planetThe whole Earth is being changed by human air pollution, but crucially productive regions altered by water pollution and a decline in the amount per capita of arable land. The synergy of these threats has led many scientists to argue we have a crucial population problem that will be with us for a generation or more because our rates of consumption are accelerating at two to three times faster than these human numbers. As the population rises that increased rate is only half the rate at which people consume water and one third of the rate at which electricity users consume energy.{*}

Earth station: Mauna Loa mountain top

The graph below displays a 44 year measurement of carbon dioxide.

The amount of carbon dioxide underwent a 60 percent increase in forty-eight years over the base year of 1958, but recently the rise is accelerating.

1.36% average yearly increase over four decades.

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Charles David Keeling, noted JIMO researcher, was awarded the National Medal of Science in a White House presentation on 13 June 2002 for his lifetime achievement in scientific research. His significant studies of the carbon cycle and the increase of atmospheric CO2, have been a pivotal marker in the study of global climate change. Keeling's scientific contributions have affected the scientific, economic and social challenges which confront us today and well into the future.

Keeling was the first to model the accumulation of atmospheric carbon dioxide. The "Keeling curve" (Figure) encapsulates 45 years of time of series measurements of atmospheric carbon dioxide taken atop Mauna Loa, Hawaii. His data confirmed that the increased accumulation of carbon dioxide produced by burning fossil fuels and other industrial products, contributed to the greenhouse effect. Under Keeling's current JIMO research, which is a continuum of his lifetime study of the global carbon cycle, he is developing measurement techniques in analyzing Ar/N2 ratios.

The current estimate in 2012 showed the largest increase in carbon emissions ever projected as a six percent rise over the previous year, despite a global depression in the US and Europe.

The "Keeling Curve" confirms a steady increase in carbon dioxide levels contributing to the greenhouse effect. Critics charge that such a relation between carbon and temperature is inverted, that is carbon increase is lagging indicator and not a leading indicator of warmer temperatures. By that the climate skeptics argue that rising temperatures lead to higher carbon dioxide and water vapor levels. Instead of carbon dioxide triggering a rise in temperatures, these skeptics argue that the build-up of carbon dioxide is due to temperature rising.

Besides his interests in atmospheric chemistry and geochemistry, his comprehensive study of the effects of tidal mixing on climate change spans a 1,000-year period. According to Keeling, strong oceanic tides are the engines behind the warming-cooling cycle that may help determine future climate change.

Born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, Keeling received his B. A. degree in chemistry from the University of Illinois in 1948 and a Ph.D. in chemistry from Northwestern University in 1954. Keeling joined the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in 1956. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Geophysical Union, the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, and the National Academy of Sciences.

* Source

That means the population rate of increase is two percent per year, then the water consumption is double the rate of population increase and that energy use in industrialized nations is three times that of the population. The argument that either population drives consumption or that consumption is driving irreparable damages on the Earth is meaningless since both population and consumption together are inseparable.


Hadley Centre, U. K.

Earth observatory from NASA


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