Home > Uncategorized > CO2 on the atmosphere and annual emissions (1750-2019)

CO2 on the atmosphere and annual emissions (1750-2019)

graph with two lines, one showing annual atmospheric carbon dioxide and the other showing carbon dioxide emissions from 1750-2019

  1. deshoebox
    June 15, 2021 at 2:24 am

    IIf there are any scientists and statisticians 100 years from now – in a world where average global average temperatures are four degrees Celsius higher than now – they will marvel at the stunning downturn of this graph line following the collapse of industrial civilization. Somehow it seems unlikely that this will cheer them up much.

  2. Ikonoclast
    June 15, 2021 at 5:05 am


    There may be a stunning downturn in direct human generated CO2 emissions. There will not be a downturn in overall emissions as all major forest types and landscapes will burn much more frequently and extensively on the current trajectory. Also, tundra permafrost will melt and release massive amounts CO2. Atmospheric CO2 levels and global temperatures will continue to rise for centuries and perhaps even millennia after human releases drop or even cease. This is because of the positive feed-backs we have induced as mentioned above. Then there is decreasing albedo from reduced ice cover. Then there are potential methane clathrate releases from continental seabeds. Even our current atmospheric methane level is terrifying compared to geological records.


  3. Ken Zimmerman
    June 15, 2021 at 11:22 am

    Concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere were as high as 4,000 parts per million (ppm, on a molar basis) during the Cambrian period about 500 million years ago to as low as 180 ppm during the Quaternary glaciation of the last two million years. Reconstructed temperature records for the last 420 million years indicate that atmospheric CO2 concentrations peaked at ~2000 ppm during the Devonian (∼400 Myrs ago) period, and again in the Triassic (220–200 Myrs ago) period.

    Global annual mean CO2 concentration has increased by more than 45% since the start of the Industrial Revolution, from 280 ppm during the 10,000 years up to the mid-18th century to 420 ppm as of April 2021. The present concentration is the highest for 14 million years. The increase has been attributed to human activity, particularly deforestation and the burning of fossil fuels. And feedbacks increase the threat. This increase of CO2 and other long-lived greenhouse gases in Earth’s atmosphere has produced the current episode of global warming. Between 30% and 40% of the CO2 released by humans into the atmosphere dissolves into the oceans, wherein it forms carbonic acid and effects changes in the oceanic pH balance.

    All of which is just a blip on the geologic scale for the planet but might easily mean the extinction of Homo Sapiens. Sapiens evolved and has lived out its existence on a climate temperate and relatively calm planet. The current round of global warning threatens the end of that evolutionary context.

    • Ikonoclast
      June 15, 2021 at 12:31 pm

      Good summary. People can’t really grasp the enormity of what is happening. I don’t think I can grasp the enormity of it. Yet this “enormity” to humans is as nothing compared to the convulsions the planet has already been through. And the evolutionary history of humans is as nothing compared to the entire evolutionary history of life on earth. We think we are important (well, many of us do) but on cosmic and even planetary terms, humans are a tiny, tiny blip in events. There’s at least a 50-50 chance that homo sapiens sapiens (only we could have given ourselves that title) will be extinct by 2100. Civilization as we know it will almost certainly be over.

      I read a science site today which mentioned that the total biomass of COVID-19 in humans has been estimated at 0.1 kilos to 10 kilos. (The live virus is almost exclusively in humans or being closely transmitted between humans.) Let us assume the middle of that range, namely 1 kilo. Imagine, 1 kilo of virus radically alters important aspects of the whole of world civilization. Clearly, we are not independent of even the smallest aspects and elements of ecological nature.

      Imagine what a destabilized climate system, reversed ocean currents and sea level rise are going to do to us if 1 kilo of virus can put a 7.8 billion global civilization out of kilter.

  4. John Jensen
    June 16, 2021 at 4:29 pm

    And still, there are many more people dying from cold than heat. Perhaps we will be saved by massive volcanic eruptions or perhaps we may actually decide to plant more trees and install white reflective roofs and highways. In the 1970s I was convinced we had peak oil and the next ice age was just around the corner. Isn’t confirmation bias great at helping us to pick trends and projecting futures? Does anyone remember Malthusian Theory? And a killer virus reducing us to 2 Billion again might just be our salvation.


