Wednesday, October 24, 2007

BBC Highlights CO2 Growth

As per usual the BBC has given a good deal of prominence to the story that researchers have found an 'unexpected' growth in CO2 levels (about 35% faster than expected since 2000). This is put down to a combination of decreased fuel efficiency and a reduction in natural CO2 sinks (which the BBC high-lighted in a separate story a few days previously).

However, nowhere in the story do the obvious questions get asked. Firstly there's no mention of just what the level of CO2 in the atmosphere is. 35% sounds like a big number, but given the low level of CO2 in the atmosphere and the prominence of water vapour in the greenhouse effect the numbers won't look so alarming.

But the big question is this. If the level of atmospheric CO2 has been rising faster than expected in the last seven years, where is the corresponding increase in temperature? Global warming seems to have stalled during this period of unexpectedly high CO2 increases. Surely you'd expect to see some correlation, even if you believe that there's a time lag... You can bet that if there had been any evidence of a correlation it would have been trumpeted from the roof-tops.

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