Carbon dioxide

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For the first time, the February monthly average carbon dioxide levels at the Mauna Loa Observatory have passed 400ppm. NOAA/Wikimedia Commons

February carbon dioxide levels average 400ppm for first time

We have hit a new milestone in carbon dioxide levels: the average for February topped 400ppm. It's the first time this has happened in the northern winter, when levels are typically lower than in summer.
To find out if the carbon price worked, you have to look at the electricity sector. Paul Hocksenar/Flickr

FactCheck: did carbon emissions fall faster before the carbon price?

Emissions fell by six times the rate in the five years before the carbon tax than they did under the carbon tax. – Environment minister Greg Hunt, The Guardian, January 17, 2015. Australia’s total greenhouse…
Enjoy the color while you can before climate change makes a mess of this too. chensiyuan

Fall foliage in the crosshairs of climate change

One of nature’s most spectacular events occurs every autumn, when the leaves of hardwood trees burst into brilliant color before falling to the ground. These autumnal displays in the eastern United States…
A new study shows plants may absorb more carbon than we thought. Jason Samfield/Flickr

Plants absorb more CO2 than we thought, but …

Through burning fossil fuels, humans are rapidly driving up levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which in turn is raising global temperatures. But not all the CO2 released from burning coal, oil…
Carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels and cement-making reached 36 billion tonnes in 2013. Shutterstock

Mapping global carbon emissions

The latest report on global carbon emissions released this week revealed that carbon dioxide emissions will likely reach 40 billion tonnes this year. Growth in emissions continues to match the worst-case…
Phytoplankon: blooming marvellous. Norman Kuring

Saharan dust feeds the ocean and locks away carbon too

The Saharan dust that clogged air and dirtied cars recently may seem like a nuisance, but in fact contains some essential nutrients – if, that is, you’re phytoplankton. The dust and sand blown from Africa…
Is this a sunset, or sunrise, for fracking? danielfoster437

Shale gas: make polluters pay for the social cost of fracking

While the prime minister has shown unequivocal support for exploiting Britain’s shale gas reserves, stating the country should “go all out for shale gas”, more cautious voices point to possible effects…
Steel: red hot and dirty. John Giles/PA

Using iron to clean steelmaking, a very dirty business

Iron and steel are components of an almost limitless number of infrastructure and consumer goods. From forks to tanks, syringes to satellites, cars to computers, from buildings to the power stations that…

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