ppm. Some reputable scientists believe that even at 1000 ppm the climate will not change, but those are in a minority. One thing is certain; the atmosphere does not absorb all the anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions; the sea absorbs some of them too, resulting in the acidification of the oceans.  Dissolving CO2 in seawater increases the hydrogen ion concentration in the ocean, and thus decreases ocean pH. This is elementary science, and while we may be fearful of increased atmospheric carbon dioxide we should be equally fearful of increased dissolved carbon dioxide in sea water.

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