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Published: Thursday 22 August, 2013

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For climate scientists, a similar number, 450 parts per million ppm, holds its own ominous meaning. It represents a dangerous concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere; a total that they were not expecting to be passed for at least another decade.



But a new UNsponsored report, to be released next month, will show that as of 2005 the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere had already reached 455 ppm, michael kors outlet store bags according to Tim Flannery, a prominent Australian climate scientist who says hes seen the raw data that go into the document.



In an interview on Australian television this week, Dr. Flannery said that an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC report will show that carbon dioxide CO2, nitrous oxide, methane, hydrofluorocarbons HFCs, and other greenhouse gasses are at much higher concentrations than previously thought. Reuters quotes him:



We thought wed be at that threshold within about a decade. We thought we had that much time. But the new data indicates that in about mid2005 we crossed that threshold. What the report establishes is that the amount of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere is already above the threshold that could potentially cause dangerous climate change.



About 75 percent of the total ppm represents carbon dioxide, associated with burning fossil fuels. The rest is a combination of the other gasses, he said.



On the Sierra Club website, blogger Pat Joseph explains the meaning of 450 ppm:



450 ppm has long been held up as the threshold we dare not cross if we hope to avert the worst consequences of warming. Well, if Flannery is right, and theres no reason to think otherwise we crossed that line without even breaking stride. How did it happen? For one thing, countries such as China and India are actually recarbonizing, Mr. Joseph says, meaning that their economies are becoming more energyintensive as they turn increasingly to greenhouse michael kors outlet store bags gas emitting coal to feed their growth.



In May, the IPCC estimated current concentration of greenhouse gases at only 425 ppm, said a BBC report at the time. It noted that many scientists equated 450 ppm with a 2 degree C 3.6 degrees F. rise in temperatures. Allowing temperatures to rise more than 2 C could lead to major impacts on the environment, scientists said. In the article, Rajendra Pachauri, the chairman of the IPCC, explained the strategy this way:



If you want to stabilise around 450 ppm, that means in a decade or two you have to start reducing emissions far below the current level. So in other words, we have a very short window for turning around the trend we have in rising greenhouse gas emissions. We dont have the luxury of time.



But, says Flannery, named Australian of the Year for 2007, that window is closed. According to the Australian Associated Press he says that higher figure is due to miscalculating the potency of other greenhouse gasses, which are included in the 450 ppm figure and measured in terms equivalent to that of CO2. But he adds:



Also we have really s michael kors outlet store bags een an unexpected acceleration in the rate of accumulation of CO 2 itself, and thats been beyond the limits of projection . beyond the worstcase scenario. We are already at great risk of dangerous climate change thats what the new figures say. Its not next year, or next decade; its now.



A major UN climate change meeting in Bali, Indonesia, in December aims to set a course toward a new global agreement to reduce greenhousegas emissions. The current Kyoto Protocol, signed by the majority of the worlds nations but not the United States, expires in 2012. Flannery told Reuters that the 450 ppm figure adds to the urgency and importance of that meeting.



Meanwhile, Erwin Jackson, policy director of the Climate Institute, an Australian environmental group, told the Australian Associated Press that reducing greenhouse gas levels would be the only path to avoiding a catastrophe: michael kors outlet store bags

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