South Pole is the last place on Earth to pass a global warming milestone

South Pole is the last place on Earth to pass a global warming milestone
Credit: NOAA Headquarters

The Earth passed another unfortunate milestone May 23 when carbon dioxide (CO2) surpassed 400 parts per million (ppm) at the South Pole for the first time in 4 million years.

The South Pole has shown the same, relentless upward trend in CO2 as the rest of world, but its remote location means it's the last to register the impacts of increasing emissions from , the primary driver of pollution.  

"The far southern hemisphere was the last place on earth where CO2 had not yet reached this mark," said Pieter Tans, the lead scientist of NOAA's Global Greenhouse Gas Reference Network. "Global CO2 levels will not return to values below 400 ppm in our lifetimes, and almost certainly for much longer."

Over the course of the year, CO2 levels rise during fall and winter and decline during the Northern Hemisphere's summer as terrestrial plants consume CO2 during photosynthesis. But plants only capture  a fraction of annual CO2 emissions, so for every year since observations began in 1958, there has been more CO2 in the atmosphere than the year before. 

Last year's global CO2 average reached 399 ppm, meaning that the global average in 2016 will almost certainly surpass 400 ppm. The only question is whether the lowest month for 2016 will also remain above 400.

South Pole is the last place on Earth to pass a global warming milestone
Daily average carbon dioxide levels rose to a new high level of 400 parts per million on May 23 for the first time in four million years. This chart shows readings at the South Pole from 2014 to present, as recorded by NOAA's greenhouse gas monitoring network. Credit: NOAA

Upward trend continues

And the annual rate of increase appears to be accelerating. The annual growth rate of atmospheric measured at NOAA's Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii jumped 3.05 ppm during 2015, the largest year-to-year increase in 56 years of monitoring. Part of last year's jump was attributable to El Nino, the cyclical Pacific Ocean warming that produces extreme weather across the globe, causing terrestrial ecosystems to lose stored CO2 through wildfire, drought and heat waves.

Last year was the fourth consecutive year that CO2 grew more than 2 ppm – which set another record. This year promises to be the fifth.

"We know from abundant and solid evidence that the CO2 increase is caused entirely by human activities," Tans said. "Since emissions from fossil fuel burning have been at a record high during the last several years, the rate of CO2 increase has also been at a record high. And we know some of it will remain in the atmosphere for thousands of years."


Explore further

Record annual increase of carbon dioxide observed at Mauna Loa for 2015

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Jun 17, 2016
So why is the south pole ice expanding??

Jun 17, 2016
unrealone1 asks
So why is the south pole ice expanding??
Thats what happens when most solids warm, also re ice under the influence of differing crystal structures. Data at good level here
https://en.wikipe...ta_page)

See RHS graphs, especially labelled "Temperature dependence of the density of ice and water", clearly shows density of ice going down as its temperature increases before its melting point.

As you I hope you've learned that density is mass divided by volume so the only way for density to go down is either for the mass per unit volume to decrease OR the volume increases for a unit mass. Easier for most new to Physics to understand the latter.

As to WHY it happens, best look at detail re crystal structures, inter-molecular forces etc.

If however you were writing about ice sheet extent instead that's another matter but, since you've been here since April 9, 2011 you must have learned how to frame questions correctly

Cheers

Jun 17, 2016
All the jiggling molecules can't be made to jiggle any more than they already are. More CO2 is utterly unimportant.

Jun 17, 2016
All the jiggling molecules can't be made to jiggle any more than they already are. More CO2 is utterly unimportant.

There you have it folks...if this is the level of 'scientific understanding' of people who think they are entitled to an opinion on an issue then all is lost.

Jun 17, 2016
Eddy Courant (EC) claims
All the jiggling molecules can't be made to jiggle any more than they already are
Wrong - ding !
To "jiggle" as you put it, is indicator of kinetic energy which factors into measurement of temperature which is a pertinent indication of this thing called enthalpy, its middle school stuff which does (hopefully) get some key refinement in high school.

