Daily CO2

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Q&A for CO2 Broadcasters

More info and links to be added.  

Is CO2 a leading indicator?  What is it an indicator for?

Atmospheric Co2 is a leading indicator of changes in the climate system and global climate impacts that include human economies and communities.  

What does it mean when Co2 keeps rising?


CO2 is the chief greenhouse gas emitted by humans.  

Scientists refer to CO2 as the leading climate indicator in their reports. 

Why report data from the Mauna Loa Observatory?

The Mauna Loa Observatory (MLO) has the longest, continual record of direct, high-preceision measurements of CO2 in the atmosphere.  The record starts with CO2 measurements in March 1958. 

Also, Mauna Loa is the only observatory to report CO2 readings in near-real time. 

Is Mauna Loa CO2 a global signal?

Yes.   The change in Manua Loa CO2 from one year to the next is essentially the same as the change at observatories that have been set up at other locations, from the South Pole, Antarctica (89.98ºS) to Alert, Canada (82.45ºN).  Why?  CO2 is well mixed in the mass of air that envelopes the earth.  Dave Keeling reported that CO2 levels in the scientific journal, Tellus, in 1960 based on 2 years of CO2 readings at Mauna Loa, as well as data collected for shorter periods at other locations.  Over time, the Mauna Loa chart with CO2 rising at an increasing rate became known as the Keeling Curve. 

[quote CO2 Rising].

What else does Mauna Loa CO2 tell us about how the Earth system works?

When Dave Keeling invented a device to make precise observations of CO2, measurements at the Mauna Loa Observatory led to his discovery that CO2 has a seasonal cycle.  This cycle is caused by seasonal growth and decline changes in vegetation in the Northern Hemisphere where most land is situated.  This cycle creates a sawtooth pattern and is the second notable feature that is visible in the Keeling Curve.  

Measurements at Mauna Loa give scientists other informaiton that is needed to quantify and understand significant changes elsewhere in the Earth system.  This relates to carbon sources and sinks in the atmosphere, ocean and land.  And it relates to other Earth system phenomenon such as El Niño and La Niña temperature changes on the surface of the Pacific Ocean, the largest ocean on the planet.

How can non-scientists use Mana Loa CO2 readings?

What should CO2 levels be?

How quickly should CO2 levels stabilize?

cite rockstom on carbon law.  Cite IPCC on 12 years.  

Whether you agree with this the fact is that every extra ppm adds stress to living communities in the biosphere.   Dangerours impacts are happening. 

We agree that we have a climate emergency on our hand.  The most alarming thing is thta the institutions of the world have yet to exert the plans, will and thinking tht is capable of ending the problem. '
Einstain says you have to think in ways that differe from how we got into the problem.  We aren't there yet.  

Isn't the international community soliving this problem?  

Aren't national leaders solving this problme?


What does it take to stabilize CO2 levels in the atmosphere?

How can CO2 be stabilized?

This is a big question.  


Cite gates.  

Why not use CO2e or a basket of GHGs?  

How can air be "clean" when it is near the top of an active volcano?

This question comes up a lot, and it's important.  

[explain - link to how co2 is measured]

Can CO2 be reported locally?

Yes.  Reporting local CO2 can complement Mauna Loa CO2, but it is not a replacement or alternative to Mauna Loa CO2.  

but local CO2 is not a leading indicator and global signal that tells us what is happening to the Earth system.   Also, it is costly and diffucult to get local CO2 readings as preceise as Mauna Loa CO2.  

That said, there are good reasons 

not provide a signal and information that has the planetary 

 it can be difficult to do this well, and the reasons for looking at local CO2 differ from Mauna Loa CO2.   

Possibly, Salt Lake City offers the best example of local CO2 measurment and reporting.   You can see what they do at:  

Salt Lake City is measuring the CO2 in air that is influened by vegetation and human activities, not background air at Mauna Loa that is free from local influences. 

    data they provide shows intra-day  [Link and discuss]

You can, but it 

, the contribution of small declines in atmospheric oxygen and  (e.g.  and understand changes  changes in the atmosphere, such as small declines in oxygen, land


Why does Mauna Loa CO2 increase some months and decline other months?

The Mauna Loa CO2 record is influenced by 

Why track CO2 levels?

How do I cite readings I get from 

Why is CO2 a leading indicator?

Why not report methane or other greenhouse gases?

Where should CO2 be 

Why is CO2 starting to be included in business reports of the latest market numbers?  

The atmospheric CO2 is a byproduct of business.