Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Carbon Dioxide Levels in Danger Zone

By Matthew Knight
For CNN

LONDON, England (CNN) -- A team of international scientists led by Dr James Hansen, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, say that carbon dioxide (CO2) levels are already in the danger zone.
The Aletsch glacier in the Alps. Melting of mountain glaciers is accelerating worldwide.

Concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere currently stand at 385 parts per million (ppm) and are rising at a rate of two ppm per year. This is enough, say the scientists, to encourage dangerous changes to the Earth's climate.

As a result we risk expanding desertification, food shortages, increased storm intensities, loss of coral reefs and the disappearance of mountain glaciers that supply water to hundreds of millions of people.

The report, "Target Atmospheric CO2: Where Should Humanity Aim?" appears in the latest edition of the Open Atmosphere Science Journal and brings together the expertise of ten scientists from the United States, the UK and France.

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