Within the next couple of weeks, a remote part of north-western Tasmania is likely to grab headlines around the world as a major climate change marker is passed.
The aptly named Cape Grim monitoring site jointly run by CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology will witness the first baseline reading of 400 parts per million (ppm) of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, researchers predict.
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"Once it's over [400 ppm], it won't go back," said Paul Fraser, dubbed by CSIRO as the Air Man of Cape Grim, and now a retired CSIRO fellow. "It could be within 10 days."
The most recent reading on May 6 was 399.9 ppm, according to readings compiled by the CSIRO team led by Paul Krummel that strip out influences from land, including cities such as Melbourne to the north.
... Cape Grim's readings are significant because they capture the most accurate reading of the atmospheric conditions in the southern hemisphere and have records going back 40 years.
Full story at http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/global-warming-milestone-about-to-be-passed-and-theres-no-going-back-20160509-goqcm0.html
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Image: Animation by Ed Hawkins, a climate scientist at the UK's University of Reading, showing how the world has warmed in the past 166 years.