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CO2 Reaches Tipping Point!

May 14, 2016

By Paul Homewood 




We’re all going to die! From the Mail:


6 June may sound like an insignificant date to many, but it could mark a ‘tipping point’ in the world’s history, an expert has warned.

An atmospheric measuring station at Cape Grim in Tasmania is expected to record a carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration of 400 parts per million (ppm) on or around this day – a significant number marking a climate change milestone.

While 400ppm has been recorded before, the Tasmanian location is regarded as one of the cleanest air sources in the world, so such levels of pollution are said to be a real blow.

The measure is an indicator of the amount of planet-warming gases being pumped into the atmosphere at record rates and the concentrations are the highest in millions of years.

The measurements of 400ppm come almost three decades after what is considered the ‘safe’ level of 350ppm was passed.

‘Once it reaches 400ppm at Cape Grim it’s very unlikely to drop below 400 again,’ Dr Paul Fraser, a Fellow at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (Csiro) told Ninemsn.

While the difference of 0.1ppm may seem trivial, the expert said it marks a ‘psychological tipping point’ in our battle against global warming.


An atmospheric measuring station at Cape Grim in Tasmania is expected to a record carbon dioxide concentration of 400 parts per million (ppm) on or around 6 June - a significant number marking a climate change milestone. Air samples collected at the station over the decades are shown



There is more drivel along these lines, but I was struck by this comment:


Experts worry that when 400ppm becomes the norm, polluted and densely populated cities such as Beijing could record carbon figures as high as 700ppm, bring a lot of health concerns.

Currently, the air surrounding a congested road is probably around 500ppm.


Accompanied by this highly misleading photo, which attempts to conflate CO2 with smog:


Experts worry that when 400ppm becomes the norm, polluted and densely populated cities such as Beijing (stock image) could record carbon figures as high as 700ppm, bring a lot of health concerns

Experts worry that when 400ppm becomes the norm, polluted and densely populated cities such as Beijing (stock image) could record carbon figures as high as 700ppm, bring a lot of health concerns


I am certainly not aware of any evidence that CO2 is any way harmful in to humans at these sort of levels.

Obviously as CO2 is heavier than air, it can sink to the ground in confined spaces and lead to asphyxiation. But according to the Health & Safety Executive, CO2 is naturally present in the air we breathe at a concentration of about 0.037% and is not harmful to health at low concentrations.

They go on to say:

In GB, CO2 is classed as a ‘substance hazardous to health’ under the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH). The HSE publication ‘EH40/2005 Workplace exposure limits’ provides workplace exposure limits (WELs) for CO2. WELs are limits to airborne concentrations of hazardous substances in the workplace and are set in order to help protect the health of workers. Workplace exposure is calculated by taking an average over a specified period of time. The WELs for CO2 are:

  • Long-term exposure limit (8-hr reference period) of 5000 ppm
  • Short-term exposure limit (15 minute reference period) of 15000 ppm

 As with all HSE recommendations, they are doubtlessly well below realistic safe limits. 


There is also plenty of evidence that CO2 has many beneficial effects for the human body. According to the Normalbreathing website, having a normal level of CO2 in the lungs and arterial blood (40 mm Hg or about 5.3% at sea level) is imperative for normal health.

Obviously most of this CO2 is that produced during respiration. Their view, however, is that many people actually hyperventilate, which leads to there being too little CO2 in the lungs.


Either way, it is not clear why 700ppm should be in any way harmful.  This all seems just a cheap attempt to reinforce the message that CO2 is dangerous pollution.

  1. William Baird permalink
    May 14, 2016 1:13 pm

    We are done for. Now is the time to hand all power (and money) to the UN. Only they can save starving/freezing the population (excepting De Caprio and a few others) to death.

    God bless Stalin and all Marxist visionaries

  2. Broadlands permalink
    May 14, 2016 1:21 pm

    How many of these “tipping” or “change” points will we have to be warned about?

    Usha Lee McFarling… LA Times February, 2000

    “A new analysis by government scientists indicates Earth’s climate is warming at an unprecedented rate, suggesting that the future impact of global warming may be more severe and sudden than predicted.
    Such a steep warming rate was not expected to occur until well into the 21st century, said Tom Karl, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration climatologist who led the study. The trend probably would mean a continuation of the recent three-year string of steamy summers and mild winters seen by much of the nation, and perhaps increased flooding of low-lying areas. “The next few years are going to be very interesting,” Karl said. “It could be the beginning of a new increase in temperatures.”

    Historical and geological records show that Earth warms and cools in fits and starts, not at a constant rate. During the 1900s, most warming occurred between 1910 and 1940 and then after 1970. On average, though, warming throughout the century occurred at a rate of just over 1 degree per century.
    In contrast, warming since 1976 occurred at a rate of nearly 4 degrees per century. The increase in warming, Karl said, could be evidence for a “change point” — a period when Earth’s climate begins warming at a faster rate.”

    It was a “change”… the “hiatus” had begun. No wonder Karl et al. wanted to try and make the change appear to disappear…as an “artifact”.

  3. Coeur de Lion permalink
    May 14, 2016 1:46 pm

    Gosh,I’m looking forward to La Niña and 2017!

  4. May 14, 2016 2:27 pm

    I see CSIRO have disappeared a 2007 article of his “The researchers found that the Southern Ocean is becoming less efficient at absorbing carbon dioxide due to an increase in wind strength over the Ocean, resulting from human-induced climate change,” Dr Fraser says. (That’s the same Dr Paul Fraser)
    I wonder if the claims made in that article stand up today ?