So there is *nothing* to say there's an upper limit to "jiggle" - do you understand ?

Especially as the CO2 "jiggle" factor drags H2O up with it, via this key issue:-
https://en.wikipe...ometrics

EC, you've been on this forum since Mar 2, 2014 aren't you completely embarrassed its revealed you've learned *nothing* re basic Physics ?

I've made posts before in response to your off hand blurts, you can read can't you ?

Sorry you seemed to have missed high school, its no excuse trying to mislead public :/

EC claims
More CO2 is utterly unimportant
Learn Physics please !

Jun 17, 2016
Yet the Antarctic has been cooling and increasing in ice mass. Oh wait, just as their God works in mysterious ways to the Church's faithfuls, so does CO2, to their counterparts in the AGW cult.
LOL. More fodder for the ignorant, hungry Chicken Littles. Eat up.

Jun 17, 2016
"We know from abundant and solid evidence that the CO2 increase is caused entirely by human activities," Tans said. Amazing! They've accounted for every form of CO2 cyce, and every variable that acts on those cycles, over the entire globe, so they KNOW it's caused by human activity. Now that's impressive!
Hey Tans, repeat after me, correlation is not causation, correlation is not causation, correlation is not causation...

Jun 17, 2016
Forestgnome (Fog) states with puerile satire
We know from abundant and solid evidence that the CO2 increase is caused entirely by human activities Tans said. Amazing! ... so they KNOW it's caused by human activity
Indeed its not that difficult just takes effort, measurement, instrumentation, intelligent researchers etc

The radio-genic data well establish in concurrence with huge mass of fossil fuels (FFs) combusted each second !

ie. Burning FFs increases background radiation, mostly Alpha Emitters...

Fog says
Now that's impressive!
For the uneducated, politically driven flunkies absolutely. You should know such data collected for decades, continuing

Fog says
.... correlation is not causation
No. You have it Wrong - ding !

"Correlation is not proof of causation" is the correct phrase,learn the Science behind it !

There's this thing called "combustion" thats proven, burn 230,000 Liters/sec FFs petrol equivalent, see what you get ?

Mind Foggy ?

Jun 17, 2016
Just a few parts per million of oxygen in beer ruins it, small amounts can have big effects on chemistry

Jun 17, 2016
If you go back to the original warmist predictions; coastlines several feet underwater, massive famines and wars due to migrations from uninhabitable tropics should be already occurring.

Jun 17, 2016
Unreal1 needs to be starved for a month and then put on the rack and we'll ask how, if he's starving to death, his body is gaining surface area!

Jun 17, 2016
Politicians are approaching the milestone of prosecuting climate alarmists for fraud.

Jun 17, 2016
Politicians are approaching the milestone of prosecuting climate alarmists for fraud.

Guess how many of the Chicken Littles in the AGW Cult will drink the Kool-Aid?

Jun 17, 2016
All the jiggling molecules can't be made to jiggle any more than they already are. More CO2 is utterly unimportant.
Deniers can't count.

Jun 17, 2016
When did this scientific comment list get taken over by deniers?

Too bad. They should stick to FOX.

Jun 18, 2016
Would be helpful to see the x-axis labelled in the graph.

Jun 18, 2016
Would be helpful to see the x-axis labelled in the graph.

Click on the image

Jun 18, 2016
Would be helpful to see the x-axis labelled in the graph.

Click on the graph to see the labels for the x-axis.

Jun 18, 2016
Gains Of Antarctic Ice Sheet Greater Than Losses: NASA Study
http://www.techti...tudy.htm
"The good news is that Antarctica is not currently contributing to sea level rise, but is taking 0.23 millimeters per year away," Zwally said.

Jun 18, 2016
Global warming the greatest scam in history' claims founder of Weather Channel John Coleman.

