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MAY 09, 2013 - The Economist

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Climate change: The measure of global warming

AT NOON on May 4th the carbon-dioxide concentration in the atmosphere around the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii hit 400 parts per million (ppm). The average for the day was 399.73 and researchers at the observatory expect this figure, too, to exceed 400 in the next few days. The last time such values prevailed on Earth was in the Pliocene epoch, 4m years ago, when jungles covered northern Canada.There have already been a few readings above 400ppm elsewhere—those taken over the Arctic Ocean in May 2012, for example—but they were exceptional. Mauna Loa is the benchmark for CO2 measurement ... Read More

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