Could the world care less about how much carbon dioxide is accumulating in the atmosphere?

Nature of the beast is huge – a worldwide invisible blanket. Like hopping into bed, on a cold night, it stays cold for quite a while before it stabilises at your body temperature. It’s the same with global warming, except delay time is decades.

Measurement is not just anywhere. Mainly it’s Mauna Loa, Hawaii, also our own, Cape Grim, Tasmania. Prevailing winds travel far across clean oceans, with plenty mixing, so result is accurate, without contamination.

Mauna Loa, carbon dioxide is now approaching 420ppm(parts per million).

But how scary is CO2-e, adding other major greenhouse gases (CO2, CH4 and N2O)? It’s climbed at average 3.3ppm per year during this decade – faster than at any time in history and showing no sign of slowing. CO2-e is currently more than 500ppm.

From ice core and other records, there’s no argument that ppm/warming corresponds as 430/1.5 and 450/2 degrees.

Clearly, we have a problem.

It’s not that we need to reduce to zero emissions immediately but we need to both stop and extract from atmosphere down to 350.

Shock jocks jeer that 1.5 or 2 degrees is fuss about nothing, but it means ever longer season extreme heat, high 40s into low 50s, cyclonic storms, hail as big as cricket balls, rain at wrong times, drought and ever more bushfires. How can we afford to turn such blind eyes?

Bernie McComb, Cowes.