About a year ago, the newswires were ablaze about a report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) that the year-over-year change in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels had reached an all-time high. This was reported to be an indication that the atmospheric CO2 concentration was accelerating and that the worst climate change scenarios were being borne out.
At the time, however, we urged everyone not to get too exercised about a year or two’s worth of data because there is a large degree of variation in the annual CO2 levels as measured at the observatory atop Hawaii’s Mauna Loa volcano. Now, comes this year’s NOAA report on CO2 concentration levels , which begins:
A spike in the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere between 2001 and 2003 appears to be a temporary phenomenon and apparently does not indicate a quickening build-up of the gas in the atmosphere, according to an analysis by NOAA climate experts.
We hate to say ‘we told you so,” but we did. To see what had to say a year ago, click here.
With each passing year, the trend in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels better establishes itself at about 1.5 ppm/yr. If this trend continues, by the year 2050, the atmospheric CO2 level will be about 446ppm—below nearly all of the projections made by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in the 2001 Third Assessment Report. Consequently, the temperature rise, over the same period, will also likely be at or below the lowest IPCC forecast.
The specter of catastrophic climate change is rapidly fading.