    • Ken Zimmerman
      June 17, 2021 at 12:06 pm

      John. All correct and all kind of scary. But at least Homo Sapiens is no longer just prey. Or are you one of those who believe things would be better if Homo Sapiens remained prey?

      • John Jensen
        June 17, 2021 at 6:32 pm

        Well. I suppose we are still potential prey to Rhinos, Lions, Alligators, pickpockets and investment scammers in their unique environments. We all obviously have a personal obligation to avoid those environments whenever possible (I do). More likely we are still prey to a variety of Corona Viruses that will eventually depopulate us. Don’t forget what little bugs like the Plague, Smallpox, Spanish Flu and Covid-19 did to us with apparently little effort on their part. And, we are still not so smart that we will outlive the detrimental effects of brainless viruses, comets, plate tectonics or populist politicians.

      • Ken Zimmerman
        June 18, 2021 at 9:40 am

        Thanks for your comments, John. Humans are no longer prey due to its creativity and adaptability. But these also create major dangers for humans as they allow it to arrange multiple situations that can and do endanger the species. Perhaps even species survival.

      • David Boffey
        July 11, 2021 at 3:37 am

        “Cold temperatures kill more Americans than hot ones, CDC data show”. Did you note the rather important word “Americans”. Just to drive it home. “Americans”. “Americans” total around 335 million. The world about 8 billion. Yes, people die due ti the cold but I am tired of hearing this statistic from the USA applied to the entire world.
        This applies to all aspects of AGW (and other things). As a consequence “Americans” have no idea as ti what is happening in the real world.
        Try reading this for an indication as to what AGW is really doing –

      • Ken Zimmerman
        July 12, 2021 at 9:03 am

        Thanks for making this clear.

      • David Boffey
        July 12, 2021 at 10:07 am

        Thanks, the problem is, as with so many comments in so many places about so many subjects, Americans arrogantly and ignorantly seem to believe what is true for them is true for the rest of the world. Until it comes to telling everyone how superior they are, that is. USCentricity. What most of them don’t realise is that their education system is pretty well the worst in the developed world. Similar with healthcare and so on. But they’ve got lots of things to kill everyone with.
        I read this rather interesting piece earlier
        John Jensen was doing so well untii he started bullshittng.

    • David Boffey
      July 11, 2021 at 2:18 am

      “And still, there are many more people dying from cold than heat.” Why did you miss out the qualifier “Americans”. I know you Spetics believe you are all that exists but the vast majority of us disagree.

  5. John Jensen
    July 12, 2021 at 2:39 am

    David Boffey: Try being factual instead relying on The Guardian. Try the CDC or USA Today. I’m a scientist not a “Spetic” – name calling is hardly what this site is all about.


    • David Boffey
      July 12, 2021 at 3:14 am

      I note you missed the point that the USA is not the world and the post I referred to deliberately deleted the word “American” contained in both the original paper and the WP article, .didn’t you.
      “Try being factual instead relying on The Guardian.” Bless. For someone who is running away from what I posted that is a beaut, and then you compound that by “relying” on another news outlet. Pure goldy, hypocrisy. But it proves my point. The article you link clearly states “americans”. The Guardian piece not only refers to global but was very careful to point out “The analysis did not cover the whole globe”. Seems you have a problem with facts and the real world, don’t you.
      “And still, there are many more people dying from cold than heat.” No. Many more Americans.
      You will note that this blog is the “Real-World Economics Review Blog” and not “Real-American Economics Review Blog” and many of the posts here are obviously not in the “Real-World’.
      So climb down off your xenophobic high horse and join the real-world.
      If you are a scientist you would not have cited the Washington post incorrectly, would you. The Post was very, very specific about the data being about America and Americans. As was the CDC. so what is your problem, Ms. Scientist?

