The magical level of 350ppm.

By: hcubed , 7:57 AM GMT on April 22, 2012

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Several prominent climate scientists (such as 350.org co-founder Bill McKibben) have set a totally arbitrary level of 350ppm (the level they say the world must return to in order save us from Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming).

So why the level of 350 (other than just a nice round number)?

Well, from 350.org themselves, we get this: "...350 is the number that leading scientists say is the safe upper limit for carbon dioxide - measured in "Parts Per Million" in our atmosphere. 350 PPM - it's the number humanity needs to get back to as soon as possible to avoid runaway climate change..."

The upper safe limit. Wow. We're currently at 394.45ppm (March 2012). Same time last year, we were only 2.05ppm lower.

Seems like the world is well over the "safe" level of CO2 - we're all dead.

That's ok, though - they gave us an "out": "...We're like the patient that goes to the doctor and learns he's overweight, or his cholesterol is too high. He doesn't die immediately—but until he changes his lifestyle and gets back down to the safe zone, he's at more risk for heart attack or stroke. The planet is in its danger zone because we've poured too much carbon into the atmosphere, and we're starting to see signs of real trouble: melting ice caps, rapidly spreading drought. We need to scramble back as quickly as we can to safety..."

So there you have it. A scramble to get back to 350ppm.

According to the believers in CAGW, there is a "list" - that data that proves we're into the effects of CAGW.

Disappearing glacial ice
Shrinking Arctic ice
Persistent heat waves
Historic and catastrophic flooding
Earlier springs
Later winters
Rising sea levels
Ocean acidification
Unprecedented coral bleaching

...and so on...

So, according to the scientists, if the world gets back down to 350ppm, then all this stuff should automatically and magically reverse, saving the world.

Problem is, we've been over 350ppm (and back under) several times.

Look at the following values:

1986/4 349.77
1986/5 350.53
1986/6 349.90
1986/7 348.11
1986/8 346.09
1986/9 345.01
1986/10 344.47
1986/11 345.86
1986/12 347.15
1987/1 348.38
1987/2 348.70
1987/3 349.72
1987/4 351.32
1987/5 352.14
1987/6 351.61
1987/7 349.91
1987/8 347.84
1987/9 346.52
1987/10 346.65
1987/11 347.95
1987/12 349.18
1988/1 350.38
1988/2 351.68
1988/3 352.24
1988/4 353.66
1988/5 354.18
1988/6 353.68
1988/7 352.58
1988/8 350.66
1988/9 349.03
1988/10 349.08
1988/11 350.15
1988/12 351.44

In May of 1986, we crossed the magic level for the first time. In April of 1987, we crossed it again. In January of 1988, we crossed it again. In November 1988, we crossed it again.

Each time, the earth survived the crossing of the safe upper limit for carbon dioxide.

So according to the scientists, sometime in that period from May 1986 (first time we went over 350), to October of 1988 (the last time we saw a level below 350ppm), we crossed the line, and since then, the world has been plagued with world-ending extreme weather events.

Except for one thing.

There were "world-ending" extreme weather events BEFORE we crossed the line - some of which occurred at CO2 levels well below the line.

One example would be the floods in Queensland Australia that occurred in 2010/2011. They had floods that were just as severe in 1893, and those were at a time when the CO2 was about 100ppm less than today (1893, 294.7 – today 394.45).

Or, look at the current record for extreme heat: Most consecutive days above 100 °F (37.8 °C): 160 days; Marble Bar, Western Australia from 31 October 1923 to 7 April 1924. This record occurred with the CO2 levels at about 304.5/304.9.

So how can activists insist that we return the world to the arbitrary value of 350ppm, when weather was just as extreme with lower levels?

We can use their own data against them.

http://data.giss.nasa.gov/modelforce/ghgases/Fig1 A.ext.txt

Pick an event prior to May 1986, show the CO2 level for that year, and ask them how something that extreme happened with levels of CO2 BELOW the danger level.

Examine the Tri-State Tornado of Wednesday, March 18, 1925 (the deadliest tornado in U.S. history, 695 confirmed fatalities). CO2 level: 305.3.

Or the second-place holder, the The Great Natchez Tornado (Natchez, Mississippi, May 7, 1840, killed 317 people). CO2 level: unknown, but likely lower than the 285.2 shown for 1850.

So why the 350 level again?

To save the earth from extreme weather events.

Please, people - connect the dots...

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About hcubed

Living in Biloxi MS, have been here since '85 (first Hurricane was Elena).