What bubbles in the Antarctic can tell us

This excerpt from the New York Times reports on CO2 emissions from historical perspective and societies efforts to curb emissions in our atmosphere the last few decades. Expect recent (a relative term) severe weather patterns of drought, flooding, fluctuations of water levels (large and small bodies of water) to persist and increase in intensity.

“From studying air bubbles trapped in Antarctic ice, scientists know that going back 800,000 years, the carbon dioxide level oscillated in a tight band, from about 180 parts per million in the depths of ice ages to about 280 during the warm periods between. The evidence shows that global temperatures and CO2 levels are tightly linked.

For the entire period of human civilization, roughly 8,000 years, the carbon dioxide level was relatively stable near that upper bound. But the burning of fossil fuels has caused a 41 percent increase in the heat-trapping gas since the Industrial Revolution, a mere geological instant, and scientists say the climate is beginning to react, though they expect far larger changes in the future.”

Read on about CO2 emissions in the atmosphere exceeding 400 at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/11/science/earth/carbon-dioxide-level-passes-long-feared-milestone.html#http://json8.nytimes.com/pages/science/earth/index.jsonp

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