Jun 18, 2016
Sherrin with good point & thanks zz5555
Would be helpful to see the x-axis labelled in the graph
This looks fairly close but, time hasnt permitted me to go through all the noaa permutations, this link however, is interesting its interactive ie mouse over data points
http://www.esrl.n...aph.html

Data on the linked bottom graph suggests the one in the article here on phys.org is over an almost 2 year spread, ie based on close correspondence around 394 mark...

Browsing to year by year growth rate is this, sadly shows ea year increase with nil effective reductions :-(
http://www.esrl.n.../gr.html

Although it would be great if plant-life were to absorb more but, so far evidence is some food plants shift their equilibria to produce cyanogens which also reduce food productivity especially re proteins. As its also early days we can't be sure easy access to CO2 won't reduce lignin density as they can grow faster...

Jun 18, 2016
Medieval Warm Period confirmed via cave study of 3000 years of climatic variations
http://www.nature...rep10307
Greenhouse effect is all hot air, says study.13/April/2003.

The review, carried out by a team from Harvard-Smithsonian Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts, reviewed 240 research papers published by thousands of scientists over the past 40 years.
UK weather: 31,000 people DIED of the cold last winter: 26/Nov/2013.

Jun 18, 2016
How can you get the atmosphere to jiggle any more than it already is? Additional CO2 can't do it. It's effect is already saturated.

Jun 18, 2016
Cambridge, MA - A review of more than 200 climate studies led by researchers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics has determined that the 20th century is neither the warmest century nor the century with the most extreme weather of the past 1000 years. The review also confirmed that the Medieval Warm Period of 800 to 1300 A.D. and the Little Ice Age of 1300 to 1900 A.D. were worldwide phenomena not limited to the European and North American continents. While 20th century temperatures are much higher than in the Little Ice Age period, many parts of the world show the medieval warmth to be greater than that of the 20th century.
https://www.cfa.h...310.html

Jun 18, 2016
Eddy Courant asks
How can you get the atmosphere to jiggle any more than it already is?
What specifically do you mean by "jiggle" ?

It sounds like a lower school interpretation of temperature, do you even know what temperature is please ?

AND how does this relate to scale of temperature air is capable of accomodating ?

Eddy Courant claims
Additional CO2 can't do it
Why is that ?

Do you have a facile belief gases can't get warmer - where DID you get basic school education ?

Eddy Courant claims
It's effect is already saturated
What is saturated, air, your breath, your cognition, what precisely, why are you even here, how about base Physics, such as

- Heat
- Statistical Mechanics
- Specific Heat
- Radiative transfer etc

Why does it seem overwhelmingly that arbitrary idle AGW deniers are *uneducated* ?

Physics, ie man up & learn please so you don't go further; misread & embarrass yourself in public claiming you can read a Scientific Paper ;-)

Jun 18, 2016
http://www.thenew...policies
14,000 Idle Wind Turbines a Testament to Failed Energy Policies

Jun 18, 2016
So the average winter temperature at the South Pole is now -50F instead of -75f?

Man....I don't think water even freezes at that temp. We are guaranteed a melted Arctic at these temps!

Jun 18, 2016
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of the experts" – Richard Feynman

Jun 18, 2016
So the average winter temperature at the South Pole is now -50F instead of -75f?

Man....I don't think water even freezes at that temp. We are guaranteed a melted Arctic at these temps!


Ok. So let's start with a geography lesson and go from there...

Jun 19, 2016
http://jenniferma...genized/
Bureau Just Makes Stuff Up: Deniliquin Remodelled so Rutherglen can be Homogenized

Jun 19, 2016
Why is it unfortunate? Surely there are some benefits to a warmer planet. I would be pretty panic stricken if we were headed the other way.

Jun 19, 2016
Why is it unfortunate? Surely there are some benefits to a warmer planet. I would be pretty panic stricken if we were headed the other way.
If it gets too cold, things die. If it gets too warm, things die.

Humans survived the last glacial maximum; we were not around for the PETM. Personally I'd rather have cold than hot, just playing the odds.

