CNN was among many mainstream media outlets promoting the Global Warming Scare of the Week. Under the headline “Greenhouse gas reaches alarming new record,” CNN claimed the pace of rising atmospheric carbon dioxide emissions has become alarming (https://www.cnn.com/2018/05/03/us/dangerous-co2-record-wxc/index.html). A look at the objective data, however, reveals just the opposite. While atmospheric carbon dioxide levels continue to gradually rise, they are rising at a pace that is at the very bottom of warmists’ projections. That is hardly “alarming,” CNN.
The global warming activist community has long predicted rapid rises in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration. The Association for Canadian Educational Resources (ACER), for example, projects that “by 2100 the atmospheric CO2 concentration (the gas responsible for most temperature change) will be between 540 and 970 ppm,” depending on anthropogenic emissions (http://www.acer-acre.ca/resources/climate-change-in-context/introduction-2/global/scientific-projections/projections-for-carbon-dioxide). CO2.Earth predicts that under a business-as-usual scenario, CO2 concentrations will be approximately 900 ppm (https://www.co2.earth/2100-projections). The OECD projects CO2 concentrations will be between 725 ppm and 950 ppm under its business-as-usual scenario (http://www.oecd.org/env/cc/Outlook%20to%202050_Climate%20Change%20Chapter_HIGLIGHTS-FINA-8pager-UPDATED%20NOV2012.pdf).
Given those predictions, CNN’s “alarming new record” would be true if CO2 concentrations are rising at a pace to reach or breach the top range of projections – in other words, at a pace for at least 900 ppm by the year 2100. But that is far from the case.
CNN, apparently not expecting people to critically examine its data, published a chart showing CO2 concentrations going back to the 1950s. The most striking aspect of the chart is that CO2 concentrations have been rising along a straight line of just over 2ppm per year, with very little variance. With current concentrations at 410 ppm, we can multiply the 82 years left in the century by 2.1 and expect CO2 concentrations to be 582 ppm in the year 2100, even if there is no concerted effort to reduce CO2 emissions. That is at the very bottom of warmists’ projections. Absent some unforeseen and unexplained reason why CO2 concentrations will in the near future rise much more rapidly than is presently occurring, the pace of atmospheric CO2 concentrations is quite modest rather than alarming.