Editor's Blog

That’s some milestone.

Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration hits 4oo ppm. Ditto Kevin Bullis:

There are two things to keep in mind about carbon dioxide. First, it stays in the atmosphere for a long time—hundreds to thousands of years. If we stopped burning fossil fuels today, the concentration of carbon dioxide will start falling, but it will take over a thousand years to get back to pre-industrial levels.

 

The second is that it takes a long time for the earth to respond to higher levels and reach a new state of equilibrium. So we won’t know for many decades—or even over a hundred years– what impact 400 parts per million will have.

 

That means that, while it will be a long time before we know what 400 parts per million will do to the planet, whatever it does we’ll be stuck with for a long time.

Marinate on that.

-- Mike Orcutt

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