  5. May 14, 2016 2:31 pm

    Given its source it may have something to do with the planned, wise 275(?) redundancies at CSIRO. There appears to be an alarmist campaign to reverse this – eg . As we all know the best way to deal with runaway global warming is to empty the trough.

  6. tempestnut permalink
    May 14, 2016 3:30 pm

    Nice article Paul perfectly illustrating the absurdity of those who seek to convince people that CO2 is a pollutant (in the traditional meaning of pollutant) And you are correct about the published safety limits being very conservative, as they should be. But the key and excellent point you have picked up on that far too few pickup on is that CO2 is essential for all life as we know it on our planet, even oxygen breathers such as we humans. It follows then that having life develop dependent on CO2, that that same CO2 would then become dangerous to life with such a small and slow change in concentration.

  7. May 14, 2016 4:09 pm

    Alarmists hyperventilating – what’s new? They obviously hope that by constantly showering the media with misinformation they will be able to fool most of the people most of the time.

    • A C Osborn permalink
      May 14, 2016 4:48 pm

      Climate = Brexit Remainers.
      Scare mongering
      Hiding Adverse data
      Attacking the messenger

      Sound familiar.

  8. Charlie Moncur permalink
    May 14, 2016 4:49 pm

    I have a CO2 an Netamo meter in my apartment in Marbella Spain. It also measures temperature, humidity and decibels Due to normal respiration the CO2 level can easily go up to 1500 ppm. We ventilate the apartment to return to 400 to 450 ppm. I believe we exhale 40,000 ppm. In the Netherlands, they pump CO2 into the greenhouses at about 1200 ppm. People still enter and work in that environment. The tomatoes and cucumber like it a lot. How does one stop the media publishing false information?

  9. May 14, 2016 5:37 pm

    Just ask submariners what is a dangerous level of CO2.

  10. May 14, 2016 5:43 pm

    Christopher Booker has a good article.—the-most-insane-act-passed-by-parliame/

    “The Fifth Carbon Budget – the most insane Act passed by Parliament”

  11. saveenergy permalink
    May 14, 2016 6:25 pm

    The following summarizes levels of CO2 under various conditions:

    40,000 ppm: The exhaled breath of normal, healthy people.
    8,000 ppm: CO2 standard for submarines
    2,500 ppm: CO2 level in a small hot crowded bar in the city
    1,000 to 2,000 ppm: Historical norms for the earth’s atmosphere over the past 550 million years
    1,000 to 2,000 ppm: The level of CO2 at which plant growers like to keep their greenhouses
    1,000 ppm: Average level in a lecture hall filled with students
    600 ppm: CO2 level in my office with me and my spouse in it
    490 ppm: CO2 level in my office working alone
    400 ppm: Current average outdoor level of CO2 in the air (2016)
    280 ppm: Pre-industrial levels in the air, on the edge of “CO2 famine” for plants
    150 ppm: The point below which most plants die of CO2 starvation

    & just look at what CO2 has done to our Crops
    The Cereal Supply and Demand Brief provides an up-to-date perspective of the world cereal market

    OMG it’s worse than we thought…. we are all going to have too much food

    The CO2Science web site has a huge catalog of studies of the effects of CO2 on plant growth, here:
    The studies show that nearly all plants benefit dramatically
    Moreover, there’s good evidence that many of those studies underestimate the benefit of elevated CO2:
    The first such study that I’m aware of was done nearly a century ago, in Germany. Scientific American wrote about it in 1920:

  12. Richard Bell permalink
    May 14, 2016 10:35 pm

    The part the authors leave out, with all this talk of “cities in pain”, is that 400ppm CO2 will have no noticeable health impact on people. According to US government documents, navy personnel in charge of US submarines, including nuclear submarines charged with delivering the final response to a nuclear first strike, typically live for months on end at an average CO2 level of 3500ppm, ranging up to 11,300ppm. If 400ppm had any health impact whatsoever – how could sick people be trusted to be in charge of nuclear weapons, at CO2 levels an order of magnitude higher than normal air?

  13. May 15, 2016 3:54 am

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

  14. 3x2 permalink
    May 15, 2016 10:58 am

    Saved to the way back machine for future generations to marvel at.

    The base of the Planetary food chain (CO2) is now ‘pollution’. And they wonder why circulation rates are falling.

    Then I clicked on her name to get a list of previous ‘articles’. Unbelievable.

  15. May 15, 2016 12:52 pm

    NASA used to keep the atmosphere in the Space Shuttle at about 5000 ppmv (0.5%) CO2:

    The International Space Station is similar. They currently run it at about 4 mm Hg = 5400 ppmv, though there’s a recommendation that they lower that to 2.5 mm Hg = 3300 ppmv:

  16. May 16, 2016 4:23 pm

    Reblogged this on Climatism and commented:
    “CO2 Reaches A Tipping Point” despite the fact there’s been NO atmospheric global warming for nearly 20 years, with record anthropogenic CO2 emissions over the same period.

    And despite the fact that climate change alarmist institutions NASA and CSIRO et al., have begrudgingly admitted that man’s addition of colourless, odourless, trace gas and plant food CO2 is actually “greening” the planet.

    Which is good news because historically, we live in a dangerously low CO2-starved environment.

  17. May 16, 2016 5:44 pm

    CO2 is best regarded as the “Gas of Life”. Without it the sun’s energy could not be captured and this strange, anti-entropic phenomenon we call life on earth could not exist. Oh, and there wouldn’t be any oxygen!
    (even the strange chemoautotrophs of volcanic vents and hot springs are dependent on CO2 to capture chemical energy)

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