    • David Boffey
      July 12, 2021 at 3:46 am

      Try being factual instead relying on USA Today and The Washington Post.
      I actually am a scientist which is why I didn’t misquote the CDC or media. You should try it for a change.
      This is what you are parroting
      “Donald Trump/POTUS
      “There is a cooling and there is a heating. I mean, look, it used to not be climate change, it used to be global warming, right? That wasn’t working too well because it was getting cold all over the place. The ice caps were going to melt, they were going to be gone by now but no they’re setting records. Now they’re at a record level”
      i.e. not science but lies and misinforrnation.
      Have you noticed there were no such things as fake news and rigged / stolen elections in the USA until they had a fake president. But banana republics did.

    • David Boffey
      July 12, 2021 at 6:33 am

      “Try being factual”? Cites a crank document. You couldn’t make it up.

  6. David Boffey
    July 12, 2021 at 3:21 am

    ” Perhaps we will be saved by massive volcanic eruptions” no real scientist would ever say that as such effects are short term and transitory, Unless you fell for the lies promulgated by Plimer.
    “or perhaps we may actually decide to plant more trees” Which we are and some of us have been for a long time.
    “In the 1970s I was convinced we had peak oil ” So you believed the bs from the fossil fuel industry, OK.
    “and the next ice age was just around the corner.” You mean what the media said and in no way represented scientific thought at the time, as any scientist knew at the time and ever since.
    “Isn’t confirmation bias great at helping us to pick trends and projecting futures?” Nice self description.


  7. John Jensen
    July 12, 2021 at 4:36 am

    David Boffey: Sorry I can’t look at your 3 links above as I lose this response to you. I guess you have absolutely no doubts about what you believe. I on the other hand have many doubts which is primarily because I’ve been around long enough to see scientists change their minds. When the facts change I change my mind too – what do you do sir? But, of course for you science is fixed. So I will leave you with you certainty and current opinions – I doubt facts with change them anyway. You likely don’t read much other than what boosts your your opinion that “no real scientist would ever say that as such effects are short term and transitory”, Really? I guess you have not heard of the 535 AD eruption of Krakatoa and the political and religious upheaval and the death toll that followed. After you read at least one book on Human History, Cosmology and “The Life and Death of Planet Earth” we can resume a similar conversation on how things are always as they seem and Earthly events are always predictable. Ciao!

    • David Boffey
      July 12, 2021 at 5:18 am

      “Sorry I can’t look at your 3 links above as I lose this response to you.” What? It isn’t actually actually a problem, as if you go to think you can then return to this page where your reply or whatever still exists as it is saved automatically. Alternatively you can “command” click and the link opens in a new tab doesn’t it. Standard procedures. You youngsters are so naive.
      Regardless, if you really wanted the facts you would have gone to the links anyway rather than just responding garbage. i.e you don’t want the truth. Confirmation bias anyone?
      I have changed my mind frequently, I do it all the time. However, the “facts” you cited as “facts” were not facts, were they, as any real scientist knows. I have been around a long time and well remember the events you refer to. They were not scientific beliefs they were reports in the media, If you had been around at the time, and a scientist you would know that.
      “When the facts change I change”. /the facts have not changed but the media reporting has. Note the difference? As you would know if you had read relevant papers at the times rather than believed the media.
      ” You likely don’t read much other than what boosts your your opinion”. Thats is a perfect self description. Pure Goldy.
      “I guess you have not heard of the 535 AD eruption of Krakatoa”. Actually I have and it was as I stated, short term and transitory. You obviously don’t understand English in addition to your problems with science and facts.
      The crank publication you cite is of no relevance whatsoever in the context, is it. none whatsoever, i.e. americans dying from cold and people intimating the data was global and not local; the conspiracy theories you cited as science; and your very obvious confirmation bias.
      So why don’t you go to the links I provided which prove you are not a scientists well read or experienced. As did your volcanoes claim which was pure Plimer bs.
      So stop with the attempts at inserting bs into science and facts.
      PS. I have been dealing with people like you for decades in matters of climate, the Earth’s shape and science generally.

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