Tracking Global Carbon
Reported June 2007
BOULDER, Colo., (Ivanhoe Broadcast News) -- Every year global temperatures climb, and levels of carbon emissions rise. Now, atmospheric chemists are taking an important step forward to understand what is happening to our world by collecting air for the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA's) Carbon Program.
An army of volunteers takes air samples twice a week. Tom Conway, a scientist at NOAA in Boulder, Colorado, says, "Now there are almost sixty sampling locations and samples collected on three ships in the Pacific Ocean." The flasks of air are shipped from remote locations, like Tasmania, to a lab in Boulder, Colorado where the samples are analyzed. In the last five years, researchers have seen CO2 levels rise three-times faster than in the past.
Pieter Tans, a scientist at NOAA in Boulder explains, "So, if we continue this, ocean eco- systems are at serious threat, globally." The research shows carbon dioxide has increased from 280 parts-per-million before the industrial revolution to 380 parts-per-million today. The Kyoto treaty limits carbon emissions. Even though 130 U.S. cities have signed on, the United States is not part of the pact.
Startling stats that show us what's going on in our air.
The American Geophysical Union and the American Meteorological Society contributed to the information contained in the TV portion of this report.
Click here to Go Inside This Science or contact:
Dr. Pieter Tans
Carbon Cycle Greenhouse Gases Group
For more information on carbon and its role in the atmosphere:
American Geophysical Union
Washington, DC 20009-1277
American Meteorological Society
Boston, MA 02108-3693
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