Jun 19, 2016
Ironwood says
Why is it unfortunate? Surely there are some benefits to a warmer planet
Many food plants adapted to stasis levels pre industrial revolution. Changing mix of CO2 and/or increasing temps affects that equilibria & don't do as well. With CO2/heat its like changing petrol/air mix for a well tuned engine - it can either make it cough & splutter blowing rich smoke or the other way burning exhaust valves & cracking rings. Its already been observed as existing food producing regions are warming plants nutrient levels drop whilst some others produce cyanogens ie Poison & there is not just one type either :/

Warmer also means higher sea level as water expands plus more ice runoff & since many coastal communities developed pre industrial times we have increasing storm surge variance.

Ironwood says
I would be pretty panic stricken if we were headed the other way
Maybe you yes but, those knowing Physics confirm easier to warm than remove heat !

Jun 19, 2016
LOL..pardon the typo- Antartic

The Arctic is a long way from being Ice free as well

So the average winter temperature at the South Pole is now -50F instead of -75f?

Man....I don't think water even freezes at that temp. We are guaranteed a melted Arctic at these temps!


Ok. So let's start with a geography lesson and go from there...


Jun 19, 2016
Globalists babbling about CO2 when I documented other life gasses being 300 times more potent as greenhouse gas. And then questioning the integrity of Nature.com was beyond pathetic

Jun 19, 2016
Globalists babbling about CO2 when I documented other life gasses being 300 times more potent as greenhouse gas.
Ummm, you were babbling about nitrogen being one of those gasses. Since it's 70% of the atmosphere most justifiably dismissed you as a crank.

And then questioning the integrity of Nature.com was beyond pathetic
Nature.com was not dismissed; your interpretation of it was what was dismissed. Sorry you're having trouble with that difficult thinking thing and all like that.

Jun 20, 2016
kochevnik claims
Globalists babbling about CO2 when I documented other life gasses being 300 times more potent...
As Da Schneib pointed out you made a huge Error/Gaff confusing Nitrogen with Nitrous Oxide & STILL failed to either read or interpret my earlier post directed at you.

You unwell, have anyone competent locally to get independent advice from because idly making unsupportable claims just makes you look not just irrational but, demonstrably insane ?

Just like another loon/clown claiming his 14yr old grand daughter read a Scientific Paper across disciplines; Electro Magnetics AND Biochemistry but REFUSES to link to it !

ie Yet another unsupportable claim from a person who has no education/training/experience getting his/her/its jollies *only* trying to put people down & Fails :/

You want to appear as dumb & ignorant as them ?

kochevnik says
..questioning the integrity of Nature.com
No, re-read. Link to paper please & apologise ?

Integrity !

Jun 20, 2016
Globalists babbling about CO2 when I documented other life gasses being 300 times more potent as greenhouse gas. And then questioning the integrity of Nature.com was beyond pathetic


Let's for a moment give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that all your crazy posts about nitrogen were actually about nitrous oxide and this was just a typo.

I know the research you're referring to and the problem with this kind of cherry picking (and that is what it is) is that you're choosing to interpret the information in a vacuum. You know what the most powerful greenhouse gas is? Water vapour. You know what great revelation that sheds on the relationship between CO2 emissions and global warming? Very little.

There are two issues here - the ability of the gas to trap heat and the proportionate increase. So, yes, nitrous oxide is a very powerful GHG. But the increase in the emissions of N2O are negligible. The proportion of CO2 in the atmosphere has increased dramatically TBC

Jun 20, 2016
So it's not just the ability of the gas to trap heat that's the issue - it's also its concentration in the atmosphere and its proportionate increase. Methane, for example, is a far more powerful GHG than CO2 but has not been as much of a focus of campaigns to reduce GHG emission. That's because while human methane emissions have increased and its contribution to AGW is a concern, it's nothing on the substantial increases in CO2.

Nobody is questioning the research that says that N2O is more powerful than CO2. We just understand the bigger picture that puts that fact into perspective. That is, we're not cherry picking an interesting factoid to use it to support an inherently anti-scientific position.

