CO2 levels 'stable since 1850'

Posted

Eco-warriors will be spluttering into their fair trade organic coffee this morning as new research shows that atmospheric levels of CO2 have effectively remained unchanged since the advent of the industrial revolution.

Scientists at Bristol University in the UK say that, despite rising emissions, the world is still able to store a 'significant' amount of greenhouse gases in its oceans and forests and has continued to absorb more than half the carbon dioxide produced by humans over the last 160 years.

This is despite emissions of CO2 increasing from two billion tonnes a year in 1850 to the current 35 billion tonnes. The report is based on historical records taken from Antarctic ice core samples rather than unreliable climate models.

altThe report's author, Wolfgang Knorr, says the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has remained steady at just over 50 percent, despite the massive increase in output.

"Previous studies suggested that in the next ten years the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere will accelerate because there is a lot less uptake by the Earth, there is no indication of this," he told the Daily Telegraph.

Other recent research shows that the amount of CO2 released as a result of cutting down the rainforests could could be as low as 12 percent, rather than 20 percent previously estimated and that marine plants in the Antarctic are absorbing carbon from the atmosphere as the ice melts - the British Antarctic Survey found that phytoplankton is thriving in stretches of open water produced by melting of ice shelves.

But Knorr observes that the quantity of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is still increasing - albeit considerably slower than claimed by the multi-billion dollar global warming industry - even though half is absorbed by the planet.

"Like all studies of this kind, there are uncertainties in the data, so rather than relying on nature to provide a free service, soaking up our waste carbon, we need to ascertain why the proportion being absorbed has not changed," he said.

But with the religious fervor of climate campaigners continuing to force politicians to be seen to be doing something to help baby polar bears, it seems unlikely that governments will be shooting the gift horse of anthropomorphic global warming taxation any day soon.

See Also
Retreat of glaciers locks up carbon