Record-breaking CO2 levels mark a new era in the worlds climate

October 25, 2016 by  
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Environmentalists around the world winced when global CO2 levels surged past 400 parts per million for the first time in recorded history in 2014. Now, it looks like that record is the new normal, as the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) believes 2016 will be the first full year to exceed the 400 ppm benchmark, in large part due to this year’s strong El Niño event. While CO2 emissions remained relatively static between 2014 and 2015, El Niño’s onset caused a dramatic carbon spike in the atmosphere. Due to the drought conditions it caused in tropical regions, vegetation was less able to soak up excess CO2. And that’s to say nothing of the carbon emissions from wildfires sparked by the dry weather. Though the extreme El Niño has passed, scientists expect the spike in CO2 levels to last for “many generations” to come. That’s terrifying – especially when you realize that the last time CO2 levels were regularly above 400 ppm was three to five million years ago. Prior to 1800 and the advent of industrialization, atmospheric levels averaged closer to 280 ppm, according to NOAA. Related: Highest CO2 concentrations on record comprise Earth’s new “permanent reality” The weather conditions that led to this new record have ended, but the damage we’re continuing to do to our environment is ongoing. The WMO argues that unless carbon emissions are dramatically slashed, humanity is likely to blow past the 2-degree global temperature rise that most scientists agree is necessary to avoid the worst effects of climate change. Petteri Taalas, Secretary-General of the organization, believes the new milestone is a wake-up call of sorts, and that “It is therefore of the utmost importance that the Paris Agreement does indeed enter into force well ahead of schedule on 4 November and that we fast-track its implementation.” We can only hope his warnings are taken into account when the 200 nations that have signed the Paris agreement meet in Morocco next month to discuss the next steps forward. Via BBC Images via Xenja Santarelli and The Power of Voice  

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Record-breaking CO2 levels mark a new era in the worlds climate

CO2 levels likely to stay above 400ppm for the rest of our lives, new study shows

June 16, 2016 by  
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A new study reveals that carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations in the atmosphere are likely to remain above 400 parts per million (ppm) throughout this year and for many years to come. Scientists from the Met Office Hadley Centre and Scripps Institution of Oceanography scrutinized data from NOAA’s Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii and forecasted that levels would not dip below 400ppm for ‘our lifetimes.’ According to the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), CO2 concentrations of ” about 450ppm or lower are likely to maintain warming below 2 degrees Celsius over the 21st century relative to pre-industrial levels.” But lead author on the paper Richard Betts said we could pass that number in 20 years or less. He told the Guardian that even if we reduce emissions immediately, we might be able to delay reaching 450ppm but “it is still looking like a challenge to stay below 450ppm.” Related: Global CO2 concentrations exceed 400ppm ‘point of no return’ for first time Paper co-author Ralph Keeling said, “Back in September last year, we suspected that we were measuring CO2 concentrations below 400ppm for the last time. Now it is looking like this was indeed the case.” El Niño has played a role in climbing carbon dioxide levels, but we’ll likely see higher CO2 levels than the last large El Niño storm during 1997 and 1998 because ” manmade emissions ” have risen by 25 percent since that storm, according to The Guardian. Met Office experts are fairly confident in these projections. They predicted in November 2015 that in May 2016 “mean concentrations of atmospheric CO2” would hit 407.57ppm. The actual figure was 407.7ppm. During 2015, NOAA reported that the “annual growth rate” of C02 in the atmosphere rose by 3.05ppm . NOAA lead scientist Pieter Tans said “Carbon dioxide levels are increasing faster than they have in hundreds of thousands of years. It’s explosive compared to natural processes.” Via The Guardian Images via Rick Sharloch on Flickr and NOAA Photo Library on Flickr

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CO2 levels likely to stay above 400ppm for the rest of our lives, new study shows

The new Tate Modern designed by Herzog & de Meuron opens its doors

June 16, 2016 by  
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According to the Tate Modern , the Switch House is “the most important new cultural building to open in Britain since the British Library.” The Switch House will increase the size of Tate Modern by 60 percent with galleries, a panoramic viewing terrace, and the first permanent spaces for live art in old oil tanks. Building materials such as concrete, oak, and brick comprise the Switch House. High ceilings, spiral staircases, and tall thin windows add to the aesthetic. Related: Tate Modern’s Energy Efficient Redesign by Hertzog & de Meuron The Switch House will be the site of a new program Tate Modern is launching later in 2016 called the Tate Exchange. The ” open experiment ” will take over an entire floor and provide a space for innovative workshops and events. Tate Modern says 50 organizations will be part of the Tate Exchange, including artists, healthcare trusts, charities, universities, and community radio stations. Tate Director Nicholas Serota said it will be a “combination of the Open University, art school, TED talks, and Guardian debates, all wrapped into one.” The day before the museum opens to all, 3,000 schoolchildren from all around the UK will get to experience the Switch House. They will be the first members of the public to explore the building and artwork inside. Artist Bob and Roberta Smith will welcome the children. London Mayor Sadiq Khan said , “Bringing culture to this neglected area of London has transformed it.” Herzog & de Meuron designed Tate Modern’s Bankside Power Station conversion back in 2000 as well. + Tate Modern Via World Architecture News Photography by Iwan Baan

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The new Tate Modern designed by Herzog & de Meuron opens its doors

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