NOTE: For the sake of simplicity, I haven't gone into the relationship between CO2 and water vapour as a positive feedback mechanism. So please nobody "correct" my statement about water vapour and CO2 above. This is already over two posts. I didn't want to make it five.


Jun 20, 2016

There are two issues here - the ability of the gas to trap heat and the proportionate increase. So, yes, nitrous oxide is a very powerful GHG. But the increase in the emissions of N2O are negligible. The proportion of CO2 in the atmosphere has increased dramatically TBC

There's also a bit of an issue with longevity. While the sumtotal of water is a more potent green house gas than CO2, the average time until a molecule of water dissociates or is taken up by a sink is nine days. The average lifetime of a molecule of CO2 in the atmosphere is 200 years. And therin lies the problem.

If we increase the amount of water vapor then that will just locally increase rainfall or takeup by the oceans in a very short timespan. This *may* have an effect on (local) weather but not on climate. CO2 accumulates since it stays in the atmosphere for a very long time.

Easy to see:
Regulating water(vapor) emissions would have no effect. Regulating CO2 emissions will

Jun 21, 2016
This comment has been removed by a moderator.

Jun 21, 2016
This comment has been removed by a moderator.

Jun 21, 2016
@antialias_physorg @Mike_Massen

I often wonder what the contribution to global heating is for the actual energy released when combusting fossil fuels, waste heat from anthropogenic heat sources (like appliances, engines, heating, power plants, urban jungles, biomass loss (forests absorb heat), etc). Most focus on the gases, but not on waste heat. Even our large cattle numbering in the trillion+ animals (http://beef2live....-106905) all produce waste heat from their bodies, on top of their gas emissions and waste from feeding them. Each adult human emits ~100W of thermal energy per hour multiplied by the number of adults on the planet as well plus the fraction for children. I am concerned that I've never seen a report on the waste heat component of all human activities and what that means for global warming. What do y'all think.? I feel like a massive component of the equation is being totally ignored.

Jun 21, 2016
I should've just googled it

https://en.wikipe...l_impact

Jun 21, 2016
This comment has been removed by a moderator.

Jun 21, 2016
This comment has been removed by a moderator.

Jun 23, 2016
Just like another loon/clown claiming his 14yr old grand daughter read a Scientific Paper across disciplines; Electro Magnetics AND Biochemistry but REFUSES to link to it !
@pachinko-mike
1- i referenced the paper, then told you where to find it: i can't help it you're unable to read
2- crossposting an irrelevant argument to make fun of someone else by ad hominem argument?
when the whole point of the argument is that you've failed to be able to read or comprehend basic english?
and that you can't find a reference on a page with limited text, the CTRL+F function and a known author?
WTF?

IOW - this is "Yet another unsupportable claim from a person who has no education/training/experience getting his/her/its jollies *only* trying to put people down & Fails :/ "

thanks for sharing: now try to take this back to the original thread where you still failed to read the reference and try again

HINT: CTRL+F works in any browser

Thanks!
:-)

Jun 26, 2016
Captain Stumpy (CS)
@pachinko-mike
Dis-respectful again, can't help it ?
CS claims
.. i referenced the paper, then told you where to find it..
No.

1. Referencing is NOT same as (smart & efficient as) linking, some 100's of references across 20+ papers, be smart & concise for a change - which ONE ?

CS says
...hominem argument?
No. You've been caught making false claims, you're guilty of Scientific Misconduct, don't be a coward, man up & apologise for huge Gaff !

CS claims
..point of the argument is that you've failed to be able to read
No, point is you misread http://arxiv.org/...53v2.pdf
claiming "THz radiation is harmless"

CS doesnt think the more intelligent audience can see he REFUSES to link to the paper & instead insults ?

CS says
can't find a reference ...
See my 1. above, which one please ?

CS says
CTRL+F function and a known author
What author ?

Isnt it more intelligent to link instead of more evasive claims ?

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